The Scottish Government Enquiry Reporter has now issued her decision on the appeal submitted by Glovart Holdings and has granted consent for demolition of the buildings occupied by “Earthy” at Canonmills.

Although the City Council refused for the demolition last year and also refused recent applications for changes to the development scheme which had previously been approved, it seems that the Council’s decision five years ago to grant planning permission for redevelopment of the site was a key consideration in persuading the Reporter to give consent for the demolition. This appears to have outweighed the arguments which the Society and others had made from the outset about the need to preserve the particular and distinctive character of Canonmills.

At present we do not have any information on how or when the developer will proceed with his plans. However, we are continuing to discuss the position with the Canonmills campaign group and with local political representatives.

What seems clear is that the Council’s decision on the development scheme five years ago failed to take proper account of the particular character of Canonmills. That decision seems to have been underpinned by a view that the buildings at Canonmills were “out of character”with the Conservation Area. In our submissions we argued that Canonmills is a transitional area whose character and special contribution is defined by the fact that its built environment is different from the rest of the Conservation Area. The Society will continue to press the Council to improve its guidance documents for the conservation area so that there is much better recognition of the differing considerations which ought to apply to different parts of the area.