Progress since August 2021
This page gives more recent updates. it is a series of mini reports given in reverse chronological order.
Progress is currently halted while other capital projects take priority in Lothian. However the Astley Ainslie redevelopment features in the Lothian Strategic Development Framework 2022-2027 for year 2/3 and in the Edinburgh Proposed Cityplan 2030.
“To commemorate 100 years of Astley Ainslie Hospital, hospital staff have compiled and curated an exhibition to showcase care, compassion and innovation since the hospital first opened in 1923.
The exhibition will be in the Dining Room of Blackford Pavilion in Astley Ainslie Hospital and will launch on 10th October 2023 which is exactly 100 years from the first patients being admitted to the hospital. The indoor exhibition will be accessible Monday to Friday 8.30am to 2.30pm and there will also be images displayed on the outside windows which can be viewed any time.
The exhibition has historical information and images from across the last 100 years to celebrate key events, changes and developments”
NHS Lothian Charity is the official charity of NHS Lothian. It describes itself as “dedicated to supporting NHS Lothian patients and staff and improving health and wellbeing for the people of Edinburgh and the Lothians.”
NHS Lothian Charity have now published their Greenspace Management Plan for the Astley Ainslie.The plan’s recommendations include:
We welcome the Plan which implies that NHS Lothian has no immediate plans for closing and selling the estate. We are disappointed, however, that the Astley Ainslie Community Engagement Group, as the official group for consultation with the community about redevelopment of the Astley Ainslie, was not involved in the initial discussions.
Recently Scottish Ministers launched the examination of Edinburgh City Council’s Proposed City Plan 2030. The proposed plan was submitted last December. It sets out which types of development should take place where, and which areas should be protected from development. You can see it at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cityplan2030. It covers Astley Ainslie on pages 44-45.
We have made sure that the examination team know about the AACEG and our keenness to be involved.
We had hoped already to have discussions with both the Council and the NHS following a virtual meeting with the Council last Autumn and further contact Councillor Tim Pogson had made more recently with both bodies.
After a meeting of the AACEG’s committee, Matthew Nicholas from the Grange Association took over as the new chair of AACEG following Roger.
We wrote to Iain Graham at NHS Lothian to say that we read with interest the coverage of the future of Ainslie Astley in the new Lothian Strategic Development Framework 2022-2027. The Framework says, under Priority 2 (NHS Lothian as an Anchor Institution to reduce inequalities) that proposals for Astley Ainslie Hospital development will be there in years 2/3. Francis Newton from Edinburgh City Council has helpfully suggested a meeting with him after the summer holidays.
After the election of the current City Councillors five of the eight covering the two wards covering Astley Ainslie are new to their roles. We have written to them to brief them on AACEG’s role.
Matthew will be using our new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A small “executive” group of AACEG had an online meeting. There was still no response to Daniel Johnson’s letter to NHS Lothian after 3 1/2 months This means there is no information about how long the delay in arranging the sale will be. It is essential that AACEG has input to the Place Brief so it was agreed that AACEG should continue and have 6 monthly meetings. It was agreed that the point of contact for NHS Lothian should be the email address email@example.com. (Since then the address has changed to firstname.lastname@example.org). Roger plans to step down when a successor can be found. When he retires, he will pass this email address on to his successor who would liaise with the community councils.
There was discussion about the draft City Plan 2030. Roger will send in a response emphasising the importance of affordable housing, public transport, shops, rights of way, tree protection, carbon neutral housing, schools, healthcare and no student flats. He would stress that public access should be protected.
A small group of AACEG and AACT had a virtual meeting with Daniel Johnson MSP at the beginning of August. Daniel was able to tell us:-