News from Moredun

Campaigners in Moredun have won a major victory after plans to build 188 houses on what they describe as the “back garden” for the area’s 500 high rise households, have been shelved until at least 2022 following a high-profile campaign. The much loved and well used green space is used for community events, dog walking, helps combat social isolation and is the only safe place for local kids to play and socialise.
CEC pledged a 3-stage consultation process prior to the start of any work. When they had to postpone the consultation due to COVID-19, instead of suspending the development, they attempted to proceed without any consultation. Giving residents just a few days’ notice, CEC sealed off the green space, announcing their plans to commence, on 2nd June, exploratory digging to investigate the viability of building on the area.
Within 24 hours, George Jenkinson, a local resident, set up a tent in the field. Moredun Multis & Maisonettes Residents Association (MMMRA) called on others to join him. CEC helpfully marked the areas of the green where they planned to drill. When they returned to begin the drilling they found residents had exercised their unique Scottish right to “free camp” on the proposed drilling sites, while other protestors placed themselves between the contractors and the field in a peaceful, socially distanced and good-natured act of defiance, preventing drilling on 2nd and 3rd June.
A newsletter was produced and distributed to more than 1,000 local homes. An online petition attracted around 1,500 signatures in 48 hours and currently stands at 2,000. The Edinburgh Evening News dedicated their entire front page to our campaign and covered developments in detail daily. Councillors, MSPs and the local MP lined up to voice their support. Banners appeared across the site and in the windows of local homes. MMMRA held stalls in the foyers of all the blocks to enable folk without online access to sign the petition.
We used the weekend to call for the biggest protest so far on Monday 6th June. By 8am more tents had appeared, and 35 activists braced themselves for another stand-off with contractors. But the contractors never came. CEC announced a suspension of all work on the site pending discussions with MMMRA aimed at “re-building trust” with the community.
We are delighted that at the first meeting between us, CEC officers and elected Councillors was incredibly positive with a guarantee of no further attempts to build on the site until at least 2022. Future meetings will focus on ideas for improving the open space, investment in housing and wider community and increasing and improving community consultation. While we remain vigilant, we are cautiously optimistic that Moredun will be omitted from the 2022 Local Development Plan and out back garden will be safe for good.
To find out more, join the association and get involved please see our page at https://www.facebook.com/Moredun.Multis or email us at
moredun-multis@outlook.com.
Look out for details of our Annual General Meeting coming soon!