LETTERS: Local development plan solution to housing debate

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I read with interest the comments of Mr Davies, MD of Murray Estates, in connection with the comments by Alison Johnstone (Letters, October 6).

We heard recently that Scotland needs thousands of houses, both ‘affordable’ and ‘mainstream’. But the sites suggested by the planners and the council always seem to attract objections by third parties if their own local interests are perceived to be threatened.

If the people agree that we do need houses, then where are they to be built? In the past the great and the good wanted all of the city’s growth directed to Livingston, the Fife Bridgehead and Midlothian.

The idea that Edinburgh should ‘consume its own smoke’ was dismissed, as growth might get into the Green Belt.

I am old enough to remember that where Wester Hailes is now was Green Belt. While the quality of the design of the Wester Hailes development might not float everyone’s boat, there is no obligation to repeat that element, especially since most of the development would be private and not the responsibility of the corporation/council’s architects department.

The homes are required and sites have to be identified in short order, otherwise it will end up as decisions made on appeal with no compromise to the objectors, and that will really annoy the punters.

The local development plan is the route where everyone who has an axe to grind can make their position known. But they have to respect the result even if it is not what they desire. I believe it is called democracy.

Ron Oliver, Elie House, Elie, Leven, Fife

Cool-hand Jeremy offers new approach

I have long been entertained by the rantings of Martin Hannan, but his latest, on (News, October 6) takes the biscuit.

He goes on about Jeremy Corbyn for a full page then makes a ludicrous statement about ‘not paying him the slightest heed’. If that is him ignoring someone, I dread to think how he might show interest.

His analysis, if I can call it that, of Mr Corbyn’s intentions on party policy is baffling. If ever a leader has made it clear from the offset that as many people and opinions as possible will be involved in policy decisions, it is he.

Perhaps Mr Hannan is trying to deflect attention from the dictatorial SNP party line that Ms Nicola Sturgeon keeps. I applaud his knowledge of Labour rules, but what is the point of such knowledge when he spouts such jaundiced drivel?

I feel this is only the beginning of the offensive against Jeremy and the Labour party, as the SNP will have to try ever harder to defend their supposed stance against austerity in the face of Mr Corbyn’s even-handed, calm rhetoric and the firming up of policies that will expose the SNP’s conning of the electorate in May, while deliberately underspending at Holyrood. Enjoy your Party’s Indian Summer.

Ian Hunter, Penicuik

Corbyn’s U-turns show he’s not PM quality

Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘straight-talking, honest politics’ vanished when he went on TV to accuse the SNP of Scot Rail and CalMac privatisation, which was quickly followed by John McDonnell’s misinformed attack over the Scottish government’s living wage policy.

In just three weeks Corbyn has performed several major policy U turns – reneging on his promise to abolish student tuition fees in England, on taking the UK out of the EU, signing up for the Tories’ fiscal austerity charter, supporting air strikes in Syria and failed to prevent the Labour conference from backing the renewal of Trident.

Labour failed to argue or vote for meaningful fiscal or welfare powers, or employment law or rail ownership or even broadcasting to be devolved when the Scotland Bill was debated in House of Commons, yet they continue to echo David Cameron’s nonsense that ‘The Vow’ has been delivered.

Most voters know that the SNP’s record on education, health, housing and policing is superior to the efforts of the last Scottish Labour administration, as evidenced by Labour’s dreadful showing in last week’s seven Scottish council by-elections, at a time when the SNP was supposedly on the ropes.

Kezia Dugdale was right when she stated that a victory for Corbyn would leave Labour carping on the sidelines and it is virtually impossible for Labour to stop the Tories from winning again in 2020, not least as the proposed boundary changes will cause Labour to notionally lose a further 28 seats at Westminster.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh

Bus lane discipline will help traffic flow

It’s good to see that there is to be a trial scheme to open all traffic to most of Edinburgh’s bus lanes outside of rush hour, which should hopefully reduce traffic jams.

Another way traffic build-ups could be reduced is for the buses to use the bus lanes where possible. So often you see two, three and sometimes more buses in the queue of traffic waiting at the traffic lights while the bus lanes lie empty right up to the lights.

Just as motorists can be fined for inappropriate use of bus lanes, bus drivers should be fined for not using them when they should. After all, what are they there for?

Vehicles parked illegally and road works on the inside lane would, of course, reduce the efficiency of this idea, but it would nevertheless provide another improvement in the traffic flow.

Robin Ferguson, Cameron Toll, Edinburgh