Residents fight care home plans in conservation area

A protest sign at the site of the planned care home. Picture: Ian Rutherford
A protest sign at the site of the planned care home. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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ANGRY residents are battling plans to build a four-storey care home in the heart of a conservation area.

The proposals would see a spacious family home in Whitehouse Road, Cramond, demolished to make way for the 61-bed facility – which will boast its own library, cinema, spa, gym and landscaped gardens.

But campaigners insist the development would damage the conservation area, harm wildlife and leave the village’s roads and infrastructure struggling to cope.

They also argue there is no need for more care facilities in the area – with a 74-bed home already under construction around the corner and a further 90-bed home proposed on the nearby former Cramond Campus site.

Cramond is one of Edinburgh’s best-preserved villages and has been designated an “outstanding” conservation area by the Historic Building Council for Scotland.

Sally Watt of the Cramond Action Group – a community organisation set up to oppose the development – insisted the scheme “would affect both local residents and visitors”.

She added: “The proposal is inconsistent with the terms of the local design guidelines and the Conservation Area Character Appraisal.”

Andrew Mather, chairman of the Cramond and Barnton Community Council, added: “The development will not preserve or enhance the special character or appearance of the conservation area.

“Specifically, the scale of the development is considerably out of proportion with the local environment and other buildings in the area. Traffic issues on the road to Cramond Village and foreshore are also a major issue.”

Developers argue the care home plans, which have been lodged by Care Concern Group, would create around 90 full- and part-time jobs and represent an £8 million investment into the local economy, as well as creating between 40 and 45 construction jobs during the building phase.

It is understood the family home in Whitehouse Road that will be demolished as part of the scheme is currently lying empty.

A Care Concern spokesman said it was “well established that Edinburgh is under-provided in terms of care home provision”.

And he added a traffic assessment carried out by the company found “the development generates so little traffic that any additional impact would be negligible”.

He said the proposals would replace a building that was not listed with a “high-quality care home”, insisting the demolition of the family home “will not have a detrimental effect on the overall character of the conservation area at this location”.

He added: “The proposed care home has been designed to respect the character of the conservation area. The ecology report confirms that the proposed development would not affect any areas of ecological interest.”