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Waverley Station Masterplan - Position Statement

Posted on 28 Mar 2019 by Joe

The Cockburn Association has outlined its concern that the Masterplan for Waverley Station produced by Network Rail (with Transport Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, Visit Scotland & Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce) suggests significant redevelopment including the demolition of most of the Category A-listed structure.

The Cockburn Association has had an early sight of the masterplan and we thank Network Rail and their consultants for this.  However, we are very disappointed that the heritage significance of the station (listed Category A) and its historic context (World Heritage Site and Conservation Areas) does not appear to have taken into account by the study.  The skewing of the assessment in the public exhibition material supporting a “significant redevelopment” approach is therefore misleading and unfortunate in that it suggests that other approaches cannot accommodate growth, provide efficient operations, and provide for a world class environment that offers a distinct gateway. The enhancement of rail infrastructure within the station envelope must be considered as a viable strategy for improvement and options prepared for public assessment.

There is great scope for improvement of the station and station environs including better connections with East Prince Street Gardens via a reconfigured Waverley Bridge and significant scope for expansion westwards.  We would also advocate the integration of Waverley Mall into the scheme, which could provide huge benefit over the ill-conceived rooftop extension granted consent recently. 

We also need to put this masterplan into the wider context given the current work in East Princes Street Gardens and the Ross Development Trust proposals for West Princes Street Gardens.  The whole of the Waverley Valley is under significant development pressure which, if we are not careful, could erode the essential character of the Waverley Valley.  Other policies must also be brought into discussions on the future of Waverley Station.  These include the City Centre Transformation Project, City Plan 2030 and City Vision 2050.

The Cockburn is establishing a short-life Working Group to assess the masterplan and prepare comments and possible alternatives.