Letters: Motor museum would put Granton in top gear

The former Madelvic car factory has been lying unused. Picture: Greg Macvean
The former Madelvic car factory has been lying unused. Picture: Greg Macvean
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I AM pleased to note that the future of the former Madelvic electric car factory in Granton continues to be of interest (Builders bid to put factory on road to recovery, News, August 8).

In December 2012, I submitted the proposal for an ‘Edinburgh Motorworld’ to Waterfront Edinburgh Limited, which included the restoration of the Madelvic electric car factory as a museum. In discussion with Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund, this was subsequently altered to ‘National Motor Heritage Trust’ with a proposal to extend the factory and incorporate a public transport section.

But I was not invited to present my report to the WEL, and was informed that the land and Madelvic factory had been given to a house builder.

I then learned that this was Places for People and an exchange of e-mails with its chief executive confirmed its intention to proceed with the demolition of the factory.

Places for People already holds land within the WEL development area that has been ‘land banked’ and remains undeveloped. The land and building that it has now received was designated for commercial and leisure use in the approved masterplan.

The council planning department accepted that our proposed use complied with the approved masterplan.

Our proposal was intended to provide a visitor attraction within the Granton Regeneration Area, including adapting and restoring the Madelvic Electric Car Factory and not simply create yet another housing development void of any other activities or interest.

A change to the masterplan should be taken through a formal and public process, but I have been informed by the planning department it does not intend to do this on the basis that the Scottish Office requires the city to urgently meet the housing shortfall. Yet, land with consent for housing remains undeveloped within the WEL development area.

The Madelvic factory is not the only listed building at risk within the Granton area, nor indeed the city. Current officials do not appear to have the interest of the city and its residents truly at heart as illustrated through various failures.

John H McLaren, director, J+F Johnston Limited

We all want to Get It Sorted together

It is encouraging to see the launch of the Get It Sorted Together campaign from the Evening News and Edinburgh City Council.

Last year, the Carnegie UK Trust published new research which again highlighted the many negative affects that problems such as litter, graffiti and vandalism can have on neighbourhoods – these things are bad for public health, make people feel unsafe and can lead to a lack of trust and respect between neighbours.

However, the research also found that where people take action themselves to address these problems – with a bit of help from the council or a local charity – then this is often really successful, and can result in significant and sustained improvements.

Knowing that your fellow residents have cleaned up and improved an area seems to encourage others to treat it better in the future. But projects such as these need money, tools or publicity to get up and running – and that’s why campaigns such as Get It Sorted Together are really important and should be supported.

Douglas White, senior policy officer, Carnegie UK Trust, Pittencrieff Street, Dunfermline

Council doesn’t give a tram for outsiders

I DON’T suppose anyone should really be shocked by the city council’s decision to charge the full rate for elderly and disabled passengers from elsewhere in the Lothians using the trams in Edinburgh (News, August 16). What a tight bunch the city council must be.

It’s not much of a welcome to a city that ought to encourage more people to travel into it to use its shops, pubs and restaurants, spending cash to help the Capital’s economy.

It is treating people like second-class citizens just because they happen to live on the wrong side of the city boundary.

One other thing about the trams – what on earth is the council thinking in employing 52 “revenue protection officers”? How pretentious. What’s wrong with calling them ticket inspectors? Isn’t that what they will do?

I can’t imagine any potential fare dodgers saying to each other “we’ve been rumbled – it’s the revenue protection officer”. But then, daft ideas is what the tram project has been about since it was first thought of.

A Bryce, High Street, Musselburgh, East Lothian

Rail firm may live to regret indifference

So Lord McConnell was nearly fried alive on a First ScotRail train? (“Jack McConnell rage at ScotRail Festival trains, Evening News, August 16).

The noble lord joins the rest of us poor passengers, who gain no redress for the plight we suffer in Scotland’s trains.

The indifference of First ScotRail towards us passengers is a matter which I hope won’t be forgotten when the ScotRail franchise comes up for renewal next year.

Gordon Casely, Crathes, Kincardineshire

Charge will stop car drivers visiting beach

most of us enjoy a trip to the beach on a lovely warm summer’s day, but East Lothian Council should be ashamed of themselves for wishing to charge beach users £2 to leave their car at ten of the county’s 13 coastal car parks (News, August 15).

East Lothian has some lovely stretches of beaches and it is grossly wrong and unfair if parking fees were to be introduced to these natural beauty spots that many of us enjoy visiting for a pleasant day out.

I hope the controversial plans to introduce these charges will not come to pass at any time, either now or in the future.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh