The European Commission is investigating whether Edinburgh City Council broke procurement rules on its controversial Caltongate development
The local authority’s decision to privately sell the £5 million patch of land to developer Mountgrange Capital broke EU competition laws, according to claims by David Black, an architectural historian who contacted the commission.
Alan Murray Architects’ controversial scheme for the site floundered last year after Mountgrange went into liquidation leaving the site flattened and behind hoardings.
Edinburgh was poised last month to appoint a new development partner but could now see further delay in the development of the site.
A spokesperson for Edinburgh City said: ‘The council has always paid due regard to its legal obligations but recognises the European Commission’s right to investigate this matter and is currently preparing a response.
‘With the site currently in the hands of administrators, the council fully expect to enter into a new agreement once a preferred bidder has been announced.’
Source: Alan Murray
George Kerevan, Scottish Nationalist Party candidate for Edinburgh East said: ‘I believe the European Commission intervention allows everyone the chance to rethink this scheme.
‘The original Mountgrange proposal was out of grossly character with the Old Town and would have ripped the heart out of the local community. Edinburgh, as a World Heritage Centre, deserves a lot better.’
Last month ANTA Architecture mooted an alternative scheme for the site - a proposal which Malcolm Fraser described as: ‘A Hollywood vision for a Scotland that doesn’t exist.’
Previous story (AJ 22.3.10)
ANTA moots alternative for abandoned Caltongate site
[FIRST LOOK] ANTA has drawn up an alternative scheme for a stalled £300 million development in Edinburgh formerly being designed by Allan Murray, RHWL, Malcolm Fraser and Zone Architects
Lachie Stewart of local practice ANTA described his ‘guerrilla’ proposals for the contentious Caltongate scheme as a ‘change of gear’ from what was proposed for the key city centre area. He said ‘We’ve been playing with the idea of arcades and making a system based on a much more vertical composition of architectural elements.’
‘Although this is an independent proposal, we are willing to work together with any partners involved for the most appropriate solution for the site.’
In the coming weeks the City of Edinburgh Council will announce a development partner for the contentious 3.5ha city-centre site, currently flattened and behind hoardings.
Allied London, British Land and Grosvenor are among developers thought to be bidding for the scheme.
The previous developers of Caltongate, Mountgrange Capital, plunged into administration last March (2009).
Their scheme was masterplanned by Allan Murray Architects; with buildings designed by Allan Murray with CDA, RHWL with Page\Park, Malcolm Fraser and Zone Architects (pictured below).
However Malcolm Fraser hit back, describing the ANTA scheme as: ‘A Hollywood vision for a Scotland that doesn’t exist.’
Edinburgh City Council investigated over Caltongate