Thursday, 4 September 2008

Craigmillar Park: planning 1

Yesterday the Planning Committee considered the application to convert a bed and breakfast establishment on a corner site at number 3 Craigmillar Park into four flats. The garage at the rear of the site was to be converted into a house. The Planning Committee had previously sent it back to the applicant saying they would be more minded to consider it favourably if the house at the rear was moved back - more into the line with the Crawfurd Road houses and there were adjustments to parking and access arrangements. The site is in the Craigmillar Park conservation area and, after some confusion over whether the Villa Policy extends to corner sites, it was generally agreed that the intention of the guidance note was to protect corner sites from over development.

In the event the decision was to accept the proposal to convert into flats but reject the conversion of the garage at the rear by 6 votes to 5. My vote was to allow the whole development to go ahead. The applicant had done what was asked in moving the house replacing the garage back and we have an underlying policy that there is a need to build more houses in Edinburgh. The over development in terms of footprint was relatively marginal in terms of the guidelines. The conservation arguments won the day.

Our guest houses in the Craigmillar Park area do not seem to be doing too well at the moment. There has been a considerable increase in hotel space in the city and a similar increase in hostel accommodation - our bed and breakfasts and small hotels are getting squeezed from both sides. It may be this proprietor had seen the trends and was investing in a more productive area.

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