Wednesday, 13 March 2013

New Plans or Old consents?

There was some excitement today when the Evening News revealed a glimpse of the new plans which New St developers, Artisan REI, will be displaying to the public tomorrow. At first glance it looks like the new plans may have taken account of the criticisms of UNESCO and others over the needless demolition of listed buildings.

The developers exhibition will be held 

at Canongate Venture, New St

THURSDAY 14th    11am - 8pm
SATURDAY 16th    10am-12.30

 The new plans have been kept secret by the development team  until tomorrow to ensure 'all stakeholders have an equal opportunity to see them' and therefore were not available to the Old Town Community Council for their meeting on Monday despite requests from various heritage and community groups.
However, it now appears that demolition of Canongate Venture may no longer be required.

It has been suggested that the new plans will see the Malcom Fraser building on Jeffrey St,  another of the consents which caused great concern to community and heritage groups, now dropped from the development.

This begs the question WHY DO WE NEED TO RENEW ALL THE OLD PLANS? As most of the original consents do not expire until October it should be possible to agree revised proposals to replace them within the next 6months, or is it the developers real intention to pick and choose elements from both schemes, or worse.

Many who attended the meeting were deeply concerned that the applications to renew all the original consents are to be considered next week at Committee and that the consents for demolitions in particular were no longer justified.
It is hoped that Councillors on the Planning committee will give serious consideration to deputations from heritage and community groups and refuse the applications to remove conditions and extend the life of the failed old plans.
The planning recommendations are not available yet but with a hearing scheduled for 20th March the Development Management Committee papers/agenda/reports etc should be available from CEC website by Friday

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