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Police voice concerns over Caltongate project

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June 20 2007

The multi-million Caltongate development in Edinburgh’s Old Town faced fresh criticism this week following police concerns that the new project will attract ‘yobs and drug addicts.’

Edinburgh Police expressed misgivings about mini shelters, or pends, attracting unsavoury elements - a problem also experienced by the nearby Waverley Shopping centre- and suggested increasing the proposed CCTV presence and securing the area at night.

The force’s architectural liaison officer, Sergeant Robert Shiel, said: “The intension of architects has been to integrate this development with the existing buildings and this has resulted in the creation of public squares and through-routes. However, some of these routes pass through public pends [and] they create their own problems. There have been many examples of pends being used by people as a shelter, toilet and somewhere to inject intravenous drugs.”

The officer’s comments come as the latest blow to the project, master planned by Allan Murray Architects. Local residents branded the project ‘hideous’ at a public meeting back in May, while heritage groups have expressed concerns about the impact the development will have on the aesthetic of the surrounding area, accusing developers Mountgrange of showing a ‘lack of respect’ for the Old Town.

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