Plans offside

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The proposal by the Edinburgh Academicals Club to build over one-third of their Raeburn Place playing fields has aroused great hostility in Stockbridge.

The local community, supported by its Community Council, the Cockburn Association and many others, is overwhelmingly opposed to this development – though it does have its supporters, most have connections with the Academicals, with the Edinburgh Academy or with rugby.

The Academicals’ plans are said to contravene local plan policies on more than 20 counts. The Grange and Academicals clubs have a long history in Stockbridge and there is strong local support for the continuation of club rugby, cricket and hockey.

That the Academicals need to replace their clubhouse is understood and will receive every encouragement locally. However, the current, hugely damaging, proposal to build up the Comely Bank Road frontage for a mixed use development will continue to be vigorously opposed by most residents and traders.

There are, to my knowledge, at least two more sensible alternative schemes waiting in the wings, which will be brought forward when the current application has been either withdrawn or refused – as it must be.

James Simpson, OBE, FRIAS