CAMPAIGNERS have hailed a “victory for common sense” after controversial plans to bulldoze a house on a quiet residential street were thrown out on appeal.
Developers wanted to knock down a bungalow on Allan Park Crescent, Slateford, and replace it with an access road leading to a proposed care home in the area behind Meggetland sports complex.
It just shows that public activism, and democracy in the case of the elected members, can be successful.Alan Dickson
But the blueprints were rejected by the council and slammed as “completely illogical” during a packed, three-hour planning meeting last year.
Now the Scottish Government has dismissed developer Allan Park Ltd’s attempt to overturn the decision.
Reporter David Russell argued “the adverse effect which it would have on the amenity of the immediately adjoining neighbours” meant the development could not be supported.
Residents said they were “absolutely thrilled” that “common sense had prevailed”.
Alan Dickson, a former chair of Craiglockhart Community Council who lives close to Allan Park Crescent, said the campaign to halt the development had brought locals together.
He said: “This is great news for the local residents, who made a very successful campaign against what was quite a determined effort to facilitate something that no one really wanted. To me, it’s an example of how local people can take a stand on a justifiable issue. It just shows that public activism, and democracy in the case of the elected members, can be successful.”
Allan Park Ltd already had consent to build a 60-bed care home, but wanted to reduce this to a 44-bed complex to be constructed alongside 14 new townhouses.
This plan would have seen a house on Allan Park Crescent demolished to provide better access to the site – but locals argued it would lead to a dangerous increase in traffic.
Local Green councillor Gavin Corbett said the Scottish Government’s decision was “testimony to the passion and doggedness of the residents and the sheer weight of their arguments”.
Green Holyrood candidate Alison Johnstone, who lives near Allan Park and first got involved in politics through a campaign to save Meggetland playing fields, added: “The case for demolishing a perfectly good bungalow for a new road was always weak but had it been allowed it would have opened up what’s left of Meggetland for more development.
“The developer must now accept that he has reached the end of the road and remove the threat of demolition and over-development once and for all.”
Jim Eadie, SNP candidate for Edinburgh Southern, said it was “a victory for common sense”. He added: “I am delighted we have closure on this issue and the residents of Allan Park can finally get a massive weight off their shoulders knowing that the possibility of this ill-thought development will no longer happen.”