Edinburgh supermarket plan refused on pollution grounds

Corstorphine supermarketPlans for a new supermarket in Edinburgh have been rejected amid fears the development would lead to increased congestion and poorer air quality.

Proposed to be located within the St John’s Road Pollution Zone in Corstorphine, the 21,000 sq ft store would have had a 140-capacity car park and brought thousands more vehicles to St John’s Road each day.

Environmentalists have claimed the road has the worst air quality in Scotland due to congestion after figures revealed concentrations of nitrogen dioxide were nearly double the legal limit.

Over 450 people objected to the supermarket 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.

“This is an important result which will help communities all over Scotland oppose developments which would increase air pollution.

CorstorphineBecky Lloyd, of the Corstorphine Residents Information and Action Group, added: “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.”

Lib Dem candidate Alex Cole-Hamilton said he hoped the shops on the site of the proposed store would now be refurbished and become home to independent retailers.

He said: “As we get past the economic downturn, there will be more opportunities for small businesses and I hope we could see almost a Stockbridge approach with more independent retailers making it a dynamic shopping area.”

A spokesman for developer Realis Estates said: “We are obviously disappointed not to have received planning permission for our scheme, which would have brought much needed investment to Corstorphine.”

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