Critics rejected

Lawyer takes up key Princes Street Gardens role

The Quaich Project reimagines Princes Gardens

One of Scotland’s senior lawyers is the new chairman of The Ross Development Trust, the charity working in partnership with Edinburgh Council to deliver the controversial Quaich Project in West Princes Street Gardens. 

John Campbell, a trustee of the charity for two years, takes on the role following Norman Springford’s recent decision to step down after over three years in post.

Mr Campbell was counsel for the inquiry into the soaring cost of the Scottish Parliament building and represented Donald Trump in his wind farm battle with the Scottish Government.

The £25 million Quaich Project is a public-private partnership between the Ross Development Trust and the council.

He rejected claims that it would lead to over-commercialisation and privatisation of West Princes Street Gardens.

He said: “I recognise my responsibility in ensuring the Gardens remain as treasured and relevant to future generations as they are today.

John Campbell: rejects criticism

“The tired 1930’s bandstand and the lifeless shelters, the poor quality auditorium and the difficult access points will be replaced by the most imaginative and user-friendly designs for public space the City has ever seen.

“Our recent consultation of Edinburgh residents has informed our proposals and confirmed that the designs we will present to the city’s planners in the coming months are very much on the right track towards meeting, and indeed exceeding, the public’s expectations of a world-class public garden which will remain free to all to enjoy.”

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener said: “I would like to thank Norman Springford for his significant support and commitment to the Quaich Project since it began. Thanks to his generosity, the Ross Fountain has been to returned to its 19th Century glory and the Gardener’s Cottage beautifully refurbished.

“The Project is providing us with an opportunity to make sure everyone can enjoy the Gardens in the future, particularly those who currently find access difficult, while allowing the Ross Theatre to be restored to its rightful place as a vibrant community hub at the heart of our city centre.”

David Ellis, managing director at The Ross Development Trust, added: “Since John joined the Ross Development Trust’s Board more than two years ago, his experience and wisdom has helped guide our strategic direction. We’re delighted that he will be leading the board as we enter a crucial time for the Trust.

“Our vision is to make the Gardens accessible to everyone in the city, reinvigorating underfunded infrastructure and creating a more nature-friendly greenspace in the centre of Edinburgh. I’m looking forward to working closely with John to realise that vision.”

Mr Campbell passed as advocate at the Scottish bar in 1981. He is a former Chairman, and now a Trustee of the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, Scotland’s largest Building Preservation Trust, and is an Honorary Fellow of the RIAS.

He has considerable experience in planning and environmental law, particularly in energy issues, and in construction, arbitration, and data protection. He works all over the UK for developers, councils, NGOs, community groups, and individuals.

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