The full council meeting on 28 April 2011 will debate a motion proposed by Councillors Hinds and Whyte about Inverleith Park. Prior to the meeting at 9 am, there is to be a demonstration by those campaigning to save the park, and a deputation will speak at the meeting when they will have the usual ten minutes to explain their cause to the council.
The motion reads as follows:- “Council notes the deep concern of the local community regarding the proposed disposal of the depot site within Inverleith Park. Council therefore instructs the Director of City Development to report to the Policy and Strategy Committee setting out the current position with regard to the proposal to dispose of the site; the Planning status of the land and the details of any community consultation undertaken or planned on this proposal.”
A petition to Save Inverleith Park has attracted 8,000 signatures, and is to be handed over to the Council at this meeting too. As well as the petition, The Save Inverleith Park Facebook campaign now has almost 3,000 fans, so it is obvious from all of this that people are fighting hard to retain the park as it is.
According to the group, who are trying to stop the council selling the land, the Council aim to sell off part of the park, which is considered redundant, for housing. They have also said that the Council does not consider the area as truly a part of the park.
The group explained the history of Inverleith Park on Facebook:-“It (Inverleith Park) was bought by the then Edinburgh Corporation in 1889 from the Rocheid Estate for £33,500. It was the home farm for Inverleith House acquired by the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1877. The 3 acres the the Economic Development Department want to sell is around the old Inverleith Mains Farmhouse – which is still there – much altered.”
Some support has been forthcoming from the Aberdeen campaigners who are fighting the Council proposals to revamp Union Terrace Gardens, including an offer to hand over some placards which might be of use. True recycling!
There has been a fairly high profile campaign so far. The group organised a pop-up lighting event in the park in March to highlight their cause, and MSPs Sarah Boyack and Shirley-Anne Somerville have also thrown their political weight into the fight.