A CAMPAIGN to prevent the demolition of popular buildings in Leith Walk in Edinburgh has attracted 12,200 signatures, councillors in the City Chambers were told yesterday.

Save Leith Walk was formed to oppose the plan by Drum Property Group to demolish part of the buildings on the main arterial link between Edinburgh and the Port of Leith.

The developer has applied to Edinburgh Council for permission to build a 500-bed student accommodation, 53 affordable homes and a 56-bedroom hotel, as well as a restaurant, cafe and retail units at 106-154 Leith Walk.

The petition was handed in to Edinburgh Council yesterday before the Planning Committee met to discuss policy - it does not consider individual cases or petitions.

Ian Hood told the Planning Committee that campaigners wanted to see a process that enabled the local community to have a say in the future of local buildings.

As part of a deputation to the committee, Hood told councillors: “If a developer wants to demolish a building they can keep coming back time and again until they get the permissions right.

“If for any reason any proposals for demolition anywhere in Edinburgh are refused, then the developer is free to submit a new application the following day.

“Or they can board a building up and leave it to rot until the building wasn’t worth saving,” he added.

“At the moment we have been collecting the signatures on a petition to stop the demolition at 106 to 154 Leith Walk. We have 12,200 signatures on the petition collected week after week, March through to August.

“Similar processes have taken place across Edinburgh in relation to other threats to treasured buildings.

“We feel the policies of the Planning Department do not adequately reflect the wishes of communities in respect to treasured buildings.”