Craighouse development campaigners want review

Campaigners fighting plans to redevelop a former Napier University campus at Craighouse, including the construction of dozens of new homes on parkland, will seek a judicial review.

Campaigners have fought the Craighouse development plans. Picture: Neil Hanna
Campaigners have fought the Craighouse development plans. Picture: Neil Hanna

The Friends of Craighouse Grounds and Wood have raised over £9,000 through crowd-funding and have securing a preliminary hearing on June 26th, according to its spokespeople.

Campaigners claim vital information was “kept from the public” as developers the Craighouse Partnership went through the planning process, with the Evening News revealing that valuations for the site submitted to councillors different from those used by sales agents just a month later.

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Rosy Barnes, Chair of the Friends, said: “What happened at Craighouse was a travesty - everyone who watched the hearing knows that.

“The public have been badly let down. This is a case that flew in the face of democracy and planning policy.

“It’s important this is challenged both to save this unique and beautiful place and stop it being used as a precedent to carve up the city’s most protected sites - and those Scotland-wide.

“Information should not have been kept from the public, The Friends of Craighouse believe that planning applications should be determined in public, based on information that the public has had the opportunity to scrutinise and challenge. It seems that the law agrees with us.”

Andrew Richards, the group’s treasurer added: “The lawyers have confirmed to us that the papers are filed in the court.

“We have already raised £9,734 which meets our target for the first stage of the process and are now raising further funds for the second stage.”

A spokesman for the developers said: “We were delighted by the decision taken by Edinburgh Councillors in September 2014 to grant approval for our scheme to develop Craighouse Campus as new housing for Edinburgh.

“The City of Edinburgh Council will need to respond to this petition for judicial review.

“Given the level of scrutiny and the extent to which the Council allowed for third party representation, we believe that the proper process of the planning application was followed.

“In the meantime we will continue to take the development forward in order to bring these important buildings back into use.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We are aware that the Friends of Craighouse Grounds and Woods has petitioned the Court of Session for judicial review. It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”