Developer loses bid to build on greenbelt site in Edinburgh

Scott Arthur at the Winton East site
Image caption,
Councillor Scott Arthur welcomed the decision not to build on the Winton East site

Housing plans that would have "destroyed greenbelt" on the outskirts of Edinburgh have been halted after an appeal by developers was thrown out.

The Scottish government's reporter upheld the decision of the City of Edinburgh Council to refuse plans by Miller Homes to build 86 homes on greenbelt known as Winton East.

The original plans were refused by the council in December 2017.

However, developers appealed the decision.

The plans brought more than 100 letters of objection from residents.

Historical sites

Scott Arthur, councillor for Edinburgh's Colinton and Fairmilehead ward, welcomed the decision.

He said: "I am delighted for the local community the plan to destroy our greenbelt near Winton has again been rejected.

"In this most recent attempt to make an easy profit, the developer has shown a complete disregard for local democracy, historical sites and the environment."

"With an estimated 3,100 people assessed as homeless in Edinburgh last year, the city is facing a housing crisis - not least in the Oxgangs area I represent.

"However, the route out of that is to build genuinely affordable homes on the many empty sites in our capital, not erecting luxury four bedroom villas on our greenbelt."

Listed buildings

Miller Homes proposed building 64 private and 22 affordable homes on the 4.5 hectare site. Local residents raised concern the housing would alter the character of the area.

Reporter Elspeth Cook said: "The appeal site is not an allocated housing site and is located in the greenbelt out-with the settlement boundary for Edinburgh.

"The appeal site however is located in an important area of open countryside that contributes to the effectiveness of the greenbelt, the quality of the special landscape area, the character and appearance of the Morton Mains conservation area and the historic setting of the adjacent listed buildings.

"I find that the proposed development would have an unacceptable and adverse impact on these features.

"I conclude that the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations which would still justify granting planning permission."

Jason Rust, councillor for Fairmilehead ward, said the decision was a victory for the community.

He said: "I am delighted the reporter has upheld the refusal and development here has been rejected.

"It is made clear in the determination the site is not an allocated housing site and is located in the greenbelt out-with the settlement boundary for Edinburgh where housing is not supported by planning policy."

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