Kirkliston locals rally against Allison Park plans

Campaigners protest Lord Hopetoun's proposal to build houses on the grounds of Allison Park. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Campaigners protest Lord Hopetoun's proposal to build houses on the grounds of Allison Park. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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RESIDENTS have rallied against proposals for 40 new houses on their community green space.

Locals in Kirkliston have launched a campaign in opposition to Hopetoun Estates’ plan for Allison Park.

They claim the blueprint – which has been submitted to the city council for consideration in the Local Development Plan (LDP) – will sacrifice their only green space.

And campaigners also believe that further building works will exacerbate traffic congestion already causing problems in the village. But landowner Hopetoun Estates says the development would also include a new football pitch, play area and pavilion for community use.

Residents have set up an online survey which they claim reflects a large majority against the plans.

Campaigner Grace Walker said: “This park is the only green space left in our village because we have had a massive lot of building work going on. It’s the only place where the community meets for the gala day in June. If that happens our children aren’t going to have anywhere to go.”

She threatened to chain herself to the gates in protest, adding: “It’s essential to the community. It’s what makes Kirkliston. We are also going to go door to door with paper copies [of the survey]. We as a community will fight it all the way.”

Toni Giugliano, SNP candidate for Edinburgh West, was at a packed Kirkliston Community Council last week.

He said: “There’s been a shortage of services and residents are getting short-changed.

“Hundreds of lorries and cars go through every day. They just can’t cope with yet more housing. It’s the only green park that’s used for the gala, by the football team, children’s playground. We have to preserve it. We know that developers like Hopetoun have a lot of sway. I will be making representations.”

Hopetoun House at South Queensferry has been the ancestral home of landowners the Hope family for more than 300 years.

The present Earl of Hopetoun, Andrew Hope, lives in the house and the 4th Marquess of Linlithgow Adrian Hope – the head of the family and Lord Hopetoun’s father – lives on the 6500-acre estate.

A spokeswoman for the landowner said: “Hopetoun Estates is committed to meaningful engagement with the community and are in regular contact with the community council to update them on our ideas which include community facilities such as a pavilion, football pitch and a play area.

“The community council is aware that Hopetoun Estates is working on a number of visuals depicting options for Allison Park and we will present these to residents early next year. We would encourage everyone to get involved to shape what will be an upgraded leisure resource.”

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com