Fight begins to save historic 18th century mansion

Redhall House was originally sold to be converted into flats but this work has never been carried out. Picture: Gareth Easton
Redhall House was originally sold to be converted into flats but this work has never been carried out. Picture: Gareth Easton
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RESIDENTS have launched a petition to save a historic 18th century mansion which has been added to the “at risk” register after lying empty for six years.

The once grand Redhall House, which was built in 1758, has been subjected to vandalism, graffiti, break-ins, a fire and a gas leak in recent years.

Now Craiglockhart community council is calling on councillors to intervene. It says when the building was sold in 2007, it was on condition that it be maintained and redeveloped. The community council’s petition voices disappointment that the building’s condition has “visibly deteriorated”.

And it adds: “We call on the council to ensure that the conditions placed on it at the time of sale are adhered to so that the property is maintained, renovated and occupied in such a way that also preserves in full the setting of the open space around it.”

The B-listed building was due to be converted into six flats, but no work was ever done and the planning permission has now expired. Community council chairman Alan Dickson said the current owners, the Gold Brothers, had indicated they now want to convert it into two houses – but say they need to build three more on the lawn in front of the building to fund the work. Building on the plot was previously ruled “unacceptable” by the council.

Mr Dickson said: “We are using the new petition system to point out many residents are sufficiently concerned to call on the council to do its duty. The local people are sad to think of the possibility of the lawn at Redhall being built on.”

Planning convener Ian Perry said the council monitored the condition of the building on a regular basis. He added: “The recent winter weather has caused some damage to the render, which we will be asking the owner to repair. It is encouraging to note that previous requests of this nature have been carried out.”

The Gold Brothers – who own a number of shops in the Royal Mile area – did not respond to calls for a comment from the Evening News.

The historic mansion was besieged by Cromwell in 1650 and built with stones taken from 13th century Redhall Tower.

iswanson@edinburghnews.com