Community drive

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As A local councillor for the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh, I welcome plans for the former brewery site to host Fringe Festival events this summer (your report, 26 April).

There are exciting aspirations to create a mixed neighbourhood of affordable homes, public and arts space and business premises at the site, but it is correct to see how land can be used meantime. Just across the road there is a fine example of that, with a new community garden on mobile pallets on vacant land offered by the developer Grosvenor.

At the other end of the ward I represent, large patches of land in private ownership – at the Corn Exchange and the Chesser Fruitmarket – have been neglected for years as plans ebb and flow. Public landholdings fare no better. Local people, rightly, bemoan the wastelands in their midst.

A few years ago, fellow Green councillor Steve Burgess floated the idea of making better short-term use of large development sites that have stalled. It is time to harness community energy to make that happen.

Gavin Corbett

Green councillor for 
Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart

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