Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Frustration as £500m Edinburgh airport plans called in

The proposed development Image copyright Murray Capital
Image caption The proposed International Business Gateway development

The developer behind a major development next to Edinburgh Airport has said there is "deep disappointment" the Scottish government has called in the proposal.

The 250-acre International Business Gateway development was approved by City of Edinburgh Council on 30 May.

However, the Scottish government said there were concerns about the transport impact of the proposed development.

It will now decide if the £500m plans will go ahead.

The government has used its planning powers to call in the proposal.

David D. Murray of Murray Capital - one of the International Business Gateway consortium members - said the further delay in its plans would put at risk jobs, investment and economic growth.

He said: "This is a deeply disappointing decision by the Scottish government. The council has already undertaken an exhaustive three-year planning process on a project we have been developing for over 20 years.

Image copyright Murray Capital
Image caption David D. Murray believes delays are putting putting investment, jobs and growth at risk

"The government has made clear its intent to steward the growth of the Scottish economy at a time of very significant downside risk. But the words are not being matched by action in this case, quite the reverse. This project would create hundreds of jobs in its development and house 12,000 jobs when completed.

"The politics of the planning process is putting investment, jobs and growth at risk. The danger is that the message from the Scottish government to the world is a negative one at the very point when we need strategic projects like this active and investing in the city and country."

'Strategically critical'

Mr Murray also brought up the Edinburgh Garden District project, also in west Edinburgh. It is more than three years since the plan, by the same developer on greenbelt land in west Edinburgh, was called in by Scottish government planners, after being approved by city councillors.

A decision on that is still awaited.

Mr Murray said: "That project has already been with the Scottish government for over three years following planning approval by the city council in June 2016. Both are strategically critical projects for the city and the country."

Image copyright Murray Capital
Image caption The proposed Garden District development

A Scottish government spokesman said of the International Business Gateway decision: "Ministers have called-in the application for planning permission in principle to allow further consideration of transport impacts of the proposed development, in view of the national importance of the West Edinburgh area.

"As this is a live planning application, it would not be appropriate to make any further comment on the merits or otherwise of the application."

The 15-year project promises large office accommodation, retail and leisure space, more than 1,000 hotel rooms and 396 residential units.

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