Foysol Choudhury Labour MSP for Lothian has been supportive of the residents in Eyre Place Lane and the flats which front Rodney Street who he now says are being ignored by a developer using the planning system to their advantage.

Rather than the application which was due to be heard by the council’s planning committee, Mr Choudhury is disappointed that a public hearing, unanimously agreed by councillors and welcomed by both residents and the MSP at the time, will not now take place regarding the planning application 22/0384/FUL (Student Accommodation) 72-74 Eyre Place. This is being bypassed in favour of a reporter.

Mr Choudhury is as disappointed as the residents are about this move. He said: “On 11 January 2023, it was unanimously agreed by the The City of Edinburgh Council’s Planning and Development Management Sub-Committee that a hearing would be held, so that local residents and developers could make their case in the council chambers, before a final vote was held. However, the developers CA Europe Operating Company have appealed, and a Reporter, (a lawyer appointed by Scottish Government Ministers), will instead decide upon the merits of the planning application.

“I am deeply concerned that the public hearing will not take place and that the voices of the local residents will not be heard, when nearly 400 objections to the planning application were received from residents.

“The decision on the planning application was to be made by the Councillors and the local residents wanted and needed an opportunity to raise their views about this issue, as they are the ones who will be living with the outcome of the planning decision, on a daily basis. By calling in a Reporter, local democracy has been sidelined.

“So many of my constituents have contacted me to tell me that the community is in despair and how furious they are that their voices can be silenced in such a manner. I fully understand their anger about this matter.

“The Scottish Government purportedly believes in local democracy, and yet planning legislation allows the voices of local Councillors and residents to be bypassed. This legislation is clearly not fit for purpose and I will endeavour to raise this important issue at the Scottish Parliament. It is vital that local democracy is not circumvented, and that people’s voices are not silenced in this way.”

Read the article here: https://theedinburghreporter.co.uk/2023/03/eyre-place-residents-being-ignored-says-choudhury/

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