Fresh fears over Haymarket development site

The firm say they remain committed.
The firm say they remain committed.
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CONTRACTORS tasked with transforming a prime location near Haymarket station have said they remain “fully committed” to the project despite fresh concern over work grinding to a halt.

The Morrison Street site – earmarked for a £200 million revamp by Edinburgh Haymarket Developments – was yesterday branded an “eyesore” amid claims there has been no sign of activity for several months.

It had been hoped the site’s first buildings would be completed by early 2017 but it is now thought construction may not begin until next year.

Alex McKinlay, manager of Morrison Street business Grove Bedding, said he had not seen anyone on the building site for months.

He said: “Everything seemed to be going quite well until a couple of months ago. There was lorry loads of earth going out and all of a sudden it came to a standstill.

“At one point they kept us up to date with a newsletter but since this has stopped that doesn’t happen.

“There’s absolutely no communication whatsoever – a lot of it is guesswork at the moment. It’s an eyesore.”

The scheme, which would see the arrival of a major new complex of offices, cafes, bars and restaurants, was previously hit by delays during efforts to strengthen underground tunnels.

But construction firm Interserve said work on the tunnels had now been completed “to the satisfaction of all parties”.

A spokesman said: “Following the completion of contract 1 in March, we continue to make progress and remain absolutely committed to the project.

“A PAN [Planning Advice Note] to cover material changes to the original design was lodged with City of Edinburgh Council earlier this month. We are working through the process to get this passed in a timely manner.

“We remain absolutely committed to the project and continue to make progress.”

A public exhibition is set to be held on November 30 at the Hilton Grosvenor Hotel to outline the proposed changes, details of which are yet to emerge.

John McLellan, economy spokesman for the city Tories, said it was in the interests of everyone in the Capital that work started as soon as possible.

He said: “Absolutely it’s a concern. Quite clearly it is in Edinburgh’s interest for a quick resolution to be found.

“It is in the city’s interest to get cracking with the whole regeneration of the entire area but it’s a market problem that’s not unique to Edinburgh.”

“Whatever problems the developer may have encountered we hope the development of the site can progress as quickly as possible.”