Edinburgh housing: Plans for new homes at Cammo submitted again after appeal rejected for 'massive' development

The original plans for 500 homes on the western edge of the city faced a backlash from the community.
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Developers have made another attempt to build more than 500 houses on green belt land at Cammo, after the original plans were thrown out following a campaign by locals.

Controversial proposals to develop on protected countryside land north of Craigs Road faced a fierce backlash from the community last year, as hundreds objected. It was argued the plans violated a slew of planning policies designed to protect the area’s rural landscape, whilst there was local concern about how schools and doctors surgeries would cope with an influx of new residents.

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An eleventh-hour appeal was dismissed by Scottish Ministers over concerns about developing on the greenbelt land, transport at the site along the busy A8 road and pressure on local services.

Cllr Kevin Lang campaigned against the plansCllr Kevin Lang campaigned against the plans
Cllr Kevin Lang campaigned against the plans

Now permission has been granted to West Craigs Limited and Wheatley Homes to do a public consultation following a new planning application notice for the same development.

It has sparked fears from local councillors and heritage chiefs that the original plans have been ‘rehashed’ with no changes made to address concerns.

Proposals would see up to 500 homes built alongside retail units and active travel routes on the site. The project would deliver a mix of houses and flats with half of all properties affordable. But there has been little support for such a development to go ahead; over 100 objections were sent to the council whilst a petition opposing the scheme gathered more than 1,000 signatures.

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Councillor Kevin Lang said: "By any measure, this would be a massive new development in West Edinburgh, bringing thousands more people to the area, either to live or work.

"When the original plans came forward, there were clear and widespread concerns about the impact of the development, particularly around transport. After all, we are talking about an already busy and often congestion corridor along the A8. When the planning application was eventually appealed, the Scottish Government agreed the plans should be rejected, partly because there were simply not enough transport improvements included.

"It's still not clear what, if any, changes have been made in this new application. If it's just a rehash of the previous plan then that will be deeply disrespectful to the local community and the thorough process that took place last year."

Terry Levinthal, director of the Cockburn Assocation said: “We can see no additional special mitigating circumstances that would amend our fundamental objection to this proposal. We are aware that nearby land is under development, with consents given, at times, against officers recommendations to refuse under the Green Belt policy.

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"However, we do note the increasing significance of new developments and proposals for development in West Edinburgh and are finalising our views on the West Edinburgh Place-making Framework, which is out for consultation now. This framework together with the wider strategy and proposals in City Plan 2030 suggest the creation of not just a major expansion in West Edinburgh but the creation of a new settlement with all the issues that ensue.”

A public consultation event will be held on 6 November at the Delta Marriot Hotel.

A Wheatley Homes East spokesperson said: “There’s a real need for more affordable housing in Edinburgh. This piece of land is adjacent to our site where we’re building 425 homes for social and mid-market rent.

“If permission is granted, we could further increase the number of new affordable homes being built at West Craigs. This is an outline planning application, and we’ll continue to discuss with our partners at the City of Edinburgh Council before we submit a full application.”

West Craigs Limited has been contacted for comment.

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