What does the future hold for Warriston Recreation Ground?

The Society is concerned that piecemeal proposals for new developments at Warriston Recreation Ground are being considered without any proper opportunity for local residents to understand the Council’s long-term plans for the use and management of the playing fields.

When the Warriston Tennis Club proposal for a new tennis court was considered more than a year ago, the Council failed to respond to the Society’s request for an explanation how this fitted into their long-term plans for the use of the playing fields as a whole.

Now we are faced with another proposal for a new sporting facility in the shape of a planning application for a full size baseball pitch which will involve construction of a new playing surface as well as a protective back wall and netting (Council Reference 15/01954/FUL).

The playing fields are used during school term times for junior football and sports. In principle it might appear desirable to encourage other sporting uses. However in the absence of any published Council plans for the future use and management of the playing fields, we are bound to be concerned about the fragmentary nature of the proposals which seem to be coming forward. The Council’s own policies for protecting the open space character of the Inverleith Conservation Area ask landowners to put in place a long-term strategy for the constructive future management and use of playing fields. It is hard to understand why this should not apply to the Council itself in relation to Warriston Recreation Ground. Local residents can reasonably expect to have some assurance that planned future uses and facilities will be properly managed and that the site as a whole will be protected from inappropriate development.

The Society will be objecting to the current proposal from Baseball Scotland. Although the field has been used for baseball we are concerned that the more intensive use which is now proposed may result in increased pressure on parking as well as requiring some significant physical structures. The application does not provide any information about key issues such as the expected frequency of use or the numbers of people likely to be involved.

The Society will also be writing to local councillors to call for consultation to take place with local residents on the Council’s long-term plans for the use and management of the whole site before any further decisions are taken on developments such as the baseball pitch.

If you agree with these views, please support the Society’s views by

  1. Objecting to the Baseball Scotland planning application – you can do this online via the Council’s website or, by writing to The City Planning Officer, Waverley Court, EH8 8BG
  2. Asking our local councillors to support the case for local residents to be consulted on a proper long-term plan for the use and management of the Warriston Recreation Ground (Councillors for Inverleith are: Nigel Bagshaw (Green), Gavin Barrie (SNP), Lesley Hinds (Labour), Iain Whyte (Conservative).