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Welcome to my April eMagazine.
New changes to data protection legislation will mean this could be the last eMagazine you receive unless you resubscribe.
Since being elected as your MP in 2010, I have endeavoured to keep you updated all year round. My electronic communications are a key part of that alongside door knocking, street stalls, advice sessions and home visits. My e-Magazine currently goes out to over 11,000 constituents and is designed to keep you up to date with all my work in Edinburgh South and Westminster. Communicating with my constituents is really important to me and I hope you will sign up to continue receiving my e-Magazine if you have not already done so.
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Boroughmuir High School – following the rejection of CALA Homes’ application to convert the former Boroughmuir High School into residential accommodation CALA are now gearing up for a fresh application. I met with many residents to discuss the initial application and the real issue they had was the new affordable housing block at the front of the site. CALA have made several changes which you can view here. A fresh application is expected in the coming months.
Blood bank on Ellen’s Glen Road – the area to the east of Liberton Hospital, including the open space and blood bank site, was identified by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Local Development Plan as suitable for residential development. At the time residents were very concerned that proposed access from Malbet Park would cause serious congestion issues for residents. This was accepted and residents were promised that no development would begin until access through Liberton Hospital could be guaranteed.
I have been contacted by a few residents who are worried that development seems to be gearing up. There has been no official planning application and access via the hospital is still not an option so no works should be starting as yet. I will be monitoring the situation closely in the coming months.
Royal High School
The developer’s appeal against the Council’s refusal of planning permission for a hotel on the above mentioned site will begin in September this year. This site is not in my constituency but a few constituents have contacted about it.
The inquiry sessions will commence on Tuesday 18 September 2018 at 10:00 am within Heart of Midlothian Football Club, Tynecastle Stadium, McLeod Street, Edinburgh, EH11 2NL and are expected to run for five weeks.
Please note that all inquiry sessions are open to members of the public who wish to attend and watch the proceedings, but not participate. The Inquiry sessions will be broadcast live to the internet as part of DPEA’s webcasting service. Details can be found here; https://dpea.public-i.tv/core/portal/home
Bernard Hunter - Gilmerton Road site
A planning application for a mixed development on Gilmerton Road has been submitted to the Council. The site is currently occupied by Bernard Hunter and the application includes: Class 1 retail, class 2 professional services, class 3 (inc Sui Generis) Food and Drink, class 4 to 6 Business/ Industrial, class 7 Hotel, class 11 Assembly and Leisure, Access, Car Parking, Servicing, Bridge, Demolition and Associated Works.
I know many constituents are incredibly frustrated by the traffic congestion in the area already and further development will only exacerbate this.
I have written to the Council to stress that residents are extremely concerned about the traffic implications of any new development. You can comment on the application via the Council’s planning portal using the reference: 18/01557/PPP.
My colleague Daniel Johnson MSP recently hosted a public meeting on the future of the site. The meeting was attended by the Astley Ainslie Community Council Engagement Group and the Astley Ainslie Community Trust.
The meeting was positive and according to the feedback forms submitted, what the public wants is clear:
- That open and substantial greenspace, trees & wildlife are maintained as this is a benefit to local residents’ health and wellbeing, and that maintaining this greenspace for future generations is important.
- That any redevelopment needs to take on board the concerns/opinions of local residents – that any building should be limited in its scope in order that it does not impact on the greenspace, and that the building that does occur should factor in the needs of the local area – social housing, schools & GPs.
Daniel and I will continue to work with the trust to ensure the community’s voice is heard.
Comiston Farm House
In the last couple of weeks City of Edinburgh Council Estates, local councillors and local residents have agreed unanimously that Comiston Farmhouse will be marketed as a family house.
We are awaiting further details but this is more positive news. It looks as though the historic farm house will be retained!
Could you benefit from a share of £250k?
Builders’ merchant Jewson has launched Building Better Communities, a competition to give £250k to good causes.
The competition is open for entries from causes ranging from community groups and grass roots sports teams, to those in the building trade that need a helping hand.
Nominate and spread the word
You can nominate a project or contact me and I will nominate your group on your behalf
If you wish you to share via social media, the key details you know are:
- Nominations can be made via www.buildingbettercommunities.co.uk
- It's open for entries until 9th May
Message from Vodaphone:
Dear Mr Murray,
We wanted to let you know that Vodafone and CityFibre have identified the next wave of towns and cities to benefit from our roll-out of ultra-fast, Gigabit-capable full fibre broadband. Residents and workers in Edinburgh will be among the next in line for the roll-out.
Alongside those cities announced already, this brings the total number of homes and businesses identified to date to over half a million premises across seven towns and cities.
By using fibre optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home or business to the Internet, users will be offered a significantly superior and more reliable broadband service, capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps). Vodafone will use CityFibre’s network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to customers. Residential and business customers in Edinburgh, Coventry, Huddersfield and Stirling can pre-register for the service from today at www.vodafone.co.uk/broadband/ultrafast.
We would be very happy to brief you in more detail about this programme as well as some of the policy and regulatory issues involved.
Graham Dunn, Senior Government Affairs Manager
Among the world-class scientific research conducted at King's Buildings is palaeontology: the study of fossils. Dr Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciences leads a diverse lab of postdocs and students who are studying the evolution of dinosaurs, mammals, and other ancient species in order to better understand how the Earth has changed over time. On May 3, Steve released an adult pop science book called The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs (Macmillan publishers). It tells the story of dinosaur history: where they came from, how they rose up to dominance, how some became huge and others evolved into birds, and how the rest of them died out. Along the way, Steve weaves in his own stories of travelling the world digging up dinosaurs, including a chapter on his work on the Isle of Skye, where he and his students have discovered 170-million-year old fossils of some of the largest dinosaurs to ever live.
The book can be ordered online on Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rise-Fall-Dinosaurs-Untold-Story/dp/1509830065/) or in one of the many fine bookshops in Edinburgh, particularly the Blackwell's on South Bridge.
Labour Hame – Scottish Labour’s independent website – is hosting an event to discuss and debate the option of ‘federalism’ for the future constitutional structure of Scotland and UK, and what that would mean for both Scottish and UK Labour.
Tickets available here.