Greenbelt land earmarked for large housing development

The walled garden at Edmonstone estate
The walled garden at Edmonstone estate
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A BID to build more than 110 homes in the Capital has been submitted to the city council, despite the site being on an area of green belt.

Sheratan wants to develop land at the Edmonstone Estate near the Royal Infirmary at Little France.

The plans would see 114 homes built, of which 25 per cent would be affordable.

The land had been earmarked for the development of a care home but after plans for that collapsed, new housing proposals were drawn up.

Sheratan said community engagement events in February showed overwhelming support for development of the site.

But Craigmillar resident Johnni Stanton said: “Geographically, this is just wrong and I think most people will be upset by this.

“We still have brownfield sites in Craigmillar and Niddrie that haven’t been used up. This should be retained as a wooded area.

“Building the care home was one thing, but more houses is just too much.”

Green councillor Gavin Corbett said: “Edinburgh has a well-recognised shortage of affordable homes, but I’d want to be absolutely certain that there was no alternative to using greenbelt land – for example, by focusing on brownfield sites or making better use of empty homes.

“With each nibbling away of green land, the green belt gets undermined and all of a sudden much larger developments are seen to be acceptable.”

David Walker, who represents the Portobello/Craigmillar ward, said he was opposed to the proposed development.

He said: “We need to protect the greenbelt sites around Edinburgh. We are losing more and more of these sites all the time.

It is a fairly attractive piece of greenbelt land and I hope it will remain so. I don’t believe there is a pressing need for houses on that land.”

A Sheratan spokesman said: “There has already been a great deal of public sector investment in the area but, in order for the vision for the area to become reality, some further stimulus is required.

“Sheratan believes this can be delivered through this residential development which will provide a boost to the South East Wedge and get regeneration of the area back on track.”

Ewan McIntyre, a director of EMA Architects, which is acting for Sheratan, said: “There is a clear shortage of much-needed family housing in the city and these proposals go some way towards addressing this need.

Developer Boskabelle had been given planning consent for sheltered apartments and a health centre in 2009.

Now Sheratan, which is part of the same company as Boskabelle, has acquired the land after Boskabelle was unsuccessful in attracting an operator for the care home.

The spokesman added: “Existing planning permission established the suitability of the site in principle for development.”