I attended the public exhibition on the 2nd of December at Fairmilehead Parish Church for the proposed care home on 5 Winton Drive (proposed access via Winton Loan).
Overall, I was impressed by the detail available (copies of the information boards are linked below). I am trying to keep an open mind, but I have concerns that the proposals may constitute overdevelopment and the design is not in keeping with the area. However, I am keen to listen to local people on this. I have met some local residents and many have contacted me directly – all share my concerns.
I’ve also been discussing the issue with Ian Murray MP, and he highlighted to me that if approved the care home may make it easier for Winton East (the field to the south) to be developed – a site I have pledged to protect. Ian Murray MP has also written to all Winton residents to ensure they are aware of the proposals (a copy of the letter is linked below).
At the consultation event event the community were told that in CityPlan 2030 the Council has not allocated any land to care homes and this make sites like 5 Winton Drive the best way to provide private care beds. This is what the planners say when I asked about where care homes could be built in Edinburgh:
One of the key aims of City Plan 2030 is to deliver mixed use sustainable communities which cater for a range of residents. City Plan promotes a mix of uses on sites, with allocated sites being for ‘housing-led’ development rather than solely for housing.
Residential accommodation for older people often falls either into the same category as regular housing. For example, retirement style flats can be the same use category as mainstream housing and therefore part of the housing land supply. Alternatively, some will fall under use Class 8 which is for residential institutions. However, both of these uses can be provided within sites proposed for allocation within City Plan due to the mixed-use nature of the sites.
CityPlan 2030 proposes the allocation of over 100 sites for housing-led development – enough for 55,000 homes. Based on this, Northcare should not be short of sites where the Council would be happy to consider this sort of development.
Other points from the exhibition:
- The event appeared very well attended by local people, and the architects, Northecare and their lobbyist where there to answer questions.
- The site is not currently owned by Northecare , but is held by an (undisclosed) individual.
- Northecare said they had undertaken research which demonstrated local demand for a care home.
- Although the address proposed for redevelopment is on Winton Drive, it appears access is planned to be via Winton Loan.
- Once opened, the largest vehicle accessing the site will be ambulance sized.
- Waste will be left for collection on Winton Loan (“within 10m of the kerb”).
- The scale of the proposed building is not trivial, but the architects said it will be no higher than the surrounding area. (it’s way bigger than many surrounding buildings though)
- It was suggested that care homes received limited visitors at any one time, and they expect 25% of staff to drive.
The local community have established a Facebook group to help people keep up with news on the development.