Protestors call housing plans for City Park ‘rape’

Campaigners like Jerry Copolla oppose the housing plans. Picture: Toby Williams
Campaigners like Jerry Copolla oppose the housing plans. Picture: Toby Williams
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OUTRAGED protestors have branded a housing development proposed for a park as “nothing short of rape and defiling of green space”.

Campaign leader Gerry Coppola also likened the homes proposed for City Park, off Ferry Road at the juntion with Pilton Drive, as looking like something from the Soviet Bloc in the 1970s. He called on local people to respond to the public consultation into the construction of the 200 homes on the former 
Spartans FC ground before it closes on April 3.

In a flurry of damning tweets posted yesterday he said: “Science tells us that the coldest March in 50 years is down to global warming. The continued loss of green space, however small, exacerbates and adds to this global issue and yet our elected representatives press on with their destructive plan for short term financial gain. Rape is an emotive word but this proposed development is nothing short of rape and defiling of green space. Shameful!”

Local Labour councillor Vicki Redpath admitted she was “torn” by the situation, adding: “We need more affordable housing but I also sympathise with the campaigners – green space is important too.”

Conservative councillor Allan Jackson added: “A lot of local people have contacted us and sent in letters regarding this proposal.”

A spokesman for Edinburgh Council said: “The Council identified this particular piece of land as suitable for residential development in 2004.”

A spokesperson for developers Link Housing Ltd said: “Edinburgh Council and Link both understand the significant lack of affordable homes in the Capital.

“Nevertheless, we recognise that a number of local residents are unhappy about the proposals and two public consultation events were held in October 2012 at which we explained our proposals and discussed their concerns. Subsequently we addressed some of these concerns prior to lodging the planning application in February.”