Critics are quite right to draw attention to the huge weaknesses in the Craighouse Partnership’s formal application to develop on Easter Craiglockhart Hill (News, December 17).
In the community meetings I have attended, I have been surprised at the extent to which plans appear to have been changing on the hoof.
However, the weakness is about much more than the occasional discrepancy in over 1000 pages of documents.
The case to build at Craighouse is fundamentally about whether the only way to renovate the existing listed buildings is to allow new building to offset the costs. That is a valid financial argument and, yet, there is no financial case made in the planning application which was submitted.
Like many local residents in the area, I have been prepared to believe that Sundial Properties is genuine in seeking a sustainable future for the whole site. But credulity is being stretched as the process continues.
Gavin Corbett, Green Councillor, for Fountainbridge / Craiglockhart
Tenants must feel they have choice
I read with mixed feelings the story about the council house which is up for rent in the Midlothian area (News, December 15), having formerly been occupied by sex offenders.
Of course this property is perfectly nice, but its past associations are bound to put people off.
I expect some people would think that if someone is desperate enough for a home then they will take what they’re given and be grateful, and I dare say some people could ignore the history of the house and make a new start.
But my worry is that someone feels that taking this house is their only option, whether they feel obligated to their family or whether they are afraid of going back to the bottom of the council list if they refuse. It would depend on the individual, but being “forced” to live in a house with a sordid past could have a detrimental affect on the mental health of any future occupant.
Veronica Noble, Morningside, Edinburgh
Make sociologists pay for mistakes
The letter from Otto Inglis (December 13) saying social workers focus solely on the need of the offender and not the victim or the wider need of society was spot on.
It has never been reported that a social worker ever said “this man is a menace to society and should be locked up and the key thrown away”.
One solution is to make the social worker responsible for the criminal and if that person re-offends then the sociologist is penalised by a reduction in salary. That would focus the mind and see more criminals removed from the streets.
Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow
Church should let go of public influence
Responding to declining figures of those declaring Christian beliefs in the census, church leaders have said that they have much work to do.
Where is this effort to be targeted, I wonder? In trying anew to convince reasoning adults of the intellectual and moral virtues of Christian belief? I doubt it. More likely their eyes will turn to the doors of our primary classes, permanently wedged open to evangelism as they are by anachronistic and soon-to-be-challenged statute on religious education and observance in schools.
Even if we include those who casually ticked the Christian box for habitual or cultural reasons, these numbers do not surprise me. There is no schadenfreude here as I have the greatest of respect for private religious belief, but with this ever diminishing mandate surely now the dictates of grace alone will compel Christian leaders to begin to release their long-held and unjustified grip on the infrastructure of public life.
If they cling on until no-one ticks their box at all, history may judge them more harshly.
Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society, Saughtonhall Drive
Manners could win war on road rage
Whilst our armed forces are endeavouring to keep peace throughout the world, we should be doing likewise on our roads and encouraging drivers and pedestrians to complete their journeys without incident.
Good behaviour goes a long way and self control is better than state control.
CJR Fentiman, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh