Edinburgh Council faces a £27.7 million funding gap following its decision to go back to the drawing board with controversial plans to build hundreds of homes on the Meadowbank Stadium site.
In January 2018 the Council lodged two planning applications with itself. One was to build a smaller sports centre on half the site while the other sought outline planning permission for the change of land use necessary to build commercial and residential properties on the other half. Both applications were approved by its planning sub-committee last Friday but only after Council planners withdrew all detail from the outline planning application and the committee agreed it should start again with a clean slate.
However that means the project to build a replacement sports facility now faces uncertainty because most of the funding was to come from the hundreds of homes that were due to be built.
“This is clear in documents submitting in support of the planning application,” said Save Meadowbank campaigner Heather Peacock.
“Sections 6.39 and 6.42 of the supporting planning statement confirm ‘the funding package is predicated on developing the surplus sites for housing and mixed uses’
“The last update provided to councillors also shows the stadium re-build cost of £46.9 million relies upon £27.7 million from housing and commercial development on the other half of the site.
“The decision to go back to the drawing board is a welcome one but it now means the Council has to find £27.7 from other sources.”
Campaigners have welcomed Edinburgh Council’s decision to apologise and go back to the beginning with its plan to build hundreds of homes on the Meadowbank Stadium site.
At Friday’s planning meeting Council planners withdrew all detail from the outline planning application which allowed the committee to agree it should start again with a clean slate without any pre-conditions. The committee also guaranteed nothing would take place until a masterplan had been agreed with full community engagement.
“We welcome their frank admission that the community felt let down and that there was a loss of trust in the Council,” said Save Meadowbank campaigner Heather Peacock.
“The offer to re-start the process this time with genuine consultation is great news. We also appreciate the assurance that an entirely new masterplan will be created from a complete clean sheet which will include no assumptions about possible land use.
“Several Councillors at Friday’s planning committee meeting expressed a wish to restore trust with a community that feels badly let down. We welcome this.
“The plan to build 360 homes on the site, some up to 12 storeys high, has been officially scrapped.
“We look forward to future dialogue with the Council and the creation of a masterplan for the site that truly meets the needs and wishes of the local community.
“We also thank local Conservative Councillor John McLelland who has obviously listened to the views of his constituents in changing his mind and urging his colleagues to reject the planning application.”