'Fresh assault' on Edinburgh's greenbelt as 500 new homes proposed at Cammo

A new planning application to build up to 500 homes in the Cammo area has been attacked by a local councillor as “a fresh assault on the west Edinburgh greenbelt which must be stopped”.

Developers West Craigs Ltd and Dunedin Canmore housing association are seeking planning permission in principle to build on a 59-acre site just west of Maybury Road and north of Craigs Road.

The area is currently designated as greenbelt in Edinburgh City Council’s local development plan, which places severe restrictions on what can and cannot be built.

Kevin Lang, Liberal Democrat councillor for Almond ward, which includes Cammo, said: “This application is a fresh assault on the west Edinburgh greenbelt and must be stopped. The plans are a clear breach of the Council’s greenbelt policy and deserve to be thrown out at the earliest opportunity.”

He said the new proposals, known as West Craigs North, came just two years after controversial plans were approved to build 650 homes right next to the congested Barnton junction, a move which sparked outrage in the local community.

And he has launched a new community petition to get the latest plans rejected.

Councillor Lang said: “It was bad enough that SNP councillors voted through the first Cammo development two years ago, building hundreds of houses next to one of Edinburgh’s most congested and polluted traffic hot spots. It would be utter madness to breach greenbelt policy and agree to even more housing in this area when we don’t know the impacts of the new homes being built now.

“I’ve already been inundated with messages from residents, furious at such a blatant attempt to go against the city’s greenbelt policy. It is vital for people to now make their voices heard and object”.

But the developers describe the land as “a gap site within the West Edinburgh Strategic Development Area” and argue the immediate surroundings are already seeing residential development and associated infrastructure.

“Development at West Craigs North will consolidate West Edinburgh’s emerging settlement pattern,” they say in a planning statement submitted to the council.

The statement also says 50 per cent of the proposed 500 homes would be affordable housing, helping to meet housing need in the city.

And it continues: “Education, employment, commercial, retail, recreation and health facilities are all accessible via active travel or public transport in

accordance with the principles of the ’20 Minute Neighbourhood’ concept.

The developers also say the site is well served by established public transport routes – bus, tram and rail – and stress environmentally-friendly features of the plans, including a new 7.4 acre public park, along with two smaller ones; 1,820 new trees to be planted, including 1,200 woodland trees; two new bus stops; all houses to have EV chargers, while all flats to have access to fast EV chargers; and local shops to be included on the site.

And they say the 2008 Edinburgh Green Belt Study found site to be “of low intrinsic scenic quality”.

People have until 10 October to lodge comments on the application.