Capital mall car park proposal criticised

Green transport groups have voiced concern at plans to more than treble car parking spaces as part of the redevelopment of an Edinburgh shopping complex.

Proposals for the St James Centre submitted to Edinburgh City Council last month include 250 flats, 90 shops, a hotel and underground parking for 1,800 vehicles, up from the existing level of 534.

Dave du Feu, spokesman for cycling pressure group Spokes, maintained that the increased provision flies in the face of efforts to cut congestion and pollution in the capital. "The site is adjacent to the tram with access to extensive bus services and Waverley station," he said.

Transport lobby group Transform Scotland director Colin Howden questioned why any extra spaces are needed when the centre is opposite the underused Greenside Place car park.

Centre owner Henderson Global Investors hopes to start work in 2011. It described the scheme as the biggest redevelopment project in the city centre for 50 years.

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