Monday, 23 August 2010

New Masterplan for the Canongate?

Latest news today from The Scotsman indicates the Council have been busy looking for alternative developments for the East Market Street Site.
The latest plans which have not  been revealed to the public or community groups suggest the demolition of the former market building, described as "an eyesore garage" (which forms part of Edinburgh's Common Good assets and generated nearly 80,000 quid as a garage last year according to the Councils recently published Common Good Accounts). This will be replaced with some MORE offices and a small supermarket -another Tescos? despite one now planned for Holyrood Road.

It is disappointing the council are not making greater use of the research which has been undertaken by many local and heritage groups, including the outcomes from the Canongate Project, which demonstrate the need for more affordable, social and family housing for the area and the real need for affordable workspace for start up business and crafts/artists AND space for good local markets and shopping! If a new masterplan is to be drafted for the area it needs to be an open and inclusive process this time!
(and not pushed through proposals by a deluded committee)
 Whilst consent exists for the Mountgrange plans it is clear any rethink by the council of the public land on East Market St will impact on any new developer interested in buying the Hole in the Ground next door. In the meantime lets get the place productive again....fill the housing on the Canongate (even for temporary residencies) and relet the empty units in the Canongate Venture and bring in some income. Why not use the bond for an arts exhibition
The council have a very poor record in creating good architecture and development in the Waverley Valley but now have a chance to make good the promises to the community and demand the administrators cooperate in a temporary art scheme for the site and plans for a truely sustainable development in the Waverley Valley

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