Ministers could step in over panda health fears
The Scottish Government has said that a planning application near Edinburgh Zoo could be called in over panda health concerns.
The zoo is home to two giant pandas on loan to Scotland from China and concerns have been raised a planned neighbouring housing development could affect the animals during construction.
Scottish ministers have now sent a letter to Edinburgh Council directing them to notify the government if permission is granted for the 78-home redevelopment of Corstorphine Hospital, so they can decide whether or not take the decision out of the council’s hands.
The letter states this is due to issues of “national importance” which include “possible negative health impacts for giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo during construction”.
It continues: “This direction does not commit ministers to calling in any such application but it does reserve their right to intervene.”
Labour has criticised the move and linked it to the government calling in a planning application for a Chinese-backed offshore wind farm development in East Lothian, which the Scottish Government has insisted is not connected to the First Minister meeting the parent firm on her China visit last week.