A proposal has been put forward, and planning permission obtained, for a new hut on Bruntsfield Links to be used for hiring out golf clubs and balls and also blankets and deckchairs for sitting on the grass in the surrounding area. The hut would look practically identical to the present golfing hut, which is used to store greenkeepers’ equipment. Details of the planning proposal and decision can be found here.
But the story of this controversial proposal doesn’t end there, as the land belongs to the City of Edinburgh Council, which must approve the plans for leasing the site of the hut and for improvements to the access from the Golf Tavern, where the hire presently takes place. The plans aim to make playing more accessible, e.g. for families, who will no longer have to cross the road to the pub to obtain equipment. Following objections from the public, the planners are now suggesting that the hut should be a temporary structure which would be removed from the end of September to the beginning of May.
Concerns of the public, especially local residents and the Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links (FOMBL), centre on the possible creeping commercialisation of the area of grass opposite the pub and surrounding the new hut with increasing use by pub customers for drinking outside. There are also worries about increased litter and noise in this area. If the project goes ahead it would rely on these aspects being controlled and agreements (including the regular removal of the hut) being strictly enforced, and of course it is difficult to guarantee this in perpetuity. It would likely be the responsibility of the Golf Tavern management.
Since the Council, especially the Parks and Greenspaces Department still has to approve the plans there is time to object or support the proposal. FOMBL has voiced a number of concerns and Tollcross Community Council wrote a formal objection. It is important to note that some of these have been addressed: the present plans do not include picnic benches, and the temporary nature of the hut may in theory overcome the objection about the buildings allowed on the Meadows and Links. Nevertheless there is still a worry that over time these things may still come to pass and that this may be the thin end of a wedge.
Do the advantages of the new hut outweigh the possibility of these worrying developments? You can make your views known to the councillors particularly involved with this area of the Links:
|Morningside Ward (for the Links themselves)||City Centre Ward (Golf Tavern)|
|Nick Cook (Conservative) firstname.lastname@example.org||Karen Doran (Labour)|
|Melanie Main (Green) email@example.com||Claire Miller (Green)|
|Neil Ross (Liberal Democrat) firstname.lastname@example.org||Joanna Mowatt (Conservative)|
|Mandy Watt (Labour) email@example.com||Alasdair Rankin (SNP)|
Or you could join FOMBL, who say: