There were almost 70 people at the Leith Central Community Council meeting last week and around 100 Leithers at last night’s meeting of the Save Leith Walk campaign at Kirkgate Community Centre.
Campaigners have now had a look at the plans for Stead’s Place which is the two storey red sandstone block on the left of Leith Walk as you travel towards the Foot of the Walk. The building includes the Leith Depot, social enterprise Punjabi Junction and a number of other businesses.
A consultation was held over two days at Out of the Blue, and when some people saw Drum Properties’ plans for the building they expressed dismay. There is a threat of demolition hanging over the building to make way for a mixed development of approximately 50 affordable homes, student housing for around 500 postgraduate students and a hotel to house the students’ families.
The meeting was chaired by Linda Somerville.
Speakers included Ben MacPherson, MSP and Councillor Susan Rae, Leith Walk Ward, Ross McEwan, Architect who led the Earthy and Flower Colony Campaigns.
Cllr Susan Rae said : “The campaign to #saveleithwalk is underway! Get involved via Save Leith Walk Facebook page.”
Ben Macpherson MSP said : “Many people, including myself, have a lot of affection for the current sandstone buildings and for the local businesses that successfully trade out of them.
“There are real concerns locally about the potential demolition of this block and what that could mean for the character of the area. Many constituents have contacted me about their anxieties and there have been a few well attended community events about the proposed development.
“What Leith needs is more affordable housing and opportunities to help local businesses thrive. That’s why many Leithers are urging the developers to reconsider their initial proposals, to conserve the current sandstone frontage, and to provide more affordable housing within any new development of the site.”
The planning application can be viewed here.
Thanks to Cllr Rae for the photos from the meeting.