Monday, 3 December 2007

You are invited to SOOTS Xmas Bash

Come to our party

Save Our Old Town Christmas Catch-Up The Canons' Gait Pub Canongate, The Royal Mile Saturday 15th December 2007 Free Nibbles and chat from 7.30pm 9pm to 1am Live Music from MISSING CAT, DRY BOAK, DAVE McGINTY

All are invited, come for a blether if you can't be bothered with the music - or you can stay for the music.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Man bites Dog - Developers greeting cause they cannae dae what they want

Crickey - you couldn't make it up. What a lot of nonsense Edinburgh would not be recognised by someone who hadn't been here for twenty years - Greenside, Leith, Tollcross, Quarter Mile, Morrison Street, Lothian Road, Fountain Bridge, South Gyle, Edinburgh Park, Kinning Park, Hermiston Gate etc etc etc etc (as the King of Siam would say)- development all over the place!! Edinburgh is a modern city and there is no point scare scaremongering over this. If there are developments to be done in the world heritage site then there have to be caveats, the Old Town and the New Town have always been evolving but we don't need to evolve into a steel and concrete monstrosity on the altar of the God of Profit, Greed and Modernity.

City fears strict planning rules will chase developers away


A MAJOR review of Edinburgh's planning regulations has been ordered in the wake of fears the capital risks losing out on major investment to Glasgow.

Jenny Dawe, the council leader, pledged to ensure the city's vast number of listed buildings and its array of conservation areas did not "inhibit" its development and economic growth.

Developers believe the city's UNESCO World Heritage status is used as an excuse for the amount of time it takes to deliver major schemes - and the protracted negotiations involved.

Officials have been asked to look at loosening restrictions, particularly in the World Heritage site, to help speed through big developments.

Now councillors are to get special training in the needs of developers and the importance of the city's economic growth in a bid to prevent major schemes being held up or blocked on the personal whims of councillors.

The council is under pressure from both sides over schemes such as the Caltongate development off the Royal Mile, the creation of a hotel in the Haymarket area and the city's waterfront.

Heritage groups have condemned the approval of a number of big schemes in the city in recent years, including the redevelopment of the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the building of a new hotel on the Lawnmarket, because of their scale and design.

However, the property sector believes the city compares poorly with Glasgow, which promotes itself as "the most developer-friendly city in the UK".

Ms Dawe announced the capital's response to a gathering of the city's business community.

"Edinburgh faces the unique planning challenges of our World Heritage status, the huge number of listed buildings and several very large conservation areas," she said. "I've asked officers to review the raft of guidelines to ensure these do not inhibit progress and development in Edinburgh.

"We need to strike the correct balance between encouraging desirable development and protecting what makes Edinburgh so special."

Ron Hewitt, the chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: "Manchester and Glasgow are both doing huge amounts of work to encourage development, and that's just not been happening in Edinburgh, where there's been a lack of vision and leadership.

"Glasgow is much more developer-friendly."

Cameron Stott, a director of the property firm Jones Lang LaSalle Edinburgh, said: "Edinburgh is a World Heritage site and we, quite rightly, must protect this status. However, there are plenty of examples around the world where a historic city embraces contemporary architecture and new development.

"If the new council does not encourage development, the city will not flourish."

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Environ gets pat on back for Caltongate

The Edie awards gave the Environ part of the Caltongate scheme an award - why I don't know, it doesn't exist yet, doesn't even have planning permission. The environmental part of the scheme is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry to fund geothermic energy for the 5 star hotel, luxury apartments and upmarket office blocks. Paid for by the tax payer however the "affordable social housing" just have to use bog standard electricity and gas and for it themselves!!

And why an environmental agency would give an award to an organisation that is knocking down use usable buildings for expensive ones that have a life span of 40 years at the most I really don't know. The building that are to be demolished are the stone Macrae tenements - 9 of which are council houses, the old sailors ark (listed building) and the Canongate Venture (listed sandstone Victorian School).

Environ do "environmental impact surveys" on projects such as dams in China and Cement factories in Nigeria - read their website they work for projects that may get into trouble or have "difficulties".

This is a PR exercise by Mountgrange who have obviously lobbied the relevant people and being punting themselves as "environmental" - I doubt the panel frequented itself with the facts, which is a shame really because we need more environmentalism not less.

Green award for Caltongate

Controversial Caltongate project has picked up a major "green" award.

Environ, an international environmental consultancy firm, scooped a top accolade at the "Edies" - the Awards for Environmental Excellence - for its work on the Caltongate project.

The project incorporates a ground source heating system and the judges were impressed by the scale of the development.

Among the runners-up were Edinburgh Council's new offices.