the threatened collapse of plans to build 2000 homes on Granton Harbour is a blow to hopes of making some fast progress on tackling the Capital’s housing crisis.
The developer, who also has plans for a marina, four-star hotel and shopping complex, had raised hopes of work starting this summer on a project said to be worth £300 million to the city.
Yet it now seems highly likely that after years of inaction following the banking crisis the acres of empty land by the Forth will remain dormant for some time longer.
It is not so much the rejection of the plans by city officials that appears to spell the death knell for the scheme. Our councillors have, of course, been known to overrule the concerns of their planning officials on occasion.
But the weight of concerns raised by officials and the community, plus a clear breakdown in working relations between the developer and local authority, do not bode well.
The regeneration of the Waterfront area remains one of the keys to the city’s future economic success. Everyone wants to see homes and useful facilities there.
For years developers have struggled to make the sums work on a scheme that would deliver for the city and their shareholders. The difficulty in squaring those sums may explain the increased size of the shopping and leisure complex, which is the cause of much concern.
It has to be hoped that the developer and the council can return to constructive talks, but don’t hold your breath.
There is nothing most people would like better than seeing the Waterfront area revived, but we will have to live with any development there for a long time to come. The significant concerns about the impact of the proposed scheme on the surrounding community and the wider city have to be fully addressed before any work should receive the go-ahead.