Granton Harbour blueprint to be sunk by council

An artist's impression of how Granton Harbour could look. Picture: Myer Price & Co
An artist's impression of how Granton Harbour could look. Picture: Myer Price & Co
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A HUGE planned transformation of Granton Harbour said to be worth £300 million to the economy looks set to be killed off by the council.

City officials claim the blueprint for the Edinburgh Marina lacks detail, leaves a question mark over affordable housing and fails to make enough of the waterfront location.

They fear that the development – boasting a 120-bed hotel, a 400-berth dock and a swathe of shopping, leisure and retail space – could have a “significant adverse impact” on the city centre and criticised its height and scale.

It is also understood there is a lack of confidence in Granton Central Developments’ ability to fulfil its promises, which include 2000 homes – half the number originally proposed – and 800 jobs. Officials have now recommended the plans are refused when they go before the planning committee on Wednesday.

But developers today accused the council of “killing off” the regeneration, warning that the site could be left “in desolation” for years.

Kevin Fawcett, of Granton Central Developments, said: “Since our plans were first submitted, we’ve had numerous members of the community reach out to express their excitement and gratitude that Granton, a site that has sat empty for so long, will finally come to life – creating a new community, new jobs and affordable housing.

“Yet it appears the council has little interest in regenerating Granton and is more interested in a monopolistic protection of other areas, including the city centre. They are concerned that our plans for a local retail centre will draw people away from neighbouring areas.

“It’s as if they would prefer not to create 800 new jobs.

“Everyone wonders why we’re short of affordable housing these days – here is a prime example of modern-day planning decisions being the root of the problem.

“Once again, it’s the people that will be losing out here.”

Responding to claims that the proposals lacked detail, Mr Fawcett also stressed that it was “just a masterplan” and insisted that concerns “would all be dealt with” at the detailed planning stage.

He added: “Refusal is recommended based on information they don’t have – and that we don’t have, nor are we required to have at this stage.”

Cammy Day, Labour Ward councillor, defended the recommendations, adding: “Of course we want to see the development, but it has to be done alongside the council’s strategic plans for housing, retail and transport.”

George Gordon, vice-chairman of the Granton and District Community Council, added: “We didn’t think the plans were in keeping with the surrounding area and there are a lot of questions around infrastructure. They [the developers] need to start listening to the residents.”

john.connell@edinburghnews.com