Liberton residents battle green space housing plan

ANGRY residents are battling plans to build new houses on a treasured patch of green space.

Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 11:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 11:27 am
Greenend residents protest against plans to build houses on their estate. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Developer Stephen Ford wants to erect six family homes on open land at Greenend estate in Liberton. But locals have slammed the proposals and launched a campaign to convince city leaders to reject the scheme.

They say the development would destroy the area’s only green space, damage the environment and cause traffic problems as lorries pile in and the number of parking spaces is slashed.

Mum-of-three Lynne Doig, 40, who has lived on the adjacent Greenend Gardens for 14 years, insisted the land was widely used by local children and families. She said the informal “Greenend Olympics” – a series of races and competitions devised by parents as a bit of fun for their children – were held every year on the grassy patch.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And she revealed locals had so far had no contact from the developer, with only the row of houses directly in front of the green receiving notification from the council’s planning department.

Ms Doig said: “It’s the only green area within the estate. It’s a family estate and it’s a community area – it’s where we gather and where we have events through the year. The kids play on the green all the time.

“We are going to lose 14 parking spaces, which will be a major issue for the street.

“[The developers] are saying they are leaving an element of green space, but they are talking about a pathway. That’s all that will be left.”

Council bosses confirmed an early-stage planning application had been submitted by Stephen Ford, before being withdrawn after minor mistakes were made in the blueprints.

It is expected the application will be resubmitted in the coming weeks, before more detailed plans are then lodged.

But residents have already launched a determined bid to fight the scheme, with a public meeting last week attracting more than 100 supporters.

And political backing has also been on hand from Labour’s Ian Murray and Ash Denham, SNP candidate for Edinburgh Eastern.

Jim Henry, chairman of the Liberton and District community council, said the green space offered a vital area for local children to play in.

He said: “It’s the only bit of proper open space in the area – one of the only amenities in this estate we’ve had to enjoy over the years.

“And we’ve got to think not only about the people that are here [now], but the people coming in.

“There’s nothing equivalent for kids to run about and play on.”

He added: “It’s Greenend. Take the green away, and you might as well call it End.”

Stephen Ford could not be reached for comment.