Edinburgh families in Canonmills hit back at plans for student accommodation on Eyre Place and Eyre Place Lane

Residents fighting controversial plans for new student flats at Canonmills claim families will be ‘driven out’ and have demanded a meeting with developers.
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Developers claim proposals to build a block of 142 studio flats for students and nine townhouses on the former Jewson’s builder’s yard at 72-74 Eyre Place and Eyre Place Lane would have a ‘positive’ impact on the area.

But residents say it will be diminish amenities, generate noise and block light and views.

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Those against the plans claims the influx of students would put extra pressure on already over-stretched local services like GPs and bring increased anti-social behaviour,

Residents Hannah Edwards and Zoe White oppose the plansResidents Hannah Edwards and Zoe White oppose the plans
Residents Hannah Edwards and Zoe White oppose the plans

with proposals including a storey of the student flats dedicated to ‘entertainment’ and karaoke booths.

Several residents told the Evening News they were angry about the pre-application consultation report, which they have branded ‘misleading’ and an ‘exercise in spin’ that ignores

major concerns submitted by local residents.

Artist’s impressions of the plans show the townhouses but residents say they don’t make clear the scale or impact of the block of student flats which would directly overlook a community garden created by locals.

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Mum-of-two Hannah Edwards, who lives on Rodney Place, said: “The student flats will be aggressive and overbearing. They’d be in such close proximity to us and overshadow our homes and community garden which is thriving but won’t survive if there are six storeys of brick shutting off natural light.

"They need to apply common sense. This would be the fourth new build student accommodation within a one mile radius. We are also extremely concerned about noise and the impact on existing tenants. It’s literally on our doorstep. Families will be driven out."

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Edinburgh residents fight latest proposal for new student accommodation in Eyre ...

"If the plans were homes for families we would have no issue. We want to see people here who want to stay and build the community."

A survey by the campaign group drew 200 responses, with the huge majority strongly opposing (80.2 per cent) or opposing (16.4 per cent) student accommodation on the site.

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The Eyre Place Lane was previously used as a builder’s yard which formerly contained three derelict low storey buildings. The former office, shop, and storage facilities for the builders’ yard were demolished.

One resident who asked not to be named said: “It’s not fair that a big developer can come in and override the local community. They have been very misleading in how they have presented the proposals.

“Many residents have only been notified of revised plans including the townhouses. Letters were sent out but not to owners of the large number of rented properties. We know many who weren’t made aware of the proposed development.

“The new townhouse proposal appeared after the consultation and plans split into two separate applications is deflecting attention from the still planned six-storey block on Eyre Place.”

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The developers, CA Ventures, originally proposed 210 student flats for the site, but reduced the number and added the townhouses after a flood of objections from the residents.

But some locals say they have had no response to major concerns about the possible use of the site for short-term holiday lets and other issues.

Zoe White said: "Our objections have not been addressed. We worry there would be an increase in anti-social behaviour. Students and their friends would be coming back from nights out and using the lane that runs right along the back of our homes.

“The report fails to mention the pressure on the local medical practice or address concerns about parking. They won't provide additional spaces for the flats and say it’s a car free development but cars are not prohibited. Parking around here is dire. I had to get rid of my car. We believe the residents of Eyre Place and Rodney Street have not been heard and want a chance to sit down with the developers."

CA Ventures have been contacted for comment.

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