Support for Meadowbank plan falls to under 14%

Support has fallen for Edinburgh Council’s controversial plan to demolish Meadowbank Stadium and replace it with a cut-down sports centre and hundreds of flats.

Edinburgh Council’s planning portal originally showed just the outcome from electronic responses to two planning applications. The portal has now been updated to also include paper submissions, almost all of which were objections.

The plan to change land use was supported by just 77 out of 397 electronic respondents (or 19.3%). Only 3 out of 184 people who wrote to the Council expressed support, taking the overall number of supporters to just 80 out of 581 (or 13.8%).

The plan to downsize the sports centre showed a similar reduction in support. Support amongst those who responded online was just 85 out of 314 (or 27.1%). Only 1 out of 181 written responses supported the plan, taking the overall number of supporters to just 86 out of 495 (or 17.4%).

This means less than one in seven supported changing the land use and only around one in six supported the smaller sports centre.

“These revised figures are further proof of the widespread opposition to the Council’s plans,” said Save Meadowbank spokesperson Linda Furley

“Hundreds have attended public meetings including one where just ONE person showed support for the plans.

“Thousands more have signed petitions and the Council’s own website shows the plan to change land use is supported by less than one in seven, while the plan to downsize Meadowbank has a support rate of around one in six.

“Councillors must now look again at this controversial development and reflect on the sheer strength of opposition there is to it.”

Edinburgh Council’s planning committee is due to decide on the two planning applications for the Meadowbank site when it meets on 29 June.

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Council official confirms Meadowbank will be demolished and become gap site if controversial planning application is rejected

Edinburgh Council plans to demolish Meadowbank Stadium regardless if a controversial planning application to replace it with a cut-down sports centre and hundreds of flats is rejected next month.

The decision – revealed to campaigners by a senior Council official – will create a gap site and remove any chance of the existing facilities being retained.

Two planning applications are due to be considered by Edinburgh Council at the end of June. Both have been heavily criticised at public meetings and attracted an objection rate of 80% on the Council’s own planning portal. Local politicians have accepted there were problems with the consultation process which led to calls from campaigners for the decision to be delayed.

However when Graham Croucher, the Council official tasked with managing the Meadowbank project, met with campaigners at the end of last week he informed them the current Stadium will be demolished regardless, even if the planning applications are turned down next month as campaigners expect.

“This is simply not right,” said Save Meadowbank spokesperson Linda Furley. “Hundreds of people have attended public meetings, thousands have signed petitions and the Council’s plans have a support rate of less than 20%.

“Yet despite this, we find through a Council official that the plan is for the existing Stadium to be demolished whatever happens. Making Meadowbank a gap site is simply not acceptable and a disgraceful response to a strongly-expressed public concern.

“We asked Mr Croucher who decided this and when but he said he was unable to tell us. That is also not acceptable. The public has a right to know which politician has made this decision and when. The campaign asks for urgent clarification about this from the Council.”

Edinburgh Council’s planning committee is due to decide on two planning applications for the Meadowbank site when it meets on 29 June.

Save Meadowbank Crowdfunder

We have set up an online crowdfunding page to fund the costs of printing leaflets, posters and signs. Any contributions will be hugely appreciated and put to very good use:

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/save-meadowbank

In related news, it’s fantastic to see that the campaign is clearly having an impact:

“While the detailed sport centre planning application was due to be heard on 15 May, it now looks as if the decision will be deferred for a full hearing at the end of June so there are now two months in which further adjustments can be made.”

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/opinion/john-mclellan-meadowbank-campaigners-unhappy-about-different-things-1-4730400

How you can save Meadowbank

1. Email Councillors and Planning Committee

Please email the Planning Committee, and the local Councillors and the lead Councillors for each party. Your email doesn’t have to be long and elaborate, just your basic concerns would be perfect. It is important to let the Council know your feelings and concerns. You will find an example of one email written to the planning committee at the bottom of this post, which you can personalise if you like. You can find most our concerns in this leaflet:
https://savemeadowbank.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/savemeadowbank-campaign-leaflet-feb-2018.pdf

Planning Committee:
committee.services@edinburgh.gov.uk

You will find individual member email addresses on this link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/directory_record/939658/planning_committee

Local councillors for Craigentinny / Duddingston

SNP: ian.campbell3@edinburgh.gov.uk
Greens: alex_staniforth@yahoo.co.uk
Labour: joan.griffiths@edinburgh.gov.uk
Conservative: john.mclellan@edinburgh.gov.uk

Find your local councillors here: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/councillors/search

Lead Councillors:

SNP: adam.mcvey@edinburgh.gov.uk
Labour: cammy.day@edinburgh.gov.uk
Green: steve.burgess@edinburgh.gov.uk
Conservative: iain.whyte@edinburgh.gov.uk

Local MSP
Ash.Denham.msp@parliament.scot

2. Spread the word
Tell your neighbour’s, brother’s, sister’s, friend’s, uncle’s cat about the Meadowbank plans and get them to email too!

3. Get in touch
Email us to get involved in other ways, leafleting, organising anything! savemeadowbank@gmail.com

Like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SaveMeadowbank/
Follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/savemeadowbankc?lang=en
Check out our website: https://savemeadowbank.wordpress.com/

Example of email to the planning committee

Dear Sir/Madam

I write to ask about the forthcoming committee deliberations about the proposals for Meadowbank site.

At a very well-attended public meeting on April 18th, a number of local Councillors and MSPs expressed their concern, universally held in the room, that the deficiencies in the consultation process were significant and that that matter required to be looked into urgently. Alongside this, the responses to both planning applications have been overwhelmingly against both proposals and have raise a number of concerns and objections. Given that, and the strength of feeling regarding this issue, can you please confirm whether the committee will decide to halt its planned session in order to address these concerns? If so, I look forward to hearing from you about how this can be taken forward.

If the foregoing is not possible, I would appreciate receipt of any reasoning behind that in order that I can consider my options.

I appreciate that time is moving on and would therefore be much obliged for a speedy response.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Yours sincerely

Campaigners criticise Council leaders for failing to attend public meeting about Meadowbank

Campaigners today criticised senior city politicians for failing to attend last week’s packed public meeting to discuss the Council’s controversial plan to demolish Meadowbank Stadium and replace it with a cut-down sports centre and hundreds of flats.

The leaders of all parties on the Council were invited to attend but none showed up. Some nominated a Councillor local to the Meadowbank area to deputise but one party – the Liberal Democrats – sent no one and did not even reply to the invitation.

“Hundreds of people turned up to raise concerns about what is a highly controversial plan,” said Save Meadowbank spokesperson Linda Furley, “The refusal of the lead Councillors to attend shows a complete lack of leadership and contempt for the citizens they claim to represent.

“They have failed to properly consult on a sell-off and downsizing of a popular facility and are now running scared from hearing criticism at first hand.

“Two MSPs who spoke agreed there had been a failure to properly consult. All but one of the junior Councillors did similarly.

“People have turned out in their hundreds to voice objections. Those present at the meeting were in no doubt about the strength of feeling which has now been shown at two public meetings and the formal planning application process earlier this year which attracted an objection rate of over 80%.

“We urge members of the public to contact the Planning Committee and make their views known.”

Edinburgh Council’s planning committee will decide on two planning applications for the Meadowbank site when it meets on 15 May.

Public meeting slates Council’s controversial plan for Meadowbank Stadium

Hundreds of people packed into Meadowbank church last night to criticise Edinburgh Council’s plan to demolish Meadowbank Stadium and replace it with a cut-down sports centre and hundreds of flats,

Politicians from across the political spectrum heard the views of residents from the local area and beyond. A succession of highly critical questions were asked about sports provision, housing density plus the loss of trees and landscaped open space.

Politicians present conceded there appeared to have been issues surrounding the consultation process and the meeting ended with agreement there should be further discussions about what is to happen with the Meadowbank site.

“To leave us with something lesser than what was there previously is simply wrong,” said Green MSP Alison Johnstone. Her party colleague, local councillor Alex Staniforth, who said he had stood down from his role on the planning committee so he could comment on this issue, agreed the consultation process had failed and urged people to put their views directly to the planning committee.

Local MSP Ash Denholm spoke against the Council’s plan and promised to represent the views expressed by all those who spoke from the floor. Her SNP colleague, councillor Ian Campbell, was asked several times if he would do similarly to which he said he had been in the stadium before it was closed and he would continue to push for the redevelopment.

“The strength of public opposition to Edinburgh Council’s plan was shown once again,” said Save Meadowbank campaigner Linda Furley.

“People turned out in their hundreds to voice objections. Those present were in no doubt about the strength of feeling which has now been shown at two public meetings and the formal planning application process earlier this year which attracted an objection rate of over 80%.

“Under the Council’s plan we will lose over 40% of the existing facilities. People don’t want this. Nor do they want student accommodation, a hotel and over 300 homes up to 12 storeys high at the expense of recreational and green space.

“We encourage people to contribute to the planning process and make their views known to those who sit on the planning committee. Further details will shortly be available on our website www.savemeadowbank.wordpress.com”.

Edinburgh Council’s planning committee will decide on two planning applications for the Meadowbank site when it meets on 15 May.