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"Pressure on green belt as 10,000 homes to be built"

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  1. chdot
    Admin

    “Agree with crowriver”

    I’ve given up trying to work out where the ‘problem’ starts.

    Undoubtedly the economic success of Edinburgh (partly based on it being a nice place) has meant more people want to live in the city (or nearby, with well known transport consequences).

    “The Council” (CEC) is a mix of councillors, doing what they may think is in the interest of ‘their voters’, ‘the City’ or ‘the economy’ and officials dealing with all that plus developers and Government desires, directives and laws.

    The developers of course want to make money and to do that have to produce things that people buy.

    The extent to which ‘we build what people want’ is overstating is hard to calculate.

    Building on “anonymous farmland” is generally easier and more profitable (especially if the developer has owned or optioned the land for many years).

    There can be little doubt that many people do want a detatched multi-bedroomed box (or the slightly cheaper semi).

    Developers do their best to minimise the amount they pay for’externals’ like schools, road junctions, pedestrian crossing and active travel routes (congestion costs etc are unlikely to be calculated by anyone in the whole process). They say (truthfully) ‘if we pay for all those things our houses would be more expensive’.

    Whether that would mean slower sales or just fewer ‘affordable’ houses is uncertain.

    So markets, politics, aspirations etc.

    But certainly no apparent joined-up policies on student numbers, tourists and consequent accommodation requirements and knock-on problems.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  2. mgj
    Member

    Ultimately it might require an honest discussion about the city, the people who live here and their aspirations, and the existence of physical limits to growth. An honest green party actually concerned about the environment rather than picking up votes might be a start.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  3. neddie
    Member

    Most families in the UK aspire to live in the suburbs because that's all they can think of, all that's on offer and what they have grown up with.

    Half the problem with this country is lack of imagination.

    In downtown Vancouver they have built urban mid-rise high-density living areas that attract families. And it works!

    The closest parallel I can see in Edinburgh is where families are coming back to close-to-city-centre tenements that are close to good schools e.g. Gillespies, Broughton, etc. But that is not new-build. That is what was (well) designed at the turn of the 19thC.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  4. crowriver
    Member

    "An honest green party actually concerned about the environment rather than picking up votes might be a start."

    ?

    As opposed to SNP or Conservative approach which seems to be "more roads + more houses = good for city /economy"?

    Posted 4 months ago #
  5. crowriver
    Member

    "Half the problem with this country is lack of imagination."

    Yes. See also status anxiety for the other half.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  6. mgj
    Member

    A green party prepared to say that for the environment more people doing and having more things is not sustainable. If we want more people, we have to have less each. That GDP can rise but not per capita GDP. And that maybe we should focus on happiness. Fewer of us living healthier, more productive lives, sustainably. But that wouldn't fit with a desire to be nice to economic migrants, or gain votes from those with status anxiety. So the watermelon party lives on, merely as the least bad. And the Government's purpose is to be nice as it delivers sustainable and inclusive economic growth, as if that is somehow a good.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    “And the Government's purpose is to be nice as it delivers sustainable and inclusive economic growth, as if that is somehow a good.”

    Or if it is actually possible (the sustainable bit, and probably the rest).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  8. crowriver
    Member

    "sustainable and inclusive economic growth"

    Oxymoronic.

    "A green party prepared to say that for the environment more people doing and having more things is not sustainable."

    Greens have been saying this for years. Unfortunately that's not what (most) people want to hear (or at least most people who vote). Most people seem to want "the status quo" in various forms, or at least some arrangement that doesn't threaten their livelihoods, investments, interests and lifestyles. Which is perhaps understandable, but tends to work against any form of radical or even gradual change at political level. JK Galbraith sums up the problem and attitudes very well in 'The Culture Of Contentment' which is still relevant today despite being published in 1992.

    The reality of course is that the economy and society have changed markedly since the end of WW2, but that's been largely to do with "growth" and "globalisation", forces which have led to entire industries relocating to different countries around the world, and different industries (mainly "services") replacing them. Politicians can do things to push the economy in various directions through policy and regulation, but they have to want to do those things. Which means, in a democracy, getting elected to do those things. Which means voters have to want those things to happen.

    If you vote for the SNP, Conservatives, Lib Dems or even Labour most of the things needed to make the economy properly sustainable are not going to happen. Just some "easy wins" (e.g. wind power investment and closing coal fired power stations) or minor tinkering (e.g. a few bawbies for active travel while spending billions on new roads).

    The fact that the SNP and the Conservatives currently run our two arms of central government (albeit minorities both) seems to indicate that the largest group of voters isn't interested in these issues and has other priorities (e.g leaving the UK or leaving the EU respectively).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  9. chdot
    Admin

    “Unfortunately that's not what (most) people want to hear (or at least most people who vote). Most people seem to want "the status quo" in various forms, or at least some arrangement that doesn't threaten their livelihoods, investments, interests and lifestyles.”

    Pretty much.

    Which is why things like ActiveTravel (and campaigning for better) are actually important even though they seem irrelevant to most people - or even regarded as ‘hostile’ to their settled way of life.

    Shows that things can be done - though it usually takes an absurd amount of ‘free’ effort to make the smallest changes - and helps if they are not resisted by too many status quo interests.

    Also, probably more important, good schemes might actually impress (some) people who might ask for more.

    Eventually the changes become the status quo (maybe).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  10. mgj
    Member

    I must have missed the part of the last green manifesto that talked about population limits. And how that could be managed without immigration controls. They are too busy virtue signalling to be honest about what it would take to be sustainable.

    Meanwhile the SNP make a lot of the CO2 cuts in Scotland on their watch, caused by a fertilizer factory moving to Ireland and a coal fired power station closing, neither of which had anything to do with government.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  11. crowriver
    Member

    "the part of the last green manifesto that talked about population limits. And how that could be managed without immigration controls. "

    Hm. Bogus Malthusian overpopulation apocalypse mongering and anti-immigrant rhetoric has been largely debunked. Might have formed part of the original Ecology Party platform back in the 1970s.

    It's not about numbers of people per se, but how much we consume. It's the capitalist system that destroys the planet, not necessarily human activity.

    Though the whole theory of the Anthropocene would tend to imply that political action is, effectively meaningless. In other words, if you follow that to its logical conclusion, it's already too late. Humans have passed the tipping point sometime in the last century and are on course to destroy the planet, and this is beyond the ability of individual actors such as governments or corporations to control. In other words, we'll be extinct within 200 years or so so what the hey.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  12. crowriver
    Member

    "Meanwhile the SNP make a lot of the CO2 cuts in Scotland on their watch, caused by a fertilizer factory moving to Ireland and a coal fired power station closing, neither of which had anything to do with government."

    True, and the rest of the CO2 reduction was down to closing heavy industry such as Ravenscraig.

    Posted 4 months ago #
  13. neddie
    Member

    It's not about numbers of people per se, but how much we consume.

    Indeed. If everyone stopped eating meat, stopped driving, lived/worked/shopped in walkable-neighbourhoods, stopped buying plastic junk and only flew once in a blue moon, the planet could almost certainly support the population.

    a coal fired power station closing

    But how were energy suppliers able to close it? By it becoming economically unviable due to having to pay for carbon emissions & competition from renewables (which ScotGov invested in).

    Posted 4 months ago #
  14. chdot
    Admin

    A 3,000-signature petition opposing development was presented to Holyrood in March when Mr Simpson led a debate calling for the greenbelt to be saved.

    Labour leader Richard Leonard spoke out against the plans ,but the SNP’s Alex Neil did not take part, having previously said “we need all the investment and jobs we can get”.

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/msp-urges-graeme-souness-to-reconsider-greenbelt-housing-plan-1-4762394

    Posted 4 months ago #
  15. chdot
    Admin

    The number of households in Midlothian is projected to rise by 36 per cent by 2041, while Edinburgh and East Lothian will increase by 26 per cent and West Lothian by 21 per cent compared with the all-Scotland figure of just 13 per cent.

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/business/new-figures-suggest-edinburgh-s-population-set-to-rise-rapidly-1-4767549

    Posted 4 months ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

  17. Snowy
    Member

    Home-builders-say-we-need-even-more-homes shock?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

    People without homes could benefit from more houses, but whether the right sort are being built in the right places are different matters...

    Posted 3 months ago #
  19. gembo
    Member

    Home building strongly correlated with divorce rate? Otherwise who lives in All these new houses?

    Posted 3 months ago #
  20. paulmilne
    Member

    What we desperately need are rent-controlled council houses. Another miserable legacy of the Thatcher years.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  21. chdot
    Admin

    “What we desperately need are rent-controlled council houses.“

    And also that “affordable houses” is basically a lie, plus that housing associations are, generally, not the solution they once were.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

    It’s going to mean controversy, a lot of controversy. Mass new developments will transform existing communities, changing their nature forever. Adding so many new homes into the supply chain will impact on house prices which, depending where you are sitting, could be good or bad.

    But this needs to happen. Edinburgh has to grow and we desperately need more affordable housing to avoid pricing a generation out of ever owning their own home.

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/leader-comment-saying-no-to-new-homes-in-edinburgh-is-not-an-option-1-4773588

    Posted 3 months ago #
  23. crowriver
    Member

    "Mass new developments will transform existing communities, changing their nature forever. "

    Already happening in areas near the city centre. See Abbeyhill, Fountainbridge, Leith Walk, Meadowbank. Hundreds of new homes recently built, or nearing completion.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  24. chdot
    Admin

    According to Living Streets Scotland, new housing developments were “leaving Scots car sick”. It pointed out that a third of households in Scotland don’t own a car, and has demanded simple, low-cost measures from developers, such as better footpaths.

    https://theferret.scot/housing-estates-walkers-cars

    Posted 3 months ago #
  25. chdot
    Admin

  26. chdot
    Admin

    Colinton and Fairmilehead Cllr Scott Arthur welcomed the decision.

    He said: “I am delighted for the local community that the plan to destroy our greenbelt near Winton has again been rejected.

    “In this most recent attempt to make an easy profit, the developer has shown a complete disregard for local democracy, historical sites and the environment.”

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/developer-defeated-in-bid-for-86-new-homes-at-edinburgh-green-belt-site-1-4776558

    Posted 3 months ago #
  27. chdot
    Admin

    Proposals to build more than 100 student flats next to the Water of Leith have been approved – despite a councillor claiming that it would contribute to “the death of the greenbelt by 1,000 cuts”.

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/our-region/edinburgh/water-of-leith-student-flats-given-go-ahead-1-4777958

    Posted 3 months ago #
  28. chdot
    Admin

    “We desperately need planning reform because, as planning laws stand, there’s no incentive for developers to give up a fight because they’re only too aware that communities have zero rights of appeal,” she said.

    https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/fife/731737/fife-villagers-stuck-in-groundhog-day-campaign-against-housing-developers-says-mp/

    Posted 1 month ago #
  29. chdot
    Admin

  30. chdot
    Admin

    Soaring?

    But the review proposes parts of Currie Primary’s catchment area including part of Lanark Road West, Kirkgate and Blinkbonny and the new housing development at Kinleith Mills, would transfer to Nether Currie, while the Dalmahoy, Cherry Tree and Newmills areas would be switched to Dean Park. No existing pupils would have to move to a different school.

    ...

    Cllr Webber pointed out that in 2007 Curriehill and Riccarton primaries were merged to become Currie Primary School because of declining rolls. Councillors agree to investigate impact of P1 assessments “Eleven years later, schools are bursting at the seams. Whatever decision is made it needs to be future-proofed and be mindful of the increasing pressures. Let’s make sure we are making the right decision and looking forward so people don’t have to go through this again.”

    https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/education/soaring-birth-rate-in-currie-sparks-review-of-edinburgh-school-catchment-areas-1-4821133

    Posted 2 weeks ago #

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