Plans revived for new supermarket in Corstorphine

Artist's impression of the proposed Waitrose store at Corstorphine. Picture: Contributed
Artist's impression of the proposed Waitrose store at Corstorphine. Picture: Contributed
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CONTROVERSIAL plans for a supermarket in Corstorphine have been revived after developers opened fresh talks with potential operators.

The plans were believed to have been shelved after Waitrose abandoned the multi-million pound scheme less than four months ago, citing “changes in trading conditions”.

Campaigners had claimed the development on one of Edinburgh’s most congested roads should be vetoed because of soaring pollution levels.

But Realis Estates has re-submitted the plans to create a 21,000 sq ft supermarket on the corner of St John’s Road and Manse Road to replace empty units and is now in talks with other supermarket chains.

A spokesperson for Realis said: “We are obviously disappointed that Waitrose will no longer be progressing with the scheme, however we are in discussions with other potential retailers to take the space and we will make further announcements in due course.”

Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth Scotland, was “very disappointed” the idea had re-surfaced.

He said: “We are particularly concerned because St John’s Road is already probably the most polluted street in Edinburgh and we know that this would make it even worse.”

In a joint statement Becky Lloyd and Helen Crowley, of Corstorphine Residents Action and Information Group said they were “incredibly disappointed” that Realis was pursuing its plans without an operator being lined up.

They said: “Although we’re not against development on the site, we feel it needs to be appropriate for the location.

“This proposal has been plagued by concerns about unrealistic traffic management, the felling of mature trees in a conservation area and its sheer scale. Without the promise of Waitrose magic-dust to regenerate the shopping street, we fail to see anything positive in this resurrected plan.”

Alex Cole-Hamilton, the constituency prospective Scottish Parliament candidate for the Liberal Democrats, said: “This is like the hokey cokey and people have really been given the runaround. This development will have massive implications for parking, traffic pollution and potential impact on ancient trees.

“Something of this scale – regardless of what you think of it – requires proper scrutiny.”

Michelle Thomson, MP for Edinburgh West, said: “While it is good news to hear that there is the potential to improve facilities and provide new jobs, I am aware of local anxieties regarding congestion and air quality.”