Craighouse plans set for the go-ahead

The plans have proved highly controversial. Pic: comp
The plans have proved highly controversial. Pic: comp
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CONTROVERSIAL plans for a £90 million housing development on the old Craighouse university campus are set to be given the green light.

The transformation of the former Napier base has been backed by planning officials and is expected to be rubber-stamped by councillors next week.

It comes after the blueprint, which has drawn criticism, was rejigged for a third time since it was first submitted in 2011.

Now 145 properties are set to be built, with 64 in the seven 16th and 19th-century listed buildings and 81 within six new residential blocks.

Planning officers admitted the new buildings – located in the Craiglockart Hills Conservation Area – would affect the eye-catching surroundings, but insisted restoration of the historic buildings is the “fundamental” objective.

Campaigners remain opposed to the plans, which they said would “ride roughshod” over the picturesque campus.

Rosy Barnes, spokesperson for Friends of Craighouse, said: “For the planning department to recommend approval is not just incompetence – it constitutes negligence.

“How we treat Craighouse will become a benchmark for our really precious sites, setting the standard for years to come.”

Objections include concerns over pressure on local schools, flooding and congestion.

Gavin Corbett, Green councillor for Fountainbridge and Craiglockart, said: “They have to weigh up whether it is right to ride roughshod over a host of planning protections on this special place by building dozens of new high-cost houses.”

The development consortium – made up of Sundial Properties, Napier University and Mountgrange Investment – said it would invest £500,000 in the surrounding Craighouse area if the plans were approved. They have earmarked £336,000 for South Morningside Primary School and £150,000 for preserving Craighouse woods.

William Gray Muir, managing director of Sundial Properties, said: “Getting this masterplan right has not been an easy task. We have listened to comments from the public and council planners and reflected these views in the scheme now being considered.”

lizzy.buchan@jpress.co.uk