Letters: New chapter for city as tram project nears its destination

Tram has been tested on Gogar stretch

Tram has been tested on Gogar stretch

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Have your say

For all its hiccups and setbacks, would it be jumping the gun to say that at long last the trams project appears to be on track?

Now that trams have been tested at full speed on the Gogar stretch of the route, this has to be taken as some sort of sign that the project is nearing its final stages.

Of course the long-suffering people of Edinburgh will have at least another full year of city centre disruption and chaos to endure, but surely by the summer of 2014 the Capital can at last begin its journey on a brand-new chapter in its history.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Wasted money is blowing in wind

The Renewable Energy Foundation has just published a new study, The Performance of Wind Farms in the UK and Denmark, showing that the economic life of onshore wind turbines is between ten and 15 years not the 20 to 25 projected by the wind industry and used for government projections.

The work was conducted by one of the UK’s leading energy and environmental economists, Professor Gordon Hughes of the University of Edinburgh.

It was found that by ten years of age the contribution of an average UK wind farm to meeting electricity demand has declined by a third.

This has serious cost implications for the electricity consumer.

A previous report by Prof Hughes found that the actual savings of CO2 by wind turbines were “negligible to zero”.

So why are electricity consumers having to pay for fraudulent claims by the wind industry?

The only reason for wind turbines was to reduce CO2, not to make foreign developers and UK landowners rich at the expense of electricity consumers.

So if it does not “do what it says on the tin”, can we get our money back?

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Firm is listening to public concern

Councillor Gavin Corbett asks questions about our planning application for development at Craighouse Campus (Letters, December 19).

We welcome the initial feedback from Edinburgh City Council on the application. The application is very complex and it is not unusual in one of this scale for there to be points requiring clarification and amplification by the planning authority.

Perhaps the most important concern is the financial basis for the proposal.

We are commencing a detailed discussion of the financial plan supporting the development with the council. This was not possible until the heavily revised new scheme was lodged.

The council agreed that the financial plan supporting an earlier, significantly denser, scheme was “not unreasonable”.

We are very confident that the council will come to the same conclusion for the current scheme. In due course this will be reported on as appropriate by the council and I have no doubt will fully answer Cllr Corbett’s perfectly reasonable question.

Since submission of the application, we have publicly proposed a number of significant changes to the proposals to meet certain public concerns – for example, we have agreed that the remaining trees in the historic orchard should be preserved and we have agreed that the phasing programme needs to be reconsidered to bring forward renewal of the listed buildings.

We are therefore demonstrably listening to and responding to local concerns. Isn’t this a good example of genuine public consultation?

William Gray Muir, MD, Sundial Properties & Craighouse Partnership

Coalition are not from same planet

AFTER listening to George Osborne give his autumn statement, I have concluded that the coalition government does not live in the real world and does not give a stuff for people who do.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian

Joint campus is 
a first class idea

THE development of a single campus shared by Castlebrae and Portobello high schools would be a golden opportunity for our young people, providing them with an open door to achieve their potential.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh