Welcome to Craigmillar Park Association
The area of the South Edinburgh map outlined in black is the Craigmillar Park Conservation Area and is the same as that covered by the Craigmillar Park Association. With the help of the residents we monitor planning applications and help protect the environment for future generations to enjoy. We support the community in a variety of ways, go to our About Us page for full information. Click on map to view full size.
The Craigmillar Park Conservation Area Character Appraisal as approved by Edinburgh Council in 2003 noted “The predominance of high quality stone – built Victorian architecture of limited height which provides homogeneity through building lines, heights, massing and the use of traditional materials and the pleasing rhythms of original features is of great importance.”
Writing in the Autumn Newletter, Chairman Ronald MacArthur, suggested that this is still of great importance in an era of utilitarianism!
Edinburgh Council has now updated ( January 2020) the 2003 Character Appraisal after consultation with both Grange/Prestonfield Community Council and CPA.
To read the updated Character Appraisal, press here.
CALA Homes received in August 2019 planning consent for the demolition of all buildings on the former Royal Blind School site other than the original 19th Century building and the gatehouse both of which are to be adapted for residential use.
The development will now consist of 49 dwellings including 21 in the original 19th Century building and one in the gatehouse. Some conditions were imposed details of which may be viewed in the planning decision by clicking this link 18/10258/LBC.
The original plans were for greater development on the Northern Boundary of the site. However considerable opposition was expressed by residents of Mentone Gardens who were likely to be most affected and by the CPA, GPCC and AHSS.
CALA modified its plans to take into account in some measure the reasoned objections to its original planning applications and resubmitted in April 2019 with conditional approval from Edinburgh Council issuing in August 2019.
The GPCC are to be congratulated in arranging two public meetings attended by CALA representatives for comment on the CALA proposals. The CPA arranged for distribution of flyers in advance of the meetings and paid for 50 per cent of the costs incurred by the GPCC.
Windows in the original building were replaced by inappropriate u-PVC frames before the creation of the Conservation Area. It is regrettable that these windows will be replaced by new u-PVC frames of unspecified design. CALA Homes indicated that the anticipated start-up date for site work would be Spring 2020 with a public meeting being held before work commenced. Such a meeting has yet to be convened. We await further information.
MILLER’s Planning Application to build ten town houses on the former playing field at East Suffolk Road was refused by Edinburgh Council, the CPA and GPCC having objected to the application. On appeal, the Reporter, appointed by the Scottish Government, overturned the refusal but on condition that provision be made on access “ to the remaining spaces for use by the public” by means of a s75 Agreement with Edinburgh Council. Accordingly, a Minute of Agreement was so signed. The CPA has requested information on how Miller Homes Ltd proposes to comply with its legal obligations thereunder but has received no response despite a reminder. Accordingly, contact was made with both Ian Murray MP and Daniel Johnson MSP who contacted Edinburgh Council on our behalf. Edinburgh Council has been very cooperative in providing relevant information referred to above.
Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS)
Craigmillar Park Association has joined the Society as a “small charity member”. The Society was founded in 1956 and has around one thousand members and volunteers. As the name suggests, the aims of the society are the protection, preservation and appreciation of Scotland’s architectural heritage and environment. This includes not just the famous buildings such as that of the former Royal High School but also the distinctive architecture and environment in conservation areas including our own.
The Society has regional groups in different parts of Scotland organising local activities and carrying out casework. In the Forth and Borders region, the Cases Panel meets weekly to consider planning applications and, where appropriate, lodge objections.
The Society has lodged (as has both the CPA and Grange / Prestonfield Community Council), three such objections in relation to planning applications within our Conservation Area in the period since our last AGM. We welcome very much the Society’s involvement in our Conservation Area – hence your Committee’s decision that CPA join the Society. The Society holds events such as lecture series, conferences and visits to buildings and sites of special interest and arranges annual study tours. For more information on the Society and their upcoming events, please visit:
Nature Strips Update
Nest Box Building
On Saturday 15 February a small group gathered at the Bowling Club to make up the bird box kits that were bought from the RSBP Edinburgh Local Group. It was a fun exercise and five blue tit and five robin boxes were built. Plans were made to put them up in the nature strips as soon as possible.
Strip 4 – four bird boxes have been erected and some new plants ordered – Quercus Petrea, euonymus, ruscus aculeetus and sambuscus nigra.
In Strip 5 an oak sapling – Quercus rubrus – has been planted on the recommendation of Ian Morrison. It will take many years to reach full maturity but will be a great legacy to future generation. There’s a beautiful display of daffodils and flowering currant, forsythia and amelanchier are in full bud. Four bird boxes were installed – three for tits and one for robins. It’s an exciting time of year and we hope that the sights of spring will cheers us all up in these uncertain times.
The CPA reviews weekly all planning applications relevant to our Conservation Area and objects where appropriate.
The major applications objected to since our AGM in late October 2019 were: Two high-rise blocks of student accommodation ( 148 bedrooms) in Mayfield Road – inappropriate height and causing road congestion. New Cinema development at Cameron Toll Shopping Centre – too high, inappropriate design, inadequate vehicle access to site, loss of car parking and road congestion. University Peffermill Sports Village – road congestion in the area with knock on effect within our Conservation Area. CPA was particularly concerned when considered in the light of the cinema project.
Decisions on the above are awaited from Edinburgh Council.
Bridgend Farm, Dalkeith Road celebrated its first birthday on March 24 2019 with a lively party. There was delicious food in the café area, a marquee with barbecue, singing and a great ceilidh band. The caller, with his witty repartee, encouraged us all to join in the dancing. Those who had purchased shares in the project received their certificates and volunteers were on hand to show visitors round and explain what goes on the various workshops bordering the garden. Those of you who attended the AGM of the CPA in October 2018 will have heard Donna McArdle, an administrator of the Bridgend project, explain its aims: community development, education and training, addressing health inequalities and social isolation, enabling an interest in arts, culture and history of the area and encouraging environmental protection. Since its inception, this organisation has already benefitted many people to acquire skills and, in some cases, gain qualifications in cookery, bike maintenance, gardening, wood and metal work. The building itself has been very attractively restored and decorated and the café is open from 10 till 4 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays serving lunches and snacks. On a warm day, after a walk round Craigmillar Castle, nothing could be more pleasant than tea and cake in the Farmhouse garden.
It’s an excellent venue for parties and weddings and the upstairs room can cater for conferences/ meetings of up to 30 people.
If you would like to find out more about this incredibly useful and worthwhile project, please just drop in to see for yourself or look at their website: www.bridgendfarmhouse.org.uk
Here is a LINK to view the minutes of the monthly meetings of the GPCC.
South East Edinburgh Locality Improvement Plan
Click Here to view plan.
Strategic Development Plan (SDP)
This SDP covers the SESplan area from the Borders to part of Fife, including Edinburgh. The members of SESplan are City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council, Midlothian Council, West Lothian Council, Fife Council and Scottish BordersCouncil. The SDP sets the strategy for Local Development Plans (see above) and the new plan SESplan2 is to replace in 2018 the 2013 SDP SESplan covering a 20 year period. The final Plan is at present with the Scottish Government for decision as to implementation.
Friends of Newington Cemetery
Grange/Prestonfield Community Council has set up an Interest Group of local volunteers, Friends of Newington Cemetery. Their long term vision is to restore Newington Cemetery to its former glory, by helping to clear overgrown areas and restore gravestones, and by liaising with the community and the families of those buried there. New members are always welcome, both to attend meetings and help at working parties that are held on a Monday between 10am and noon. Go to their Website for contact information.
Craigmillar Park Bowling Club
Situated in our Conservation Area, Craigmillar Park Bowling Club extends a warm welcome to new members in all age categories, previous experience of bowling is not necessary. Trained coaches are on hand to provide assistance, and all equipment (shoes, bowls) can be provided by the Club. For full information go to www.cpbc.org.uk:
One of the foremost names in Scottish tennis, Waverley Lawn Tennis Club was formed in 1885 on its present secluded, yet accessible site in our Conservation Area. The club is very active and welcomes new members. Their facilities include –
4 artificial grass tennis courts, all floodlit – 2 traditional plaster-walled squash courts, with viewing gallery – 1 mini-tennis court
Click HERE to view their website for full information about joining and other facilities on offer.
Craigmillar Park Golf Club
If you would like to play a golf course that is close to the centre of Edinburgh yet within the Green belt; with fantastic views down the coast of East Lothian and across the Firth to Fife; where you won’t hear the intrusive sounds of traffic and are likely to spot deer, then look no further than Craigmillar Park Golf Club. Visit Website for details.