Latest News

One of our members needs housing

posted 5 Oct 2016, 02:39 by Southside HeritageGroup

One of our members needs housing in area. Semi-retired on pension but receives housing benefit (excellent payment record). 1 bed or studio flat preferred. Please help, they are desperate and the council have been no help whatever. email

An Invitation to an Open Meeting about student housing

posted 8 Apr 2015, 12:56 by Southside HeritageGroup   [ updated 8 Apr 2015, 12:56 ]

The University of Edinburgh and the Southside Association cordially invite you to an  OPEN MEETING about student housing

on Thursday 16 April 2015 from 7-9pm

at the Nelson Hall Community Centre, 5 Spittalfield Crescent, EH8 9QZ.

A Planning Officer from the City of Edinburgh Council will make a
presentation on the Council’s official Consultation on Student Housing
followed by an open discussion.

Come along to find out about the consultation and have your say.

Refreshments will be available.


Colin Christison

Membership and Mailing List Secretary

The Southside Association

117 Nicolson Street



The Death of Southsider Editor - George Pitcher

posted 12 Feb 2015, 14:42 by Southside HeritageGroup

It was announced that Mr George Pitcher has passed away. The following is a tribute from the Southside Association.


The Southside Association - Mr George Pitcher

Many of you will have heard that George passed away late last night, very peacefully, at home. He would have been 87 in May.  He had been poorly for a short time.

He was a former Chair of the Southside Association, as well as one-time Secretary, and produced the free quarterly local magazine, ‘The Southsider’, for a number of years.

A native of Tyneside, he was a printer, and worked for De La Rue, the firm which specialises in printing banknotes for many countries, and he was a councillor for Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the 1960s.

George lived in Edinburgh for many years, and was very involved with organisations such as the Edinburgh Tenants’ Federation, and numerous other voluntary groups. He was a very well-known ‘lolly-pop’ man at Preston Street Primary School after his retirement.  In 2000 he was responsible for encouraging interest amongst locals in order to form the very first Southside Community Council.

He was a fund of stories and anecdotes.  He was always at meetings (he loved meetings!) and one of my favourite stories he told was about the time that a small group of people had met for the first time, and they were having the usual chat before the meeting started.  One of the topics was their various holiday destinations that approaching summer.  George announced that he would be visiting the Holy Land.  There was great interest and fascination about this, and he told everyone that he went there every year.  Someone asked which part of the Holy Land was his favourite, and he replied “Whitley Bay!”  This gentle humour helped break the ice before what was probably an important meeting. 

The Association sends its condolences to his partner May, and to his family.

Colin Christison

The Southside Association

117 Nicolson Street



Lunch Club looking for new premises in the Southside

posted 29 Jul 2014, 03:03 by Southside HeritageGroup   [ updated 29 Jul 2014, 03:08 ]

A lunch club that usually meets in the Southside between 12-2 on Mondays is looking for new premises in the area due to their old premises being closed down due to refurbishment. The group is composed of around 20 older people who would like to continue this important community event in the Southside area. If anyone knows of venue that would be willing to have a long let for this group please email us at and we will give them your details.

Save Our Southside Meeting Sunday 20th July 6pm

posted 2 Jul 2014, 04:24 by Southside HeritageGroup   [ updated 2 Jul 2014, 04:25 ]

A number of local residents have suggested that it would be good to get all those residents and community groups together to discuss the need to promote the continued longevity of a balanced and mixed Southside population.  The Southside Association, Sarah and I would like to invite you and anyone on your mailing list to meet in a few weeks time.


Residents are well aware that a number of applications for student accommodation are being consulted on before being submitted for determination which could lead to the student population in the area growing by more than 1000, with many such blocks already under construction. We are keen to bring together the residents of the Southside to agree a joint approach to the City of Edinburgh Council and the University of Edinburgh, setting out their views on future development in their area.


Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting which will be held at the following date, time and location:


Sunday, 20th July

6.00pm – 7.30pm

Main Hall, Nelson Hall Community Centre, 5 Spittalfield Crescent


If you can make it on the above date, it would be helpful if you would confirm attendance by email to, so we can provide numbers in advance of the meeting.  If the date is not suitable and you cannot attend but want to get a report and remain involved please let us know.


Best wishes


Sheila Gilmore MP

Sarah Boyack MSP

Lisa Sibbald, Chair, Southside Association

Student Accommodation - Save our Southside Meeting

posted 24 Jun 2014, 03:34 by Southside HeritageGroup   [ updated 24 Jun 2014, 03:35 ]

The following is a letter that has appeared in the latest edition of the Southside Advertiser see please forward to all that you think will be interested.

Many Southside residents are concerned about the increasing number of planning applications coming forward for student accommodation in the area. On top of what has already been built or is building (eg at the former Deaconness Hospital) there have been applications at Lutton Place (refused by the Council's Planning Committee but now subject to appeal),  and pre planning notifications for the Homebase site at St Leonard's and Meadow Lane.  Exhibitions have been held for the latter two and full planning applications are likely to follow in late summer/early autumn.  An application has also been made for a small development at Lothian Street near Bristo Square, and slightly further away another smaller development at Paramount Print in Causewayside.

There is a worry that this will unbalance the community of the Southside and that we need to look urgently at the cumulative effect of all these applications.  Do we need to get the community together to 'Save the Southside' yet again?  In the first instance a meeting of interested individuals and groups and elected representatives is being planned - details not yet available but if you are interested please contact

More Proposed Student Accommodation in the Southside

posted 18 Jun 2014, 14:08 by Southside HeritageGroup

After the proposed developments at Lutton Court and Homebase in St. Leonard's were announced, it has come to pass that the University is now proposing to build six storey student flats at the corner of Buccleuch Place and Meadow Lane see for details and it was announced in the Evening News today that there are plans to build student flats at the Paramount Printers building in Causewayside see There seems to be quite a serious plan by the University to make the Southside part of their campus without a thought for the Southsider community.  
If you are interested in being kept in touch about developments send an email to also please show your support for the "Save Buccleuch Street and Meadow Lane" campaign on their Facebook page

Stop the Lutton Court Student Development

posted 30 May 2014, 12:29 by Southside HeritageGroup   [ updated 5 Jun 2014, 15:07 ]

As many Southsiders will know the University and their development partners UNITE are trying to put up more student accommodation in the Southside. Earlier in the year they were blocked in their plans to develop the site at the old Pillans and Wilson Buildings at Lutton Court. However, they are now appealing this decision and we have been asked to publicise the appeals procedure which concludes on 3rd June 2014 (This deadline has been extended to 20th June). Please find below details of the appeals procedure and a submission from Jan Penrose.

Too much of the Southside is in the hands of the University and it is now crucial that we fight this and other developments before the Southside becomes as many believe a Student Ghetto.

Thanks for your support.

Email from Elaine Bradley

Hello everyone,
I just got this through regarding the appeal notification for Lutton Court. Apparently we can make further pleas against the appeal to Fiona Manson who is the case owner (see below). However this has to be emailed before the 20th of June. 

Stephen, would it be worth emailing everyone to make further representation and perhaps contacting the councillors again?

Something else that you may not be aware of - according to Cameron Rose blog at  "Unite are proposing student accommodation on the Homebase site in St Leonard's Street. They are planning to hold a public exhibition on the 25-26th June to be held at St Margaret's and St Leonard's Catholic Church next door to the site. Unite are anticipating submitting a planning application later in the summer." 
It now seems even more crucial to block this appeal...

with best wishes,

Attached Email

Please accept my apologies for the delay, I’ve been making enquiries and trying to get together all of the information below.
The public can indeed make representations to the DPEA, but time is tight. 
Further representations should be submitted to Fiona Manson (case owner) no later than 23:59 on Tuesday, 3rd June.  They can be sent in the post or by email to:
Directorate for Planning & Environmental Appeals
4 The Courtyard
Callendar Business Park
FK1 1XR 
 Ms Manson’s contact details can also be located, along with the appeal submission, at
I understand from the notifications circulated by the Council’s planning department that our existing representations (submitted as part of the statutory consultation) will be passed to the Directorate for Planning & Environmental Appeals as standard practise.  To degree, this explains the very short timescales to make representation.

Submission from Jan Penrose


Subject: PPA-230-2122 (Planning Permission Appeal)

Dear Ms. Manson,

I realise that you will already be overwhelmed with documentation about this proposal so I will keep this message short. I, along with most other members of the Southside community, implore you to uphold the Edinburgh City Council's refusal of this planning application for student accommodation at Lutton Court.  Our neighbourhood has reached a critical tipping point (see attached definition) in terms of the imbalance between students and other residents: simply put, permitting any more student accommodation in inner city neighbourhoods like ours will soon result in only students living here.  

Given that universities are planning for continued expansion in student numbers (I lecture at the University of Edinburgh), the council urgently needs to develop an alternative, long-term, approach to student accommodation. Most obviously, it needs to disperse student accommodation more evenly throughout the city and further away from the main campuses. Happily, this is entirely consistent with Edinburgh Council's Planning Policy and with the Scottish Government's definition of the reasonable walking or cycling distances that students can be expected to live from campus (details on pages 5 and 6 of the Lutton Court Neighbours Group Statement: 10.03.2014 - see below). 

Failure to listen to local long-term residents, and many students who live here temporarily,  is likely to have many negative consequences, three of which  are worthy of special note:
(1) further owner-occupier withdrawal from the area and a consequential reduction in neighbourhood diversity and property maintenance (not good for anyone); 

(2) encouragement of additional purpose built student accommodation (e.g. that being planned for the Homebase site)  See:  
 AND (just today):

(3) transformation of this part of the city into a student ghetto - this is the correct geographical term for 'studentification' of an area (see  attached file and )

For these and so many more reasons (that I have desisted from rehearsing again here), I really do beseech you to uphold the Planning Department's unanimous refusal of this application.

Many thanks for your consideration of this entreaty!

Yours sincerely, 

Jan Penrose

Southsider? Just passing through? Either way, I need YOU!

posted 6 Dec 2013, 05:20 by Southside HeritageGroup   [ updated 21 Mar 2014, 05:59 ]

Chris Cotter, a student who has been attending the group over the past year has asked if we could publicise his PhD project and if you would like to help please read his request below, believe me it will not be painful but will be worthwhile and fulfilling to both yourself and Chris.

Southsider? Just passing through? Either way, I need YOU!

I am a Ph.D. student at Lancaster University - although I have lived in or near the Southside for the past nine years - and I'm seeking interview participants for a study looking into the history and character of the Southside, particularly relating to local attitudes to religion and religious diversity.

Whether or not you think you have anything to say about the Southside, or about religion, I am interested to hear from you.

Further information about the project can be found here: 

If you are interested in participating, know anyone who might be, or simply want some more information, you can contact me on

07860 777 148

Many thanks,


Latest Meadows Directory Article "There No More...."

posted 6 Dec 2013, 04:51 by Southside HeritageGroup   [ updated 6 Dec 2013, 04:59 ]

We have contributed an article entitled "There no more....." looking at buildings that are do exist any more in the Southside to the Meadows Directory.  Have a look at or pick up a hard copy around the EH9 and EH10 areas at Newington Library, Warrender Swimming pool or Peter Green and Co.

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