** UPDATE - 24-Jan-2016 :: Reporter's Decision **
6-8 Bridge Road – Reporter's Decision
Frances M McChlery, the Reporter appointed by the Scottish Government, has upheld the appeal by the Kilpatrick Property Group Ltd against the decision by the City of Edinburgh Council to refuse planning permission for their proposed extension to their property at 6-8 Bridge Road, to house a Coop supermarket. The Scottish Government has stated that this decision is final. This effectively marks the end of a long campaign by CAA, the wider Colinton community, and its elected representatives against this development.
The Reporter’s decision is a huge disappointment and extremely hard to accept. Much of planning is subjective and a matter of opinion, particularly in relation to design and appearance, but it is little short of astonishing that a stranger to our fine village can make the ultimate judgement that this proposed development will not only have no adverse impact on the “special character and appearance” of our Conservation Area but will actually “preserve or enhance” it. That is the test set by the Council's planning policy which the Reporter concludes has been met. This is very hard to understand.
Further, Ms McChlery sets out the planned increase in retail floor space as being from 178m² to 398.4m² but then takes the view that what is proposed represents a “relatively restricted increase in floorspace” so that it would not have a significant adverse effect on the existing local retailing centre. Yet the existing shop at 6-8 Bridge Road is already the largest in the village and this development will more than double its size. Indeed it will increase the space used for retail purposes by much more, given that only a proportion of the existing unit is used for shop retail purposes.
Continuing in this vein the Reporter actually states, despite the figures she quotes, that the Coop development will only be a “marginally larger local shop”, and she concludes from this – and other considerations - that the development will not “make any significant difference to the existing traffic conditions on Bridge Road”, a major concern of CAA's and of the local community.
It is not unreasonable to question the quality of this decision. And the decision reopens the wider question of the acceptability of appeal decisions being taken by unaccountable Scottish Government officials who can overrule the considered decisions of the elected members of the local planning authority.
Ms McChlery's full decision letter can be viewed at link to the application documents on the CEC planning portal . Then select to view the document dated 21-Jan-2016.
Two planning applications have been submitted to the Council for “Bonaly Farm, Torduff Road”. One is for a burial ground, and the other is for a house associated with the burial ground. The two applications concern the field that borders Torduff Road (section parallel to the Bypass) from Bonaly Road, round the corner to just above the first house (section leading towards Torduff Reservoir).
The applications with their associated documents can be seen on the Council website at:
Following some local consultation, the CAA has chosen to object to these applications. The objection letters can be viewed at:
We do not wish to alarm unduly, but the police have reported a spate of targeted house break-ins across the city recently. It is believed that this is being co-ordinated by the same group of criminals. They seem to go for houses that are unlit, with a view to forcing entry, stealing car keys and any easily-snatched valuable items; they then steal the car to make their getaway