Five community councils were represented on the Meadowbank working group. All five are against the plan to replace Meadowbank with a housing estate. They want sports facilities retained on site and issued the following joint statement:
“The community councils applaud the council’s over-arching commitment to make Edinburgh the most active city in Europe. To achieve this, a wide range of sports facilities must be accessible to all citizens wherever they live and whatever their sporting abilities.
“Despite its normal good approach to consultation, on this occasion the council failed to seek the views of community councils, local sporting organisations and the wider general public. As a result their proposals, with the emphasis on national standard facilities, do not reflect the most urgent sporting needs of local communities in Edinburgh.
“We reject the short-sighted policy of selling well-used sports grounds and public land for housing developments. The community councils of north and east Edinburgh are committed to the retention of the athletics track and associated sports facilities at Meadowbank. If Meadowbank is lost, it is lost forever. There will never again be a large scale sports facility in such a central location.”
Giacomo Modica, chair of Craigentinny/Meadowbank community council, added: “The council should scrap the whole idea of using Meadowbank as a financial mechanism for creating an international sports stadium. Additional funding needs to be sought from other sources such as the private sector or central government. Had proper maintenance taken place at Meadowbank it would not need such a large sum spent on it today. The working group wasn’t given detail about the standards required for specific sports. The existing facility is clearly suitable for national competition because Meadowbank currently hosts such events. We don’t need to spend such a large sum on Olympic standard facilities.”
Alyson Cameron, secretary of Trinity community council, commented: “The council cannot afford to proceed with its grandiose plan for a new stadium at Sighthill. It should concentrate on what it already has and do what is necessary to keep the facilities at Meadowbank.”
Dawson Currie of Portobello community council, said: “Meadowbank is a wonderful central location. Sports facilities should remain there. The council should scrap its plan for Sighthill and instead build a modern sports stadium on the existing Meadowbank site.”
David King of Northfield/Willowbrae community council, added: “It is ridiculous that we should consider knocking down a large sporting complex when it is still highly operational and viable. Money should be spent on Meadowbank to bring its equipment and facilities up to a good appropriate standard.”
Margaret Moffett, secretary of Leith Links community council, was one of the first to object to the plans to replace Meadowbank with flats. She said: “The council has to change its policy. This is an ideal chance for the new administration to correct a mistake and by doing so retain Meadowbank as a sports site for future generations.”