Comiston Farmhouse... Renewed Threat

APPEAL LODGED (after Planning Permission was Refused)


10 February 2017

PLEASE, if you commented before, do so again. Visit the ACTION PAGE to remind yourself how to do it. Thank you.

It would seem to any onlooker that the Council has pre-empted the likely Development Management Sub-Committee decision by secretly telling the developer, Chamberlain Bell, that their plan would be refused permission. This action illustrates the apparent incompetence of the Council... because the Council had sight of an almost complete set of plans prior to the application being submitted... and so CEC could have come to the same conclusion way back last year, thus saving a fat wad of taxpayers' money by simply pointing out the problems to CB then. Plainly someone at the Council appears to think the Development Management Sub-Committee is not up to the task and that they know better.

Anyway, this wasteful action means that all comments become invalid, and everyone who commented must do so again based on the new plans.

2017: Comiston Farmhouse - NEW THREAT for the New year

11 January 2017

Chamberlain Bell, the developer, has asked the "Housing Revenue Account" dept of the Council to sell to them a small triangle of land located between the wall of the Farmhouse and the road (see mock-up below). This is peculiar behaviour of the Council; early in the sale process Chamberlain Bell asked for permission (around March 2016, more than 9 months ago) to have access across this land, but were refused. If there was no intention to sell then, what has changed the Council's mind? Has Chamberlain Bell been given advance warning that their planning application is to be recommended for refusal based on the submitted access road layout, and if so, is such advance warning fair/permitted before the application's even been submitted to the Development Management Sub-Committee? Why isn't the existing application being considered on its merits? Wouldn't the other bidders for the site wish to have had the same opportunity to bid for this piece of land? What "incentive" has been offered to start the HRA dept down the road to selling this land? There are many more questions to be answered...

Before the HRA land can be sold, it must be deemed "surplus to requirements".  That requires assessment of the current use of the land, and its amenity value to the community. A letter [Click Here] from the Council has been sent to a few dozen residents nearby (arriving around January 14). The closing date for responses is Thursday 2 February 2017. Comments can be made by anyone by emailing; or writing to Mr Mark Borthwick, Housing Development Officer, Place, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG.

If you can suggest any help/action, please get in touch. Thanks.


CEC Planning Portal down for 6 days, now up again.

30 June 2016

ANOTHER UPDATE: Deadline extended to 11 July 2016. 

UPDATE, late on Sunday 3 July 2016: It's been down again over the weekend... keep an eye on it, or use email to object (see Action page).

CEC's Planning Portal (and a host of other Council I.T. services) have been unavailable for 6 days. Tonight (Thursday 30th) the Portal has re-appeared. CEC have stated that they will extend the deadlines for public comments of affected applications... so although the current deadline of 1 July is still showing, that should change to, I estimate, Tuesday 5 July. So, still time to object ;-)

Demolition Company climb garden wall of Comiston Farmhouse

21 June 2016

Photos of Forth Demolition staff climbing into the garden of Comiston Farmhouse today (apparently without the knowledge of the Council Estates Officer (so that would probably be called trespass)); I guess he'd have given them a key if they'd asked. Seems a large waste of time considering CEC still own the property and planning permission has not yet been considered let alone granted... curious at the very least. Who could possibly have told them that this would be a worthwhile visit? Perhaps the "preferred bidder" can shed some light via this blog?).

Preferred Bidder Advertising Before Planning Permission Granted or They Own the Land

19 June 2016

Preferred Bidder Chamberlain Bell are advertising the flats on their company website before they own the land and before planning permission has been granted. It makes one wonder what has taken place between Chamberlain Bell and CEC to make the granting of planning permission so certain... (If CB have taken down their advert, you can see an image of it HERE.)

Evening News Publishes Comiston Farmhouse Story

17 June 2016

Read the the Evening News reporter Alistair Grant's article about Comiston Farmhouse. There's a "Comment" facility on that page if you wish to add anything (though you will need to register first).


"Before & After" views of the proposed development.

12 June 2016

Several mock-up photos showing "before & after" views have been posted on the website (Home Page). They demonstrate clearly how dangerous the road junction would be and how inappropriate a development of this type would be for this area. Do take a look.

Planning Application

16 April 2016

The Planning Application is published. Deadline for comments is Friday 1 July 2016. Case Reference  Number: 16/02397/FUL. Case Reference officer is James Allanson. Click HERE to go to the application on CEC's Planning Portal. Look at our "Action" page for help.

Ideas and other contributions please

9 April 2016

Please use the "Comment" feature to contribute any ideas here.

Ideas: We have quite a few but have not had time to list them yet, since the most urgent action is the effort to have the farmhouse listed.

Photographs: We have taken our own photographs lately... but do you have any historic pictures?

History of the house or any personal recollections?


URGENT: "Listing" could prevent demolition.

9 April 2016

UPDATE, 1 JUNE 2016: Historic Environment Scotland have publish their decision NOT to grant Comiston Farmhouse "Listed" status [Link to documentation about the decision].

If the farmhouse can be "listed" by Historic Scotland before a Planning Application is lodged, this would likely prevent its demolition... but an application will probably be lodged by 27 April 2016, so RAPID ACTION is needed.

Anyone can lodge a request to list a building, and on the fourth page of the application form is a box to give the "Threat" the building is under, which will enable Historic Scotland to prioritise their assessment.

Visit: the Historic Scotland page describing how to apply. There you find a link to a PDF file which is the Application Form (here's a direct link to the PDF, but you may still wish to read about what's involved at the previous link).

Read more about "Listing" a building on the "Action Information" page of this site... and if you'd like to help save this modest but handsome example of a mid-19th century gentleman farmer's house (apparently designed by a pupil or employee of the renowned William Henry Playfair) then please act swiftly and send in a listing application.

Thank you.

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