Edinburgh housing crisis: A sensible Lib Dem makes an unlikely follower of Boris Johnson's cakeism philosophy – John McLellan
Writing in the Evening News this week, he said the new City Plan 2030 showed how the Capital can meet house-building targets by focussing investment on brownfield sites. “Thousands of more affordable homes and protect the greenbelt at the same time? Have your cake and eat it indeed,” he said.
It is indeed true that the plan allows for thousands more homes to be built, and it is also true that most (but not all) will be built on previously developed sites, such as the 3,500 new dwellings on ex-industrial land in Granton. That’s the cake bit.
Eating it, however, is a different matter. As outlined in this column last week, there is no shortage of expert analysis ─ including Edinburgh Council’s technical background to its own report ─ which shows the plan is thousands short of expected demand, up to 20,000 homes short.
Such is the lack of land that plots which aren’t available are included in Kevin’s housing cake, including one of the biggest sites, in Seafield. And if anyone is in any doubt about the owner Royal London Insurance’s unwillingness to sell up, their view is in an appendix to the City Plan. Kevin’s cake is not just hard, but impossible to swallow.