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Through its leading role in the Forth Bridges Forum, the City of Edinburgh Council has made a public commitment to “promote the location of the bridges spanning the Forth as a unique and sustainable tourist destination”.

How then, can one explain its recent decision to approve the building of more than 150 houses on the only location on either side of the Forth that provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the Forth Estuary?

This planning decision, considered in combination with the latest local development plan for the area, will make it virtually impossible for visitors and locals alike to gain access to what will be one of the great panoramic views of Europe, let alone Scotland, and strangle at birth any initiatives to boost visitor numbers.

The kindest interpretation is that the city council has been placed under intolerable pressure by the deadly duo of Scottish Government policy on housing development, and the developers’ well-oiled lobby.

Whatever the case, may I entreat your readers to visit the site before it’s too late. (Exit the A90 south of the river at Echline Junction, head east, and then take an almost immediate left turn past a Shell garage). If they then agree this site must be preserved for visitors the world over to enjoy in perpetuity, I would urge them to deluge the Scottish Government with howls of protest.

The stakes really are that high.

Peter FitzGerald

South Queensferry