Edinburgh City Local Plan (ECLP)
The modification concerning Meadowbank has been communicated by letter on 30 May 2008 and the full text can be found at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/eclp
Modification 5 is the only one that strictly applies to Meadowbank, but also Modification 1 (Policy Os 2: Protection of Existing Playing Fields in Chapter 5 Open Space etc.) applies.
Key points of modifications (see key documents):
– There is no current plan for Sighthill or Hunters Hall Park (although this is open-ended as they are still “under consideration”)
– Meadowbank and RCP are recognised as the large-scale facilities for major events
– The Meadowbank site is not considered as a housing development opportunity
– Meadowbank is characterised as no fit for purpose (ref to CEC Report 13/3/08)
– Proposals for new facilities are underway, including funding and extend of land needed, in consultation with sporting bodies
– Unfortunately the decision to maintain large-scale sport facilities in Meadowbank appears to be a result of the decision to withdraw from Sighthill and not from considering that housing is incompatible or unsuitable for the use of the site
– Funding and extend of land to be used is linked also to consultation with users and appraisals of options
– The Government has published guidance on the circumstances which should apply before playing fields and sports pitches are considered for redevelopment and change of use; the Council is encouraged to integrate it (see modification 1)
Proposed SMC key points:
– We agree to modification that confirms Meadowbank as one of the two large-scale sport facilities of the City of Edinburgh Council
– We agree that Meadowbank needs modernisation and we want to stress that this issue needs to concern the Local Plan as well
– Council decision that Meadowbank is not fit for purpose contradicts however the proposed development strategy; the decision was the product of an internal assets appraisal, based on cost savings rather than service provision, and not the result of consultation with relevant sporting bodies
– As Meadowbank is a sports ground and playing field, the future of the centre has to be considered alongside Policy Os2 (protection of playing fields)
– It is important to safeguard the character of the Meadowbank site for sports training and related events only, especially as the Local Plan makes an effort to “To secure the provision of more open space for recreation, amenity and other social needs” (ECLP Chapter 5).
– Although currently there is no reference to housing in the site of Meadowbank, it is essential that housing development is clearly excluded as it compromises the use of open space and playing fields. There should be a clear appraisal of the current potential of the site towards these aspects, which is in the remit of the Local Plan.
Action: Post or email your letter by Friday 11 July
Meadowbank Sports Centre
At the time that the Plan was finalised, the Council’s proposals and intentions for sporting provision in the city included the building of a major new stadium and centre in Sighthill Park, to cater for large events, and a second centre in Hunters Hall Park. The major contribution towards their funding was to be secured by the closure of Meadowbank, which is no longer fit-for-purpose, and the sale of the site. The finalised Local Plan reflected these proposals and identified the Meadowbank site as a housing development opportunity. The Council has reviewed its strategy and agreed revised proposals in principle. Its intention now is to build new, high quality sports facilities suitable for major events at Meadowbank, within the site of the existing sports centre. These proposals, including the extent of land needed and their funding, are the subject of detailed appraisal and consultation with the relevant sporting bodies. There are now no proposals affecting Sighthill Park and no firm proposals for a new sports facility in Hunters Hall Park, although this remains under consideration. The Local Plan will be modified to reflect these decisions.
– Delete housing proposal HSG 11 (Meadowbank) in tables 6.1 and 6.2, and associated text and proposals map notation.
– Delete paragraph 5.14 and items OSR 10 (Hunters Hall Sports Complex), OSR 11 (Sighthill Park) and OSR 12 (Meadowbank Sports Centre) in table 5.1, and associated proposals map notations.
– Insert a new item OSR 10 in table 5.1, Meadowbank Sports Centre redevelopment.
– Insert the following as a new paragraph 5.14: The Council’s priority development need is the modernisation of Meadowbank Sports Centre and the Royal Commonwealth Pool, the two large-scale facilities which cater for major events and provide for advanced level training and competition. The Pool is undergoing refurbishment. Meadowbank is no longer fit-for-purpose and a replacement stadium and other facilities are proposed to be built within the existing site. These proposals including their funding are in course of detailed appraisal in consultation with the relevant sporting bodies.
Policy Os 2: Protection of Existing Playing Fields in Chapter 5 Open Space etc.
Policy Os 2 in the finalised Edinburgh City Local Plan set out the circumstances in which a playing pitch or field might be considered favourably for development. Since publication of the Local Plan, Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) 11: Open Space and Physical Activity has been published by the Scottish Government. This sets out the government’s view on the circumstances which should apply before playing fields and sports pitches are considered for redevelopment. Planning authorities are encouraged to integrate this guidance into their development plans. Accordingly, it is proposed to replace policy Os 2 with the following:
Policy Os 2: Protection of Playing Fields – In addition to the requirements of Policy Os 1, the redevelopment of playing fields or sports pitches will be permitted only where one of the following circumstances applies:
a) The proposed development is ancillary to the principal use of the site as a playing field;
b) The proposed development involves a minor part of a playing field and would not adversely affect the use or potential of the remainder for sport and training;
c) An alternative playing field is to be provided of at least equivalent sporting value in a no less convenient location, or existing provision is to be significantly improved to compensate for the loss;
d) The Council is satisfied that there is a clear excess of sports pitches to meet current and anticipated future demand in the area, and the site can be developed without detriment to the overall quality of provision.
Previous paragraph 5.14 of ECLP
The Council is preparing proposals for the modernisation of sports facilities which provide for major events. Its proposals are to replace the Meadowbank centre with a new athletics stadium at Sighthill Park. A new football centre for football is also under consideration for development in Hunters Hall Park. This is part of a more comprehensive proposal involving also the upgrading of the Commonwealth Swimming Pool, to fit these facilities for major events, and is part of a sportScotland initiative to create a range of new or refurbished national and regional sports facilities across Scotland. Both proposals involve development on Council-owned land and will therefore be subject to special planning procedures and possible ‘call-in’ by the Scottish Ministers. Sites that may be required for the developments are indicated on the Proposals Map (see Proposals OSR 10 and OSR 11). A new sports centre to meet local needs will be provided on the Meadowbank site (OSR 12).
Council Chief executive report on Meadowbank
The report that condemned Meadowbank on 13/3 – National and Regional Sports Facilities – Progress Report: Item no 9.2 on 13/3/08 CEC meeting, Report no CEC/191/07-O8/CS
To: Head of Planning and Strategy
City of Edinburgh Council
4 East market Street
Edinburgh EH8 8BG
Your Ref : ECLP/Pre-Inq_Mod
Edinburgh July 2008
Edinburgh City Local Plan: Pre-inquiry modifications
Modification 5: Meadowbank Sports Centre
I am writing to state my opinion on the published modification 5 that directly affects the Meadowbank Sports Centre. Overall I agree with the modification published but there are still major points that have not been addressed and the preservation of the entire site for sports and public use is not safeguarded. I believe these points are linked with other policies in the ECLP and I would like therefore the modification to consider and reflect them.
– I agree with the modification that confirms Meadowbank as one of the two large-scale sport facilities of the City of Edinburgh Council
– I agree that Meadowbank needs modernisation
– The Council decision that Meadowbank is not fit for purpose was an internal asset appraisal based on cost savings and not service provision; the Chief Executive’s report on 13/3/08 on which this statement is based shows no evidence there was any consultation with relevant sporting bodies even at that stage. I therefore believe this reference should be replaced with a statement on the significance of Meadowbank to the development of the immediate area and the entire city.
– Meadowbank is the major sports ground and playing field owned by the City Council, therefore the future of Meadowbank needs to be considered alongside Policy Os2 (protection of playing fields) and the site should be appraised and designated as such. Any future plans mentioned in the new paragraph 5.14 should be appraised along this policy as well, especially as the Local Plan makes an effort to “To secure the provision of more open space for recreation, amenity and other social needs” (ECLP Chapter 5).
– Although currently there is no explicit reference to housing on the site of Meadowbank, I would like to ensure that housing development be clearly excluded as it compromises the use of the site as open space and playing field. There should be a clear appraisal of the current potential of the site towards these aspects, which is in the remit of the Local Plan.
I hope my comments are going to be considered in the enquiry and contribute in acknowledging the role of Meadowbank Sports Centre for the City development.