Edmonstone Estate plans set to be thrown out by council

The site of the development outlined in red. Picture: contributed

The site of the development outlined in red. Picture: contributed

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A BLUEPRINT for hundreds of new homes and a primary school on farmland in the south-east of the Capital is set to be thrown out.

The project, which would also see new parkland and community facilities built on the Edmonstone Estate, has been described by the council’s development planning committee as “contrary” to the local development plan.

As well as concerns about technical matters such as air quality, archaeology, noise and ground conditions, planning officials said there was insufficient evidence to prove that 770 homes could actually be built there. They have recommended that councillors reject the plans when they are debated later this week.

One of the reasons given is that the council rather than the developer, Sheraton Ltd, still owns the land.

In their report, officials said: “At present, there is no justification for the development in terms of housing land supply.

“Even if planning permission was granted, there is no evidence to suggest that housing could be delivered on this site to make a meaningful contribution to the five-year supply.

“This is based on the fact that the site is not assessed as being effective; it is not in the applicant’s ownership and future land remediation may delay development commencing.”

However, officials have said they are in favour of a new primary school in principle.

Sherton Ltd already has planning permission for 510 homes at the Edmonstone Estate, but had hoped to extend the development with a new primary school and a park stretching from Little France Drive to Craigmillar Castle.

Roughly 70 per cent of the Edmonstone Home Farm site would be reserved for green space, including extensions to the cycling network that will join up routes between Craigmillar, Little France and the new housing.

A spokesman for the developers previously said that housing was badly needed to accommodate employees at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the ever-expanding Edinburgh Bio Quarter.

They added that 25 per cent of the homes would be affordable, and that £7 million would be invested in the new primary school for the area amid potential concerns over the cash-strapped city council being saddled with a huge bill for new infrastructure.

Councillor Alex Lunn, vice-convenor of the development management sub-committee, spoke in favour of the application at a meeting last Wednesday.

He praised “the economic benefits and the hundreds of jobs that would have been created – particularly for young people”.

But local residents, who fear roads and GP surgeries won’t cope with an influx of new families, said last year that they felt left out by the planning process. Local Conservative councillor Nick Cook said then that he shared the concerns of local residents.

He said: “Given the significant scale of development already being proposed across south-east Edinburgh, this latest application will only add to the feeling local residents have of being a community ‘under siege’ by new developments.”

Councillors will vote on the plans later this week.