Wednesday, 25 September 2013

New Caltongate Plans

For those of you still struggling to view plans of the new proposals here are some images produced by the development team to demonstrate the 'quality' of design and 'placemaking' however they do more to illustrate 
what's wrong with the plans!

First up The new Ark hotel from New St


the hotel will retain the Canongate fa├žade of the Ark but will rebuild the whole plot for hotel use including the 18 homes which have been left vacant for over 5 years, and create a huge hole for pedestrian (?) access.


The back of the hotel will have another entrance from the new public (but privately owned and managed) square and is a large bland 6 storey block overshadowing the new public square. World (heritage) class hotel or poor design?


18 homes will be lost (half of which are council stock) No housing (either replacement or new) will be included in the Southern Site any more as the developers claim suitable and sufficient housing is already approved elsewhere.



The private housing and social housing that developers refer to in the plans are NOT part of the new applications. There is no guarantee they will ever be delivered and they cannot be 'claimed' as benefits of the applications now being considered.

approved private housing block
private housing courtyard
Social housing at Calton Road
The private housing approved lies to the east of the public square will have a courtyard with shops and bars. Social housing is approved for 1 and 2 bed only with no amenities at Calton Road. 

Back to what the plans DO include!

Canongate Venture is no longer proposed for total demolition but plans indicate the redevelopment of this building will include some demolitions and is proposed for licensed and conference uses with new glass box extensions to the front and rear. Is this really the best design they can imagine?


Canongate Venture with hotel development over playground
No community/workshop/affordable business use is included to replace that lost in Canongate Venture.


Cranston St will no longer be realigned but the common good land and Canongate Venture playground will now be developed for 2 x 6 story hotels

This common good land is home to an old market building in council use as a garage and was previously approved for offices AND a small social housing development.

The new plans for the Arches on Jeffrey St will cover them up with a Glass wall providing unspecified 'leisure' uses with bars restaurants and cafes. 


Although the building does not extend above Jeffrey St and provides a 'viewing platform' and kiosk cafe at street level this part of the development will result in the loss of usable public space on Cranston Street which is sheltered sunny and animated with trees and obscure the Listed arches and elegant curve of the street.


The impact of all these developments on the character, quality and authenticity of the World Heritage site is significant and hugely damaging and will be seen form all angles. The scale of the changes can clearly be seen from Calton Hill!



YOU ONLY HAVE A FEW DAYS LEFT TO COMMENT ON THESE PLANS

Log on to Edinburgh Council website to comment

 HERE

or write to
David Leslie (Head of Planning) and Jennifer Paton (Case Officer)
at
City of Edinburgh Council
Waverley Court
East Market St

MAKING SURE YOU INCLUDE THE PLANNING APPLICATION REFERENCE 13/03407/FUL
or email
d.leslie@edinburgh.gov.uk AND jennifer.paton@edinburgh.gov.uk

STILL NOT SURE WHAT TO WRITE? - HERE IS AN EXAMPLE OF AN OBJECTION LETTER 

 
To.
Planning Service
City of Edinburgh Council
Waverley Court,
East Market St
Edinburgh

Dear Sirs

I wish to lodge an objection to Planning Application 13/03407/FUL and the associated Listed building and demolition applications which relate to this Major Planning Application Site and seek consent for

Redevelopment, demolitions and erection of new buildings for mixed commercial uses and hotels
at (Caltongate) Southern Site, Canongate/New Street, East Market St and Cranston St

My reasons for objecting are; 

The proposed demolitions and partial demolitions do not comply with current Local and National environmental, heritage and sustainability policies, including Edinburgh Local Plan Environment Policies Env 1, Env 2, Env 3, Env 4, Env 5, Env 6, and Env 12.

The proposed developments are of a design standard that does not reflect or respect the historic location and do not comply with Edinburgh Local Plan Design Policies Des1, Des 3 and Des 6. 

The planned uses are not clear and the development will encourage increased antisocial behaviour, noise and nuscience to existing city centre residents which is not controlled through good planning.

The plans do not adress the needs or desires of the local community and will not provide for the long term sustainable regeneration of the city.

There is not development viability provided, the plans are purely speculative

  
OTHER REASONS YOU MIGHT INCLUDE in your letter - 
The proposed 'public' square will remain in private ownership and management, and as such does not improve the public realm.
The mix of uses as proposed will increase the excessive existing traffic and servicing pressures in the local area, causing unacceptable noise and pollution.
The design is ugly and uses too much glass
The housing to be demolished should be replaced within the Southern Site

REMEMBER use your own words/experience/opinions in your letter

Design, traffic impact, architectural quality, pollution, sustainability, employment and business opportunities, community facilities,the mix of uses and the impact on residents and other users are all MATERIAL issues for planning and can be included.

GET YOUR LETTER IN OR OBJECT ONLINE NOW
(we have now been advised the consultation WILL close on 1st OCTOBER)

It is a good idea to keep a copy of your objection and to copy your letter to your local councillors and MSP's  This is a historic site on their doorstep, it lies between  Parliament and the City Chambers and should demonstrate that new policies on placemaking and sustainability are viable and achievable.

You can find details of your elected representatives here

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