Dear Ms Carus,
As the Member of the Scottish Parliament for the constituency of Edinburgh Eastern, I write to you on behalf of my constituents, who have raised concerns regarding the proposed development of 17 Fishwives Causeway 8-9, 10, 11, 12, 25 Baileyfield Crescent, Edinburgh, EH7 6GH – reference 16/05898/FUL. The planning application for mixed use development of 483 new homes and commercial building including infrastructure, drainage and landscaping. Although I completely in favour of additional housing within Edinburgh Eastern, and indeed Edinburgh as a whole, I do believe that some of these concerns should be addressed prior to approval being granted. The main reservations regarding this development can be found below.
Density of housing. This is 30% higher than the adjoining site: 100 houses per hectare, compared with 70 houses per hectare. There are concerns that such density will have a negative social impact and that the numbers proposed are too high.
Heights of proposed housing: They range from two storeys to four storeys, and then nine, six storey blocks, throughout the site. It will increase the overall density of population in wider area, undesirably. The plan is inconsistent with existing North West Portobello Design Brief (NWPDB), which specifies a maximum of 3-4 storeys for areas adjacent to the promenade. This is also the maximum height in the adjacent development. Again the NWPDB states “Building heights will largely derive from the general height of existing adjacent buildings and the surrounding urban grain”. The proposed buildings may be a similar height to those which are already there however, there are concerns how these new builds with fit in with the surrounding area aesthetically.
Traffic: Seafield Junction is already heavily congested at peak times and the Transport Assessment seems to reiterate this. With the addition of two extra developments, one of which is the Brunstane Development, the infrastructure for traffic in and out of the area will be under additional strain. The same assessment already indicated that it is above capacity at some times. This queuing traffic would also have an effect on the air quality of the general area.
Parking: Developers are only proposing 68% on site provision. What guarantees can be given to neighbouring streets that they will not be subject to overspill parking?
Flood prevention: Concerns have been raised that the development will be too close to the culvert and may inhibit maintenance of culvert and flood defences in Rosefield Park, these remain unaddressed. There are concerns that losing trees, including tall trees, green space and further development will impact upon water run-off and increase the risk of flooding.
Design: The proposed six storey flats have no balconies or private outside space. There is a higher percentage of two and three bedroom flats than advised in the NWPDB which states “Conventional 2 or 3 bedroom flats should not compromise more than 25% of the total accommodation provision”.
Impact on the conservation area: Concerns have been raised regarding the integrity of the local conservation area with the size and density of this development.
Lack of community space provision: The NWPDB states that community space should be included in any development for the area. There are none in any of the recent proposals for this area.
Playgrounds and green spaces: There is insufficient provision of green space and no play areas included. Especially given that the tallest areas of the development have little or no private outdoor space.
Impact on wildlife: There are two pairs of kingfishers and goldfinches on the burn; what provision been made for their protection?
While it is overwhelmingly agreed that housing development is needed for the area and this site lends itself well to such a development, both my constituents and I would appreciate more information and reassurance prior to the development being approved.
Ash Denham MSP
Edinburgh Eastern Constituency