There was a triumph for the Save Inverleith Park Campaign this morning when the Policy and Strategy Committee agreed to a motion which ensured the land occupied by a Council depot at Inverleith Park would not now be sold off.
In what turned out to be at times a lively discussion, councillors debated amendments to a motion which overturned the ‘Council Depot at Inverleith’ Report before the committee which recommended no decision on the Inverleith depot sale meantime until the site could formally be declared as surplus.
Save Inverleith Park Campaign Convenor Tony Cook presented a deputation to the meeting. He first highlighted that the council depot was not a separate part of the park, before he went on to outline the series of events which led to housing plans being drawn up and the proposal for selling off the depot land being formulated. He asked the Council to retract the building plans, rezone the depot back to open space status and refocus on engaging with the community as to how the space could be used.
The motion put forward by the SNP/Liberal Democrat administration was unanimously approved subject only to the council undertaking to review the planning process about this area of the park. SNP Councillor Steve Cardownie vehemently stated :-“This is no fudge. This land will not be sold off to the private sector. This council is making the decision not to proceed with a potential sale.”
It was the outcome that the group had campaigned for. Fiona Houston from the Friends of Inverleith Park said prior to the meeting that they were “hoping to have the council throw out this plan. We want them to retract and put the park back to its original historic boundaries and change the designation on the piece of land that they’re trying to develop.”
She said that the response to the campaign has been great. “We’ve got so much support from the community. There are over 8,000 people who have signed a petition and everyone is universal in their condemnation of this crazy plan.”
Councillor Lesley Hinds who supported the protest before the meeting said:-“I am delighted that the Policy and Strategy Committee today agreed to stop the sale of the Parks Depot at Inverleith Park.Congratulations must go to the Save Inverleith Park group who campaigned very effectively to ensure the Lib Dem/SNP Council changed their minds on this sell off of public land. It goes to show that when local Councillors listen and work with their local community, changes can come about.”
Over 25 members of the Save Inverleith Park Campaign group gathered outside Edinburgh’s City Chambers this morning to demonstrate against the proposed Inverleith Park sell off before this morning’s Committee meeting.
The next meeting of the Policy and Strategy Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday 8 November 2011.