The development proposed is on 32 hectares of land stretching west from Baird Road to the EICA and is directly adjacent to Ratho Village Conservation Area.
The land currently consists of arable farming, grazing and woodland. The fields are lined by mature lime trees, hawthorn, elder, field maple, ash, beech, sycamore, and a copper Norway maple.
This wide array of tree life attracts a biodiverse birdlife including wood pigeon, crows, rooks, Peregrin falcon, sparrow hawk, buzzards, tits and sparrows, yellow hammers and finches while also providing shelter for mammals, including rabbits, foxes and roe deer.
None of these trees are protected with tree protection orders. SNP Councillors have raised this with Officers as a matter of urgency as we believe they are incredibly important to the character and Biodiversity of Ratho.
The developers have stated their intention to submit a Planning Application in Principle and the consultation process is underway. They are proposing a development of 300 houses and ancillary mixed uses, a care home, retirement apartments, and holiday and leisure accommodation.
Main Street in Ratho is an historic, narrow village high street which wasn’t built to cope with the volume of commuter traffic that filters through it. With the current public transport provision to Ratho not meeting existing demand, and the future of the number 20 bus uncertain this development will create a car-dependent community, taking the traffic situation in Ratho and Ratho Station beyond breaking point.
Edinburgh is a growing City and the Council has a responsibility to allocate land for development to meet housing need. The Council produces a new Local Development Plan every five years, setting out detailed policies for sustainable growth and development of the City. The City Plan 2030 is the first one drafted by an SNP led Council; and the first one in the Council’s history which doesn’t unlock new greenfield sites for development. Rather, the proposal in City Plan 2030 is to build around existing rail and tram transport infrastructure, and to focus on inner city development and brownfield development in the north of the city with a focus on densification and sustainability minimising the impact on traffic by creating non car-dependent developments.
Liberal Democrat, Conservative and Labour Members of Edinburgh Council knocked back the new policies in June raising serious questions about whether or not this new Administration is committed to a ‘brownfield first’ policy.
Your SNP Councillors believe that with sustainable development we can meet the City’s increasing housing need without building on more greenfield sites.