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.