Letters: Planners should walk the plank for treehouse vote

Sarah Winkler with kids Beatrice (11) and Claude (5), They are in a planning dispute with the council over a tree house. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Sarah Winkler with kids Beatrice (11) and Claude (5), They are in a planning dispute with the council over a tree house. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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What on Earth are our city planners up to? They object to a treehouse on stilts because it allegedly overlooks a neighbour’s garden (News, January 20).

Yet recently in Learmonth Grove they approved an extension with a window overlooking a neighbouring garden from an elevated position a few feet away.

Wind turbine.  Pic: Ian Rutherford

Wind turbine. Pic: Ian Rutherford

And previously they rejected a smaller extension to a very similar property, deeming it too large and obtrusive. They said that it would set a bad precedent.

But now they say precedents are irrelevant; each case must be decided on its own merits.

Many other inconsistencies have come to light since the Edinburgh Accies revamp verdict, yet planning decisions are supposed to be determined by the Local Plan and associated guidelines. Some decisions, therefore, must be wrong.

It is high time our elected representatives sorted out this mess.

Alan Murphy, Learmonth Grove, Edinburgh

What does the SNP care about poverty?

the Scottish National Party has always advocated its cause for freedom by separation. But what exactly do they mean by that?

There are two very distinct areas of thought which deal freedom and they are completely separate from each other. One is about freedom of choice and the other is about social freedom of action, which is called liberty.

None of these exist in the SNP’s referendum agenda for the “Yes” campaign vote.

What does it matter to them that more than half of Scotland’s population are either living in poverty, unemployed, living off food banks and homeless?

At this present time we are already free agents in what we do to make our way in this world, and as part of the United Kingdom, as a partner, Scotland is able to protect our country’s interests and fight for our rights by saying no to the duplicitous views of the SNP “Yes” vote.

Many people in Scotland do not have the luxury of having a full-time job, and most of them who have finished their education in the past five years are still waiting for suitable employment, their best option is to go to England.

Chas Dennis, Niddrie Marischal Road, Edinburgh

Time to cage those who mistreat animals

ANIMAL charity One Kind is right in saying all owners who mistreat their pets should face lifetime bans (News, January 20). The charity spoke out after a 23-year-old South Lanarkshire man was banned from owning animals after the vile scumbag kept his poor dog in a cupboard and failed to properly feed it.

Though he got an eight-year ban, he should never be allowed to keep another pet in his lifetime.

Tougher sentences should be enforced on all those who commit animal abuse, which is so cruel.

All these wicked offenders should be caged for mistreating animals, domestic or wild.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh, East Lothian

Greens got gloomy predictions wrong

Subsidies for renewables may indeed create some green jobs (although the numbers claimed have so far proved to be illusory).

The problem is that wind and most other renewable energy sources are inefficient and “green energy” costs significantly more than energy from conventional fuel.

Money spent on “green jobs” means removing jobs from elsewhere in the economy.

Worse, a significant part of the subsidies are found from a tax on fuel. Less well off households are pushed into fuel poverty because they spend a larger proportion of their income on fuel.

Subsidies also add to costs for businesses making the costs of goods and services for everyone more expensive than they otherwise would have been – reducing employment in the broader economy.

There is one potential justification for this economic illiteracy. The Climate Change Acts were passed on the assumption such drastic intervention was necessary to prevent dangerous global warming.

However, the gloomy predictions have to date proved wrong. Despite increasing carbon emissions global mean temperature has now stopped rising for 15-17 years.

Scientists are struggling to explain why their advice and predictions were so wrong.

Cllr Cameron Rose, City Chambers, Edinburgh

Get tough and call the presenters’ bluff

The BBC’s best-paid presenters are in revolt against plans to axe their tax-savings freelance contracts.

Such arrangements have been branded “staggeringly inappropriate” by the Commons public accounts committee, which suggested the BBC could be complicit in tax avoidance.

There are more than 6000 freelancers. This is unacceptable.

The management should remember the BBC is funded by the public who pay their taxes in full and are therefore subsidising these individuals.

The BBC bosses, on their high salaries, should get tough for once and call the presenters’ bluff.

If presenters do leave there are many people more than willing to step into their shoes and the viewer would not see any difference.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow