At the Craigentinny Community Council meeting on the 22nd of January 2007, Alison Kirkwood and colleagues from the City of Edinburgh Council gave a presentation and answered questions on the Meadowbank Redevelopment Brief. Councillor Ewan Aitken was also present to answer questions.
The presentation gave an overview of the proposed development zones, highlighted that the plans are in draft form and that feedback submitted before the March 9th deadline will be considered before a finalised version is produced.
My impression was that the members of the community council were sceptical of the plans and very resistant to the scale of the proposed housing development.
The development proposes that the main sport and athletics facility on the East side of the city should be ‘disposed’ of in order to part finance a project to build a replacement sports facility at Sighthill, on the other side of the city.
There are a number of sports facilities already in that area of the city. The Saughton sports centre, which is home to a ‘huge range of outdoor sports’ including: four grass football pitches, five aside and seven aside football pitches on superturf, an enclosed football pitch and an athletics track, is close to Sighthill park. Craiglockhart sports centre and Meggetland playing fields are nearby and there’s also a new facility at Drumbrea.
In contrast, the redevelopment plan for Meadowbank is asking local residents and users of this facility to accept a reduction from 10 hectares of land dedicated to sport, to 0.5 hectares (to include parking and access) for a new community centre.
A quote from Bill Walker, senior coach with the City of Edinburgh Athletic Club, sums up the disappointment shared by many at these plans:
“I’m extremely unhappy about what’s happening to Meadowbank. The council has deliberately run-down the facilities there to sell the site for housing, and it will be a major loss to the area when it’s gone. The west of the city has a number of facilities but there will be nothing at all in this area, which has been ideal for Meadowbank because of the close proximity of Holyrood Park.”
The Scotsman website – article 5th December 2006