Sunday, 26 October 2008

Credit Crunch biting in Edinburgh

The Independent Republic is full of jolly souls and we don't want to be like Cassandra of Greek Tragedy but we want to know what the city is planning for the recession.

We are being told that the average salary is reducing in Edinburgh and firms are cutting back on their staff particularly solicitors selling houses, builders and architects even award winning Malcolm Fraser had to let staff go in August according to reports in the Evening News.

Malcolm Fraser's design for Market Street/Jeffrey Street

What plans do the council have for the credit crunch or to be precise the recession that is coming? There is a plan to build up to 7000 new affordable homes see here but when will they get built? Affordable homes are what is needed in Edinburgh not empty luxury apartments as suggested by Mountgrange. It appears that Mountgange did not acquire the land on Calton Road where the affordable housing is to go meaning they are not working to their Section 75 agreement, to build 25% of social housing on the site. When will the affordable housing on Calton Road be built?

Meanwhile the Waterfront is not doing very well, the land has decreased from £32 million to £14 million in 6 years and the development won't be ready until 2023, one of the builders has gone bust and the developers can't sell the houses. What's the council's plan? To offer loans to those who find it difficult to get a mortgage and sell them a Waterfront home at a "fair price" (but if the houses are not "sellable" then they are not worth anything!). The council is also toying with removing Section 75s from developers so they do not have to build social housing, roads, infrastructure etc etc to encourage further development.

There's also worries that Edinburgh Airport might decrease because of the crisis' in the banks read here.

So with the Waterfront Development slowing down and Edinburgh Airport shrinking (if reports are to be believed) why are we having a tram from the Waterfront to the Airport at a cost of more that half a billion pounds???

We need a sustainable plan for Edinburgh - a plan that ensures that everyone has a home, access to schools that are not overcrowded, a transport system that does not grind to a halt and has a sustainable future to meet the needs of everyone in the need not just the rich and greedy. Is there anyone out there with such a plan?