Waverley Market (again)

The Scottish Government has re-introduced its Long Leases Bill which fell in the last Session of Parliament when it ran out of time. See previous posts on topic here and here and my written evidence to previous Bill Committee.

Put simply, the Bill converts any lease of over 175 years with at least 100 years to run into full ownership – automatically. One of David Murray’s companies currently leases the site of the Waverley Market (now with Princes Mall shopping centre built) for 1p a year on a 206 year lease which expires in 2188. David Murray thus stands to obtain full ownership of this common good asset for 40p (actually, since he has probably never paid the 1p, the cost will be £0.00)

The Scottish Government noted previous concerns and resisted them. In the current, re-introduced Bill, they resist once again. Quite why I cannot fathom.

I do not have the stomach or time to fight this again. If civic Edinburgh wants to leave a legacy to future generations in 2188 (I know it’s a long time), it needs to put up a fight now. If it chooses not to, that’s fine – just be sure you think about it and decide one way or another.