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Fury over ‘false’ Craighouse plans

An artist's impression of the Craighouse development

An artist's impression of the Craighouse development

DEVELOPERS behind controversial £90 million plans for the former Napier University campus at Craighouse have been slated by officials for submitting documents which are “factually incorrect”, “inaccurate” and “incomplete”.

In a letter to agents acting for the Craighouse Partnership, city council planning officials set out a catalogue of omissions and errors in the application for the scheme.

Edinburgh Southern SNP MSP Jim Eadie said the letter was a “devastating critique” and accused the developers of a “cavalier approach” to the planning system.

The proposals, which have been scaled back following protests, involve a total of 153 units – 64 from the conversion of seven existing A-listed buildings and 89 new-builds. Campaigners, who have collected 5000 signatures on a petition against the scheme dismiss the changes and describe the plans as “diabolical”.

In its letter, the council said the Craighouse Partnership application included images which were “inaccurate and not representative of how the site is read by the naked eye”, drawings which were “not legible” and statements described as “factually incorrect” or “inaccurate”.

The letter said : “In general, the drawings submitted are incomplete for an application of this size and do not represent a co-ordinated set of information for the site and individual development areas.”

It added that the environmental impact assessment accompanying the application was “not considered to be a competent document” and failed to address key areas.

The letter also said the application was not accompanied by any form of financial assessment, relying instead on a report about an earlier version of the proposals.

The council said it would be “misleading” to make the report public because “it does not relate to the current scheme”.

Mr Eadie said: “This letter from the council drives a coach and horses through the Craighouse Partnership’s planning application.

“The lack of care which the developer has taken in preparing the formal planning application has been laid bare for all to see. I remain concerned about the impact of the proposals on the loss of greenspace and amenity. However I am now alarmed by the cavalier approach to the planning 
process. ”

Rosy Barmes, of the Friends of Craighouse, said: “It is an extraordinary list of things that are lacking or inaccurate. We have been asking for ages where the financial plan is.

“Craighouse is a very special protected site and the application presents no justification for the new-build homes.”

A spokesman for the Craighouse Partnership said: “We welcome the initial feedback from the council. There are a number of points in their letter that raise the need for further discussion. A meeting is being arranged with the council to discuss these issues in more detail and to agree the best way forward.”

The deadline for objections to the new-build element of the proposal is December 21.

 

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