Some things that you might be wondering about:

The Community Body

What area does Marchmont & Sciennes Development Trust (MSDT)  cover?

At the moment, it only covers the streets immediately surrounding the Sick Kids site. As the Development Trust’s activities grow, we hope to extend the coverage of the community body that we seek to represent, but you can still be a member even if you’re not within this current boundary. See the COMMUNITY page for more detail.

How does the Development Trust sit with other groups?

The Marchmont & Sciennes Development Trust is separate to both the Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council and the Planning Action Group for Sick Kids (PAGSK) that organised public meetings last year, but is running in parallel to their efforts in negotiating engagement with the NHS’ process. Our application to register community interest in land at the Sick Kids is based on community concerns that were gathered through the hard work of PAGSK during 2016.

Who is Marchmont & Sciennes Development Trust supported by?

The Development Trust was initiated by a small group of local residents and has drawn in much local support as the idea has spread. MSDT has received close guidance from the Community Land Team of the Scottish Government, COSS (Community Ownership Support Service within DTAS) as well as existing stakeholders, political representatives and many consultants in planning, architecture and energy.

The Community Right to Buy process

Why are you submitting an application for the Sick Kids site?

Whilst several developers may feel that they have proposed schemes that are sympathetic to the surrounding community’s views, MSDT wishes to use this opportunity to create an alternative to private ownership, whether developers are proposing rental or sale. Community ownership means assets are locked into the Community Body, and any surplus/profit cannot be used elsewhere.

I signed the petition, what happened to it?

Many thanks for signing the petition! The signatures were submitted with the application.

Where are you at with the application?

The application to register community interest in land was submitted at the end of March 2017 (see press release) and an update was posted in May 2017 (see post) explaining that we are still waiting on the decision, but what we plan to do next.

What happens if the application is rejected?

We will do our best to be engaged in the development process, through either the seller, developer or both. Our aim is not necessarily to oppose density of development, but to seek local benefit in the form of affordable tenure, community uses in addition to housing and an accessible enhancement to the existing neighbourhood.

The Sick Kids site proposals

What ideas are being put forward?

From consultations run by PAGSK and NHS Lothian at the end of 2016, there were many ideas that emerged including community healthcare, intergenerational housing and space for local enterprise. Ultimately, the community proposal is to be based on identified community needs, and how they can best be met on this site. See Next Steps on community engagement and consultation.

Who would run the site?

If successful in our bid, Marchmont & Sciennes Development Trust would be the umbrella body that holds the ownership of the site on behalf of the community. MSDT is a membership organisation, so resolutions are passed by members’ vote. Specific elements will probably be run by relevant nominated organisations who have track records such as a housing coop, social enterprises, healthcare providers, nursery, car club etc.

Would there be new buildings built? How high would they be?

Depending on the feasibility of re-using the existing buildings, new-build may or may not be viable. This will be explored in the next phase.

How much would it cost and how would it be funded?

We don’t yet know, and that is something that the Scottish Government’s valuer will assess at the next stage once our application for registration is hopefully approved. There are grants starting to be applied for (such as the Scottish Land Fund) and we have members who are experienced in raising finance from loans and community shares.

Can I get involved, and how?

Yes! There are several different ways you can help 🙂 Please see the JOIN page for more information.