Letters: Craigmillar under threat from developers

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The city council has published its latest Local Development Plan proposals, including the building of 1200 houses on greenbelt land at Brunstane Farm, which lies in the area of Craigmillar Community Council.

The city council has published its latest Local Development Plan proposals, including the building of 1200 houses on greenbelt land at Brunstane Farm, which lies in the area of Craigmillar Community Council.

We have been given six weeks to comment on proposals for the destruction for ever of a unique and special part of east Edinburgh and over 1000 pages of reports and supporting documents to study during this short period, much written in gobbledygook planners’ jargon more difficult to understand than a foreign language

The city has organised a three-hour consultation session but will only inform residents who live within a short distance of the proposed development.

The residents of Newcraighall village will not even be told about the consultation, let alone invited to comment, despite council officials admitting that traffic on Newcraighall Road will at least double.

Surely this is a most disgraceful and shocking way for a council to treat its citizens, especially one which describes itself as being ‘co-operative’ and wanting more inclusive and better community consultation.

Much more reminiscent of Soviet- style polit bureau dictats than a modern democratic inclusive society.

Paul Nolan, Niddrie Marischal Crescent, Edinburgh

Edmonstone green belt land must be saved

The City of Edinburgh Council is considering a planning application to build 368 houses on the Edmonstone Estate.

Edmonstone is an integral part of the city’s green belt. It is not just fields to stand in and stare at but a green, open oasis which has been enjoyed and appreciated by members of our community for generations.

It is a children’s outdoor adventure play area and an informal environmental education location

It is well-used area for walking, with a network of natural paths and wildlife.

It provides stunning views across to Arthur’s Seat and the city skyline, which encourage people to enjoy fresh air amid beautiful scenery as described in Tom Speedie’s book Craigmillar And Its Environs.

Only a year ago the city council unanimously decided that as part of the Craigmillar Urban Design Framework, Edmonstone should remain as open space for the planting of an arboretum.

Edmonstone provides the crucial natural boundary between the city and Midlothian which would be permanently destroyed if the building of 368 houses goes ahead.

It is also a critical part of the Southeast Parkland linking into Central Scotland’s Open Network. Therefore, as green, open space, Edmonstone is not only essential to our community but also to the city and indeed the whole country.

In the last few years Niddrie has lost to developments eight and a half acres of neighbourhood parks and playgrounds – the equivalent size of East Princes Street Gardens.

Our Hunter’s Hall park is under threat of complete destruction by housing and physical developments. We would appeal to city councillors not to grant this planning permission at Edmonstone.

Lyndsay Martin, Secretary, Niddrie Independent Parents Support

Canal towpath users need a code of conduct

I’m really disappointed to hear about the negative experience of John McLellan’s nine-year-old son as he cycled along the canal towpath (News, August 22).

As someone who cycles along the towpath daily, I see how much more popular it has become. Most cyclists are responsible towards other users and, of course, the responsibilities extend widely, from dog walkers to people who would drop litter.

But I do see a minority of cyclists going way too fast for a narrow, shared path. That is why I have been working with Scottish Canals, local residents and cycling groups on a number of improvements, including a new towpath code and safety campaign, changes to signage and verge maintenance, and looking at improving the safety of parallel routes to the canal for cyclists who want to travel a bit faster.

Ultimately, it will be canal towpath users themselves who will shape a more civilised pattern of use, even if it takes a little time to get there. In the meantime, if you see me cycling slowly on the canal towpath, it is not because I can’t go fast; it’s that I choose not to!

Gavin Corbett, Green Councillor for Fountainbridge - Craiglockhart

A close independence vote could sow discord

I’ve got the feeling that when the day comes, regardless of who ‘won’ the debates between Darling and Salmond, electors will have to decide if independence is a risk worth taking and indeed if there is a glittering prize to be had.

My instinct tells me that after a period of reflection Scots will step back from the brink and vote ‘No’, then give it a few more years before deciding to have a second go if things don’t pan out as expected within the Union.

It is only now that when faced with a stark choice, Scots realise what a momentous and irrevocable step this could be. It will certainly be life changing if there is a ‘Yes’ vote, but in ways we cannot easily foretell and whether for better or worse we cannot, with any degree of certainty, predict

I hope there is a large turnout in the order of 80%+ and a decisive decision one way or he other. A narrow win for either side will risk exacerbating an already messy, acrimonious and divisive situation which could last for decades. It’s much easier to rally round a clear victor.

For me it’ll be a ‘No’ vote, if only on the basis that there’s absolutely everything to lose and not a lot extra to gain in taking this extraordinary step into the unknown.

Iain G Richmond, Monikie, Angus