Letters: Local residents are sidelined in growth of student flats

Is Edinburgh being sidelined in pursuit of student flats?
Is Edinburgh being sidelined in pursuit of student flats?
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Local residents are being sidelined in favour of the growth of student flats in the Capital. Do you agree?

Longstone Community Council was not against any redevelopment of the Westside Motors site in Slateford but had objected to the application for the construction of student flats which was approved by the Planning sub-committee on 1 August (News, 3 August).

A previous application, part of a wider proposal, by the same applicant, an unregistered company (Lanark Road Living Ltd), was narrowly refused by the sub-committee after a recommendation to refuse by the planning officers.

In this latest case, in our objection we quoted the reasons for that earlier refusal as follows: The revised proposal remains of an inappropriate design, scale, massing and footprint and would represent an incongruous and overbearing feature within its setting and within the streetscape.’

In addition, as the planners noted, ‘the proposal is contrary to the non statutory Student Housing Guidance adopted February 2016 in that the proposal does not include an element of housing and fails to achieve a balance of land uses and to contribute to the housing land need.’

Despite the fact that those conclusions apply equally to the present application, it was granted permission. We do not understand why. We also thought it an inappropriate location for student flats, of which there are already too many in Edinburgh.

Steuart Campbell, Secretary, Longstone Community Council, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh