This development is an opportunity for the Council to help deliver the ambitions set out in the City Centre Transformation programme. This application is not consistent with these ambitions or the professed ‘climate emergency’. This is ‘business as usual’.
Most fundamentally, why would such a central site, and Edinburgh’s busiest transport interchange on the west side of the city, be suitable for car parking, but not homes? If the council does intend to reduce city centre traffic by 25% as stated, there should be no car parking at all at such a site.
The development appears to make little or no contribution to the surrounding pedestrian area. It is an opportunity in particular to transform the Haymarket junction and western part of Morrison Street, some of the least pedestrian-friendly streets in the whole city. This needs the pavements on the outside of the development to be widened and improved with much more engaging, active frontages. It is not good enough to simply funnel pedestrians into the development itself: allowing people to walk through the development in comfort while leaving Morrison Street as a grim thoroughfare is not acceptable. The developer of prestige sites like this should be making significant financial and design contributions to improvements to the wider pedestrian environment.