Merchiston CC > Planning > Old Boroughmuir High School Site

Old Boroughmuir High School Site

On Tuesday 05 May – Merchiston Community Council along with Out of the Blue held a public meeting to discuss the Out of the Blue bid for the old Boroughmuir High School site (due to be vacant from around August 2016). The meeting was well attended with over 150 residents present. It was also covered by the local media.

Why we think the Out of the Blue bid is the right one for our community

We believe that the bid from Out of the Blue will benefit the City of Edinburgh in all six of the Council’s pledges to us.

  1. Providing for Edinburgh’s prosperity – the new SME and Social Enterprise businesses run from this space will contribute to the economic impact of the area and the City
  2. Ensuring every child in Edinburgh has the best start in life – Out of the Blue’s bid includes working with the local schools for formal and informal education for children
  3. Reducing poverty, inequality and deprivation – Out of the Blue intend to provide social housing within the space as well as developing work placements, training, supported employment, education and development projects to help those in poverty, inequality and deprivation.
  4. Strengthening and supporting our communities and keeping them safe – Out of the Blue will make the space for the community and by the community with events/ classes and development for all.
  5. Maintaining and enhancing the quality of life in Edinburgh – an arts and creative hub will improve the quality of life to benefit all in the area and the City of Edinburgh.
  6. Ensuring Edinburgh and its residents are well cared for – the community aspect of the Out of the Blue bid ensures that outreach work (which also covers point 3 above) will benefit residents in the area and Edinburgh as a whole.

Additional supporting information

Why we do not want high density housing on the site

  1. Housing density in the area is amongst the highest in Edinburgh; 115 persons per hectare compared with 55 persons per hectare in typical (high density) colony type housing; and 18 persons per hectare elsewhere in the city.
  2. The resultant population density puts acute pressures on infrastructure.
  3. It is likely (given the figures of 100 flats and the offer price for the site of £14.5 million) that such flats would be compact, high value, units.
  4. The conversion of the school building would require complex negotiations with planning giving its listed building status which is likely to result in delays and eventual payment to the Council for the site. It may be that the price offered will not be the price received. It’s a high offer, but it might be a long time in coming. Meanwhile, the Council will remain liable for the building’s security and maintenance and nearby residents will have to endure a large building remaining empty for long periods right in the heart of their community.

What you can do to support the community bid 
Edinburgh Council Finance and Resources Committee will meet on Wednesday 13 May at 14:00m to discuss and decide on the sale of the Old Boroughmuir High School

01. Sign the petition and spread the word
We have set up a petition https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/support-the-out-of-the-blue-bid-for-old-boroughmuir-high-school-site – please sign and share with your neighbours, family and friends and as many people as possible. Use Twitter/ Facebook/ email etc to spread the word as far a possible.

02. Lobby by email
a) Members of the Finance and Resources Committee by email:

b) Andrew Burns, andrew.burns@edinburgh.gov.uk, and Sandy Howat, sandy.howat@edinburgh.gov.uk, are also ex-officio members as leader and deputy leader of the Council

c) Your local Councillors: Sandy Howat, Paul Godzik, Mark McInnes and Melanie Main

Sample letter for emailing (with thanks to Kate Tregaskis)

03. Attend the meeting on Wednesday 13 May 14:00 at the City Chambers

04. Collect petition signatures

Please hand completed paper petitions in to

Dig-In
119 Bruntsfield Place
or
text ‘PETITION 2B collected’ to 07775 665 499
or
c/o MCC Secretary, Alison Edelsten, 3 Daisy Terrace.

05. Join Friends of OOTB Viewforth Arts and Business
Email: FriendsOOTBViewforthArtsandBus@gmail.com