UKC

Possible threat to Alien Bloc Edinburgh?

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 BrendanO 22 Nov 2021

Just seen this posted on their Facebook. There’s a link to register for a webinar on Wed 6pm

Climbers! We need your help! alien bloc is under long-term existential threat due to potential redevelopment of the site by new landlord. There is an online public consultation this Wednesday 24th November with the ability to learn more about their intentions and get involved in influencing this at an early stage.

Without public support from climbers like you , the ability to go to a large indoor climbing wall in central Edinburgh could be lost - possibly forever. Please share this information, visit the link below , register for webinar,  get in contact with development team and express your opinion on this situation. The public consultation will hopefully influence the planning application which is likely to be submitted in  Spring 2022

Thank you ,

alien team !

https://www.23-27dunedinstreet.com/get-involved

 DannyC 22 Nov 2021
In reply to BrendanO:

Thanks for sharing that. It'd be a terrible shame if north Edinburgh lost such a valuable community resource as Alien Bloc.

In particular it's a shame that it seems to be being proposed that it gets developed into more flats - while the Airbnb keysafes pop up across more and more of Leith, Canonmills, Stockbridge etc....

 Rob Parsons 22 Nov 2021
In reply to DannyC:.

> In particular it's a shame that it seems to be being proposed that it gets developed into more flats - while the Airbnb keysafes pop up across more and more of Leith, Canonmills, Stockbridge etc....

Proper control of Airbnb lets would be a good first start - but good luck with getting any action on that from the f*cked-up Edinburgh City Council.

 BrendanO 22 Nov 2021
In reply to DannyC:

I think the main worry (apart from my selfish one that I like climbing there) is that all the other zillions of new flats in that part of town would lose a really accessible health facility!! And not just physical health; bouldering has been described as the BEST sport to do for mental health, as it fills up your head, and its easy to arrange - all you need is wall and shoes, and you can go on your own and find your own level.

Hopefully, if there is massive support, it IS possible that the council will consider its commitment to health over its commitment for…more flats. And more flats with pizza outlets on the ground floors.

its up to the climbers to make themselves heard…

In reply to BrendanO:

> I think the main worry (apart from my selfish one that I like climbing there) is that all the other zillions of new flats in that part of town would lose a really accessible health facility!! And not just physical health; bouldering has been described as the BEST sport to do for mental health, as it fills up your head, and its easy to arrange - all you need is wall and shoes, and you can go on your own and find your own level.

Have you a citation to back that up? I don't want you to lose a facility but I fail to see how making outlandish claims without substantial underpinning g can help your cause. 

 65 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Maybe best to start a new thread to discuss bouldering's place in the hierarchy of activities beneficial to mental health rather than derail this one about a facility of importance to many Edinburgh climbers.

In reply to 65:

OK, continue with unfounded claims while you petition, hold a sit in, glue yourselves to the holds. It will only weaken your argument. 

 Jack B 22 Nov 2021
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Proper control of Airbnb lets would be a good first start - but good luck with getting any action on that from the f*cked-up Edinburgh City Council.

They are looking at it: https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/short-term-let-consultation/ The consultation is now closed, but I filled it in earlier. Like most Edinburgh Council consultations, it was fairly obvious what answer they want, and that was a control area for the whole city. Dunno if they will ever go anywhere with enforcement though - plenty of rental flats around here that don't meet the Repairing Standard and not much interest in sorting them out.

In reply to 65:

> Maybe best to start a new thread to discuss bouldering's place in the hierarchy of activities beneficial to mental health rather than derail this one about a facility of importance to many Edinburgh climbers.

You need to work with the wall, a members list, their postcode, frequency of use, even how they travel there (ideally foot or bike). 

It is not about claiming something, but proving it. Get the local press down on a busy evening etc.. or local shops, down any other businesses benefit from trade the wall draws in. Are there any local councillors or mps who climb or hill walk? If the wall goes how many extra polluting driving miles will everyone do to another venue? Build your case with facts not sentiment. 

Good luck as you'll need it. As an ex Newhaven resident I know the benefit of having a wall on your door step. I think you'll get no where but it's worth a try. If sssi's are fair game for a golf course, then indoor wall for flats is a no brainer to them. 

In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

I have seen that paper previously, it is far from conclusive outside of the general "exercise is good for physical and health"

Not a hill I would choose to die on for sure. 

In reply to Presley Whippet:

Probably pass muster supporting a closure protest though. 

In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Have you a citation to back that up? I don't want you to lose a facility but I fail to see how making outlandish claims without substantial underpinning g can help your cause. 

I agree that over exaggeration can sometimes damage a claim, so saying it is the BEST exercises might not be helpful unless you have good evidence.  But saying the statement is outlandish seems harsh, there is plenty of evidence to show that exercise is beneficial to physical and mental health while exercise such as climbing can also providing social and communal experience that is also proven to be beneficial to mental health.

Suggesting they might want to remove the word BEST might be helpful. Calling the claim outlandish seems unnecessary.

 Wire Shark 23 Nov 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> OK, continue with unfounded claims while you petition, hold a sit in, glue yourselves to the holds. It will only weaken your argument. 

And this year's award for "Pointlessly argumentative dick of the year" award goes to .... drum roll .... rustle of envelope .... you! 

Keep your acceptance speech short please.

 BrendanO 24 Nov 2021
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Have you a citation to back that up? 

 

…well, I remember “Trust Me, I’m a Doctor” doing a bit of filming at EICA Ratho for their programme claiming just that. Not exactly peer-reviewed, but is that ok as a peace offering?

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/nov/02/trust-me-im-a-doctor-ginos-italian-coastal-escape-review

I’m hoping that YOU (and lots of other UKC folk) might want to help this cause. Hope that’s not too naive

 Moacs 24 Nov 2021
In reply to BrendanO:

Where's Tom when Edinburgh needs him?!

In reply to BrendanO:

Their current booking system is also a bit of an existential threat.. i haven't been able to go since before lockdown, its as if you need to book in advance by about two weeks for a session after work! 

 tlouth7 24 Nov 2021
In reply to Garethza:

Surely that is an indication that it is not under existential threat from poor attendance numbers

In reply to tlouth7:

That is correct! It was a bit of tongue and cheek towards the fact that its always rammed !

 monkeyBoyMatt 24 Nov 2021
In reply to BrendanO:

Hi.

Just had a chat with Alien Bloc manager,Tim, and sent an email to the Aliens. The link (https://www.23-27dunedinstreet.com/get-involved) is for the developers website and their "public consultation". I note that there are no objections on Edinburgh Council's planning portal (https://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk/idoxpa-web/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=R1DPNVEW0GY00). This is where objections are probably best raised, rather than the developers website.

My email contains contact details to so happy to have a chat. Not a lawyer, but have some thoughts on a coordinated objection strategy. Sorry I can't make the webinar tonight, but good luck.

Long live Alien Bloc

Matt

In reply to John Stainforth:

> Where's Tom when Edinburgh needs him?!

Lurking.

My view is the Alien guys should hire an expert who knows the planning rules and system to figure out the objections which would have force with the planning people and then we can all pile on and raise them with the council.  

 BrendanO 24 Nov 2021
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Hmmm, an expert like… Donald Anderson, ex-leader of Edin Council, now director of the ironically-named Playfair company, which states its purpose as (and I paraphrase!) to smooth the way for planning developers using their knowledge of local politics etc.

Donald appeared at the seminar tonight, unfortunately he seems to be in the pay of the other side…

In reply to BrendanO:

> Hmmm, an expert like… Donald Anderson, ex-leader of Edin Council, now director of the ironically-named Playfair company, which states its purpose as (and I paraphrase!) to smooth the way for planning developers using their knowledge of local politics etc.

I'm not surprised.  The only experience I've had of this is when I tried to object to a new block of flats getting built right across a narrow lane from us and totally blocking our view. I talked to a planning consultant and he basically said he normally worked for the developers and I'd no chance.  OTOH if you don't have a guy like that on your side it's like taking a knife to a gunfight.

> Donald appeared at the seminar tonight, unfortunately he seems to be in the pay of the other side…

The thing it doesn't say on his website is he was a Labour councilor and he was involved in setting up Transport in Edinburgh to run the trams project.

Maybe his Labour party connections won't be as useful as they used to be.


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