Edinburgh Airport calls for International Business Gateway plans to be stopped over road fears

Airport bosses have appealed for councillors to listen to fears that plans for an International Business Gateway (IBG) will “choke access” amid a strategic development plan being redrawn over transport worries.

Wednesday, 29th May 2019, 2:14 pm
Proposals for the International Business Gateway, which will create 12,000 new jobs near Edinburgh Airport

Councillors will determine outline permission for the IBG proposals, which will be built near Edinburgh Airport, at Thursday’s crunch meeting – after the development management sub-committee gave the plans the thumbs up earlier this month.

But airport chiefs want the council to reassess the application amid the Scottish Government refusing to endorse the new strategic development plan for South East Scotland (SESplan2) after ministers said it did not deal with transport infrastructure to support increased housing.

The councils – Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Fife and Borders – had spent four years working on the plan, but must now go back and revise the proposals.

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Developers say the IBG will create 12,000 new jobs and includes plans for offices, leisure space, shops, hotels and housing, including 99 affordable homes, on the Eastfield Road site next to Edinburgh Airport. Eastfield Road will be dualled at the development end and the companies behind the International Business gateway have called on the airport to the do same at its end of the route.

Eastfield Road is the main access for Edinburgh Airport and carries supports around 36,000 vehicles on a typical weekday.

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “It’s clear that transport issues in and around Edinburgh are a concern for the Scottish Government, so much so that Edinburgh Council has been asked to reassess its SESplan blueprints. In light of this, we encourage the council to re-evaluate the IBG proposals and take on board our concerns around the lack of a stand-alone transport assessment.

“The promise of 12,000 jobs and the regeneration of the west of Edinburgh is to be welcomed but it must be done in a manageable way – the current proposals have the potential choke access to the airport and make the already well-document traffic situation around the airport even worse.”

The IBG is being developed by a consortium made up of Murray Estates, Frogmore Property, New Ingliston Limited and Salmon Harvester Properties.

Speaking on behalf of the consortium, Jestyn Davies, managing director of Murray Estates, said: “The International Business Gateway development is poised to bring 12,000 jobs and many other benefits to west Edinburgh and to the city as a whole.

“However, we understand that ambitious developments can place additional pressure on local infrastructure which is why we’ve committed to investing heavily in the nearby airport access road and have invited Edinburgh Airport to join us in partnership to ensure an unprecedented level of access.”

He added: “The development management sub-committee’s recommendation of the plan is hugely encouraging and we are delighted that the council officers and councillors are satisfied with the extensive transport studies and appraisals that have been carried out.

“We are confident that city councillors will see the International Business Gateway development for the massive opportunity for jobs, growth, and quality of life in Edinburgh that it is.”

Also at Thursday’s full council meeting, Conservative Cllr John McLellan will table a motion, calling for an explanation why the SESplan2 was rejected by the Scottish Government.

Cllr McLellan will call for an “urgent report” that will “outline the steps necessary to provide a clear development framework for Edinburgh, and a timetable for delivery.”