‘Twisted’ Accies flyers reported to ad watchdog

Artist's impression of the Edinburgh Accies stadium development
Artist's impression of the Edinburgh Accies stadium development
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CAMPAIGNERS opposing plans to redevelop the grounds of Scotland’s oldest rugby club have been reported to the Advertising Standards 

Save Stockbridge has been fighting proposals by Edinburgh Academicals to build a 5000-spectator venue and up to nine new retail units.

Fraser Gillies

Fraser Gillies

The group distributed flyers on Saturday encouraging residents to make objections to Edinburgh City Council’s planning department.

But Accies player Fraser Gillies, 21, has now reported the literature to the ASA, claiming the leaflet contained factual inaccuracies.

He said: “My worry is it’s impossible to have a proper debate when the facts are being twisted and people are being misled.

“It’s no wonder Stockbridge residents are signing petitions on the basis of false 

Officials at the club have said the only way to provide the proper facilities and secure the club’s long-term future would be to generate income from the retail development.

Mr Gillies, a student who lives in the New Town, said: “The word ‘massive’ has been used to describe the size of the development.

“In no way is it ‘massive’ – it’s not even significant in planning terms. And in what way will the development negatively affect the look and feel of the area?

“The comments on the loss of amenity – what about sporting amenity? It’s dire.”

The flyer included a letter from the chairman of the Save Stockbridge campaign, Brian Thompson, in which he said the development would be “unnecessary, inappropriate and out of character with Stockbridge”.

Mr Thompson said it was “ridiculous” that the flyers had been sent to the ASA.

He added: “This is absolutely ridiculous. There’s nothing in that personal letter that is wrong or not factual. I’m perfectly happy with it and wouldn’t change anything.

“Apart from anything else it’s not an advert?

“I’ve had a lot of people e-mail me to congratulate me on the letter.”

Save Stockbridge spokesman John Donnelly said the group was not going to stop using the leaflet, adding: “A retail site of 19,000 feet in a conservation area is in our opinion ‘massive’. I would be very surprised if the ASA even considered this.”

The ASA was unable to comment.