This morning the City of Edinburgh Council’s Development Management Subcommittee refused planning permission for a controversial proposal for a supermarket within the St John’s Road Pollution Zone. The supermarket would have had a 140-capacity car park and seen thousands more vehicles brought into St John’s Road each day, which is now ranked as Scotland’s most polluted street. Over 450 people objected to the plans. 


Emilia Hanna, air pollution campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland said,


“We are delighted that Councillors have listened to local residents and their own officers and rejected this entirely inappropriate development. The supermarket and car park would have created more traffic congestion and air pollution and worsened people’s health in Corstorphine. St John’s Road is now Scotland’s most polluted road, with levels almost twice the legal limit.


“Local residents have campaigned tirelessly to raise their concerns with Councillors, and today’s decision shows that local democracy works. This is an important result which will help communities all over Scotland oppose developments which would increase air pollution.


“The Planning Officer’s report was crystal clear so we do not believe there are any realistic grounds for appeal. 


“Moving beyond this proposal, the Council needs to refocus its efforts on tackling the dangerously high levels of pollution on St John’s Road. Edinburgh Council’s Local Transport Strategy commits the Council to having safe air and we need to see this commitment turned into action. The Council must create safe cycle lanes through Corstorphine, as well as introducing a Low Emission Zone which would keep the most polluting vehicles out of the area.”


Becky Lloyd, of the Corstorphine Residents Information & Action Group said,


“We are absolutely delighted with the decision from the Council. Let’s hope that future development proposals will take on board the extensive list of policy breaches that led to the unanimous rejection of this supermarket.”


Notes to Editors


[1] The planning application was deemed to be against Edinburgh City Local Plan Policy Env 6 in respect of Conservation Areas, Edinburgh City Local Plan Policy Env 12 in respect of Trees, Edinburgh City Local Plan Policy Tra 1 in respect of Location of Major Development, Edinburgh City Local Plan Policy Tra 4 in respect of Private Car Parking, and Edinburgh City Local Plan Policy Env 18 in respect of air quality. See pp14-15 of the Committee papers, available at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3781/development_management_sub-committee 


[2] The monitoring station on St John’s Road has, from January – June,  recorded pollution levels which are well above the legal limit and the highest of any in Scotland for this year: http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/St-Johns-Road-Pollution


[3] Friends of the Earth Scotland’s full objection to the proposals can be found at http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/node/2044


[4] A map of the St John’s Road Air Pollution Zone can be found at http://www.scottishairquality.co.uk/assets/aqma-maps/Edinburgh_StJohns_Road.jpg


[5] Friends of the Earth Scotland is

* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation

* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland

* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups. www.foe-scotland.org.uk