Plans for a new 1500-home village at Riccarton with shops, a school, and a dedicated transport hub have been unveiled by developers.
Details of the huge Wallace Land project on a greenbelt site north of Currie were revealed at a community meeting on Tuesday. But the proposals sparked concern from local residents, who warned the plans would swamp the area with new car traffic, and place impossible strains on schools and GP practices.
Edinburgh Pentlands MSP Gordon MacDonald said the community would fight the plans, saying the nearby Calder Road was already “like a car park”. He said: “The proposals are going to create in the region of 3000 cars. There’s no way the public transport system can cope with any more people. In the south-west of the city, there just isn’t the infrastructure for more housing.”
Construction would be phased over five to 15 years if the plans are taken forward, and developers claim work on the site would support 300 jobs. The proposals have not yet been submitted for planning approval, as the site is not currently within the city’s Local Development Plan, a blueprint of where homes will be built over the next ten years.
Edinburgh is required by the Scottish Government to build 32,064 homes by 2024, with the draft Local Development Plan earmarking sites at Cammo and Maybury for house building while rejecting proposals from tycoon David Murray for a “Garden District” near the airport.
Currie Community Council chairman Allister McKillop said residents felt “surrounded” and that the proposals were “just too big”. He said: “There isn’t sufficient infrastructure to support an additional 1500 houses. All our four main arteries into and out of town are already full – that’s one of our major concerns.
“People are concerned that the doctors’ surgery is almost full, and getting an appointment is practically impossible. The schools are near bursting point now, especially the high school.”
Jason Wallace, owner of Wallace Land, said: “We were delighted to outline our proposals for Riccarton Village to the local community for the first time this week. This new village for Edinburgh will be an exemplar for sustainable development with its own identity, amenities and community.
“The allocation of this site has significantly less impacts on the green belt than some of the other allocations already in the Second Proposed Plan for the west of Edinburgh and is deliverable in the short term.”