Letters: Eatery site is where RLS got taste for adventure

Debenhams proposed for Fort Kinnaird. Pic: Comp
Debenhams proposed for Fort Kinnaird. Pic: Comp
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As a lover of Edinburgh and its old buildings I fail to see what’s so inappropriate about the alterations to the popular Antigua Street restaurant Pomegranate – carried out, I understand, by previous owners – that council planners are getting heavy and closure is threatened (News, October 15).

With the city’s Robert Louis Stevenson Day imminent, Edinburgh should be celebrating these premises, not criticising them.

Pomegranate, Antigua Street, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow

Pomegranate, Antigua Street, Edinburgh. Picture: Jane Barlow

For it was here, then a stationer’s shop which was “dark and smelled of Bibles”, that a young RLS purchased his “penny plain, twopence coloured” sheets of Skelt’s toy theatre and rousing tales such as Three-Fingered Jack, the Terror of Jamaica, which perhaps in some small way inspired his own stories of adventure.

In Memories and Portraits, Stevenson recalls the owner, old Mr Smith, “worn out with my eternal vacillation, once sweeping the treasures from before me with the cry, ‘I do not believe, child, that you are an intending purchaser at all!’”

C Lincoln, Pentland Drive, Edinburgh

Dispute shows folly of depending on oil

I BELIEVE there is more to the Grangemouth oil refinery dispute between the workers and the management than meets the eye. Perhaps one of the causes is the political situation in Scotland.

The management have said losses have been ongoing for some time. If that is true then the future of the workers and the refinery are at risk, not to mention the knock-on effects to the Scottish economy.

One of the lessons here is the dependence alone on oil production is a mistake to make for the Scottish economy, because of the volatile state of the oil production industry.

It is not unusual for oil production platforms to suddenly close down around the world, and the North Sea is no exception.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Boasts causing fuel poverty

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s deputy first minister, has unveiled plans to cut energy bills by 5 per cent a year if the country votes for independence.

Yet another in the long list of uncosted bribes.

Following growing public awareness that “green taxes” are forcing up electricity and gas prices she has had to resort to promising cuts.

It should be remembered that Alex Salmond in his Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2008 went much further than the rest of the UK. You will also remember his boast “Scotland has the best emission reduction targets in the world” and “We will produce 100 per cent of our electricity from renewables by 2020”.

It now turns out that these were expensive boasts and are causing fuel poverty.

The other point that Salmond and Sturgeon choose to ignore is that energy users in an independent Scotland would have to pay more for their energy because the English and Welsh would refuse to subsidise Scottish wind turbines.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Sanity must prevail to save Princes Street

PLANNING officials have said no to a new Debenhams at Fort Kinnaird (News, October 19). But does this really signal a change in planning policy?

Or does it just mean that due notice is now being given to policy Ret 2.1 of the city council’s local plan?

That’s the one that supposedly guards against overdevelopment of one shopping centre at the expense of others.

Cut-throat competition between huge shopping centres with large car parks may suit car owners with loads of money, but sanity must prevail in the end, before Princes Street becomes Losers Street.

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

No logic behind cost of the House of Lords

Many people must question what service Doreen Lawrence has given the nation to justify her appointment to the House of Lords and what talents she might bring to its operation as part of government.

I strenuously object to it on different grounds. The upper house is predominantly occupied by former MPs enjoying a supplementary pension of £300 per day and is massively overmanned, dwarfing the elected House of Commons.

When almost all government departments and local councils are suffering severe budget and staffing cuts and public service incomes are virtually frozen, there is no logic in adding to administration costs in this way.

Massive reduction – I would recommend complete abolition – would be a more appropriate attitude to this source of unnecessary public expenditure.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent

Ban public owning dangerous dogs

After yet another savage attack on an innocent child by dangerous dogs, is it not about time ownership of these animals by members of the public was called into question?

Responsible owners might be aggrieved, but before there are more vicious attacks perhaps its time to ban the public altogether from owning dogs deemed to be dangerous.

Angus McGregor, Edinburgh