Letters: Accies plan may bring Stockbridge chaos

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The Academicals Club appears now to have received final planning consent for its unpopular development in Raeburn Place.

The prospect that Stockbridge and Comely Bank residents and the owners and patrons of the Raeburn Hotel could shortly have to face this massive structure and the disruption that it will entail, both in construction and in use, is truly horrific.

A large majority of local people are strongly opposed to this scheme; they are concerned for their local shops, for the environment, for the loss of views, for the impact on the listed Raeburn Hotel and for the violation of the conservation area.

In 2007 the Accies watched their clubhouse being ‘accidentally’ demolished and for the last seven years they have occupied a hutted encampment on the corner of North Park Terace, which has itself been both an eyesore and a nuisance.

They have arrogantly ignored the views of local people and have refused to discus alternatives to their current preposterous scheme.

Their involvement with ‘Serve & Volley’, the promoters of ‘Champions of Tennis’, now in liquidation, leaving their steel structure still in place on the playing field, is simply the most recent of a sequence of hopelessly mismanaged projects.

Can the Accies be trusted to deliver this scheme? For how much longer will the local residents and traders have to put up with the Accies’ follies and might they be left with something half-finished?

Stockbridge is now flourishing as a community; it has two fine new restaurants as well as several established ones, and the excellent Raeburn Hotel, resurrected after an earlier Accies disaster. The shops are good, many family-run with excellent reputations.

The Accies are a long-established part of our community, but their incompetence combined with their grandiose over-ambition, particularly when compared with their neighbours at The Grange Club, has made them extremely unpopular. This is a great sadness.

It is not too late for constructive engagement to find a better and more consensual way forward.

Bruce Thompson, Chair (Save Stockbridge), Comely Bank Place, Edinburgh

Scotland’s Games uniform is tartan tat

If the cringeworthy uniform to be worn by Scots competitors at the Commonwealth Games is an example of Scottish decision making, it will do much to swell the ‘No’ vote in the independence referendum. Frankly, one would not do this to a sofa!

John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh

Devolved power the best way for Scotland

We are being asked by the ‘Yes’ camp to support taking Scotland out of the UK, but what independence will actually mean in practice if there is a ‘Yes’ vote will not be clear until long and complex negotiations have been completed.

We can be certain that those representing the rest of the UK will be negotiating hard to get the best deal for the 50+ million living there.

Those proposing to vote ‘Yes’ should be worried about all this because what is finally agreed may differ significantly from what is in the wish list that is the SNP’s White Paper or indeed from their own aspirations.

On top of that we have no idea what it’s going to cost, and who knows what the conditions for EU membership will be?

Much better to get extra powers for Holyrood now being guaranteed and stick with a hugely successful union which gives strength through unity.

David Breckon, Denholm Avenue, Musselburgh

More transparency on Morton ashes scandal

Mark Turley, director of Edinburgh council’s community services department, has suddenly resigned following the publication of a damning report into systematic failures which led to the Mortonhall baby ashes scandal. The city council confirmed an investigation into his part in the scandal would no longer take place. How convenient.

To many of the bereaved parents it must feel like a very unsatisfactory ending and that the man in charge and earning £123,000 can simply walk away. No wonder they are demanding a public enquiry.

Edinburgh council have refused to confirm whether Mr Turley had received a generous pay-off. If he resigned, then no pay-off is applicable so what has the council got to hide?

Other questions must be asked. Have the council agreed to any enhancement on his pension package? Will this pension be paid early? Edinburgh taxpayers are entitled to know.

Audit Scotland must immediately investigate and disclose any financial arrangements for Mr Turley in the interests of transparency.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Danger of pavement cycling needs tackled

On Saturday, I was on a bus when an old serviceman, with a white stick and wearing dark glasses, boarded the vehicle in Wilkieston at the Linburn Centre for the Scottish War Blinded.

As he got off the the bus in East Calder he was struck by a cyclist on the pavement. The cyclist who was in his forties, was laughing whilst he continued, without stopping, to cycle on the pavement.

Luckily the old gent was uninjured, but must we wait until a toddler is killed on the pavement by a laughing cyclist before the police do anything about cycling on pavements?

Jim Stewart, Oxgangs Avenue, Edinburgh