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Aux Armes Mes Amis! The 'new' Battle of Prestonpans looks likely ... very soon

Lidl and Wimpey all Set to Save the Nation's Housing Market ....

The Edinburgh Evening News by the hand of Michael Blackley, and the Editor himself in a Leader, have both pronounced:

"Cheapest new flats in Scotland in the bag as Lidl branches out"

"After the year's gloom .....

All the excitement is about the double-cross proposed from Lidl and Taylor Wimpey's G2 way back in 2007. They applied then for Planning Consent to East Lothian Council to knock down the Auld Fowler's HQ and build 50+ low cost flats. That's the same Auld Fowler's Building as they successfully argued was an integral design element when they applied for permission to build their new glass supermarket next door - which is incidentally a very fine store inside.

Their proposal to demolish led to:

1. An application by the Arts Festival for Listing which Historic Scotland [HS] rejected on very unsafe grounds indeed, point blank refusing to consider historical significance despite the requirements of the Act;

2. That rejection led to a Petition at Holyrood to reform the way Historic Scotland works, which is still ongoing;

3. Requests to the Scottish Information Commissioner [one upheld and the second ongoing] on how Historic Scotland works when it advises Ministers;

4. An application by 800 signatories [10% of the town's population] for Community Right to Buy the property.

N.B. The full story so far is documented @ the Arts Festival website linked here

Moment of Truth for ELC not far off now it seems

The latest rhetoric from Taylor Wimpey/ Lidl seems to suggest that the application for planning consent tabled in November 2007, which has lain on the table in Haddington all the while effectively blocking the Community Right to Buy application, is about to be advanced.

Now therefore is the 'democratic' moment for the Councillors from the multi-ward that encompasses the Auld Fowler's HQ. There is unanimity in The Pans that it must be preserved. How will Councillors Stuart Currie, Peter MacKenzie, Margaret Libberton and Willie Innes vote?

Re-applying for Listing to Historic Scotland plus a direct appeal to the new Minister ultimately responsible, Michael Russell MSP

The Arts Festival, with the 100% support of Prestonpans Community Council, has every intention of calling for Historic Scotland to reopen its consideration of the case for Listing and asking Michael Russell, the Minister now concerned, to reconsider the conclusion of Linda Fabiani MSP, who held his office when the matter was first raised in Parliament by Iain Gray MSP - who of course represents the town at Holyrood.

click on East Lothian Courier cutting to enlarge

Published Date: April 6th 2009

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