Pinkhill campaigners raise crash and traffic fears over new flats plans

Campaigners have warned that contentious plans for new flats could lead to “an accident waiting to happen” unless the number of homes are reduced and transport concerns are dealt with.

Residents campaign against previous Pinkhill development plans. Pic Ian Georgeson.
Residents campaign against previous Pinkhill development plans. Pic Ian Georgeson.

Developer Dandara has tabled updated proposals to demolish a redundant office block, Traquair House, at Pinkhill and build 46 apartments in the west of the Capital. Initial plans, which were reduced from six storey’s to five and from 75 apartments to 51 were refused by the council – leading to developers lodging an unsuccessful appeal to Scottish ministers.

The proposals have been further reduced to four-storeys and will include two studio apartments, 16 one-bedroom apartments, 22 two-bedroom apartments and six three-bedroom apartments. It is thought that nine affordable homes could be provided in the development.

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Documents submitted to planners state: “The site is ideally suited to attract residents who do not wish to rely on a car to travel to work due to its close proximity to Corstorphine Road and other main public transport routes into Edinburgh.

“The development will provide a mix of carefully designed studio, one, two and

three bedroom apartments.”

Campaigners have raised concerns over traffic issues at the Pinkhill site.

John Kerr from the Pinkhill residents association, said: “Dandara has yet again failed to understand the parking issues in this location. The number of properties remains excessive at 46 with only 43 car parking places. Given the high number of two or three-bedroom flats, there will be at least 60 cars trying to squeeze into 43 spaces.

“The road at Pinkhill is already at full capacity with commuter parking and is a dangerous shortcut for commuters going to and from work.”

He added: “The building will be an eyesore and will increase the risks for cars and pedestrians on the very dangerous corner at Traquair Park East where cars park precariously on both sides of the road. This is an accident waiting to happen in my opinion.

“As a result of the enlarged building, the number of properties, people and cars on the site are much higher than they need be. The maximum number of properties should be no more than 35 and the planning department should surely see that.

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“Dandara have shown no regard for the views of local residents and have once again chosen profit and greed rather than the well being and safety of both existing and new residents alike.”

The office block, previously used by ST Microelectronics, has been empty since 2017.

Conservative ward Cllr Scott Douglas said: “While it is good to see that some progress has been made on this new planning application, there are still many concerning elements to it.

“These proposals still do not respect the outline of the current building, and there are still serious issues concerning the impact it could have on parking and traffic levels in Pinkhill.”

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He added: “After the long-running battle to stop Dandara’s previous inappropriate plans, residents will rightly have expected better than this.

“And with the deadline for comments in just a couple of weeks, I would urge all residents to submit their views as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for Dandara said: “The revised plans have been drawn up after extensive discussions with the council’s planning department. Dandara is keen to discuss the revised application with local groups and has contacted the community council about the plans.

“The car parking movements for the proposed scheme will be lower than the existing set-up for the offices.”