Sale of historic Edinburgh farmhouse falls through, sparking fears over development of site

THE sale of a historic farmhouse which was saved from demolition after a community campaign has fallen through, sparking new fears about future development of the site.
The house dates back to 1859 and was last used in 2015The house dates back to 1859 and was last used in 2015
The house dates back to 1859 and was last used in 2015

Comiston Farmhouse, which was used as a social work department residential support unit for teenagers until it closed in January 2015, will be put up for sale again by the city council after developers said they could no longer go ahead with their plans.

And residents in the area are eager to ensure any new proposals for the site are sympathetic to the farmhouse and its setting.

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Liz Sim, who lives opposite the farmhouse, said: "We had a campaign when there was a proposal to to knock down the farmhouse and build 37 flats and we managed to kill that off.

"Our concern is to retain the farmhouse, but being realistic because there's half an acre of ground at the back of the house there will inevitable by some sort of development there, but our hope is it will be something sympathetic, appropriate and respectful of the house and its history. We thought we had got that, but it's fallen through so we're back to square one.”

Ms Sim said it was thought the house dated back to 1859. “It was the major farmhouse that went with the Comiston estate. The 'big hoose' was Comiston House, just the other side of Fairmilehead Park, which has now been beautifully converted into flats and we were hoping we might have been able to get something similar for the farmhouse.”

Colinton/Fairmilehead Conservative councillor Jason Rust, who was involved in the campaign to save the farmhouse, said the news the sale had fallen through was “frustrating and disappointing”.

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He said:. “Years have elapsed since the support unit closed and ‘For Sale’ boards erected. I have concerns for the condition of the property and really hope we see progress soon for the benefit of the local residents and wider amenity."

A spokeswoman for the council said it planned to market the building on the same basis as before, with the main building to be retained with possible conversion into four apartments with up to six mews-style family properties permitted in the grounds.

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