Campaigners in last-gasp bid to block flat development in Corstorphine

Campaigners have made a last-gasp attempt to the city council's planning department to urge developers of a new 5-storey block in Corstorphine to go back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 2:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 2:56 pm
Residents of Pinkhill Park protest against new development

Dandara has submitted a planning application to knock down an existing office building at 33 Pinkhill which will make way for 51 apartments.

The application has been met with around 400 objections from residents, councillors and MPs highlighting a range of issues concerning parking, traffic and road safety.

Despite opposition, the plans have been recommended for approval by council chiefs ahead of today’s development management sub-committee meeting.

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Protesters have also accused the city’s planning chiefs of not putting enough pressure on developers to comply with their own recommendations on the height and density of new buildings.

John Kerr from the Pinkhill residents’ association said: “It is an absolute disgrace that planning department have chosen to support this five storey flat roof apartment block which will loom high over two storey houses in Traquair Park East and destroying their privacy.

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“All other recent developments in similar suburban settings are no more than two, three or four storeys and it also breaches the Council’s own published design guidelines on the height of new buildings.

“The planning department in their wisdom have chosen to ignore 400 objections, vociferous support from all three local councillors including our Lord Provost, Frank Ross and a personal letter from our local MP Christine Jardine.

“It is time they listened to local residents and stopped being dictated to by the demands of profit-hungry developers such as Dandara.”

The development, if approved, will include 19 studio apartments, 18 one-bedroom flats, 36 two-bedroom flats and two three-bedrooms flats,

This decision had been postponed after a members at a previous meeting asked to be taken on a site visit before determining the plans.

Dandara’s initial plans have already been reduced from six storey’s to five and from 75 apartments to 51.

The rebuilt building would be positioned slightly different to the existing office block, which is currently vacant and three storeys high.

The council’s design guidance says developments that are clearly higher than their neighbours should be avoided but Corstorphine residents claim this advice has been ignored by Dandara, which has submitted an application to build a five-storey block at Pinkhill.

Cllr Scott Douglas said: “A huge number of local residents are against these plans, with hundreds writing in to voice their objection.

“Yet despite this they are being ignored by the council’s planning department, who have recommended these inappropriate and unwanted plans for approval.

“Residents in Pinkhill have made it clear that they are not against the development of this site – but they rightly want to ensure that any proposals are appropriate for the area.

“This is clearly not the case in this instance, and we need to make Dandara go back to the drawing board.”