Carnegie’s Legacy

Carnegie’s Legacy headlined the recent Letters to the Editor in, The Times (Scotland), urging the City of Edinburgh Council to revoke planning permission for the consented India Buildings hotel development under Section 65 of the Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

Such is the momentum of concern now that the full implications of such a development, just a few metres away from Edinburgh’s Central Library’s west elevation, on ground intended for its future expansion needs from the day it was designed that no less than nineteen champions of the literary world have put their names to this plea.

The roll call of library supporters include authors, artists, publishers and performers as well as academics and historians, including Scotland’s Makar Jackie Kay (poet laureate to the sassenachs reading this):

David J Black, Rory Bremner, Ron Butlin, John Byrne, John Calder, Regi Claire, Professor Sir Tom Devine, Owen Dudley Edwards. Rosemary Goring, Jackie Kay, A L Kennedy, Val McDermid, Candia McWilliam, Alistair Moffat, Ian Rankin, James Robertson, Iain Sinclair, Alexander McCall Smith and Alan Taylor.


And, although too late to be included in this letter published 26 May 2018, Margaret Atwood, 2004’s First Muriel Spark Fellow, also backs the campaign to save Central Library #SaveECL

A fitting reminder, should we have needed one, of Edinburgh’s international reach in the sphere of modern twentieth century literature. Apologies Margaret Atwood, I was of course alluding to Dame Muriel Spark in this her centenary year.

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James Robertson comments…

Scottish novelist James Robertson contacted the campaign recently and commented: “I have spent many, many hours reading, researching and borrowing books from the Central Library over the years, and am appalled at the City Council’s low regard for what should be cherished, and cared for, as one of Edinburgh’s cultural jewels.” Read more

The Anatomy of a Council Scam

The proposal to built yet another large hotel in Edinburgh alongside the Central Library is more than a local tragedy. It is an international disgrace.

Andrew Carnegie, son of an unemployed radical weaver, was a philanthropic American for much longer than he was a proud Scot. His family was so poor they spent their first night in the USA sleeping in the open because they couldn’t afford a lodging house. Andrew was eleven years old, and throughout his life was always keenly aware that education had been the key to his success. Read more

The Cowgate Sycamore…another victim of heartless corporate vandalism

With the political process having failed, and the Save Edinburgh Central Library campaign now left with no other option than to undertake legal proceedings against Edinburgh Council’s decision to award planning permission for this highly controversial proposed hotel, it would seem reasonable to assume, with the authority of the planning consent being challenged, that development could NOT proceed until this matter was settled in court; particularly so since the sale of associated public assets was on condition of planning consent. Read more

Let There Be Light: A detailed assessment of the proposed India Buildings hotel.

For those with time and inclination, the Old Town Community Council has produced a detailed assessment of the hotel application and the corresponding planning process (see link below), revealing that the Council’s planning report in favour of the hotel was ”significantly flawed’, presenting insufficient, misleading, contradictory information, representing a clear conflict of interests due to the proposed disposal of valuable public assets implicated with the application. Read more

Petition Letter: Concerning the Future of Edinburgh’s Central Library and the City’s World Heritage Status

We the undersigned, backed by over 5000 signatures of public support, wish to register an expression of “No Confidence” in the City of Edinburgh Council, in response to the proposal for a highly contentious development at India Buildings on Victoria Street, following a spate of controversial planning decisions whose cumulative effects are seriously damaging the reputation of this City of the Enlightenment, putting Edinburgh’s highest accolade at risk, the World Heritage status. Read more