MINISTERS have thrown out controversial plans for 670 homes on greenbelt land at Cammo.
Campaigners said they were delighted at the decision, which followed sustained protests by local residents and extensive lobbying by SNP politicians and others.
There has to be some vision about how we get people in and out of the cityCOLIN KEIR
But the refusal of the application for homes on Cammo Fields does not guarantee that proposals in the Local Development Plan (LDP) to develop the area for housing will also be rejected.
The Scottish Government said the application had been refused because it could prejudice a decision on the LDP.
Objectors have argued building huge numbers of new houses at Cammo and on other sites on the western edge of the city would cause major traffic problems because the surrounding road network could not cope.
Last month, councillors came close to removing Cammo and some other areas from the LDP and instead allocating land between the A8 and M8 near Gogar – part of Sir David Murray’s £1 billion “Garden District” plans – for new housing.
The move was abandoned at the last minute, but when it passed the LDP the planning committee did add a motion referring to the merits of the objections to development at Cammo.
A spokesman for the Cammo Residents Association welcomed ministers’ refusal of the planning application and said it helped their case for the new housing to be built on the Gogar land.
He said: “Our reading of the planning committee motion is that potentially if the appeal was refused the committee were saying there is merit in the houses proposed for Cammo Fields being built on the other land instead.
“With the refusal of the appeal, we would now be arguing that Cammo Fields should not be built on and that the houses should go on that other land.
“Instead of building at Cammo, the motion suggested the council saw merit in the representations that had been made and that’s what we would be pushing for now.”
A council source said the residents could take “some comfort” from the decision, but added it would be up to the planning reporter looking at the LDP to decide whether or not Cammo would be included for development in the blueprint.
Edinburgh Western SNP MSP Colin Keir said he was “absolutely delighted” the application had been refused.
He said: “Some serious thought now has to go into how the council follows this up. No-one is coming forward with how we deal with the infrastructure problems around the Barnton and Maybury crossroads.
“We do realise we need housing, there’s no two ways about that. But unless you’re going to do something about the road structure, it’s going to be very difficult.
“There has to be some vision about how we get people in and out of the city without being poisoned by poor quality air.”
A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Ministers have issued their decision on the planning appeal relating to the planning application for proposed housing development at Cammo. They have refused planning consent on the basis that there is sufficient prejudice to the proposed Local Development Plan at this time.
“The decision letter sets out in full the grounds for the decision and ministers cannot comment further on their decision.”