Edinburgh Marina development recommended for refusal

Edinburgh Marina Hotel - Artist ImpressionPlans to regenerate Granton Harbour to the east of the Edinburgh appear to have been dealt a blow after planning officers recommended the rejection of the development.

First unveiled at the end of last year, the plan for Granton Harbour includes a 400-berth marina, a larger community boatyard and improved facilities for local yacht clubs as well as residential, retail and spa hotel developments.

Developer Granton Central Developments said the project would deliver new homes for over 4,000 residents as well as local employment opportunities for up to 800 people.

It is understood that the plan has been recommended for rejection because the proposed commercial and retail centre would draw shoppers away from Edinburgh city centre and other towns nearby.

An aerial view of the location
An aerial view of the location

Granton Central Developments spokesman Kevin Fawcett said: “Since our plans were first submitted, we’ve had numerous members of the community reach out to express their excitement and gratitude that Granton, a site that has sat empty for so long, will finally come to life – creating a new community, new jobs and affordable housing.

“Yet it appears the council have little interest in regenerating Granton and are more interested in a monopolistic protection of other areas, including Edinburgh City Centre – they are concerned that our plans for a local retail centre will draw people away from neighbouring areas. It’s as if they would prefer not to create 800 new jobs in the Edinburgh economy.

“Everyone wonders why we’re short of affordable housing these days – here is a prime example of modern day planning decisions being the root of the problem. Once again, it’s the people that will be losing out here.”

Responding to council claims that the plans lacked detailed information, Fawcett added: “At this stage this is just a masterplan. Their concerns would all be dealt with and satisfied when we get to detailed planning. They are recommending the plan be refused based on information they don’t have – and that we don’t have, nor are we required to have at this stage.”

The City of Edinburgh Council refused to comment on ongoing applications, but highlighted the planning officer’s report, which said: “The application in its current form should be refused. The siting of the proposed retail/leisure/commercial centre in the south eastern part of the site is unacceptable. It is contrary to Edinburgh City Local Plan policy Ret 4 as the scale and type of retailing is not consistent with the role and function of the proposed local centre at Granton Harbour and the proposed retail/leisure/commercial centre could potentially have a significant adverse impact on the city centre or other town centres.

“The siting of the buildings, and design and configuration of public spaces, roads and footpaths in and adjacent to the proposed centre are unacceptable in design and placemaking terms. The proposals are not based on a comprehensive and integrated approach which draws upon the positive characteristics of the site’s waterfront location to create a sense of place. The height, scale and form of development will have a detrimental impact on the wider townscape, and the layout of car parking spaces and pedestrian/cycle routes will not encourage walking and cycling.”

The decision will be taken on Wednesday 12 August and the meeting can be watched live here.

Tags: Edinburgh

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