Press release: “Caltongate Opponents to reveal findings”

Canongate Community Forum Press Release: 11/02/09
Contact: Julie Logan 07766987328
Sally Richardson 07778556210
http://www.eh8.org.uk
http://www.independentrepublicofthecanongate.blogspot.com
Caltongate Opponents to Reveal Findings
The findings of The Canongate Project, an innovative 6 week long programme of government funded community research carried out last year in Edinburgh`s Old Town, are to be revealed later this month .

Catriona Grant, chair of the Canongate Community Forum, the group who ran the project said today :

“Yesterday`s news, that the future of the Caltongate development is now in doubt, because it`s developers Mountgrange are in financial difficulties, comes as no surprise. Those opposed to the development have said from day one, that carpetbaggers rolling into our capital city and hoodwinking the council with tales of speculative unimaginable riches in exchange for our homes and heritage is and always will be unacceptable.”

She added “The report launch on the 21st will provide a much needed opportunity for the community to be listened to, by the very people who claim to represent them – both at local and national level. The findings of the project have much to say on how best to develop solutions for supporting communities and protecting the capital`s rich and unique heritage.”

Fellow campaigner Julie Logan is asking

“What has happened to the bond of £100,000 that Mountgrange gave to the council? This money was to be used in the landscaping of the gap site on New Street. Now with yesterday`s news that it could lie vacant for years to come, this money must be released and used as agreed.”

She added ” Surely the council should be reconsidering the sale of the publicly owned land and buildings which are earmarked for demolition. This deal was made on the basis that the council would benefit from a share of the speculative profits from Caltongate. The sale should now be put on hold and alternatives put forward by the community looked at. We should be holding on to both public and Common Good land and assets, that will sustain generations of city centre residents and businesses for years to come.”

She finished “Like the bankers being questioned by the government, surely the council , should be held to account for gambling with our homes and heritage.”

***************************ends**********************************

Notes for editors

Canongate Project Launch

http://www.eh8.org.uk/the_canongate_project

At The Scottish Storytelling Centre

Programme –
2pm Registration
2.15pm Presentation in Theatre
3.30pm Discussion Time in Theatre
4.15pm Refreshments & opportunity
to see further material displayed and network in cafe
5.30pm Close

The Canongate Project was funded by SCARF
The Scottish Communities Action Research Fund
Please contact us if you wish to reserve a place

Story on developers` financial crisis
http://edinburghnews.scotsman.com/topstories/Caltongate-on-the-brink-of.4963189.jp

Information on £100,000 Bond held by CEC.

“In the event that on expiry of three months from the date of completion of the Investigatory Works and the Development” (demolition of bus depot and archaeological works)

“a contract is not been placed for the redevelopment of the site in accordance with a valid planning permission, ”

(and no contract for an approved land art scheme has been implemented)
“the Council shall be entitled, to utilise the Contribution (the Bond) for the implementation of the Scheme”

(a Land Art scheme was proposed by developer as an interim solution to the gap site)

Extract from the legal agreement between CEC and Mountgrange – see associated documents for application 05/01777/CON on CEC Planning Portal
link here – http://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk/portal/getEdmDoc?docid=51608090&ext=pdf

The planning report which gave approval for the demolition of the bus depot says

“The applicant has volunteered a financial contribution of £100 000 prior to any demolition works being carried out, and this would be used in the event that the interim design scheme or the development of the site had not commenced within three months of the demolition works .”

link here for full report to planning committee on 21st Dec 2005
http://cpol.edinburgh.gov.uk/getdoc_ext.asp?DocId=75216

Common Good
http://www.scottishcommons.org/commongood.htm

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