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Last Updated: Friday, 30 March 2007, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
'Mistakes made' over Meadowbank
Mona McAlinden
BBC Scotland news website

An impression of the new stadium planned for Sighthill
Plans for a new stadium at Sighthill have been drawn up
Edinburgh City Council has admitted that mistakes were made in the consultation process over proposals to replace an athletics stadium.

Council leader Ewan Aitken said there should have been more consultation with the users of Meadowbank Stadium about the its future.

To mark the end of the consultation period, more than 600 people marched from the stadium to the City Chambers.

The march was organised by the Save Meadowbank campaign.

Campaigners presented a petition with 6,000 names to the council leader.

Protesters had complained that there had been no consultation on the demolition of the stadium.

Public building

They said consultation on its replacement was also limited to professional organisations like SportScotland, rather than local people and groups who use the facilities.

A council spokesperson said it had no statutory obligation to consult on the demolition.

However, Mr Aitken said the local authority accepted that it should have had more input from the public and local users into the plans for replacing the stadium.

I can assure people that we are aware of the level of public interest in this
Ewan Aitken
Council leader

"Prior to the agreement on the sale of Meadowbank from all political parties in the council, and with the benefit of hindsight, more consultation with the users of Meadowbank about the centre's future should have been undertaken," he said.

"I accept that this did not go far enough.

"I will personally receive the petition from the Save Meadowbank campaign and then I will meet with my colleagues to decide on the next steps but I can assure people that we are aware of the level of public interest in this and I assure them that I will keep them abreast of developments."

We would like the council to reverse the decision pending a consultation
David Baxter
Save Meadowbank Campaign

Under the plans, the stadium would be replaced with hundreds of homes, although the council said 94% of existing facilities would be rebuilt within the site.

However, campaigners oppose plans to move running clubs to a new site in Sighthill.

The group's spokesman David Baxter said: "We believe the decision to demolish the stadium is flawed because there was no public consultation.

"We would like the council to reverse that decision pending a consultation."

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