‘Another stark reminder of city’s challenge’

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everyone knows about the desperate shortage of decent affordable homes in the Capital, especially for families.

But the council’s latest housing strategy is another stark reminder, should one be needed, of the massive scale of the challenge facing the city.

Another 20,000 homes are required in the next ten years just to keep pace with the fastest-growing population in Scotland.

There are at least signs that the house building industry is now returning to a firmer footing in Scotland.

Can that new impetus possibly lead to construction in the coming years at an even greater rate than we saw in the economic boom at the start of the new millennium?

That is a tall order to say the least – but that is what is required.

The alternative is property prices climbing even further beyond the reach of many working people.

In a city where a couple on a combined income of £36,000 a year already need to save for a decade for the deposit on an average one- bedroom flat that is unthinkable.

It is hard to accuse the city council of complacency. It is taking steps to free up large amounts of land for housebuilding, including parts of the green belt in the west and south-east.

The problem for the local authority is that it has to rely on private developers to build the vast majority of the homes we need.

It cannot direct them to build in any particular place, it can only make the right land available.

And that has to include plenty of space for family homes, close to good transport links.

No-one wants to see huge swathes of our unspoilt countryside decimated to make way for new housing estates.

But finding a consensus on places where we can sensibly edge into the green belt is our best hope of avoiding an impending housing crisis.

Time for answers

Today we tell the incredible story of how 15-year-old Morgan Seaton was saved from terrible injuries when she fell down a lift shaft at Liberton High School – by her wellies.

Her boots helped cushion her fall, but she was still left battered and bruised by her ordeal, and probably with a permanent fear of lifts.

Morgan’s mum Myra has been admirably calm at a time when many parents would have lost their heads. But she and other parents deserve answers over what went wrong and proper reassurance that everything necessary is being done to avoid any repeat of what could so easily have been a far more serious accident.