One area of New Town Edinburgh that has been overtaken by weeds, fallen debris of trees and brick walls, has been marked for conversion into community allotments. They previous Georgian tenements were demolished back in 1967. They were along MacKenzie Place near Stockbridge. The only parts left are sealed brick cellars beside Water of Leith, below Doune Terrace.
The conversion will be completed in 2012 and was funding was provided by a grant from Edinburgh World Heritage and money from Edinburgh City Council, totalling £91,000.
Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, Adam Wilkinson said, “We’ll be converting the cellars into a more elegant allotment storage solution than a bunch of metal sheds. Also, it will be a great benefit to provide allotments closer so people won’t have to travel so far. We are glad to be cooperating with World Heritage Site on this project.”
The site is already being cleared and the soil tested. The retaining wall will be rebuilt in places and new doors placed on the cellars.
Environmental Leader, Councillor Robert Aldridge, said that the allotments will be given out to residents and locals who are on the waiting list. However, the Council have had to rethink their strategy for managing the new rise in interest in gardening allotments. Compare the 400 waiting in 1998 to the 2000 people on the waiting list last year.
Aldridge added, “This plan is riding the city of a section of land that has gone to wilderness and it contributes to a healthy lifestyle that includes gardening. Our people will have the pleasure of growing their own flowers and vegetables, which contributes to community contentment.”