Caltongate test of city’s resolve on sustainability”, says Green MSP

The controversial Caltongate development will be a crucial test of Edinburgh’s commitment to a sustainable city, according to Green MSP, Robin Harper.

Ahead of a special planning meeting tomorrow (6 February) the Lothians MSP is urging the city to think about the overall impact the development will have. (1)

Lothians MSP Robin Harper said:

“The current proposals for the Canongate and New Street remain unacceptable to the local community, as well as both architecturally and environmentally irresponsible.

“Good quality existing homes and workplaces would be demolished, and the proposed replacement is well below the standard we should be setting for the heart of the capital. The site of the old bus depot does indeed to be developed, but the City should use it as an opportunity to meet local needs for affordable housing and workspaces where local businesses can flourish.

“Instead Mountgrange want to knock down high quality existing buildings to put up a five star hotel, dependent on jet-setting international tourism. That’s not a sustainable basis for Edinburgh’s economy in the longer term, nor is it compatible with the city’s hard-won World Heritage status.

“The current Caltongate proposals would reshape the city’s historic old town for a century or more. During that time Edinburgh, like Scotland’s other towns and cities, will need to make dramatic changes to its carbon footprint. This week’s decision therefore will be a crucial test of the capital’s resolve on sustainability.

“The local residents have run a dogged and determined campaign against this scheme, and as a result the eyes of the world are on Edinburgh for this decision. A key part of the city’s future hangs in the balance this week, and I hope the community gets the result it deserves.”

Notes to Editor

1. The City of Edinburgh Council Development Management Sub-Committe of the Planning Committee meets in special session this Wednesday (6 February) to discuss the Caltongate planning application. Cllr Steve Burgess, one of the three Green councillors in Edinburgh, sits on the Committee.