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.