City leaders kill off plans for campsite at Meadows

The Jack Kane Centre was used as a campsite for G8 protesters in 2005
The Jack Kane Centre was used as a campsite for G8 protesters in 2005
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Plans for a campsite for festival-goers in the Meadows have been killed off by city leaders.

The proposal to create a cheap camping alternative to pricey hotels for people that flock to Edinburgh’s festivals was among the winning ideas presented at an “Ideas Challenge” organised by the Capital’s festivals and the city council.

Among the judges that selected the idea as a winner was council chief executive Sue Bruce, and it was expected to be investigated by city chiefs.

But council leader Jenny Dawe has confirmed that the proposal will not win the support of the council. She has not ruled out a festival campsite being set up somewhere in the city, but has said it cannot be on the Meadows and would have to be outside of the city centre, such as Hunters Hall Park in Niddrie.

Residents that use the Meadows have welcomed the news, amid concerns that thousands of revellers would turn the park into a “quagmire”.

Cllr Dawe said: “It has been an issue that has been raised many times over the years and now we have a plan to protect the Meadows because it is boggy ground that gets easily damaged, so we have to have a strict regime for events on there.

“The Ideas Challenge was a good idea and I’m not against a campsite per se, but I really do not think the Meadows is a starter for that.”

Cllr Dawe is to present a motion to a meeting of the full council next Thursday asking the council to agree that it “would not support the creation of a campsite on the Meadows”.

Festival promoters have argued that Niddrie would be unsuitable as any campsite would have to be in the city centre.

But Cllr Dawe said: “There are good bus services in Edinburgh and you have to balance the cost of staying in the city cheaply with the additional cost of travel. The Hunters Hall campsite worked very well during G8 events.”

Ann Wigglesworth, secretary of Tollcross Community Council, said: “We are very pleased it has been totally denied.

“There might be room for another [campsite], but I certainly do not think the Meadows should be used.”