Councillor Bill Henderson is a doughty campaigner and has made some important points regarding the Garden District proposals that I feel should be answered (News, January 14).
Cllr Henderson states that the road network “would not be able to cope with increased traffic” (from the homes) and “there is massive house building coming from West Lothian”.
I am more than happy to address these points.
Firstly, the council’s own assessment of housing need for the city states that the city needs 48,000 homes in the next decade.
That means that whatever happens the city and the surrounding area needs to plan those homes and communities as well as possible, and we are confident that the Garden District provides a genuine opportunity to deliver high quality new communities for a world-class capital city.
Pressure on the city’s roads will only be eased by building homes in the most sustainable locations possible, and the Garden District is one of the most sustainable sites in the UK.
In addition, it is worth remembering that 20,000 homes are planned for brownfield sites and 19,000 of the city’s housing need is proposed to be built in neighbouring council areas.
Indeed more than 80 per cent of the city’s proposed housing supply is proposed for either brownfield land or outside the city.
It is clear that the city needs new homes, and where better to build them than next to Edinburgh Park, so that people can live next to the jobs, and can get to work by cycling, walking or using public transport.
These are big choices for Edinburgh, and I would encourage everyone to get involved and have their say.
I have no doubt that the Garden District can deliver the city’s housing needs and help minimise the impact on the environment.
Jestyn Davies, managing director, Murray Estates
Head this way for sensible cycling
A NUMBER of weeks ago I suggested a route for cycling west to east and vice-versa.
Travelling from Roseburn you go left at Magdala Crescent, along Eglinton then on to Drumsheugh, Randolph Crescent, Great Stuart Street, Moray Place then straight along to Broughton Street.
Instead of spending millions of our money on something which still leads onto a busy George Street and then to Princes Street and the tram lines, you can travel a route with very little traffic which is relatively safe for cycle users.
A suggestion like this, though, won’t happen because it is sensible and the council doesn’t do sensible.
Tom McKearney, Kirkliston
Old king coal makes return to the scene
Fracking for shale gas has been banned in France, but the French energy giant Total is now looking to invest in the process in Britain and is the second French company to do so.
Most of Europe is exploring or exploiting shale gas.
France gets 77 per cent of its electricity from nuclear.
Germany is closing all of its nuclear plants and since its 23,000 wind turbines provide ultra-expensive and unreliable energy it is now building coal-fired plants.
Europe is now the largest importer of coal from America followed by China.
Carbon capture and storage is a pipe dream.
It’s a funny old world if you are a part of the anti-this and anti-that brigade.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
Heartbreaking toll of death on the roads
It really is quite alarming and tragic the number of young motorists and their passengers being killed or injured on Scottish roads.
I do not know if it is too much too soon or if the kids are finding the driving test too easy, but something should be done to stop this carnage.
Perhaps if the youth of today did not feel as much pressure to get “mobile” this might help, but for families to lose loved ones in this way really is heartbreaking.
Angus McGregor, Edinburgh
Westminster has had its hand forced
The confirmation by the UK Treasury that it will honour all UK Government debt issued up to the date of Scottish independence should Scots vote to leave the UK is to be welcomed, but is a result of its own refusal to discuss the terms of independence before the forthcoming referendum.
The refusal by the UK Government to enter pre-referendum negotiations, or to make any contingency plans for what might happen if Scotland votes yes, has spooked the financial markets and this is a clear attempt to calm things down. In essence, the UK Government has had its hand forced.
Lenders understandably want to know who is responsible for paying them after Scottish independence, especially given the dire state of the UK’s finances with a National Debt of around £1.4 trillion. Faced with the hint of a higher interest rate on new UK debt given this continued uncertainty the Treasury was, some may say reluctantly, forced to intervene.
The claim that independence will lead to a Scottish Government having to pay higher interest rates on public borrowing than the rest of the UK is well wide of the mark as Scotland’s entire national debt will be around £100 billion.
This is equivalent to what the UK Government currently borrows every year, with Scotland’s entire debt as a proportion of GDP likely to be around ten per cent lower than the UK, giving confidence to lenders. On the other hand the same cannot be said of the remaining part of the UK, with an escalating debt mountain and structural deficit, explaining why the UK Government is reluctant to contemplate a future without Scotland.
Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh