Part of the 615 acres in West Edinburgh which are under the control of Murray Estates has now been approved for housing following a meeting at the City Chambers this afternoon.
The developer said that the vision will create a ‘wonderful new place for people to live’ and this area will provide over 1300 new houses. The council report had recommended refusal of the plans, and did mention the fact that the Local Development Plan is not yet approved.
There is still a possibility that, even though planning permission is approved for this piece of land, it could be overturned by the Reporter who is yet to pronounce on the Second draft Local Development Plan which is now at the examination stage. The decision on that is expected in June this year.
The scheme is all part of a large housing development with associated infrastructure, and the developers say that they have carefully planned the area to be a sustainable way of providing a world-class extension to the city. The development will include a contribution of over £10 million for a new primary school and a neighbourhood shopping centre.
The area is currently arable land and objections were made to the urbanisation of the west of Edinburgh, and the effect this will have on the already congested roads in the area.
Gogar Station Road and the tram stop at Gogarburn on the northern boundary, with South Gyle Railway Station and the tram stop at South Gyle are key to accessing public transport.
The whole site could accommodate 6,200 new family homes and of these 25% would be affordable. With so many houses planned, there would be six new villages formed.
Edinburgh Greens have reacted with dismay after the city’s planning committee voted – with the sole exception of the Green councillor present – to recommend the so-called “Garden District” for approval on a huge swathe of Greenbelt land.
Green planning spokesperson Cllr Nigel Bagshaw said: “Sticking the adjective, “garden” in front of a development neither makes it green nor in the city’s best interest.
“Edinburgh needs more housing: affordable housing in compact and well-serviced neighbourhoods, making use of existing brownfield sites. It absolutely does not need developments like this: suburban sprawl, Greenbelt-wrecking and with poor links to transport, walking and cycling.
“Presumably, this is why planning officers recommended refusal. The planning committee members who backed this scheme should hang their heads in shame.”
Local MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “This development has more merit than the terrible plans to include Cammo in LDP2.
“However, I’m not convinced that the resultant pressure on the A8 at Gogar, Scotland’s most polluted and congested stretch of road have been fully realised or that the views of local residents about the loss of green belt have been fully taken into account.”
There have been five public consultations undertaken in respect of the larger Garden District site. Balerno, Cramond and Barnton and Juniper Green Community Councils did not have any objection to the development. Currie Community Council did object on the grounds that the plans would infringe the Local Development Plan, that brownfield sites should be developed first and that the traffic report was not credible. Finally Ratho and District Community Council did not make any comment.
SEPA objected to the planning application on the grounds that there was a lack of information and they need more information to assess the flood risk.
There is a suite of photos of the area along with one of the objections here.