CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

GSR - 1,500 Housing Estate - Planning 6th Nov Deadline

(139 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by HankChief
  • Latest reply from HankChief

  1. HankChief
    Member

    Got some more details.

    The Green amendment included

    "

    i. a) No development shall take place until details of a pedestrian and cycle connection for the purpose of crossing the City Bypass between the application site and Edinburgh Park is submitted and approved by the Council as planning authority.
    b) The aforementioned connection shall be installed and operational prior to the occupation of the first residential unit forming part of this planning permission.
    Reason: To ensure satisfactory pedestrian and cycle connectivity to the city and public transport.
    ii. Details of a segregated cycleway running through the site between the Union Canal towpath and RBS at Gogarburn shall be submitted along with the first application for approval of matters
    specified in condition.
    Reason: To ensure safe commuting by cycle across the site.

    Informative

    LEGAL AGREEMENT: A construction traffic management plan that shall promote safety of pedestrians and cycles on Gogar Station Road by controlling traffic on it shall be submitted and approved by the Head of Planning and Transport."

    But was rejected.

    Lesley put in an amendment to reject the scheme based on the transport issues raised at the Subcommittee

    But was rejected.

    The overall vote was won 35-17

    Among the 17 voting to refuse were all Greens, both Lib Dems, 9 Labour, 1 independent and 1 Tory councillor. All SNP councillors voted in favour of the development.

    It may be that suitable conditions can be raised at the detailed planning stage, but it does feel like an opportunity missed.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. neddie
    Member

    Nuclear meltdown it is then...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. Greenroofer
    Member

    It's hugely disappointing. It's not as if we were asking for anything unreasonable or even objecting to the development per se. It would have been so easy to accept the two conditions we were asking for.

    This is one of those 'I won't believe this is a cycle-friendly city' moments. There was an opportunity to demonstrate it, and the council blew it.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. HankChief
    Member

    Greenroofer - listen to Lesley ' s speech - it will cheer you up.

    webcast

    Paraphrasing - designs are not good enough... come back with better ones... & why have a transport assessment if you're not going to enforce what it says.

    Unfortunately followed by Andrew Burns who feels that the condition of requiring to sign off a detailed masterplan would allow they to ensure everything was sorted before a spade hits the ground.

    Still working my way through the rest...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. Klaxon
    Member

    Wow, Lesley was furious. You can't make that presentation without really believing.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. crowriver
    Member

    This fiasco really doesn't bode well for a possible SNP controlled council next year.

    Based on a raft of policy issues, from transport, waste and recycling, education, to planning, I think my single transferable vote in May 2017 will be along the following lines:

    1 - Green
    2 - Labour
    3 - Lib Dem
    4 - Any independent I like the sound of.

    Er.....that's it. I refuse to give the SNP my vote at council level, they are behaving like the Tartan Tory stereotype...

    I suppose if you have Cameron Rose in your ward, you could consider putting him on the list of votes, but otherwise I can't think of any 'progressive' Tory councillors in Edinburgh.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    "I can't think of any 'progressive' Tory councillors in Edinburgh"

    Joanne Mowat is reasonably OK on active travel. Started cycling to City Chambers last year, don't know if she still does.

    Iain Whyte is the one who actually proposed a cycle hire scheme - not that it has happened!

    Hard to vote for CR if you believe Climate Change might affect Edinburgh.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. chdot
    Admin

    "

    CONTROVERSIAL plans by former Rangers owner Sir David Murray for 1320 homes, along with shops, a new primary school and community facilities on the edge of the Capital have been approved by councillors.

    The scheme is the first phase of the £1 billion Garden District for around 6000 homes on greenbelt land between the City Bypass and the RBS headquarters at Gogarburn

    "

    http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/first-phase-of-controversial-garden-district-gets-green-light-1-4144910

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    The Herald's story seems to have been back and forwards in Google Translate a few times.

    "In ratifying the latest decision made by the council’s powerful planing of last month, the council chose by majority to support the new development."

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    Well I listened to most of the webcast, with varying degrees of attention, last night.

    I hope someone somewhere is actually writing down key quotes - inc Ian Perry saying he/CEC wants to reduce car use.

    I was quite surprised that Andrew Burns was voting in favour.

    This morning my feeling/impression is that it is rather too much like the current EuroRef 'debate'.

    Free vote, so divisions within parties. It would have been surprising if the Green councillors weren't in agreement (not least because there aren't very many). All SNP councillors voting together is slightly strange, showing that they either represent a narrow range of views (which certainly isn't the case in the post-IndyRef SNP membership) or that that they willingly, or slavish, follow the SNP Gov's lines about 'presumptions for development'.

    There are three striking 'equivalents' with the EuroRef. One is population. The focus on "immigration" is (literally) polarised/divisive. In Edinburgh there has, to date, been an acceptance that 'Edinburgh must grow', 'it's inevitable/good for the economy'. 'Resistance' has mostly been local (NIMBY or otherwise) or 'save the Green Belt' (NIMBY or more principled). But, like "immigration", perhaps there is a need for more 'discussion' about how the increase in population in Edinburgh is to be facilitated - to avoid future resentment about it being 'imposed' and without too many negative consequences. If we are going to have this level of population increase/development how do we make sure it's in the right place, of good quality and with appropriate infrastructure etc? A city with much less green space and more traffic is not my idea of "progress". Of course yesterday some councillors were saying that this particular field was next to the bypass (is that were people want to live?) and is of 'little landscape value'.

    The second is "facts". Whatever the merits of this particular planning application, there are contrasting differences about what yesterday's decision means. There are those who seem to think that it means it's impossible (or at least harder) to stop similar developments and those who think it's all fine as this is just outline permission and that the "details" - especially transport links - have to be agreed first. In the real world of planning/development and developer appeals to the Scottish Government, this seems either naive or disingenuous. The fact that the "facts" are so disputable is unfortunate.

    The third is 'control'. Brexiteers want out of the EU so that decision are made in Westminster/Holyrood. Ignoring such things as decisions by multinational companies, oil price fixers and "the market", there are obviously whole areas where it can be argued that decisions are (often) not taken locally enough or hampered by decisions/directives of the next layer up.

    The Scottish Government has made rules about the number of houses Edinburgh has to build. Edinburgh has to deal with it, though as various councillors pointed out yesterday CEC has already granted planning permission for enough units. It's just that they are not in the fashionable/easy to build on bits of Edinburgh.

    It was also suggested yesterday (at the full meeting of the City of Edinburgh's council, where the residents of the City's representatives make important decisions) that the 'housing need' was primarily for young single people and older people/couples. Which is not who this development is primarily for - though I think this "need" was about the demand for social housing, which isn't necessarily the same thing in terms of housing demographics.

    So population, housing, Green Belt etc. etc. - not just about Transport (with or without bikes)!

    Bearing in mind that (apparently) the officials' recommendation for refusal was stronger than any some councillors had seen before, is the system/process fit for purpose?

    Is there any actual 'agreed' view on what is 'best' for Edinburgh? Especially when (as pointed out by Lesley Hinds and others) that this decision went against the Local Plan - developed in consultation with many people - and various CEC policies.

    Any discussions with Spokes and Living Streets and the developers is likely to be rather one-sided. One side has the money (presumably) and the desire to make more plus the backing of a majority of councillors.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    "

    MSP has criticised councillors for going against officials to back a controversial £1bn new village on Edinburgh greenbelt.

    Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, urged Edinburgh City Council to reverse that decision and ultimately reject Sir David Murray's proposals for 1,350 homes on greenbelt land between the City Bypass and Gogar Station Road.

    "

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14499000.Green_MSP__Sir_David_Murray_s_new___1bn_village_will__chew_up_precious_greenbelt_/

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. chdot
    Admin

    Perhaps the Scottish Government will call it in...

    (Or give money for a community buyout!)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    There are a tonne of issues here, all intermingled. The question is - who benefits from this decision?

    The main benefactor seems to be the owner of the land. Companies badged as 'house builders' in the UK are actually land speculators for the most part. If you can acquire land without planning permission and sell it with planning permission and the highest density of stand-alone houses possible then you get very rich. Andy Wightman has written extensively on this subject. He recommends land value tax so that value generated by the decisions of public bodies remains in the public realm.

    The classic example of this is the Borders Railway, where the value of neighbouring land suddenly increased as a result of public investment, implicitly transferring resources from all taxpayers to some landowners.

    As long as houses are seen by developers as a means to crystalise land speculation profits and by buyers as a financial investment rather than a shelter and a place to be happy we'll get weird decisions.

    I'd have thought the rational decision was to push employment and housing away from Edinburgh to other parts of Scotland and to build good quality flats on Edinburgh's brown field sites like Granton but what do I know?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. Klaxon
    Member

    Surely the location is actually quite good?

    Edinburgh Park and Gogarburn both post date the building of South Gyle/Gogarloch (late 80s) and since then there's been no new housing. Once this scheme is built the white collar high flyers in RBS, Diageo, and all the rest can buy their suburban dream within walking distance of work.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. The Boy
    Member

    Yup. You can just see the sort of middle-class, suburb-dwellers who will be buying those homes walking through an underpass below the City Bypass on the way to/from work. Never mind after dark.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    "I'd have thought the rational decision was to push employment and housing away from Edinburgh to other parts of Scotland and to build good quality flats on Edinburgh's brown field sites like Granton but what do I know?"

    Indeed.

    This is where 'the market' and 'the government' either clash or collude.

    There might just be a class/status element to all this...

    Some jobs can be 'pushed' elsewhere - Amazon, Dunfermline. Others 'must' be in the big city.

    A detached house inches away from two other detached houses has higher status (with some people) than a tower with a sea view - much the same as car better than bus (bicycle does not compute).

    I presume part of the problem with the Waterfront is that no-one wants to admit the value of the land is now a fraction of what it was - and not likely to increase anytime soon (even if the tram miraculously appeared). I also assume that the inflated 'book value' is stuck with CEC or its arms-length companies(?)

    If/when there is another crash and/or white collar jobs are replaced by computers how many Edinburgh Park office blocks will be converted to housing. Could be a nice place to live. Great transport links! Right side of the bypass too.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. The Boy
    Member

    If I were king and had a *very* large sum of money, I would be ripping out Edinburgh Park and starting again to create a high-density, mixed-use town centre environment.

    Good transport links in and out both to commuter belt and the city centre, suburbs all around it within walking distance for those who want them, a university & college campus nearby, 'righht' side of the Bypass.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. Klaxon
    Member

    You can just see the sort of middle-class, suburb-dwellers who will be buying those homes walking through an underpass

    Why shouldn't they? People aren't fundamentally different and will take the route of least resistance. Particularly if the route is nice - underpass notwithstanding. None of the offices on either side will be more than a mile from the furthest point on the estate.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. chdot
    Admin

    "Why shouldn't they? People aren't fundamentally different and will take the route of least resistance. Particularly if the route is nice - underpass notwithstanding"

    I mostly agree with that, part of the issue here is the degree to which that is actively encouraged and (perhaps more importantly) how much 'car is normal' is challenged/discouraged.

    Presume there will be no restriction on car ownership? Restricting car use merely by the extra congestion on the nearby roads isn't enough.

    Things are changing (a bit). Before the Infirmary moved, some people drove there from Marchmont! The Meadows are far more attractive than any underpass.

    (For those who have never been to E Park the 'underpass' is not like most others - it's on the same level as either side with the bypass high above.)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. acsimpson
    Member

    Did they decide where to put the Leith Street bridge? It could make one half of a pedestrian crossing over the ring road at Gogar roundabout.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. The Boy
    Member

    @Klaxon, the same reason people choose the car over walking in other, more pedestrian friendly environments.

    The suburban dream involves a car (well, a minimum of two cars nowadays), and that is what is being sold here.

    Unless i've misread the plans, one of the undepasses can be found here:

    https://goo.gl/maps/LeDTNjvV5JD2

    the other here:

    https://goo.gl/maps/19QdZgCqqLM2

    the former will be busy with traffic, the latter is the sort of place one goes to be relieved of one's belongings. And that is before you consider that walking around that area at rush hour is, to be blunt, a bloody horrible experience.

    Plus it's really very windy round there - which, as cyclists, we all know causes human flesh to necrotize.

    edit: and there appears to be very little in the way of local amenities to be built, so a reliance on the car is already designed into the development.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. PS
    Member

    As far as I can tell, the problem in Edinburgh isn't the shortage of land for development, it's the unwillingness of developers to develop the land they actually have...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

    @ The Boy, yes those are the underpasses.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. chdot
    Admin

    If you think this development is good or bad check the 'bigger picture' -

    http://www.edinburghsgardendistrict.co.uk/downloads/brochure.pdf

    From above

    "

    Residents will have a real opportunity to lead more sustainable lifestyles, with most of their needs within walking or cycling distance.

    "

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. chdot
    Admin

  26. "the former will be busy with traffic, the latter is the sort of place one goes to be relieved of one's belongings. And that is before you consider that walking around that area at rush hour is, to be blunt, a bloody horrible experience.

    Plus it's really very windy round there - which, as cyclists, we all know causes human flesh to necrotize."

    The latter I use all the time to lengthen my commute. Apart from some tagging it doesn't really fill me with dread, and I've never noticed a horrific wind... (the worst wind, in my cycling to and from EP, is along the cycle path alongside the tram tracks* (*save where it's not along the tram tracks, see threads passim).

    But chdot is right, even living that close there will be a certain number who still drive. On a Saturday and/or Sunday morning I walk round to our local shop, less than half a mile, on a quiet morning, in quiet residential streets, and have seen neighbours driving there. By the time they've sorted themselves into the car, parked, locked up, unlocked, got back in, turned the car around, and parked back in their drive, I'm actually quicker by foot...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. chrisfl
    Member

    Another view of one of the underpasses, I either turned my camera off or it ran out of battery before I went through... https://www.mapillary.com/map/im/ikBIDoVgL3QfZrvhOdPGkg/photo

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. kaputnik
    Moderator

    and since then there's been no new housing

    there's a wedge gone in at the back of the new Forrester / St. Augustine school (Persimmon Homes), and the old S&N bottling plant site is currently being covered in flats by Barratt. Both developments are c. 200 2/3/4-bed properties, with the emphasis on the smaller ones.

    There's still a lot of vacant land in the Edinburgh Park site that's never been developed. My preference is to creeping in/fill of smaller plots of vacant land and brownfield sites such as this, not a big bang miniature Milton Keynes bolted on to the wrong side of the motorways and public transport.


    As far as I can tell, the problem in Edinburgh isn't the shortage of land for development, it's the unwillingness of developers to develop the land they actually have...

    Indeed. The land around Western Harbour and Granton Harbour is all owned by property developers and lots of it even has planning permissions already. But you can't force the landowners to develop, particularly when sitting on it tax free (as undeveloped land is rated), held in an offshore tax-haven (by parties unknown) will generate a bumper profit if you release it for development at just the sweet spot in the market.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. Calum
    Member

    Not surprised at the SNP lining up to support it. Their selection processes screen out the capacity for independent thought and they are no friends of the environment.

    Big fan of Lesley Hinds' contribution. I agree with Klaxon, she really did seem furious. It'll be a real shame if she loses her seat next year.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  30. Klaxon
    Member

    Just remembered we already have a Greenbelt breaching garden district linked to the rest of civilisation by only two underpasses

    It's not what one would describe as 'active travel friendly'

    Posted 3 years ago #

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