Leith Links colonies left out of conservation plans

Waverley Place

Most of the colonies in Leith are to receive greater protection under the planning system – assuming councillors agree to proposals set out in a report to be considered next week.

The Abbeyhill colonies, pictured above, along with the Lochend colonies, the North Fort Street colonies and the “Pilrig Model Development” colonies are all reccomended for inclusion in a new conservation area.

The Leith Links colonies, which were not build by the Edinburgh Co-operative Building Company like the others, has not been recommended for inclusion in the new conservation area at this stage.

Some residents of Leith Links colonies may be disappointed with this decision, as it would appear, that as in other colony developments, a majority of residents there support the Conservation Area designation.

The diagram below shows the number of residents in each colony development who said they were for or against the council conservation area proposals (excluding people who said they “didn’t know.”)

According to the council report:

“The Leith Links (Industrial Road) Colonies have been the subject of a more recent intervention of red brick terraced houses in one of the blocks and have a significant number of non-original doors and windows. They are also not a development by the Edinburgh Co- operative Building Company which was responsible for the main grouping of Colonies in Edinburgh.”

“This reduces both their historic and architectural interest and makes them more marginal for conservation area status. It is, therefore, recommended that a more detailed evaluation of their condition and relative merit as a stand-alone development is made, together with further consultation with the local community, prior to considering their designation.”

Other colony dwellers who will be affected by the new, tighter planning rules, will be pleased to know that the report goes onto agree that the rules on sheds that normally apply in conservation areas are to be relaxed – partly as a consequence of lobbying by SPOKES and The Cockburn Association who both proposed that the council allow larger sheds to allow people to store bikes securely in their gardens.

If councillors agree to the proposals in the report, then installing things like PVC windows in the colonies will be banned from January 2013.

More details in the council report here: http://bit.ly/SDH71y

Photo credit: Yellowbookltd