11 December 2019
West Princes Street Gardens is a much-loved green space, located in the centre of Edinburgh, at the foot of the castle. For residents and visitors, it is an oasis of peace and tranquillity in the midst of the busy city. Well-wooded with a fine tree canopy and extensive flower beds, it is beautifully maintained by council gardeners. Three war memorials and a series of other monuments and statues testify to its importance in the history of the city.
The Cockburn Association and the four Community Councils support the improvement of specific park facilities — notably the replacement of the Ross Bandstand, removal of the concrete amphitheatre and better access for all — in keeping with the use of the gardens as a quiet space for enjoyment and relaxation, and in scale with the layout of the site. We do not support the transformation of the park into a commercial entertainment venue, involving access restriction and noise pollution disturbance.
In our view, the greenest buildings are the ones that are already built. Therefore, our support for a replacement is, predicated on the need to justify the proposed demolition of the existing Ross bandstand with a clear analysis of refurbishment/improvement options. From our understanding, this has been dismissed outright based on little more than anecdotal evidence and with no cost appraisal for a conservation-led approach to improving the facilities.