£100,000 study will plot new vision for West Edinburgh

A £100,000 study is to be launched by the city council and Scottish Government into the future development of West Edinburgh.

Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 7:04 pm
The International Business Gateway has been called in by the Scottish Government, which means it will now take the final decision on the scheme.

It will look at current infrastructure and economic potential to establish a vision and “overarching spatial strategy” for the area.

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The study is expected to act as a masterplan covering a wide range of projects, including the Garden District plan for thousands of new homes; the International Business Gateway, which the Scottish Government called in earlier this month; the Crosswinds scheme for a “tech city” at the airport; and several other major housing proposals.

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The Garden District is one of several major projects in the area covered by the new study.

Scottish Enterprise and the government’s private finance body Scottish Futures Trust are also involved in the project.

The study has not been to any council committee but the Evening News has been passed a document with details of the project.

Tory economy spokesman John McLellan welcomed news of the study.

He said: “This is something that needs to happen - it should have been done a long time ago. You have all these visions of different districts but none of which are planned with each other in mind.

“If you have an agreed framework and a council backed vision for the area it makes it easier for developers because they know what the policies are for the area.”

But Lib Dem Kevin Lang, who represents Almond ward, was less enthusiastic.

He said: “What people in West Edinburgh want, more than promises of studies and managerial jargon, is a real improvement around services and infrastructure that is desperately needed to support all the new housing which is not just planned in the future but has already been approved and is now starting to be built.

“The problem in West Edinburgh is we are already playing catch-up for years of poor planning and bad management.

“It’s not good enough to simply say we will ask a study to look at options in the future. We need real tangible change and improvement now. Otherwise the whole West of Edinburgh will grind to a halt.”

“The city and government have always been very good at marking out plots of land for housing. They have been terrible when it comes to building sustainable communities and that’s a big difference.”

The council said committee approval would be required for the next stage of the project to go ahead.

Depute council leader Cammy Day said: “West Edinburgh has huge potential for growth and is an area of strategic importance for the city and Scotland as a whole.

“As we go into the CityPlan 2030 process we need to have a plan that all partners have been engaged in and are happy with.

“We will shortly be announcing the preferred bidder whose role it will be to put together high level options for West Edinburgh following detailed discussions with landowners and other interested parties in the area.”