Leaders: ‘Extension is better than starting again’

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THERE is no doubt it has become one of Edinburgh’s biggest eyesores.

The frustration of residents – and the council – over the delayed bid to redevelop Shrubhill House on Leith Walk is entirely understandable. The prospect of the former social work HQ lying empty for another three years quite naturally sparked fury.

Instead a compromise has been reached, with the city council only agreeing to extend planning permission to the developers for 18 months to get the scheme off the ground.

This may not placate the local residents but it does seem like the most sensible way forward. Encouraging development is difficult enough without sending whole schemes back to the drawing board.

The developers here have been given a clear message that it is time to move forward and finally get something built – or sell-up and allow others to take the project on.

The lack of progress is not entirely their fault of course. The economic conditions and the failure of the tram to travel down Leith Walk have combined to make what was once a prime site distinctly less 

But it simply cannot be left in its current state for much longer. The residents may not be happy but they do now at least know there is a deadline for the bulldozers 
finally moving in.

Tough on poor work

It is a real case of crazy paving.

Contractors working for the council have been forced to rip up a whole section of carefully laid pavement after using the wrong size of chips. It may seem laughable but it is reassuring to know the city council is getting tough when necessary and insisting poor work is fixed – at no cost to the taxpayer.

The state of Edinburgh’s roads and pavements constantly top the list of public gripes. We trust the residents on Lady Road and Ross Road at least will soon have no cause for complaint.