Posted on 27 Nov 2019 by Lucy
The Ross Development Trust is consulting the public on their plans for West Princes Street Gardens. Use the following link to access their on-line survey.
Not a lot has changed since the last consultation (on whether the gardens should be managed by an Arm’s Length External Organisation (ALEO), an idea rejected by the public). However, the design teams have been maturing the design, readying it for a planning application to be made circa March 2020.
The Cockburn Council have considered and debated the proposals at length. They are very conscious of the many changes taking place in and around the Gardens and the Waverley Valley in general. Fundamental in its thinking is the need to preserve the gardens as a green space and counterpoint to the ebullience of a modern capital city. Since the early 2000s, all public opinion surveys suggest that green-ness and tranquillity are the two most valued attributes. We agree.
As it stands, the Ross Development Trust will develop the project, but it will be managed and run by the Council. We remain concerned that no detailed business plan outlining how the facility will be used and how often is available. This is key as any intensification of use or further commercialisation of the gardens is unwelcome.
What we like:
What we don’t like:
Some points to consider when responding to the consultation might be:
Consideration of the need to the demolish the existing Ross Bandstand with a clear analysis of refurbishment/improvement options will be required as part of any planning application. From our understanding, this has been dismissed outright based little more on anecdotal evidence and with no cost appraisal for a conservation-led approach to improving the facilities.
Please submit your thoughts on this. It is a critically important site. If you can't manage to fill in the survey or make to one of their events, we're sure they would welcome you writing directly to them.
The Cockburn has also highlighted concerns with the current Christmas Market, which now dominates East Princes Street Gardens. Whilst we recognise the seasonal vibrancy that a Christmas Market can bring to the city centre, the scale of the 2019 event together with its massive space deck, which erodes the essential valley form landscape, undermines the essential qualities of the gardens rather than enhances them. A more detailed blog can be found elsewhere on this website.