THE bizarre land dispute threatening to hold up the Accies’ plans for their historic Stockbridge home is certainly a dramatic twist in the tale.
The rugby club is ready to start work on a £16 million redevelopment that would turn the site of the world’s first rugby international into a modern sports and leisure complex. Their ambitious plans, which include a 2,500-seat stadium, a rugby museum and a parade of shops, have been several years in the making.
After negotiating the protracted planning process, the club and its supporters, both within the local community and across Edinburgh, had hoped to see work get under way to realise their vision. Now this latest move threatens to throw their plans into limbo with the prospect of a protracted legal process a very plausible outcome.
The Accies’ plans undoubtedly created divisions within the local community after they were unveiled three years ago.
Some objectors who felt that the proposals represented an over-development of the site may welcome any obstacle being thrown in their path now.
However, the Grange Cricket Club finds itself in a tricky position. There is a duty for any organisation to act in the best interests of its members. When you receive legal advice that you own a potentially valuable piece of land, that has to include careful consideration of what you do with that asset. It would be easy to take the money and run – but at what price?
The Accies’ plans have been approved after going through an extremely rigorous and democratic planning process. Furthermore, the new stadium and its facilities promise to generate a steady income that will fund grassroots sports in Stockbridge for generations to come.
Grange members may well feel that anything they do which effectively blocks these plans would cause untold damage to their fine sporting reputation.