Incorporating Cramond, Barnton, Cammo & Quality Street (West)

Chair: Andrew Mather Secretary: Ian Williamson Planning Rep: Peter Scott
21 Inveralmond Drive 17 Cramond Village 86 Cammo Grove
Edinburgh EH4 6JX Edinburgh EH4 6NS Edinburgh EH4 8HD
Phone: 336 2336 Phone: 476 3897 Phone: 339 7839

Rick Finc Associates
3 Walker Street
Edinburgh EH3 7JY
22nd April 2016

Dear Rick


Please accept our gratitude to you and your colleagues for attending last night’s meeting of the Community Council and outlining aspects of the Craigiehall Village proposals, as developed at this early pre-application consultation stage. The following submission is based on views expressed by members of communities we represent, as expressed at your exhibitions, presentation and Q&A session at the Community Council meeting, and subsequent discussion at the meeting.

Positive comments have been made in respect of –
a. the clear presentation of the proposals, as so far developed, as made by the team verbally and on presentation boards at the Community Council’s meeting, public exhibitions and meeting of local community councils
b. the concept of a ‘village’ development, which could be partly self-supporting with community facilities, including shop, primary school, health facilities, and recreational open space
c. the inclusion of a Park-and-Ride facility and transport hub to promote use of public transport by residents of the proposed development
d. indications that the environmental qualities of the site will be retained wherever possible and that there are opportunities for strengthening the surrounding landscape features to enhance the limited landscape containment of parts of the site. Also, scope for enhancing and extending the River Almond Walkway (see below).

There remain serious concerns within the communities this Community Council represents in respect of –

i. scale of development – while we recognise that Hallam Land and its partners are seeking to maximise economic returns from this development, the Community Council is more concerned that the development should be of a scale and design that respects the landscape and environmental qualities of the site and its green belt status. Indeed, many within our community may wish to see a substantially more modest development focussing on the existing development around the MoD complex of Craigiehall House, rather than spreading up to 1200 houses across all developable land within the estate.
ii. incursions into the green belt – The River Almond forms a robust green belt boundary, as required by Scottish Planning Policy. In contrast, we do not accept statements made by RFA and others that the landscape around the periphery of this site will provide suitably robust replacement green belt boundaries.
Importantly, also, this Community Council is concerned that the development proposals for Craigiehall are another major encroachment on the green belt and landscapes of value (i.e. Craigiehall designed landscape) alongside those already proposed at Cammo and elsewhere in West Edinburgh.
iii. landscape containment – following on from the above comments, we are aware development of areas of land adjacent to, and in the vicinity of, the A90 will be visually prominent in views from this important route out of/into the City. We recommend that development is not sited on more prominent areas of such land, where little or no visual containment is provided by woodland strips or development will be visually intrusive due to the topography.
iv. traffic generation – this is a principal concern of our communities. You are well aware of issues of traffic congestion at peak periods –
• in the vicinity of the Burnshot fly-over and merging of traffic from Burnshot Road and A90 (morning peak periods)
• at Barnton Junction
• on Queensferry Road from Barnton all the way into the City Centre and vice-versa.
Currently proposed developments in the vicinity of this site (e.g. Cammo, Maybury, Kirkliston, South Queensferry) and in Fife, along with planning policies for future development along the A90 corridor will exacerbate levels of traffic and congestion at the above locations, which are already at unacceptable levels. The Community Council is likely to continue to strongly oppose any new developments which will increase pressures on these traffic nodes and routes. No amount of ‘good words’ in respect of promoting public transport use, etc. will convince us that developments of the scale suggested for Craigiehall will not increase traffic issues in our locality!
v. noise nuisance – the proposed developments are in the vicinity of the approach flightpath to Edinburgh Airport and aircraft will be at a very low altitude passing over the development. We question the amenity and health impacts of major development in an area which will be so affected by aircraft noise.
vi. infrastructure and public amenities provision – members of the community are concerned that development proposals for this site fully take account of, and seek to address, limitations on the capacity of primary and secondary schools, GP medical services, public amenities (i.e. meeting halls, sports facilities) and sewerage services in this area of West Edinburgh.

In further developing proposals for the Craigiehall site, this Community Council will wish to see the above concerns fully addressed. In particular, we will be looking for traffic assessments which do not solely look at the impacts of traffic generation in the locality of the site, but the wider impacts on the roads infrastructure in West Edinburgh.

We would ask you also, to take account of the aspirations of Friends of the River Almond and the wider community for an extension of the River Almond Walkway from Grotto Bridge to Kirkliston – either totally on the northern side of the River Almond through Craigiehall Estate, or on the existing track along southern side of the Almond from Grotto Bride to a new non-vehicular bridge in the vicinity of the western boundary of the Estate and thereafter on the northern side of the Almond. Access to, and the conservation and interpretation of, the historic Grotto should also feature in your proposals.

Please do not hesitate to contact myself or our Chair – Andrew Mather, should you have any queries on, or wish to discuss further, any of aspects relating to the Craigiehall development.

Yours sincerely

Peter Scott
Planning Representative, Cramond & Barnton CC