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Campaigners regroup for fresh Scottish Provident battle

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August 16 2013

Campaigners regroup for fresh Scottish Provident battle
News that Edinburgh City Council has opted to block demolition of the Scottish Provident building is being viewed as merely a temporary reprieve by campaigners fearful for its future.

Councillors overruled their own planners to insist that a Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP) appraisal be carried out, sparing the B listed structure from imminent destruction

Speaking to Urban Realm Maxine Williams, director of the Cockburn Association, remained pessimistic about the buildings long term future however; “I’m pleased that the council have accepted that it was a demolition and not a material alteration, as it means they’ll follow procedure in the correct way - however it doesn’t mean to say that they won’t go ahead and approve demolition anyway.

“I feel that most people don’t understand the building, you can see from the posts on our Facebook page that the majority of people are saying ‘pull it down, it’s an eyesore’, but a minority do realise the buildings importance.”

Stockdale purchased the complex back in 2008, commissioning Gareth Hoskins Architects and CDA to draft up redevelopment plans. No progress has been made since however, ostensibly because of unattractive floor plates deterring possible tenants.
Williams added: “Stockdale new the limitations when they bought the building and had permission to demolish just about everything, so it’s going to be hard for the council to turn the ship around and say you can’t demolish.

“We’ve got one heck of an uphill battle to explain that it’s an important building and that it should remain.”

Williams is due to meet with Stockdale’s agents, Montagu Evans, to discuss a way forward.

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