Monday, 4 February 2008

Edinburgh Needs You

From 9am

Come along and make the Planning Committee and others see that Caltongate is so wrong for Edinburghs` Old Town, and that they should not be voting to approve this inappropriate development.

What is needed is lots of people. As many at 9am as possible. We aim to have a presence all day until committee ends. Which will be until after 4pm. Come whenever you can, come and go throughout the day.

Bring along placards and banners, musical instruments, whistles etc. Be prepared for the weather, bring flasks of hot drinks, snacks and even a portable seat if you need to.

Do make your own banners/posters to put on or outside your windows from today. A clear message can then be seen all over the city, you don`t have to live in The Old Town. Its everyones Old Town and World Heritage Site.

You can print off a poster for your window at these link

Sigh the petiton at


If you wish to sit in on meeting - Report to main reception in city chambers quadrangle to pick up a visitors pass and to be directed to meeting.

Meeting is to run as follows Timings Approximate

10am Director of City Development Alan Henderson to present reports on applications and recommend that the committee approve them.
10.30am 8 bodies will give deputations (10 mins each ) against Caltongate
Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland
Canongate Community Forum
Cockburn Association
Old Town Association
Edinburgh World Heritage Trust
International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)
Old Town Community Council
Royal Park Terrace and spring Gardens Residents Association
12.05pm Representations in favour of applications by Visit Scotland/Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce
12.15pm Questions by committee to the deputatees and to the Director of City Development
1pm Presentation by applicant Manish Chande (Mountgrange Caltongate Developer)Then questions by committee to the applicant and director of City Development.
1.30pm Comments by Councillor Beckett as a local ward member
*************Break for Lunch*************

2.30pm Meeting Resumes - Debate and DECISION by the committee

With only two days until a decision is taken on the Caltongate Applications, the PR spin machine behind them is working overtime. Did you know that in a report published by property consultants Jones Lang LaSalle it shows the Capital is trailing other major European destinations in hotel provision – offering just a third of the number of rooms available in Prague and ten times fewer hotels than Paris.
Well the facts are that Paris is 1118 sq km, population 11.5 m, Prague 496 sq km, Population 1.2 million,whereas Edinburgh has only 259 sq km and only a population of 500,000 thousand!!! So that means Paris is just over 22 times more people and about 5 times as big so the amount of hotel space is probably right, unless every home is made into a hotel bedroom? So there is statistics, statistics and damn right lies. The full page advertisement for Caltongate courtesy of The EveningNews

Just for the record the Save Our Old Town campaign is not against having a hotel on the empty site. It is only against the knocking down of listed buildings and evicting residents from their homes in order that the hotel can have their frontage!

Graham Birse, deputy chief executive of Edinburgh's Chamber of Commerce, said the plans for the Caltongate scheme were "visionary and ambitious".He said: "The designs are contemporary, bold and complementary to a city which has always been constructed in the styles of its times.

Remember the Chamber are all pally with Manish Chande, they made him head of their Property Portfollio group.

Above Manish Chande Mountgrange Chief Exectutive, The Sailors Ark and part of the Macrae Tenements that would be lost for the above Caltongate Sofi Hotel.

"Edinburgh is crying out for more high-quality hotel space to boost our conference and tourism sector. It's therefore imperative this development is approved."Ben Carter, area director of VisitScotland, said the organisation would "support the development of a flagship hotel" in the Old Town.

Remember that former Leader of Edinburgh Council Donald Anderson was executive member for tourism, culture and sport, before being ousted from office.believes the hotel will create 300 jobs, as well as rejuvenating ‘one of the most tired areas of the city centre’ Now he is director of Mdevelopers Mountgranges infamous PR firm PPS Group.

Now also remember , GVA Grimley, Jones Lang LaSalle and Rettie & Co are advising Mountgrange.