Green MSP: Sir David Murray’s new £1bn village will ‘chew up precious greenbelt’

AN MSP has criticised councillors for going against officials to back a controversial £1bn new village on Edinburgh greenbelt.

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, urged Edinburgh City Council to reverse that decision and ultimately reject Sir David Murray's proposals for 1,350 homes on greenbelt land between the City Bypass and Gogar Station Road.

Councillors on the planning committee – except the Greens – signalled their approval of the proposal by Murray Estates, owned by the former Rangers chairman, going against the officials' recommended refusal.

However the case will now go before the full council next month and then to the Scottish Government.

Ms Johnstone said: "As the council's own report made clear, there is plenty of land within Edinburgh that can be developed for housing.

"This scheme would unnecessarily chew up yet more of our precious greenbelt when we should be protecting it."

She added: "I would urge the full council to see sense and overturn the planning committee's decision, which smacks of desperation.

"The city council's energies should be going into transforming existing brownfield sites that have good infrastructure connections and bringing empty properties back into use."

Developer Murray Estates previously said the ambitious scheme would create a “world class extension to the nation’s capital”.

Conditions attached to the decision to drive through the plans included more detailed analysis on flood prevention, traffic and public transport.

The development will also see the creation of a new school, community hub and shopping centre, sports facilities and green space.



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