Hundreds expected at public meeting into Edinburgh Christmas Market controversy

Cockburn Association organise event at Central Hall in Tollcross

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 12:31 pm
The aftermath of Edinburgh's Christmas Market

MORE 750 people are expected to cram into a public meeting tonight to discuss whether Capital parks are being over-commodified.

Heritage campaigners at the Cockburn Association expect a capacity turn-out for their ‘City for Sale’ event at the Central Hall in Tollcross.

Organisers of the city’s Christmas Market came under fire after it turned Princes Street Gardens into a mud bath which will take more than three months to recover.

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“So many people have come forward and it’s certainly well beyond our expectations when we said we’d do this,” said Cockburn Association director Terry Levinthal.

Tonight’s meeting is expected to help shape the association’s comments on future applications for public events in parks as well as lobbying on planning protocol.

BBC presenter Stephen Jardine will facilitate the debate with contributors including leading academics.

This year’s Christmas Market sparked outrage when a huge ‘space deck’ was put up by the city council’s contractors Underbelly without planning permission.

The Evening News reported how council chiefs refused to release more than 600 emails relating to the controversy.

More than 2.6 million people visited the market, which was at East Princes Street Gardens for seven weeks - a clear-up is expected to take up to 14 weeks.

“I think it’s also this issue which has been coming to the fore certainly over the last year or several years,” added Mr Levinthal.

“It isn’t a minority view or one of organisations like the Cockburn Association or a few nimbies, it’s a much more universal set of concerns across the city.”

Entry is free to tonight’s event - doors open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start - but anyone planning to attend is asked to book.