Letters: Pub snubbed, now let’s rock Picture House plan

Control tower at Edinburgh Airport. Pic: Julie Howden

Control tower at Edinburgh Airport. Pic: Julie Howden

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Have your say

God works in mysterious ways. The news that the planning committee has refused permission to create a “superpub”, in a church at the east end of Rose Street, should be welcomed by everyone across the city.

Not only the local residents who were superb in galvanising objectors and voicing wholly sensible arguments.

Slash live at Picture House. Pic: Greg Macvean

Slash live at Picture House. Pic: Greg Macvean

Neither Rose Street nor the city centre needs such a development. The applicants should instead think of “planting” it in Fort Kinnaird – the two would go well together.

Both the planning department and the committee should now turn their attention to Wetherspoon’s ideas for the Picture House on Lothian Road, and make clear that they are not on. To lose this music venue will just add to Edinburgh’s failing music scene.

Look to Glasgow for a comparison. It’s vibrant on all levels, scale and genre.

Graham Davidson, Edinburgh

Awkward questions after planner verdicts

IT is all very well planning convener Ian Perry and his newly sobered-up crew saving the New Town from the 910-capacity “superpub” in Rose Street (News, December 19).

But what about peaceful Comely Bank? The same committee gave the green light to the Edinburgh Accies development there a few months ago. And that is to be partly funded by alcohol sales to thousands of sports fans in the huge hospitality suites behind the new grandstands.

No doubt the Stockbridge superpub will be open for big booze-ups all year round. It will certainly benefit from the absence of competition from Rose Street.

The case against the Accies development was overwhelming. The committee should have rejected it for any one of a dozen reasons. Their failure to do so, together with the Rose Street verdict, raises a lot of awkward questions.

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

We need to remain together for progress

Just the other day I was confronted in the street by a “Yes” campaign activist. When I said I would not be voting for independence the response was why on earth not, as if there were no plausible reasons for anyone wanting Scotland to remain in the Union.

I said that I had a whole host of reasons but not having all day to argue I simply added that I am as passionate about staying in the union as nationalists are about leaving it and I ended the conversation.

I regret now not having a simple and quick answer which sums up my position. On reflection, as an Englishman living in Scotland who cares about the whole of Britain, the simple and over-riding answer that I shall give in the future is this.

For me the separatist agenda is at odds with the outlook, qualities and attitudes that Scots have demonstrated over the 300 years of Union in that it is self-indulgent and inward-looking, turning its back on the needs and aspirations of the people who live in the other parts of these islands that we share.

We in the UK are all in the same boat and we should be sharing the resources and skills available across these islands to bring about change for the better for all, but especially for the less fortunate whether they be in Glasgow, the north of England, Belfast, south Wales or inner London. I want to see a mutually supportive and beneficial union which combines strength and economies of scale with a wholesale devolution of power which will deliver a better life for people across and within all the home nations.

I cannot support the “look after your own” approach that independence signifies.

Learning from history, we should not be putting up barriers and drawing national distinctions which can only lead to division, mistrust and unwelcome competitiveness. We need to stay together and progress together.

Barry Turner, Musselburgh

Barging in with some ‘Canal College’ info

I WAS interested to read about Scotland’s “first canal college”– albeit the first official one (News, December 19).

Darroch Secondary School in Upper Gilmore Place was referred to colloquially as “Canal College” by generations of pupils – including Sean Connery – until its closure in 1973.

Now 40 years after closure it has a flourishing website at www.darrochfpa.co.uk

David McBain, Baberton Mains Row, Edinburgh

Fly away and help the children in Syria

As Christmas approaches, many of us will be flying home to see loved ones or enjoying a festive getaway.

In the Edinburgh area alone, more than 35,000 people are expected to jet off from Edinburgh Airport on easyJet flights over the festive period. This winter, UNICEF is working with easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, to raise money for the children affected by the conflict in Syria. Close to six million Syrian children, more than one million of whom are refugees, are in urgent need of aid, such as warm clothes and blankets. So if you are flying home for Christmas, we’re urging passengers on board easyJet flights to donate their spare change and unwanted currency to UNICEF’s Syria Winter appeal.

Just £4 could provide a warm blanket to protect a Syrian child from the freezing cold. Until the end of January, all public donations made on flights to and from the UK will be matched pound for pound by the UK Government.

Catherine Cottrell, deputy executive director of fundraising, UNICEF UK