Letters: Stockbridge backs Accies development

Edinburgh Accies are at the centre of a tug-of-war over their Stockbridge home. Picture:  Ian Georgeson
Edinburgh Accies are at the centre of a tug-of-war over their Stockbridge home. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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Have your say

I read with interest James Simpson’s offer “to work with the Accies to bring forward other ideas for a solution which can be achieved with the consent and support of the whole community” (Letters, June 11).

I believe Mr Simpson was involved with the previous development proposal for Edinburgh Accies.

This was for the extension of the Raeburn House Hotel, then owned by Festival Inns, using ground belonging to Accies, in return for a new clubhouse and facilities for players, plus provision of an income stream.

The council was “minded to grant” that scheme and in all probability it would now be fully operational but for the untimely and unfortunate demise of Festival Inns.

That development did not have the backing of the whole community, yet Mr Simpson apparently had no qualms about being instrumental in trying to bring it to fruition. And he claims he will happily work to promote an as yet unspecified, alternative scheme. A cynic might be forgiven for wondering if Mr Simpson’s beef with the current scheme is his own lack of involvement.

There are many local residents and businesses supporting the proposed development.

They believe it will actually be good for Stockbridge by enhancing the Comely Bank end of the main street, providing community facilities, allowing the continued provision of the excellent youth programme run by BATs, preserving the playing fields and open space, offering first class sporting facilities and creating a “destination” tourist and shopping attraction that will increase footfall to the whole of Stockbridge.

Mr Simpson claims to be anxious about the survival of the existing shops in Stockbridge. Surely increased footfall can only benefit these businesses? I believe this is the basic economic principle of the multiplier effect.

Perhaps it is an understanding of this effect that resulted in the noticeable absence of one of Mr Simpson’s posters from the windows of some of Stockbridge’s best loved shops, such as the fishmonger, the butcher and the oldest deli.

Is it time for Mr Simpson to accept that large parts of his community think the current proposals are highly desirable?

Louise Hodgson, Malta Terrace, Edinburgh

Shining a light on electricity claims

If the city council and other local authorities get “100 per cent” of electricity from renewable sources (Critics trash council vision for electricity from rubbish, News, June 12), where does their electricity come from when these sources are not generating, which is most of the time?

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh

Fighting hard for the Engine Shed’s future

As a member of the city council’s economy committee, I am very pleased that more time is to be taken to consider a new system which threatened the Engine Shed and other employment and training services for disabled people (News, June 13).

I’ve been using the Engine Shed for events for more than 20 years and I can attest to it baking the best biscuits in the Capital. Much more significantly, of course, is its role in providing a springboard for enthusiastic young people who need support to get into training or work.

The council’s review of services for disabled people highlighted the value of a more streamlined approach to those services. But I’ll certainly be arguing that the council uses the breathing space until September to look at better co-ordination while still recognising the providers which people know and love.

Councillor Gavin Corbett, Green economy spokesperson

Estate also frustrated over public access

I WRITE with reference to the article Rubble and Strife (News, June 6) which presents a serious misrepresentation of the facts.

The removal of access for local Kirkliston residents is not as a result of the actions of Hopetoun Estate, as your article incorrectly states, but that of the developer, Inverdunning Ltd, which closed off the safe access route which has been in place for over five years.

Hopetoun Estate is keen to come to an agreement on the sale of the land to allow this development to proceed, with the benefit of creating a high quality public access as detailed in the planning permission.

Unfortunately, the developer has stepped away from the negotiation table and is using other methods, such as the removal of access, to force our hand.

We share the community’s frustration that such actions have impacted on the lives of local residents and have made contact with Kirkliston Community Council to discuss a way forward.

Donald Noble, chief executive, Hopetoun Estate

Capital must help to save Mosque KItchen

I WAS shocked and saddened to learn of the raid by the UK Border Agency on the Mosque Kitchen, the famous eatery that has provided countless meals for hungry students (News, May 17).

The Mosque Kitchen employs a large workforce, taking many people away from the job centre.

I am sure the management have learned their lesson and instead of paying the massive £70,000 fine, I know they are quite willing to make a large donation to a suitable Muslim charity.

If not, the Mosque Kitchen is in danger of closing.

Edinburgh must make an effort to save the Mosque Kitchen as it is a cultural entity that bridges the gaps between communities, bringing them closer together. It brings understanding and helps local communities of different faiths.

M Ashraf, Home Street, Edinburgh