Thursday September 26th 2019
Written by Local Democracy Reporter, David Bol
Edinburgh councillors have put plans to build a new retails centre in the south of the Capital on hold despite officers recommended the proposals are refused permission.
Proposals tabled by crane hire and metal recycling firm Bernard Hunter would see a food store, 60-bedroom hotel, business start-up units, a medical hub, community hall, neighbourhood shops and archery centre built at Gilmerton Station Road.
But officials recommended that councillors reject the plans, warning the scheme would “divert trade” from existing businesses and “fails to draw on the outstanding characteristics of the surrounding area”. Developers say the proposals would create 270 new jobs.
The city council’s development management sub-committee agreed for a formal hearing to be held at a future meeting to determine the Gilmerton Gateway scheme. Councillors will also visit the site, before the hearing takes place.
But planning convener called for the proposals to be determined without a hearing. Councillor Neil Gardiner said:
“I don’t think there’s any planning grounds that a hearing would add to.
“I think there’s enough information to determine it.”
But councillors voted in favour of a hearing taking place.
Councillor Joanna Mowat said: “I do think that before we determine this, we should at least be having a visit to see how it will be integrated and what is the nature of the community.
“There’s significant amount of employment use that’s going into this. We have all received the letters of support from the local community.”
The developers have welcomed the decision.
Mark Rafferty, managing director of Bernard Hunter, said: “We’re delighted that the committee has taken the decision to hear all of the issues before taking to a decision. Since we brought these proposals forward we have been overwhelmed by the support from local residents and organisations, but we want to make sure councillors have the right facts on which to base a decision.
“All we’ve sought from the start is for a fair hearing for proposals that can transform Gilmerton in a positive way and bring new jobs and investment. We would like to thank all our supporters for their help in making sure we have the opportunity to be heard.”Tweet Share on Facebook