Martin Hannan: Craigmillar consultation is cover to drop school plan

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I refer to last Thursday’s Evening News article regarding the failure of the City of Edinburgh Council’s market-led regeneration strategy for Craigmillar.

Seven years ago, when this plan was first proposed, the community’s Capacity Building project, along with the City Council’s Planning Department, jointly undertook consultation on what was then called The Urban Design Framework. Over a period of several weeks a professional, scientific participation exercise was carried out consulting over 500 people at several public meetings held throughout the community. In addition youth workers held special sessions with young people and the whole process was backed up by a comprehensive street survey.

Almost 80 per cent of those consulted expressed serious concerns that the proposals contained too many flats and not enough houses, that room sizes were too small with odd triangle shaped designs. Flats were too close to one another, streets were narrow without proper pavements. Everybody who was asked thought there was a desperate lack – indeed total absence – of any community facilities in the plans.

This was clearly what council officials did not want to hear and they withheld these consultation results from councillors when the Planning Committee considered the matter.

Even the dogs on the streets of Niddrie know that this latest cynical sham of further consultation is merely to provide fig-leaf cover for the council to finally abandon its promise to build a new secondary school in the heart of Craigmillar with the land being handed over for a superstore development.

Lyndsay Martin, Secretary, Craigmillar Labour

Take yourselves off to Taransay

I have read three articles in tonight’s Evening News (November 12) and had to reach for my email keys.

Firstly, Mr Fogel has the audacity to have a fleeting visit to Edinburgh and starts to complain regarding the siting of the Royal Yacht Brittania. How dare he complain about this, considering the yacht has been here for quite a few years.

Docking next to a shopping area is good for both, shops and RYB. May I suggest that you return to Taransay?

Secondly, Mr McEwen of Cologne (Letters), I take it you have never ever been in contact with anybody in Scotland since you left ten years ago. I seriously think you just wanted to sensationalise on your return to our lovely city. Why do people who leave our city/country always come back here with negative remarks? Have a look at our history and buildings, or join Mr Fogel in Taransay.

Thirdly, regarding Heart of Midlothian, the only people responsible for the non-payment of taxes/VAT are the accountants of this great club. Again the loyal fans are digging deep. I have read, many times, people going on about footballers having great hardship when wages are not in the bank when they should be. Who do they think they are fooling? Can someone please tell everybody what these footballers are actually earning. Mr McGlynn, I am afraid that you and your fellow colleagues at Tynecastle need to get out and about to see what real hardship is all about. Are these players helping to keep the club afloat, or is it the likes of that wonderful little boy Aaron who is selling his Christmas present to help out? Footballers should be totally ashamed of themselves, and not just at Hearts. Is there a football team in Taransay?

David Ramsay, Edinburgh

Scotrail mayhem beggars belief

Scotrail completely failed to manage the rail system following the match at Murrayfield on November 11 (Angry rugby fans kick a row over match train chaos, News, November 13).

The queues were massive and poorly-managed; there was no communication and many services were on bus replacement. Scotrail was massively incompetent as everybody had been saying for days that it was going to be a sell-out.

Even my nine-year-old daughter was upset about the complete lack of detail as to what was happening. Whoever manages Haymarket Station should be sacked.

Pete Trace, Edinburgh

Cameron thinks Scotland’s in Shire

DAVID Cameron (News, November 30) says that Scotland is “a small country with a big heart and a big voice”. I haven’t seen the film The Hobbit yet, but after that piece of patronising rhetoric, I’m beginning to feel like one. At least he didn’t say we have big feet.

Keith Halley, 213 Newbattle Abbey Crescent, Dalkeith