Letters: Delay has undermined plans for cherished site

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I am surprised that John McLellan (News, November 22) is so certain of the case for new housing at the much-cherished Craighouse site on Easter Craiglockhart Hill.

As someone who has been immersed in the proposal for almost two years, I have seen nothing from the Craighouse Partnership which spells out the economics of the development and demonstrates that renovating the spectacular A-listed buildings would, in itself, be unviable.

It is now a year since a planning application was submitted to develop Craighouse, with hundreds of objections from local residents alarmed at the scale and impact of new-build proposed. Over that year, the developers have failed to provide the information which a proper assessment of the application requires and failed to show the calculations which justify the scale of new building. That is why the application has dragged on and on.

The ironic thing is that most local people are pragmatic enough to recognise that some new building may be needed to ensure that the site as a whole works. But by dragging the process out so long the Craighouse Partnership has further eroded already shaky trust in its motivations and its ability ever to make anything happen on the site.

So, in that context, the idea that somehow the Scottish Government should step in and take the matter out of the council’s hands is both unnecessary and anti-democratic.

Gavin Corbett, Green councillor for Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart

Rising prices ruining magic of Christmas

GOING by the prices quoted for participating in some of the Christmas attractions in the city centre, it seems that most families in Edinburgh will be excluded from the festivities (Families face paying £150 at Edinburgh Christmas, News, November 21).

I don’t know anyone who can afford to give the kids that kind of treat. I know families who would struggle to provide presents for that money.

The price of heating our homes has gone up and if you’re unlucky, like me, you’ll struggle to remember the last time you had a pay rise. Meanwhile, the price of everything else seems to keep going up. This as another example of Edinburgh ignoring its citizens in a bid to get tourists with more money than sense to pay over the odds.

Christmas is becoming more and more a cash-generating extravaganza rather than a magical time for children, and if mums and dads don’t want to disappoint the kids, it will sadly be best to keep them away from these fantastic-looking activities that will blow too many family budgets. What a pity.

A Paterson, London Road

Club and hospital are working together

In the article about Tipperlinn Bowling Club (TBC), (News, October 30), David Small from the Royal Edinburgh Hospital mentioned that the club enjoyed rent-free accommodation. I should like to clarify the situation as regards to TBC.

In the 1960s the Royal Edinburgh Hospital (REH) developed a bowling green as part of its leisure and therapeutic facilities for patients. By 1970, REH found it too expensive to maintain but wanted the facility to remain. Some of their staff with an interest in bowling decided to launch TBC.

Although rent-free, all maintenance costs (£10,000 per year) were to be covered by the club. It was also a condition that access for REH staff, patients and hospital visitors was provided.

A basic wooden pavilion came with the green. Bowling club members with the approval of the hospital decided to add two extensions. This expansion, at members’ cost, included a games room, bar, kitchen and lounge area.

All REH patients and staff became temporary members and enjoyed playing bowls, pool, darts and dominoes. The hospital recognises the value of this and that it prepared patients for returning to the community. Many hospital functions take place in our clubhouse and they are enjoyed by REH staff, patients, ex-patients and visitors. After 40 years of providing this valuable service to the hospital, members hope they can continue to operate. In 1978, and again in 2003, the Lothian Health Board indicated by letter that if the ground was required in future, they would help us relocate.

Ian Somerville, Greenbank Road, Edinburgh

Don’t forget power of seaweed factor

You article “Torness hit by second shutdown” (News, November 22 reports the shutting down of a reactor due to its seawater cooling system being clogged with seaweed.

Councillor Chas Booth is quoted saying that this just underlines how unreliable nuclear power is. It may be of interest to him that seaweed does not select nuclear power stations in particular but can also affect the seawater cooling system of any station, nuclear or otherwise.

Councillor Allan Jackson, City Chambers, Edinburgh

The black cat with a happy tale behind it

It’s grand news lost black cat Buttons has been reunited with his owners, all thanks to a little help from the Evening News (November 20).

Indeed, this puss has endured a few cat-astrophes after a run of disastrous luck in which he was far from home, alone, and also had an injured leg before the paper had even hit the streets.

A chance sighting of the cat led the family to bring their pet home safe and sound. News photographer Ian Rutherford came to take picture sand mentioned that he had seen a little black cat run across the road near Hermiston Gait the night before.

Thankfully, the cat came rushing out from undergrowth and jumped into his owner’s arms after they went searching for him.

What a lovely, happy ending.

June Fleming, Musselburgh