Housing developer banned from its own site

The Collington Heights development. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
The Collington Heights development. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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WORKERS at a luxury housing development have been banned from taking vehicles on to the site following growing safety fears.

Richmond Homes, which is currently building seven high-class townhouses on West Mill Bank in Colinton, had its access to the site withdrawn by council chiefs late last week.

The unusual step was taken after residents voiced concerns over “humongous” trucks squeezing down the narrow road and carrying out three-point turns on a blind corner without staff supervision.

A council spokeswoman said developers had failed to adhere to “an agreed action plan for safe entry to the site”.

Jack Wishart, chairman of the West Mill Bank Proprietors’ Association, said the situation had come to a head last Tuesday when a tractor had blocked off the street for half an hour – trapping residents inside the steep cul-de-sac.

He said: “West Mill Road is a dead end and nobody could get out for about 30 minutes, which is frankly almost criminal in its lack of consideration.

“There was a whole series of problems caused by heavy vehicles going up and down the road. There were some humongous trucks down there. There was always a potential blockage.”

The site – known as “Colinton Heights” – is described as an “exclusive development of seven exceptional contemporary townhouses set in the leafy suburb of Colinton in Edinburgh adjacent to the Water of Leith”.

Councillor Jason Rust, who represents Colinton, said “a number of safety concerns” had been raised by locals”.

He said: “This particular area is used by pedestrians, children and cyclists entering and exiting Spylaw Park and the Water of Leith and particularly over the school holidays the problems have been a cause of real anxiety for local people.”

Calum Stewart, managing director of Richmond Homes, said the issue stemmed from one of their suppliers entering the road “without adhering to our written request to stop in the adjacent street”.

He said: “This is an intensive period of the construction involving significant ground works and the upgrading of old and unsafe culvert but [it] is coming to a conclusion shortly, after which traffic will reduce significantly.

“We always endeavour to work closely with our neighbours to ensure we have as little impact on them as possible during the development process and we would reiterate our gratitude at having been advised of this issue as we take the matter very seriously.

“We are working with the roads department to ensure all of their requirements are met so we can resume works shortly to theirs and the neighbours’ satisfaction.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Access to the site was withdrawn as it was found Richmond Homes was not adhering to an agreed action plan for safe entry to the site.

“Health and safety concerns were raised over vehicles making three-point turns at the junction of West Mill Bank. We are working with Richmond Homes on the issue, who are being very co-operative in agreeing a new action plan.”