'˜Misinformation' claim over Fountainbridge flats development
DEVELOPERS behind a bid to transform a former industrial site into new canalside housing in Fountainbridge have moved to reassure locals over the scale of the project.
Furious residents have accused Glencairn Properties of “misinformation” over the size and height of an apartment block on Lower Gilmore Place after it was claimed architectural drawings in a revised planning application skewed the proportions of the development.
Questions were also raised over the future of a pregnancy and parents centre, set to be demolished to make way for the project overlooking the Union Canal.
Plans to create a block of 48 units, including high end apartments with a garden roof terrace and a number of affordable homes, were first drawn up in September, but objections from locals have since reduced the number to 20 units.
But some believe the amended plans do not go far enough, arguing the building “does not fit in with the area”.
However, Glencairn director Daryl Teague said the firm had “taken on board the concerns and feedback raised throughout the process.”
Andrew Brough, chairman of the Tollcross community council, said he was “disappointed” with the plans, adding the demolition of the pregnancy centre would be a “huge loss” for the community.
He added: “Even with these revisions to the design, that was not the issue, the building is still too large – it is towering over the surrounding area.”
“There is obviously the issue of privacy for the surrounding properties, this development would basically overlook every garden in the surrounding area. Then there is the issue of us losing out on the pregnancy centre.”
He added: “The people who operate that, they work extremely hard to provide that for the wider community of Edinburgh, it would not just be a loss for us, it would be a loss for the entire city.”
“This is Glencairn’s second bite of the cherry and it’s really no better than the first.”
A spokesperson for Glencairn said in a statement that the “upper levels will be set back to minimise any impact on surrounding buildings and garden areas and the height complies with the council’s guidance”.
Mr Teague added that spaces for the pregnancy centre have been offered “rent-free” premises at its current location until a new building can be found.
He said: “The public consultation steps we took were wholly voluntary. Our original scheme was for 48 units but we’ve reduced this to 20 and taken on board the concerns and feedback raised throughout the process.
“The pregnancy and parents centre is on a three-month rolling lease and has been for many years.
“We have consulted closely with them throughout the process and offered to relocate them into the proposed new development. We have since offered them an alternative unit and put them on a rent-free arrangement from now until they move.”
He added: “We are never going to please everyone. There will always be those who object and support new development but we have endeavoured to be open and consultative throughout the whole process.”