CRAMOND faces massive disruption and traffic gridlock following the approval of a 50-bed care home in the village, community leaders warned today.
Councillors gave the go-ahead for the £8 million development in the Cramond conservation area by seven votes to six, despite a high-powered campaign against it and almost 500 objections to the plans.
Andrew Mather, chair of Cramond community council, said there was already frequent congestion on Cramond Glebe Road, where the exit for the home will be located, and police had even had to be called to deal with road-rage incidents.
He claimed projections quoted by home operators Care Concern for the traffic generated by the development were serious underestimates.
And he said: “We have real problems in Glebe Road and to put even five or ten cars down there would be too much. This is the last straw and the camel’s back is already broken.”
He also warned of problems while the home is being built.
“There will be unbelievable disruption during the construction phase,” he said.
“It’s bad enough to get cars in and out of that site; it will be absolutely appalling with huge lorries trying to negotiate it.”
The council received 475 objections to the home but council officials recommended approval, saying the roads authority had not raised any concerns and on balance the proposal would not have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area.
Mr Mather said the community council case received input from experts including lawyers, architects and transport planners, but he felt it was “undervalued” by councillors.
He said: “They make decisions and walk on, but we are left with the debris for the rest of our lives. We cannot appeal the decision. We are searching to see if there is any route open to us.”
At the development management committee, Marion Williams of heritage watchdog the Cockburn Association said the key issue was how the development would preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area. “I don’t think it does,” she said.
Architect Steve Yeoman, on behalf of the care home firm, told the committee there was a “clear need and growing demand” for care home places in the city.
And he said the home would create “significant” employment during construction and once it was operational.
Planning vice-convener Alex Lunn said: “Despite not stopping the development, the residents of Cramond fought an incredibly effective community-based campaign which others should look to.
“However, Edinburgh is in the midst of a shortfall of appropriate care home space and this home will help to alleviate that problem.”