Go to 18mins 58secs First Ministers Questions on Thursday 19th June 2008 to hear Independent Msp Margo Macdonald question the First Minister Alex Salmond on the Government`s decision this week not to call in the Caltongate Planning Applications, his answer was brief and he said the City Council are best placed to consider developments for the city....are they really, considering they entered into a questionable land deal ?
Remember this? Developers Funded Labour from 21st Feb 2008 in The Times from the article
"Links between the Labour Party and the developer of the controversial Caltongate project in Edinburgh have come under renewed scrutiny following the disclosure that the company, Mountgrange, made a £4,000 donation for a champagne reception at a Scottish Labour Party fund-raising dinner."
Now if it had to go to ministers because of the financial interest why oh why did the First Minister brush it aside so quickly when questioned by Margo Macdonald? Saying the council were best placed, its obvious they are not, and the only thing that matters to them is the money promised....this tawdry development the means they believe the only way to get it.
And remember this?
"The scheme will have to go before the Scottish parliament in any event, as the city council has a stake in the scheme. Mountgrange bought some council-owned land around the site it owned, a former bus garage, which was due to be developed. The council will receive a small share of the profits from the site. ‘It was done to make sure the council didn’t sell us short,’ says Berry. ‘It only has a passive involvement.’ "
"In October, eyebrows were also raised over the appointment of Donald Anderson, former council leader, as Scottish director of PPS, the public relations agency that is promoting Caltongate on behalf of Mountgrange."
This appeared in Property Week on the 14th March Full Article Here
Really does the whole thing not stink as much as an American Tycoon`s Toupee??
And let us not forget that developer Manish Chande is friends with Malcolm Cooper of Historic Scotland, that Manish Chande is the Property Portfolio boss in Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.
"Ron Hewitt, chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: "Meeting Malcolm and hearing his views has been a breath of fresh air.
and Caltongate Architect Malcolm Fraser even sings the praises of Malcolm Cooper "Malcolm is great because he puts himself around, he comes and sees people and he is interested in listening as well as talking."Historic Scotland has changed. The understanding of the value of heritage is evolving, and I welcome their readiness to enjoy good modern work." says Malcolm Fraser who is the architect of the controversial building for Jeffrey St, see below.
Full piece here Historic Scotland and Caltongate
My worries over Caltongate grow By MARGO MacDONALD
THE 2000 objections to the Caltongate development came from town planners, architects, people who live in the Old Town, elsewhere in the city and outside the Capital: a disparate group possibly only united in their pride in, and concern for, Edinburgh.
Full article here Evening News 20th Feb 2008