A PLAN to build up to 250 homes on the Western edge of Edinburgh has been passed by the city council.
A row erupted after councillors called on developers Taylor Wimpey Homes to investigate cycling infrastructure as part of the outline planning permission for the homes at West Craigs, to the west of Maybury Road.
Convener of the committee, Cllr Neil Gardiner, said: “I’m wondering whether we can consider they look at a cycle route along Maybury Road – we need to encourage active travel on all routes.
“What we are hearing is transport issues in the west of Edinburgh cumulatively is going to have an impact. Whilst we need more houses in the city, we need a city that can move as well.”
Cllr Hal Ostler disagreed, believing it wasn’t down to an individual developer to plan an active travel network for the city. She said: “I’m very concerned about this because we are talking about a single developer – it’s a bit of a red herring.
“If they don’t have to pay attention to it, what’s the point in it? If we want to be ambitious then let’s discuss it with our active travel teams. We are supposed to be developing an active travel plan, not the developers.”
Cllr Jo Mowat backed Cllr Ostler’s concerns, believing that a cycling connection was “a bigger piece of work than this application”.
Cllr Gardiner hit back, calling on an advisory to be added for the developers to investigate a cycling route along Maybury Road.
He added: “I don’t see why everybody is getting so excited about this. It’s an informative that we would like the developer to consider.
“We need to encourage developers’ support alongside our active travel team. I think it’s absolutely right that we look to develop a network and this is a good way of doing that.”
The development will be serviced by the regular 31 bus service, while tram and rail services are accessible.
Councillors raised further concerns about traffic pressures on Maybury Road, including a remodelling of a roundabout.
Cllr Denis Dixon said: “It’s going to cause a lot of havoc remodelling this junction.”
Councillors approved the scheme and asked the developers to investigate both a cycle route connection and district heating system. The development cannot be opened until the new junction is able to be used by vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
Andrew Roberts, senior strategic land and planning manager at Taylor Wimpey East Scotland, said: “We’re delighted that the proposals at Craigs Road were unanimously approved by the committee.
“This represents a major step forward in creating a new community in west Edinburgh.”