There is enormous potential to strengthen the economies of Musselburgh and East Lothian. It was therefore disappointing to see our elected representatives knocking back a perfectly reasonable proposal for a wind turbine at Queen Margaret University while giving the go ahead to an ill-conceived edge-of-town supermarket at Tranent. (Musselburgh News, September 6)
A supermarket at the old Tranmare site will simply draw trade away from the High Street and exacerbate traffic in residential areas. It will also mean more money is lost from the local economy as shoppers benefit a big business and its shareholders.
Even East Lothian Council’s own economic development strategy makes clear that these sorts of developments are not wanted. As part of the strategy, Glasgow University surveyed local businesses. Do you know what their top priority was? Enhancing town centres. Yet hardly a week goes by without our local authority and most of its members prioritising the exact opposite.
But the QMU turbine decision really takes the biscuit. I understand there were no objections from Musselburgh, and a majority of those consulted by the university supported the proposal. There were no objections from air traffic services, the MoD, the civil aviation authority, Edinburgh Airport or even Historic Scotland. The planners’ report also showed there would be no noise impact, no flicker effect, no harm to amenity, no impact on road safety and no biodiversity impacts.
Yet the council’s Policy and Projects team decreed that a turbine would be “discordant and incongruous” and would “compete visually with Arthur’s Seat therefore diminishing this iconic landmark’s importance”. I have never read such pretentious, subjective nonsense. I would remind officials and members that a key pledge in East Lothian’s Single Outcome Agreement is that the county becomes less dependent on finite resources by moving to a more localised, low-carbon economy.
Instead we are witnessing decisions based on flawed, outdated ideas and a real lack of local democratic accountability. We deserve better.
Jason Rose, East Lothian Greens
61 High Street