Greenbelt homes appeal bid rejected

Wednesday August 1st 2018

Cllr Scott Arthur at the Winton East site

Cllr Scott Arthur at the Winton East site

Written by David Bol, Local Democracy Reporter

Housing plans that would have “destroyed greenbelt” on the outskirts of Edinburgh have been halted after an appeal by developers was thrown out.

The Scottish Government’s reporter upheld the decision of the City of Edinburgh Council to refuse plans by Miller Homes to build 86 homes on greenbelt known as Winton East, which is located near to the Lothianburn junction of the Edinburgh bypass.

The original plans were refused by the council in December 2017, but developers appealed the decision. The plans tallied up more than 100 letters of objection from residents.

Colinton and Fairmilehead Cllr Scott Arthur welcomed the decision.

He said: “I am delighted for the local community that the plan to destroy our greenbelt near Winton has again been rejected.

“In this most recent attempt to make an easy profit, the developer has shown a complete disregard for local democracy, historical sites and the environment.”

He added: “With an estimated 3,100 people assessed as homeless in Edinburgh last year, the city is facing a housing crisis – not least in the Oxgangs area I represent. However, the route out of that is to build genuinely affordable homes on the many empty sites in our capital, not erecting luxury four bedroom villas on our greenbelt.”

Miller Homes proposed building 64 private and 22 affordable homes on the 4.5 hectare site. Local residents raised concern that the housing would alter the character of the area.

Reporter Elspeth Cook said: “The appeal site is not an allocated housing site and is located in the greenbelt out-with the settlement boundary for Edinburgh.

“The appeal site however is located in an important area of open countryside that contributes to the effectiveness of the greenbelt, the quality of the Special Landscape Area, the character and appearance of the Morton Mains Conservation Area and the historic setting of the adjacent listed buildings.

“I find that the proposed development would have an unacceptable and adverse impact on these features. I conclude that the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations which would still justify granting planning permission.”

Fairmilehead Cllr Jason Rust, said the decision by the report was a victory for the community.

He said: “I am delighted that the reporter has upheld the refusal and that development here has been rejected.

“It is made clear in the determination that the site is not an allocated housing site and is located in the greenbelt out-with the settlement boundary for Edinburgh where housing is not supported by planning policy.”

Cllr Rust added: “It is also within a Special Landscape Area, and will impact on the Conservation Area and listed buildings and this outcome is a great one for the local community.

“The reporter also rightly recognised the impact on trees and transportation issues which local people had commented on. This is a great outcome for the community.”

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