The new Caltongate proposals have been slammed by heritage groups for the inappropriate designs submitted by Allan Murray Architects.
Today's Scotsman article titled
details criticism of the plans from heritage bodies
The Cockburn Association and the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland.
The Cockburn Association published their response to the applications earlier this week on their website HERE
Unfortunately the period for submitting comments/objections on the councils website has now closed but details of the applications and supporting documents are still available to view on their PORTAL
You can still write to the Head of Planning, the planning officers and your councillors raising concerns about the Caltongate proposals however they will declare your objections as being 'late'!
Its clear from recent comments on social media about the Caltongate site that many feel it is an area in need of development but that these plans are not nearly good enough for this important site and the speculative nature in no way provides reassurance that development on the ground will happen. The focus is on 'development uplift' and maintaining inflated land values for overseas investors.
The Council have sat back for 5years allowing the deterioration of publicly owned buildings (which community groups have repeatedly requested for use) through deliberate neglect by the previous developers Mountgrange and then Deloitte (administrators to the failed Mountgrange Caltongate company).
In 2010 the land sale to Mountgrange for Caltongate was reported as ILLEGAL
However in December 2011 Dave Anderson, as Head of City Development, recommended the council agree to a new off market offer for developers Artisan to acquire the public land and buildings (East Market St) at very favourable terms so they could deliver the approved but FAILED scheme.
A variety of community organisations had undertaken important research on the heritage of the area were already developing proposals for community led regeneration projects in the area, which would see the reuse of listed buildings and provision of much needed local services and facilities. The sale was highly criticised for being rushed at the time by all opposition parties to the then administration (Lib/SNP) but was voted through by a very slim majority only months before the Local council elections which saw many of its supporters loose their seats.
How will the new 'cooperative council' deliver community planning, democratic decision making and sustainable development to the Canongate while continuing to put the control of valuable public assets and land in the hands of overseas investors who are not accountable to the community?