Developers refuse to meet locals to discuss Pinkhill high rise plans

Residents of 'Pinkhill gather to protest the Corstorphine development.
Residents of 'Pinkhill gather to protest the Corstorphine development.
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Residents are outraged after developers snubbed their attempts to find a compromise on plans for high rise flats in Corstorphine.

Edinburgh Council rejected the application to knock down an existing office building at 33 Pinkhill to make way for 51 apartments, including a five-storey block.

Since then local residents, Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine, and Corstorphine and Murrayfield Cllr Scott Douglas have made representations to developer Dandara to find a compromise, but have had no response.

The proposals, recommended for approval by council planners in May, were thrown out over concerns of the height of the multi-storey development.

Dandara has now appealed to the Scottish Government in the hope the decision will be overturned.

A Dandara spokesman said: “We listened carefully to points raised by residents and made significant modifications to the original plan.

“The planning application we submitted was compliant with planning policy and recommended for approval. After careful deliberation we have decided to lodge an appeal.”

There were more than 400 objections to the initial proposal, which claimed the new block would ruin the city skyline.

Residents have said Dandara refusing to meet to discuss the plans with the community showed the company’s “complete disregard” for local people.

John Kerr, from Pinkhill Residents’ Association which campaigned against the flats being built, said the community had tried to meet with Dandara on numerous occasions to see if a compromise could be reached.

“Our local MP Christine Jardine and one of our local councillors Scott Douglas have also made significant approaches, but sadly in all cases Dandara have refused to engage,” he said. “Once again Dandara have shown complete disregard to the local people, who will be most impacted by the proposals.

“All the issues remain the same – the excessive height of the building overlooking neighbours, the loss of privacy, the shortage of car parking spaces, more traffic, the increased density in such a small site, the close proximity of the building to busy Pinkhill and the significant risk of road traffic accidents.” Mr Kerr said the community was frustrated by aggressive building targets that put pressure on the appeals process.

He said: “The planning committee quite correctly said ‘no’, so why is the appeal route now generally regarded as a soft touch by greedy developers to get their plans pushed through? There have been over 400 objections lodged during the planning stage of these proposals.

“There is also a real belief that such a monstrosity of a building in a small gap site will set a very unwelcome precedent for the whole of Edinburgh.”

Dandara’s initial plans were reduced from six storeys to five and from 75 apartments to 51.