Update following the Grange EGM
Following a meeting of the Grange Club on 10 February, 2016, the following is the Foundation's position regarding the now collapsed wall along Comely Bank Road and the questions of ownership of the strip of land on which the wall was built.
RPF acknowledges that, on the face of it, the Grange Trust has a registered title to the “strip”. However, on the basis of legal advice obtained by RPF, the title issue is not relevant in the context of this development as the wall is adopted as part of the roads network – as can been seen in the Statutory List of Public Roads which clearly states: “ Comely Bank Road...Public including wall at Edinburgh Academy playing field”.
In addition to the above position, we understand the following to apply or to be of relevance:
- Adoption suspends ownership rights of the ground underneath the adopted area.
- The land under the wall and land immediately to the south of the wall (together comprising the six foot strip) was acquired (but not conveyed) to the Council in 1912 for road widening purposes. At that time the agreement noted that both the Grange and Academical Trust and the Edinburgh Academical Cricket Club acknowledged “their respective rights and interest hereby given up for the purpose of widening the street”. There was no consideration paid to EACC for the transfer of the land they gave up, even though they subsequently paid off the debt on that land.
- The roads authority exercises its powers under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984, the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and other relevant legislation to control and manage the exercise of the public right of passage in the interests of road safety and competing demands for road space.
- RPF has previously advised the Trustees of the Grange Trust of the adoption of the wall by the City of Edinburgh Council, of which the Grange Trust were unaware.
- We believe that any questions or action the Grange Trust may think they have concerning the issue of the "strip" should be raised with the City of Edinburgh Council as the roads authority.
Additionally, and regardless of the above:
- The new buildings to be erected on the site will occupy land approximately 12m back from the strip of land concerned (to the north, in line with the Raeburn Hotel).
- Raeburn Place Development Limited (RPDL), the wholly owned subsidiary of RPF that will undertake the development, does not require access over the strip of land either for access or to complete the development of the new facilities.
- Once completed, the strip of land will remain adopted by the City of Edinburgh Council and the pavement will be resurfaced, giving the public access to the shops that will face onto the road.
RPF is a charity established to promote public participation in sport and heritage. Income raised through its wholly owned commercial subsidiary, RPDL, will be utilised by the charity to undertake its charitable activities. RPF is leasing Raeburn Place from its owners, the Edinburgh Academical Club, for 99 years and £1 rent.
RPF plans to proceed with the development as scheduled and expects work to start on site during the late summer of 2016.