David Murray firm wants support for £1bn housing

Cllr Ricky Henderson addresses the meeting. Picture:'' Neil Hanna

Cllr Ricky Henderson addresses the meeting. Picture:'' Neil Hanna

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A PROPERTY firm run by former Rangers chairman Sir David Murray has appealed for public backing as it bids to push through a £1 billion housing development.

Murray Estates pitched its proposal at a meeting of frustrated residents in Juniper Green, who are battling plans for more than 180 houses to be built on Curriemuirend Park.

They were urged to show their support for Sir David’s Garden District – which would see more than 3500 new homes built beyond the City Bypass to the west of the Capital.

The ambitious project was not included in the recent Local Development Plan, but Murray Estates is hopeful of winning enough support to force the blueprint through. A public meeting earlier this week was attended by Jestyn Davies, managing director of Murray Estates, and planner Robin Holder, who told the audience: “If you are trying to stop housing in your community, you should provide the council with other alternatives – and we would certainly welcome that support.”

Murray Estates denied it was asking residents to reject the council’s plans in favour of its own.

Mr Holder said: “What we are suggesting is that we have a good proposal for development and we believe there is a lot of support for that proposal. What we are asking people to do is support our site.”

Councillor Ricky Henderson, who represents Pentland Hills, said he would back residents opting to support Murray Estates in an attempt to derail plans to build on parkland.
He said: “I would support the logic of that position. Increasing the pressure, particularly on infrastructure, on Lanark Road is not really sustainable.

“Whereas I think the alternative site does present opportunities for a viable residential development, with good transport and infrastructure links.”

Jim Ferguson, chairman of the Friends of Curriemuirend Park, declined to say whether he backed the plans.

He said: “These gentlemen have come along with an alternative – I don’t know whether I agree with it or not.”

Sir David’s plans feature a 60-acre National Garden which will include water features and research facilities near 600 new homes. Another 1500 homes would be built within walking distance of Edinburgh Park and 1400 as part of a University Village near Heriot-Watt.