It seems that new plans are definitely being considered but they are still secret!
Lukas Nakos, who heads up both MAS plc and Artisan the company seeking to buy up council assets is quoted on Moneyweb saying
"We will be working in close partnership with the City of Edinburgh and local stakeholders to move forward quickly with development plans in 2012. Although a high-quality development, it will be less ambitious than originally conceived and will be well-attuned to the present economic climate,"
However to date the new developer has not approached any of the local stakeholders including the Old Town Community Council which he refers to in this interview
How on earth can the council agree to sell valuable public assets to a developer who wants to keep their development plans secret. Surely any decision to sell must be justified as being of benefit to the city and how can the benefits be assessed when no plans or projected timescales are provided.
SOOT and the Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust will be supporting the Old Town Community Council who intend to present a deputation tomorrow calling on Councillors to delay making any decision on the sale of land until a thorough assessment can be made of the developers proposed plans and predicted timescales for development and equal opportunity given to other interested parties to submit any alternative proposals.
This cart before the horse developer led planning is what caused Caltongate to fail so badly in planning and architectural terms, and what caused the deterioration and neglect of the area following Mountgrange going bust, as the council lost control over the use of assets.
For Council officers to rush approval of a unconditional discounted sale past councillors days before Christmas based on a very brief report which contains no confirmed details on the developer or the proposed development is hardly democratic decision making. The decision if taken now could also become a significant burden on any new Councillors or Administration elected in May (and could influence how people vote)
If the plans are to be reviewed or revived lets allow some mature open discussion with the community about how to insure this developer actually delivers more than a big hole!
SOOT have called for supporters to come along to the City Chambers tomorrow morning before the meeting which starts at 10am