Edinburgh Council has been criticised for narrowing the payment in front of Meadowbank Stadium by moving advertising hoardings to allow them to cut down more trees in what campaigners say is a breach of planning consent. It has also endangered pedestrian safety due to flooding and will cause rush hour travel disruption due to invalidated parking restrictions.
The perimeter fence and advertising hoardings around Meadowbank are covered by two approved planning applications which require them to be set back a minimum of 2 metres from the kerb to allow sufficient footpath space. They must also be behind trees and a separate advertising hoarding.
“That was the case until Tuesday,” said Save Meadowbank spokesperson Heather Peacock. “However without any warning the perimeter fence and advertising hoardings were moved forward by approximately three metres, leaving a gap from the kerb that is less than the required 2 metres.
“What had been a very wide pavement is now so narrow in places it causes a problem particularly to those who have mobility issues who are expected to navigate tree roots.
“And when it rains the limited passageway floods which means both the pavement and bus stop are unusable. People have to cross London Road at its busiest point without even the aid of a traffic island.
“The moved fence has also hidden street signage attached to lamp posts. This means parking restrictions outside Meadowbank Stadium are no longer enforceable which is likely to cause problems during rush hour periods. Edinburgh Council will be unable to take action against vehicles parked in the bus lane.
“The trees on a mound by the bus stop nearest Wishaw Terrace were supposed to be retained but having sneakily advanced the fence and hidden the trees behind adverts Edinburgh Council has just cut down the trees anyway in yet another example of environmental vandalism.
“When a householder is granted planning permission they are required to comply with all decisions. Edinburgh Council should do similarly. The fence should be returned to its approved position and the adverts removed because they breach planning consent. This is an accident waiting to happen caused by Edinburgh Council.
“Sadly nothing can now be done about the trees that have been cut down as part of Edinburgh Leisure’s vanity project to get itself a new headquarters onto which a cut-down sports centre will be attached.”
– Location maps approved by Edinburgh Council which show the advertising hoardings and perimeter fence must be at least 2 metres from the kerb and behind the trees
– Photographs taken on 9 March 2018 showing part of the narrowed pathway and flooding with one photograph taken in February 2018 which shows the original fence line.