Our Green Belt: the Brunstane Fields

Our Green Belt: the Brunstane Fields
2000 homes planned to be built

Sunday, 10 May 2015

14th May

The next Planning Committee is being held at 10am on 14 May and it will be dealing with the Local Development Plan – including consideration the proposal to re-designate of the contentious Brunstane site as housing land rather than Green Belt, against which there are now over 800 petition signatures.  Please find attached the agenda and link to full papers for the Planning Committee in the Main Council Chamber. Full Meeting Papers can be accessed via the link:- Planning Committee 14 May 2015 Full Meeting Papers – Full Meeting Papers, 11.08 MB

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Martin Kelly: Plan for Brunstane Farm is misguided and illegal

Tuesday 05 May 2015
Edinburgh Evening News

MORE than 200 residents recently attended a public meeting in Brunstane – and over 700 signed a petition – to protest against the 11th-hour inclusion of Brunstane Farm in the draft Local Development Plan (LDP).
The City Council proposes to allow 1330 houses to be built on the last piece of greenbelt that keeps Newcraighall village and Musselburgh distinct from Edinburgh. On any measure, this is the most unsuitable development proposal in the LDP by far.

What are the objections? Firstly, Brunstane Farm is owned by the council’s development subsidiary (EDI) which stands to profit. The chairman of EDI (Cllr Frank Ross) also sits on the planning committee – which, on May 14, will decide whether or not to adopt the LDP.
The council estimates traffic on key local routes would increase by almost 60 per cent – more than double the projected impact for any other site. And EDI’s plans to provide road access to the site are so deeply flawed that a local resident instructed consultants to write to the council detailing the fundamental errors.

The proposal would also harm biodiversity (Scottish Badgers is investigating a recent sighting); would seriously damage the setting of historic Brunstane House (and nearby Newhailes); and would require a road to be built over the John Muir Way. It would also undermine efforts to redevelop brownfield sites in Craigmillar.

For all these reasons (and more) the council’s proposal is a very bad idea. Adopting the proposal would also be illegal. Planning acts require the LDP to be consistent with the South-East Scotland plan (SESPlan) in which Brunstane Farm is clearly designated as greenbelt. This follows the SESPlan-commissioned “Edinburgh Greenbelt Study” which concluded in 2008 that Brunstane Farmland, “plays a key role in maintaining separation between Edinburgh and Musselburgh and, as a result, there is no landscape capacity for development”.

Also, Brunstane Farm borders East Lothian – and development would, if anything, be worse for Newcraighall and Musselburgh than for Edinburgh. So re-zoning is not a decision that the council could properly take unilaterally. Indeed, the SESPlan exists so that decisions affecting multiple councils are taken collectively. And this decision has already been taken at regional level: the SESPlan clearly indicates that Brunstane Farm must remain as greenbelt. So if the council approves Brunstane Farm for development it would be breaking the law.

We’re prepared to go to the Court of Session to ensure the council acts lawfully. We recognise the urgent need for housing in Edinburgh – indeed, 600 new homes are already being built at Newcraighall – but there are other, far more suitable, developments sites that would not involve tarmacing over Brunstane Farm, or breaking the law.

Martin Kelly

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Brunstane Residents group updates

Councillor David Walker confirmed that the important date for us to work towards is still May 14th (deferred from 26th Feb) when the Council will make their decision on the local development plan (LDP2).

We hope to have a deputation of 2 or 3 people from each of the local community/residents groups attend the Council meeting on 14th Feb and present the different aspects of our case. It would be really helpful if people can think through/discuss who is able to come and let David know. We will also be in touch regarding written submissions.

Due to the postponement of the decision in Feb there is no local development plan in place right now so developers can go straight to the Scottish Government for permission to build until 14th May. It's therefore important that as many people as possible write to there MSPs to ask for their support. A note telling them that, in the wake of a public meeting in Brunstane there has been a vigorous campaign to save the fields and asking them to confirm their support will suffice.

Sean has also been hosting visits from local schools who are supportive.

Newhailes have also been in touch with David offering support for the campaign so hopefully they'll become involved too.

We now have over a thousand signatures between the online and hard copy petitions and need volunteers to gather more down in Portobello on Saturday mornings on the run up to May 14th.
The plan is also to set up a Scottish Parlaimentary Petition as well.

This is in hand and will be progressed should the council agree that the fields should be built on.

Write to MSPs.
Deputations for 14th May..nominees.
Set up parliamentary petition.
Clarify position with regard to submissions.
Volunteers for petition, leaflets etc.

We hope this is helpful.
L and C, Brunstane Residents Group.

Evening News article: Brunstane Residents group

Petition to save greenbelt at Brunstane attracts 700 supporters

29 Apr 2015 — Things are really moving apace in the campaign to save southeast Edinburgh’s greenbelt. Not only did our threat of a legal challenge make the press yesterday http://t.co/ptzQQfdfm0 - but our petition against development has now attracted 700 supporters. Please could you publicise the campaign amongst friends, family and colleagues so we can try achieve 800+ supporters of our petition, before the Council’s Planning Committee meets on 14 May!

And thanks to all of you who has supported us so far.


Sunday, 15 March 2015

Projection update from the Council


I am writing to update you on the Local Development Plan project.

The Council is preparing a local development plan which sets out policies and proposals to guide land use and development.

A Second Proposed Local Development Plan was approved by the Council’s Planning Committee in June 2014. It was published for an engagement period which ran from August to October 2014.  A number of representations were received, including many seeking to change the Local Development Plan’s proposals. 

The project programme intended that, at its meeting on 26 February 2015, the Planning Committee would consider all representations and whether the Plan should be modified before it is submitted to Scottish Ministers for examination.  In view of the issues raised and uncertainties caused by current planning appeals in terms of housing land supply matters, the Planning Committee did not consider the Local Development Plan report on 26 February. 

It is now intended to consider the report at the next scheduled meeting of Planning Committee. That is due to take place on 14 May 2015.  Details of that Committee agenda will be available on the Council’s website several working days beforehand. 

For more information about the Local Development Plan project please seewww.edinburgh.gov.uk/localdevelopmentplan or call

Yours sincerely
Ben Wilson

Team Manager, Local Planning Policy

Monday, 29 September 2014

Advice from Councillor Maureen Child

As probably already know, the Council has its Second Proposed Edinburgh Local Development Plan (LDP) out for public consultation. As part of this, a current housing proposal is to take a large area of land, immediately south of the Brunstane Burn and north of Newcraighall, between Brunstane House and Newhailes House, out of the Green Belt. Without the Green Belt designation, it is far more likely that any planning application to build houses on this land would be successful. The Brunstane site, which would possibly accommodate around 1330 housing units, would be accessed from the north by a new road off Milton Road East, beside the cemetery, with new bridges built over the Brunstane Burn and the main East Coast railway line. Residents groups and Community Council representatives from both Portobello and Craigmillar have got together to coordinate objections to the removal of Green Belt designation, which currently is a strong protection against development.  Portobello Amenity Society, for one, believe it is vital to protect this part of the Green Belt to avoid coalescence between Edinburgh and Musselburgh. They also believe that the settings of both Brunstane House and Newhailes House – highly important A listed country houses of great architectural and historical importance – would be severely compromised if this proposal goes ahead. We have made similar arguments in resisting current Green Belt development proposals at Edmonstone which provides a similarly effective boundary with Danderhall in Midlothian. This Brunstane proposal will also have a huge impact on the road network in Milton Road East and Newcraighall as well as implications for local schools and public transport. A packed public meeting, attended by at least 200 people, was ably chaired by my colleague Councillor David Walker, at the Kings Manor Hotel, on 25 September, to discuss this proposal. Further information about this proposal and about the Second Proposed LDP, can be found at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/localdevelopmentplan. Copies of the plan can also be seen in Portobello or Craigmillar Libraries. Comments on the proposals have to be lodged by 3rd October at 5pm on special forms which can be downloaded from the above website or obtained by contacting localdevelopmentplan@edinburgh.gov.uk or by phoning 0131 529 4692.  Please note that individually composed letters, rather than petitions or signed forms with the same wording, are very much more powerful.  And you must use the right forms.
Portobello/Craigmillar Ward has an established Neighbourhood Partnership.  Ours is chaired by Councillor Mike Bridgman. Edinburgh’s Neighbourhood Partnerships bring together the community, police, health, fire and rescue, voluntary sector and local Councillors, supported by officers from the Council. Each of Edinburgh’s 12 Neighbourhood Partnerships has a three year local community plan, which identifies local priorities informed by communities. The priorities in the plans cover a range of themes including health, transport, environment, community safety, children and older people. Working with communities and partners, Neighbourhood Partnerships aim to tackle these issues and make neighbourhoods a better place to live. The new local community plans 2014-17 will be published in October. Copies will be available local libraries, neighbourhood offices, at Neighbourhood Partnership events or online at www.edinburghnp.org.uk  For more details of activity across the city, see the Neighbourhood Partnership newsletter by clicking on: bit.ly/1ni8bko

Maureen Child, extract from her newsletter.