'We cannot go on building on the green belt' - readers' comments on plans for new housing developments

A battle is looming over Edinburgh’s green belt as city leaders debate which sites to earmark for new housing developments to be built within the next decade. Readers were keen to have their say...

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 7:00 am
Kevin Lang and colleagues protesting earlier this month over proposals for 500 new homes on green belt land at Cammo

Elizabeth Thomson: Unless there is going to be a major upgrade of the roads in all the areas suggested so far I wouldn’t want to live in any of them. Stop building student accommodation and build affordable housing instead.

Catherine White: We cannot go on building on the green belt. We need the green belt, it’s trees foliage etc, for the atmosphere. The houses they are building are not affordable accommodation. We will end up with nothing but houses and not a bit of green anywhere. Where does the wildlife go? Get a real grip of yourself, town planners and council.

Craig Hamilton: If they plan on going ahead with these there has to be major investment infrastructure. Roads, schools, GP practices, shops and local amenities. You can't just dump a load of houses on the outskirts and expect that to be enough.

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Fraser Shepherd: There are sites which have lain empty and undeveloped for years. There are tons all over Edinburgh completely undeveloped with "Site for Sale" signs on them. But of course when someone does eventually buy them to build some profitable flats it’s "Why can't this be sold to a housing association instead?". Well the site has been vacant for years – why didn't they buy it in that time?

John Hewit: It’s down to price. Chances are the asking price will be too high and the owners are prepared to sit on it until the market can meet that price. Where are housing associations supposed to get such money from?

Moyra Lumsden: We need retirement villages with suitable housing for retirees, medical centres, libraries, fitness centres, nursing homes, affordable housing/flats for people like the carers, nurses, library staff, fitness staff and suchlike then a lot of family homes would be released from retirees moving from their too large homes, hence reducing the need to build so many new ones. Perhaps a bit simplistic but a starting point for discussion.

Pam Roe: If they carry on like they are now there's going to be no green space left in Edinburgh. I grew up where I live now and it used to be all farm land but it's now all housing.

Gavin Newton: Everyone complaining about the student housing is forgetting that students move to the city to study regardless if there’s student accommodation or not. If student accommodation, which can fit more students in than flats on the sites could, isn’t built the students will take the very little available housing there is. The students will always exist – they’ll either stay in tightly-packed student halls or they’ll take up the private rentals. Build both, not one or the other.

Elayne Young: They need to put the brakes on all the London developers scooping up land and buildings.

Ross Kerr: People want big, American, suburbia-style houses in a country totally unsuited and too small for it. The easiest solution to all our housing problems is simply to build flats again.

John Davies: Try converting the many dormant offices in Edinburgh and regenerate the derelict sites inside the city boundaries with homes for all. Not everyone can afford extortionate new houses out of town.

Terri Bowker: So on one hand the council are trying to stop people using their cars (I don’t drive) and on the other hand they’re destroying green spaces and getting rid of oxygen-giving trees and plants to put up flats and houses when presumably a lot of people in these flats and houses will have cars.

Nicky Alexander Cleft: Build flats a lot higher. We shouldn’t care about preserving the city’s skyline, we should be protecting green space

Davie Black: Why identify green belt land then build on it anyway?

Mark Glover: There will always be a green belt around the city. I live in Fife now. We’re not exactly running out of rural areas in central Scotland.

David Nibet: Keep building on green space and Glasburgh will eventually become Scotlands biggest city.

Toni Edwards: Why would consideration even be given to build on green belt land in a climate crisis?