CANONMILLS CAMPAIGNERS CALL IT A DAY
Organisers of the campaign to save 1-6 Canonmills Bridge (the former Earthy shop) issued a statement to supporters this morning.
It’s the end of the road. This particular battle is lost.
The news will come as a major disappointment for many. But this was still a valiant fight for local values and planning democracy, and locals involved can certainly take pride in their determination and resourcefulness.
They and some within the Council have learned a lot from the three-year struggle, and hopefully future campaigns elsewhere in the city will be all the stronger for it.
We reproduce the statement in full below.
1–6 Canonmills Bridge is now poised for demolition prior to the erection of a 4 storey development as per the existing unpopular planning permission.
Representatives from our group recently met new owner Andrew Peters (Melford Developments), and Craig Walker (Walker Homes), who purchased the site with full planning permission late last year and argue they cannot risk spending the next several years obtaining fresh permissions on new or revised plans.
Recognising the existing building would not be retained, our group had approached the Scottish Land Fund, hoping to create momentum for the integration of a small civic space and an extension to the Water of Leith walkway (in line with waterside development policy) as part of a revised development plan. Alas, there is no prospect of this being taken forward.
Thanks to everyone who supported the campaign over the past 3 years. We are just one of many controversial sites across Edinburgh that highlight the shortcomings of Edinburgh City Council planning and current planning policy – but one small corner that 1000s feel passionately about.
We created community and left no stone unturned in our efforts to undo the (now widely acknowledged) bad ELC planning decision of 2009. While we effectively persuaded the 2015 planning committee to overturn the earlier decision through exploiting a technicality and demonstrating public outrage, we were thwarted when the Scottish Government Reporter found in favour of the developers.
We have since challenged the Council on numerous irregularities in the planning process and urged them to revoke the original permission but, while even the Ombudsman recognises the legitimacy of aspects of our case, the development is certainly set to go ahead.
Sad times in the city …