Council have '˜misled the public' over Meadowbank claim protestors

Campaigners have accused the city council of attempting to mislead the public in a consultation over the future of Meadowbank Stadium.
Campaigners say the goalposts have been shifted. Picture: Ian GeorgesonCampaigners say the goalposts have been shifted. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Campaigners say the goalposts have been shifted. Picture: Ian Georgeson

In June, the council’s Development Management Sub-Committee granted outline permission for the site to be developed for mixed use including housing. It also gave the green light to detailed proposals to refurbish the iconic sports centre.

Two council-run drop-in sessions were held last week where the public were asked to comment on what they thought should make up the Meadowbank site. Campaigners claim this included several maps which show a different site boundary from the one approved by the council’s committee – but council officials insist the rules are being met.

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The detailed plans for the Meadowbank sports centre were agreed in June, and are not part of the consultation.

Save Meadowbank campaigner Heather Peacock said: “The maps and diagrams shown as part of the consultation are misleading because they fail to accurately show the area covered by the consultation.

“When the council’s planning sub-committee approved the Meadowbank plan on 29 June only two documents were approved. One was for a site perimeter fence. The other was a location plan which shows the entire Meadowbank site, not just a sub-section of it.”

She added: “Edinburgh council is required to consult on the entire site but its consultation fails to mention this. There is a sports-centre sized hole within the maps they displayed at last week’s consultation events. It is disingenuous and misleading for the council to claim the consultation is about only part of the site. The approved location plan is clearly for the entire site, not a sub-section of it.

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“The council is in effect attempting to move the goalposts by trying to convince people they should only comment on part of the site. This questionable tactic raises further doubt about the validity of the consultation.”

The council refutes claims that the public are being misled and that different site boundaries are being presented for consultation.

A council spokesperson said: “On 29 June 2018, the council’s planning committee approved two planning applications. One granted full planning permission for the development of a new sports centre facility, bringing us another step closer to seeing the new Meadowbank built. Once open, it will be one of the best facilities of its kind in the whole country.

“The other planning application granted permission in principle for mixed use development on the land which isn’t required for the new sports centre – much of which is currently derelict.

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“We are now seeking views on what should be developed on this land. We’d really like to hear as many views as possible on this and our consultation is open online until the end of October.

“It’s so important that everyone with an interest in this wider development has the chance to find out more and have their say.”