india1So what’s the beef with India Buildings? So behind it is a car park which was set aside as land for our superb Central Library to expand into. The proposed hotels and bars to be built on the site will cut out most of the light from this Carnegie Library. When it was designed they built into the design windows large enough to cut the amount of artifical light needed and special air cirulation system to keep the air fresh. It was one of the largest ever funded by Andrew Carnegie. Now the building beside it which apparently the National Library only just over the road also had an eye on it is to be turned into another cheap hotel. The small church behind being used as a medical centre for the homeless is to be turned into a bar. Because in Edinburgh its really IMPOSSIBLE to get an alchoholic drink. I’m so utterly disgusted with Edinburgh Council and their planning committees and department of ‘planning’.  This week I’m going to my local library and I’m going to renew my card. Missing since my purse went walkabout last year. I was reading about a massing at Inverleith House an art gallery in the Royal Botanical Gardens Edinburgh which is about to close. About 300 people have pledged to turn up at 3.30. I’m already scheduled to met a friend for coffee so I’m going to give it a miss. But I know its hard  you work full time, you have a busy life but if we don’t make it quite clear what our priorities are politicians will ride right over them. And sadly in Edinburgh we have a democratic deficit of major proportions so… show the wankers  who make decisions for us that we will not take this lying down. Turn up to your library, borrow books, write letters, talk to your friends about this. Tell them you are not happy and in 2017 VOTE AGAINST THEM ALL. Just how undemocratic this is  – is that the information about which Counillors voted which way is HIDDEN in a 300 page plus pdf   document. Local democracy? My arse.



Dear Supporters of the petition “No Confidence in the City of Edinburgh Planning Department”,

A final reminder of the emergency public meeting to discuss the matter of the India Buildings and its major impact on the City in the wider context of speculative ‘development’ putting the reputation of Edinburgh and her World Heritage status at serious risk:

Venue: Grassmarket Community Project – 86 Candlemaker Row, EH1 2QA

Date: Thusday 13th October 2016

Time: 7 – 9pm

Please come if you can to show support, learn more and contribute to the meeting, and do please share the “Let There Be Light” petition with others who may not yet have signed:

and the “No Confidence” petition:


Thank You for your continuing support.


Yours for the Love of Edina,


Simon Byrom
For those with time and inclination the latest details of this scandalous debacle are:
The local community consider the City of Edinburgh’s Council’s planning report to the Development Management Sub-Committee in relation to the proposed India Buildings hotel application to have been significantly flawed in:


  • withholding key information subsequently obtained through FOI requests which would have undoubtedly affected the outcome if the public had faith in the process
  • presenting insufficient, misleading and contradictory information
  • not adequately addressing the many issues of objection.


As a major development with considerable implications that will have, contrary to the view of the planning report, a massive impact on both the local community of the integrity of the Old Town Conservation Area and World Heritage Site, in which the local authority has a significant financial interest, this application deserves the highest scrutiny and certainly merits being of “national significance”.

A ‘conflict of interest’ clearly exists and furthermore disposal of significant public assets without any public consultation as to alternative options represents a failure of the Council to honour its coalition promise, having stated that

We… need to recognise that there has been a breakdown in trust between the residents of Edinburgh and their elected representatives on the Council. That relationship needs to be repaired… this new contract with the capital marks a fresh start, with a Council willing to listen to local people and work together with local communities… A council where co-operation, fairness, accountability and responsibility really matter. The City will be able to judge the Council against this promise

Given how sensitive and important the Old Town of Edinburgh is, this matter is of such importance it has the potential to irreparably damage the reputation of Edinburgh and cost the City its highest accolade, the World Heritage status.

Having betrayed Citizens and consistently broken election pledges, the integrity of the Council, and indeed other complicit public bodies such as Historic Environment Scotland and the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, who contend that the proposals do not raise issues of national significance”, and thatthe overall impact of the development on the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the World Heritage Site remains broadly neutral”, is fundamentally in question.

The consistent favour shown to private speculative interests over the primary duty of care in acting solely in the public interest, as defined by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, represents an explicit dereliction of duty, revealing that crippling debt, precipitated by maladministration and the imposition of ‘austerity’, has rendered local government dysfunctional and disgraced.

In consideration of the finer details:

ICOMOS‐UK, the UN body tasked with overseeing the care of World Heritage, considered that the proposed India Buildings hotel is one of seven developments it hasserious concernsabout and concluded that:

…evidence of the potentially negative impacts of cumulative new developments is becoming increasingly apparent. Opinions seem to suggest that too few have reached a level of distinction appropriate for such a distinguished city, and even fewer have contributed in beneficial ways to enhancing the distinctiveness of the World Heritage site. Whilst no objective study exists of the impacts or likely impacts on Outstanding Universal Value, the widespread expressions of concern which have been made known to ICOMOS‐UK convince us that a serious investigation into the cause is merited.

UNESCO holds the government ultimately responsible for the care of World Heritage and warns there is an “ongoing threat” to Edinburgh’s world heritage status, stating:

Regrettably the current situation, including both approved and proposed developments, appears to have tipped the balance inappropriately, away from conservation, towards inappropriate development. There is therefore an urgent need to reconsider, revise and re-frame current approaches to development… so as to deliver greater focus on values, to incorporate appropriate expertise and to improve engagement with the community.”

The director of UNESCO World Heritage, Mechtild Rossler has recently stated:

I would like to express the World Heritage Centre’s strong concern about the state of urban conservation in Edinburgh. The quality and pervasiveness of development projects being pursued without due consideration for conservation is deeply worrying.”

After concerted lobbying local MP Tommy Sheppard has now expressed his own misgivings, listing three strong concerns, urging that planning consent be suspended pending a thorough reconsideration of the application:

1) The Planning Report included no mention of the then ongoing review of the listing of the Central Library. This concluded very shortly afterwards, resulting in the upgrading of the Central Library’s listing category from B to A, in recognition of its national importance as the finest example of a Carnegie endowed library in Scotland. Had the decision to upgrade to an A listing been made before the meeting of the Development Management Sub-Committee, it seems reasonable to assume that Historic Environment Scotland would not have withdrawn their note of concern in relation to the proposal. Given that the eventual vote was so close, at 8-6 in favour, the Development Management Sub-Committee may have reported a different view.

2) The proposed development to which consent has been given is for a 225 bedroom hotel, with a total floor area of 11,950 sq.m. for hotel use and 185 sq. m for ‘other uses’ while other uses restaurant/bar etc. This represents a 98.5% to 1.5% split and must therefore contravene the Local Development Plan requirement for developments to be mixed-use. It is in any event a massive development for the size of the site.

3) The City of Edinburgh Council carried out its own environmental impact assessment in relation to the development, which recommended the rejection of the planning application, citing, among other concerns, the environmental impact on the Cowgate, as it already has amongst the worst air quality levels in the City.

If planning consent were retracted such an action would then allow the community to pursue the alternative vision, as outlined in the “Let There Be Light” petition, of using the recently legislated Community Empowerment Act, thereby safeguarding the Central Library and honouring the aspirations and remarkable achievements of the Library’s benefactor Andrew Carnegie who, at the opening ceremony of the Library in 1890 stated his desire that the Central Library:

“grow in usefulness year after year, and prove one of the most potent agencies for the good of the people of Edinburgh for all time to come”.

Inspired by the writings of Robert Burns and the Scottish Enlightenment, the importance of Carnegie’s legacy cannot be underestimated having established some 3000 public libraries throughout the World, representing perhaps the greatest tangible legacy a Scot has ever made for the betterment of Humanity.

Therefore, the importance of the public land long set aside for the benefit of the Library, but now threatened by this incongruous and audacious speculation, can hardly be overstated, were it to be used to honour Carnegie’s aspirations and re-vision the relevance of the public library service, which has otherwise become such a tragic victim of the despicable imposition of ‘austerity’. Indeed a recent Guardian article claims that over 300 libraries have now closed across the UK since the chicanery of the global financial ‘crisis’:

Libararies, as physical storehouses of information, safeguarding and imparting knowledge and wisdom, are regarded as the greatest expressions of civilisation, and though some question their relevance in thisdigital age, if for some reason the digital infrastructure collapsed conventional libraries would be absolutely essential to the survival of humanity.

It is the opinion of the utterly offended and disregarded local community that should this hotel be built it would constitute one of the greatest cultural crimes ever sanctioned by the City of Edinburgh Council.
In this year of Scottish Architecture and Design, for those not yet convinced that this matter is a disgrace images of the proposed hotel can be viewed at:

instagramapril16 116Dear Supporters of the petition No Confidence in the Council Planning Department”,

As a final effort to challenge this appalling decision an emergency public meeting to discuss the situation, and the wider context of speculative ‘development’ encroaching on the City, is to be held next week:

Venue: Grassmarket Community Project – 86 Candlemaker Row, EH1 2QA

Date: Thusday 13th October 2016

Time: 7 – 9pm

Please come if you can to show support, learn more and contribute to the meeting.

It’s been a very busy few months…

The campaign to challenge the appalling decision to grant planning permission to Jansons Developers for yet another large, incongruous hotel, which will dishonour the extraordinary legacy of Andrew Carnegie by fundamentally compromising the future of the Central Library and do untold damage to the well being of the already overburdened Old Town community is reaching its final stages.

After a concerted effort to lobby the Scottish Parliament to make an exceptional case and call in the highly controversial application the Parliament responded:

“Ministers… have concluded that there are no issues of national significance that would justify using the power of call-in in this particular case.

Yet many supporters of the petition as well as the Grassmarket Residents‘ Association, the Old Town Community Council, the Old Town Development Trust and other civic bodies contend that this matter is of the GRAVEST national significance” given:

  • The mass of the proposed 9 storey, 150,000 sq ft/ 225 bed hotel, extending from India Building’s in Victoria Street to the Cowgate would fundamentally compromise and overshadow the Central Library. Assessing the impact on the Library, only minimal daylight standards were applied. The lack of regard for such an important building, whose motto is “Let There Be Light”, effectively condemns one of Edinburgh’s flagship cultural assets and visitor attractions to a slow death.

    (In considering the case of the Central Library the building was assessed as a Category B listed building, though it was recommended for upgrade to Category A in 2002 (a position endorsed by the Council in 2005) due to its considerable national, and indeed international significance, as the finest library Scots born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, gave to the Nation, and the 5th such library of 3000 built throughout the World. The building has therefore NOT been afforded the protection it deserves, which would otherwise have upheld an initial robust objection of Historic Environment Scotland (HES). Scandalously, after delaying upgrade by some 14 years the Central Library has now been upgraded to Category A listing, two months after permission was granted for the hotel.)

  • The proposed hotel would fundamentally compromise the opportunity of furthering Edinburgh’s reputation as a world cultural capital and the first UNESCO City of Literature, by taking public land that had otherwise beenlong set aside to extend the Central Library as a cultural hub fit for the 21st century, enhancing the City’s offering of major attractions.

  • Contrary to the assessment of Edinburgh World Heritage Trust (EWHT), Unesco advisers recently stated that the proposed hotel was “one of seven developments it had strong concerns about”, following a litany of highly controversial planning decisions and damning articles in the national and international press which is putting the future of the World Heritage status in serious doubt.

  • The local community have voiced grave concerns that the balance between residential and commercial interests is now critically compromised and that the local community is now in perilous decline. Of the last ten major developments in the Old Town all involve large speculative hotels or student accommodation, in addition to the rising trend of holiday/ party flats, HMO’s etc, which fundamentally erode the authentic liveability, and inestimable value that the settled community bring to the area.

  • The associated traffic generated by the proposed hotel would add to the already high levels of congestion noise and pollution, in breach of regulations and highlighted as an Air Quality Management Area. This was recognised in the Council’s own environmental assessment which recommended REFUSAL, though contradicted by SEPA, who relied on the applicant’s data, the veracity of which was questioned in the Council’s own environmental assessment.

  • The hotel would result in the closure of the Cowgatehead Church NHS practise, a vital resource used by the most vulnerable in the community, to be converted to a licensed venue in an area of over provision.

The director of UNESCO World Heritage, Mechtild Rossler, has recently stated: “I would like to express the World Heritage Centre’s strong concern about the state of urban conservation in Edinburgh. The quality and pervasiveness of development projects being pursued without due consideration for conservation is deeply worrying.”

UNESCO hold government responsible for the duty of care of World Heritage and this response of Ministers to an exceptional case for call-in confirms that the Scottish Government is now complicit in the growing list of public bodies in dereliction of duty and care of heritage, culture and the local community, to which the City of Edinburgh Council is the greatest offender having become thoroughly perverted through maladministration and debt and embroiled in many controversies relating to planning decisions, which the “No Confidence in the Council Planning Department”, now reaching 6000 signatures of support, can attest.

At the start of the current term of office the Council released a statement which read:

We also need to acknowledge that there has been a breakdown in trust between the residents of Edinburgh and their elected representatives on The Council. That relationship needs to be repaired… With the local government elections of 3 May 2012 over, this new Contract with the Capital marks a fresh start, with a Council willing to listen to local people and work together with local communities… A council where co-operation, fairness, accountability and responsibility will really matter… The City will be able to judge the Council against this promise.”

The evidence of this case and many others reveals that the Council has been in serious dereliction of duty.

Somewhat ironically, having become utterly frustrated with the dishonourable process and consciously choosing to occupy the public land of the Cowgate adjoining the Library to safeguard it from the fate of this ‘hideous’ heartbreak hotel, I was summoned to court in August by the Council. Consequently an eviction order has now been issued.

See Facebook page for more details of the occupation:

Cowgate Occupy Camp – Not another Hideous Hotel. 200 likes · 6 talking about this. To generate a campaign to oppose the building of a luxury hotel in…


Thank You for your continuing support.

Yours for the Love of Edina,

Simon Byrom

Ps If you need reminding how ‘hideous’ this hotel proposal is see:

Also for more info, a number of articles have recently been published in response to the India Buildings campaign:


Simon Byrom started this campaign on the 38 Degrees Campaigns by You website. If there’s an issue close to your heart that you’d like to campaign on, you can start your campaign here.

You received this email because you signed the petition ‘NO CONFIDENCE in the City of Edinburgh Planning Department‘. If you don’t want to receive emails from the ‘NO CONFIDENCE in the City of Edinburgh Planning Department‘ campaign in the future, please unsubscribe.instagramapril16 115

I’ve used this title before  in blog posts (I first heard it as the title of a book by O Douglas but it comes from the bible). I feel I’ve been in a whirl for 3 months. Working unexpectedly full time huge swathes of my life had to quietly be dropped and regular blogging was one of them. Photography! I can’t transfer over my digital pics and have discovered my camera is bust AND instagram  has gone by the wayside as my ipod touch is missing in action somewhere in the house. ANYHOO..  today I had an unexpectedly lovely day. Got the bus up to the farmers market  on Castle Terrace (please support local food, local farmers, more sustainable agriculture!) met a family friend ‘Mrs Tiggywinkle ‘on the no 10 bus. Then the friend was going to meet at the market managed to get the same bus as me – she said she recognised me from the stop… I didn’t think I was that distinctive. Birled through the market – I can do my shop in 20-30 mins – admired a wonderful display of squashes and discovered camera was bust. We then went to Lovecrumbs as said friend had not been there before.  I threw healthy caution to wind and had a black current and coconut sponge cake along side my tea. lovecrumbscup

We then bemoaned the total horror of what is happening politically. I crocheted a square in purple. We parted throughly cheered up. And there even was a bit of sunshine!

I skipped next door and went into Edinburgh Books where to my joy I found Death at the Bar by Niago Marsh – a new to me title yay! Death at the Bar & Final Curtain.JPGThen a long chatty conversation with a friend in London. Me chucking items of clothing to wash and dishes to clean.

It amazes me how quite simple things can make a day good. Now to carry on tidy, organise and cook. Then retire early with the crochet

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This is me in the Place De la Concorde knitting in the place of the guillotine ( a previous version invented in Scotland and called The Maiden ). Crossing to the middle of the Place is well like taking your life in your own hands. My mother was questioning my sanity… but it is rare that a knitter and a political knitter gets a bit of cultural space so I was determined to get photographed in that spot back in October.  Then all hell broke loose. I’ve been wondering how to explain my absence and some bloggy + real life friends say just leap back in and ‘don’t explain’ but it feels odd. I mean I used to post nearly every day. I am online but mostly on instagram (@fatblackcatspaw) Somehow breaking the habit when I went into hospital twice for pneumonia in December and well being very very ill and the months recovering in my parents spare bedroom it feels hard to take it up again. Tonight I was going to post a pic of a visit to the Royal Scottish Academy on Friday to view a picture which I now own but was displayed there however… my bloody computer doesn’t seem to be able to accept photos from my camera… sigh. So I went back to this old pic. Of course with the dramatic events last year I’ve been trying to process them. When you lie in bed thinking about how you nearly died your thoughts turn to what is important. To me the people around me. I try and enjoy my life as much as possible. And am planning more travel. And in the midst of it all I unexpectedly and delightedly get a new job (full time!) so I feel in the midst of huge change. But we have to stand in the middle of it knitting away at life.

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On Wednesday the Planning Committee  of Edinburgh Council will consider a slightly revised plan by the developers. This is a stunning building the site of which had been kept to expand our beautiful Central Library and now looks likely to be sold for more cheap hotel accommodation. This is supposedly a UNESCO City of Literature ! ha! Simon Byrom a local planning activist has put this all better than me so I’m going to copy his email below. In the meanwhile go here to see my pics of the interior of the building when it was a tempoary gallery space.

Do come to the demonstration on Wed 9.30am outside the City Chambers if you are not working. Otherwise please circulate these petitions and write to the councillors below. THANK YOU THANK YOU  THANK YOU !!


Dear Supporters of the petition “No Confidence in the City of Edinburgh Planning Department”, it is with a heavy heart that I relay details concerning the latest ‘development’ controversy relating to the India Building’s application.

The local community have just learnt that Historic Environment Scotland (HSE), the government heritage body, have withdrawn their objection to the ‘development’, in response to the revised plans, claiming that the “proposals do not raise issues of national significance“, recognising that the revisions to the original plans “have attempted to address some” of the concerns of the original application.

 Yet while HSE considers that the “proposals do not raise issues of national significance” they note that theCouncil “may wish to investigate further the effect development on this site will have on the Library, specifically on light levels”, which as stated in their original objection is recognised as “the finest Carnegie library in the country”. SURELY THIS MERITS “NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE”! Were the library a Category A listed building this could have completely changed the position of HES. However, as revealed in their original objection:

 “The Central Library was designed by the architect George Washington Browne in

1887-90 and was listed Category B in 1970. In 2002 LDN Architects produced a

detailed and informative Conservation Plan which regarded the building as the finest

example of a Carnegie Library in Scotland, and one that should be upgraded to

Category A. We note your Council has also endorsed this view. We have no reason to

disagree with the LDN assessment, and will consider its merit as part of our

assessment of the current proposals.

In addition to HSE the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust has concluded that

the overall impact of the development on the outstanding universal value of the World Heritage Site remains, in our view, broadly neutral”.

 Yet, in spite of the universal significance of World Heritage and the responsibility of safeguarding its value for the benefit of humankind and succeeding generations, and in light of the outpouring of articles in the national and international press regarding the raft of ever expanding controversial planning decisions such as Caltongate, Craighouse, St Andrew’s Sq, St James Quarter, Quartermile… etc which have led to the creeping encroachment of speculative architectural wallpaper veneered ‘development’ which has elicited the alarming recent visits of ICOMOS, the UN’s heritage watchdog, HES and EWHT have effectively given the green light to the proposed India building’s ‘development’.

 This means that the ‘developer’ has overcome a major obstacle since had the HES objection stood the application would have been called in by the Scottish Government regardless of the impending Council decision which is to be decided next Wednesday 25th May.

 The planning department has now consequently recommended APPROVAL for the ‘hideous’ hotel and given the recent track record of the Council, and how compromised and  perverted by economic considerations it has become, it might seem like a fantastically hopeless cause.

 Yet given the relentless speculative, gentrification process that has been allowed to take place in recent years, running roughshod over the City and her Citizens, it could be said that the very future of the Old Town community, at the heart of the Nation, and its World Heritage status now hangs on the decision next Wednesday, so the voice of all the supporters of this petition is ESSENTIAL if there is to be any faith left in this democratic process!

 This Council made a pledge at the beginning of its term in 2012 to “listen to, and work with, local people” yet there has been ZERO public consultation to pursue alternative uses for the precious public assets implicated with the proposed India Building’s ‘development’.

 Moreover, in spite of the Council recognising that “there needs to be strong process for looking at the quality of how the Council has reached decisions so that there is genuine scrutiny and questioning of the actions it has taken”, the deal to dispossess the public property of the Cowgate, as an essential part of the proposed India Building’s ‘development’, has been stitched up ONCE AGAIN BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, like most, if not all of the valuable property featured on the Edinburgh 12 ‘initiative’, including the jewel in the crown, the Royal High School, perched at the foot of Calton Hill, overlooking the majesty of Arthur’s Seat. And like the rot that plagued the Caltongate (New Waverley) debacle, where is the tendering process that otherwise defines the precious, though utterly discredited, psychopathic ideology of the free market which is supposed to ensure ‘best value’?

 We’ve been presented with ONE VERY MEDIOCRE option in consideration of the proposed India building’s ‘development’. With a little scrutiny it is evident that this is quite disgraceful.

 So in this City of Enlightenment and Literature,

 “Rage, rage against the dying of the light” – Dylan Thomas

 For those who have have been following this debacle you will know that the publicly owned land at the rear of India Building’s is due to be sold if the Council grant planning permission for this massive ‘hideous’ hotel ‘development’ next week.

 To lose such a precious piece of public real estate to such a shamelessly speculative, insensitive and mediocre piece of architecture, and in this the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, when it could otherwise be used to benefit the Central Library to develop further the vision of Scots born Andrew Carnegie, whose philanthropic endeavours gifted over 2800 libraries throughout the World, would be a terrible embarrassment and insult to this city of Enlightenment and Literature, to add to the creeping plague of soulless architectural wallpaper which is putting the credibility of the World Heritage Status at such risk.

 Though some have come to regard the World Heritage Status as a curse, it is a reflection on the glorious achievements of the City’s guardians of the past, which in the spirit of Internationalism has come to be viewed as a universal treasure. Though the City still manages to achieve the highest plaudits on the World stage, in spite of its pot holes and grime, if this trend of disregarding Citizens and acquiescing instead to the interests of predatory capital, which in a global market has no heart and true loyalty, is allowed to continue the reputation of Edinburgh will be ruined, and with it the wellbeing of future generations betrayed.

 The importance of this land can hardly be overstated, as championed on the petition, were it to be used to advance the vision of Carnegie in the 21st century and arrest the fortunes of the public library service across the country, and indeed the World, which has so otherwise become a victim of so called ‘austerity’. Indeed a recent Guardian article claims that over 300 libraries have closed across the UK since the chicanery of the global financial ‘crisis’:

 If the current owners of the India Building’s who wish to pursue this speculative ‘development’ had regard for this city they would relinquish their bid for this land. Yet not only content to acquire this precious public resource they’ve managed to include the Cowgatehead Church property into the deal. This well used public building which has served the community for many years, specifically attends to the most needy and vulnerable in the Old Town community, and in a recent article published in the Herald it is claimed that the loss of this significant service “could lead to more deaths, mental illness and a soaring numbers of rough sleepers“:

 While there may be those who lack sufficient insight, sensitivity and empathy to care, particularly those who don’t know the area well, there are many in the local community who would rather contend with a few humble homeless souls than a plethora of soulless hotels and rowdy bars catering to party revellers who regularly trash the place.

 In reflection, this process of asset stripping public services and public property, in this rotten Age of Austerity and Endarkenment, reveals that in spite of us supposedly all “being in this together” the rich continue to get richer by feeding off the poor. Such a wicked, parasitical system has no place in a so called civilised, democratic society, and those who support or preside over such an ideology should have no mandate to serve.

 The predatory speculative ‘developers’ who have been busy making plans in the City have shown themselves untrustworthy. Indeed our elected representatives and public servants must now surely realise that these companies cannot be trusted to care about Our heritage. Perhaps the greatest example of this is the scandalous matter of South St Andrew’s Square where in an act of gross vandalism no less than THREE listed building were recently demolished with complete impunity. Then there is the case of the crumbling MacRae tenements of the Royal Mile, acquired in the shameful asset stripping “not-hideous-enough-to-refuse-planning-permission” scandal of Caltongate/New Waverley.

 So in light of all this, in order for Common Sense and decency to prevail, it is imperative at this 11th hour that Citizens raise their voices to the ears of public servants.

 In the first instance please write to your elected representatives ASAP who can be contacted via:

 If you have a councillor in your ward who sits on the committee who will make the decision next Wednesday (Development Management Sub-Committee) please contact them directly. Even though their primary duty is supposed to be to the City and her Citizens they are not actually allowed to state a view BUT THEY CAN HEAR YOUR OPINION! These councillors are:

 Councillor Ian Perry (Convener)
Councillor Alex Lunn (Vice-Convener)
Councillor Nigel Bagshaw
Councillor Jeremy Balfour
Councillor Angela Blacklock
Councillor Ron Cairns
Councillor Maureen Child
Councillor Dominic Heslop
Councillor Sandy Howat
Councillor Karen Keil
Councillor Adam McVey
Councillor Eric Milligan
Councillor Joanna Mowat
Councillor Lewis Ritchie
Councillor Keith Robson

 You may also wish to take up this matter with the Governance, Risk and Best Value Committee who meet the following day on Thursday 26 May, though it is more important to target the Development Management Sub-Committee since if they rubber stamp the deal it could be too late to challenge the decision. The councillors who sit on this committee are:

 Councillor Jeremy Balfour (Convener)
Councillor Maureen Child
Councillor Denis Dixon
Councillor Nick Gardner
Councillor Karen Keil
Councillor Melanie Main
Councillor Joanna Mowat
Councillor Gordon Munro
Councillor Jim Orr
Councillor Vicki Redpath
Councillor Lewis Ritchie
Councillor Alastair Shields
Councillor Stefan Tymkewycz

 Even if you don’t have a councillor who sits on these committees please write to your councillors anyway since they can lobby respective councillors.

 Besides elected representatives please also CC into your correspondence the CEO of Historic Environment Scotland and the Director of Edinburgh World Heritage Trust:

 Dr David Mitchell:

 Adam Wilkinson:

 and Scottish Parliament Cabinet Secretary:

and just for good measure Edinburgh Council Leader Andrew Burns:

 Besides the details above and that included on the petition:

 you might like to mention that the late submission of an official Environmental Assessment report by Andrew Campbell, Environmental Assessment, Services for Communities, recommends that planning permission for the proposed India Building’s hotel be REFUSED. This tallies with the Air Quality Management Area data for the area, which due to the relentless over-burdened encroachment of commercial interests on the area now breaches EU regulations:

  If you are able please come to the City Chambers next Wednesday for 10pm, with banners if possible, to show support for the Old Town community in resisting this appalling proposal.

 Also the community are having an event this Saturday to raise further awareness and gain greater support:

 10am: Leafletting outside Central Library George 4th Bridge

11.30: Photoshoot gathering outside Central Library followed by walkabout of area.

12.30: Picnic at Greyfriars Kirkyard (or Grassmarket Community Project if weather is poor). Bring food and drink to share!

After lunch: Gorilla gardening, litter picking, banner making and leafleting at the Cowgate site. Bring along materials if you have any to spare.

 Thank You so much for your support.

 Please share the petitions widely:

For the Love of Our City,

 Simon Byrom

 “As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce” – Adam Smith