Edinburgh's New Town residents are on the warpath over communal bins. Will it lead to court for council again? – John McLellan
The drums of war are being beaten in the New Town, and when the well-informed, resourced, connected and motivated residents in the World Heritage site get into campaign mode, they can be a formidable machine.
They donned the armour to see off ill-thought road changes 15 years ago, they sharpened the pike staffs to defeat the Old Royal High hotel plan and now the broadswords are being unsheathed to fend off the advance of new communal bin hubs which they say will ruin the historic environment.
This would mean what looks like a mini-recycling centre every 50 yards in the elegant Georgian streets, something Unesco might want to hear about after stripping the Liverpool waterfront of its World Heritage status. And the hubs are set to spread across the whole city.
It’s the usual charge sheet ─ that promised consultation hasn’t taken place, that residents’ views don’t matter to the council ─ but there is also the allegation that the council has borrowed from the Spaces for People programme and used traffic regulations to get round normal planning procedures.
And just like the Lanark Road Spaces for People scheme and the East Craigs low-traffic zone, local opponents are now gearing up for court action against the council by seeking a judicial review of the process.
Edinburgh Council really should receive some sort of commendation from the Law Society for the amount of work they put lawyers’ way, but when will this authority stop riding roughshod over local people so they feel legal action is their only option?