Craighouse Campus Scheme 3 Proposal
Our aims state that we should:
- preserve the Easter Craiglockhart Hill Local Nature Reserve for the enjoyment of members of the public with special provision for the disabled
- conserve and enhance the wildlife value of the area and increase its biodiversity
- develop and improve the area
We have analysed the latest Craighouse proposals from this perspective.
We are pleased that:
- green space would increase as a result of the development
- there would be a net gain of 670 in the number of trees on the site, that a Forestry Consultant would be appointed and that there would be consultation with the local Tree officer
- substantial areas of land would be gifted to the Council to increase the area of the LNR
- a ‘dowry’ payment of £150,000 would be made to allow improvements on this land
- a ‘Community Park’ would be created with constitutional safeguards to ensure continued community access
- the orchard would be improved
- access through any of the existing entry points to the Craighouse campus would not be impeded and navigation across the site could be improved by the proposed network of paths on campus
- attention has been given to the protection of wildlife and biodiversity could be enhanced in the longer term (though there would be unavoidable adverse effects in the shorter term as a result of disturbance from building work)
We are concerned about:
- the visual impact from many viewpoints of the high storey buildings on the fringes of the campus which adjoin the land designated for transfer into the LNR
- the removal of mature trees in or adjacent to this gifted land to enhance views from these newbuild properties
- uncertainty over the timing of the land transfer and the payment of the ‘dowry’
- the adequacy of the ‘dowry’ payment given the need for substantial work to improve paths, repair walls and manage the woodlands
- planning ‘limbo’ which is already inhibiting improvement plans in the LNR
Taking into account the specific remit of FCWNT, the Committee chose, by a majority vote, not to submit an objection since we considered that the positive aspects of the Craighouse Partnership proposals outweighed the negative aspects and that attention had been given to the issues relevant to our remit. Some individual members have submitted objections based on concerns outwith our remit.
Taking into account the specific remit of FCWNT, the Committee chose, by a majority vote, to submit an objection on the grounds of the visual impact of the new buildings on the fringes of the campus site, their encroachment into areas of mazure woodland and the proposed felling of mature trees.
We will continue to monitor what happens and will try to influence outcomes in accordance with our remit.