The Save Leith Walk campaign have told us this morning that the University of Edinburgh is pulling out of its involvement with the Drum Property Group and their plans for Stead’s Place.
According to the campaigners the university believe that Drum has failed to address any concerns of the community or the council in lodging an appeal against the refusal of planning permission in January.
They believe that the university wanted Drum to come up with some alternatives, but that they have not done so.
A spokesman for the Save Leith Walk campaign said: “We are surprised that the University of Edinburgh has terminated its partnership arrangement with Drum Property Group to build student accommodation in Stead’s Place, Leith Walk. We appreciate that the University of Edinburgh have finally acknowledged the concerns of our community. Unfortunately, this has come too late for many of the local businesses in Stead’s Place that have been forced to close.
“Save Leith Walk has been working to build community involvement in development decisions and we would appeal to property developers, student accommodation providers and other developers to put community consultation at the heart of their design process and not simply as a response to planning requirements.”
A University spokesperson said: “The University has kept a close interest in the proposed plan for Stead’s Place and, after giving it careful consideration, has decided not to pursue that interest any further.”
Local councillor Susan Rae said : “I really welcome this news. It’s a testament to the skill, dedication and determination of @saveleithwalk campaign and demonstrates that the university has listened to the community and learned. It is time Drum Property Group did likewise.”
Most tenants, except Leith Depot, Leith Walk Café and Cassia café, have now moved out of the two storey red sandstone building. Save Leith Walk now have 6,000 signatures on their most recent petition to force the developer to reopen the shops which have been boarded up.