Letters: Portobello site is fine for housing, just not so many

Plans and artist impressions of the proposed Barrat housing development at Baileyfield,  Portobello
Plans and artist impressions of the proposed Barrat housing development at Baileyfield, Portobello
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Is the Portobello site fine for houses, just less of them? Our reader discusses in a letter to the Evening News

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Your article about the plans by housebuilders Barratt for almost 500 residential units plus commercial development on the former Standard Life site in Portobello (‘Porty split over flats plan’, News, February 13) raises important issues.

I have consulted with and held a meeting for local residents who live closest to the development site and the vast majority are happy to have it used for housing and believe it would be a positive addition to the area.

However, as evidenced by the number of objections, which far outweigh letters of support, there are genuine concerns about the volume, height, density and scale of the housing proposed.

The knock-on effect of this on the local road network - the Seafield junction is predicted to be over capacity once the former Scottish Power site is fully developed and that is before the traffic from this site is taken into consideration - not to mention local services such as schools and doctors’ surgeries, is of concern to many people.

Other issues raised include the impact on the Portobello Conservation Area, lack of community facilities, air pollution, the loss of more than 60 mature, healthy trees on the site and insufficient open space and parking provision.

Portobello is not split over this proposal and objectors hope for improvements to the scheme so that it will enhance the area rather than overwhelm it.

Barratts’ statement that they have taken on board comments made during the pre-application process to shape the development is wide of the mark, as issues such as the excessive heights and density, traffic concerns and the impact on local services have clearly not been taken into account in the current plans.

It is to be hoped that they will pay attention to the objections raised and scale down the development to more manageable proportions.

Diana Cairns, Chair, Brightons and Rosefield Residents’ Association, Edinburgh