Preparatory work on Picardy Place to start this weekend

The next stage of works to prepare Picardy Place for its redesigned layout are set to get under way this weekend. 

The statue of Sherlock Holmes and Eduardo Paolozzi's three-piece sculpture The Manuscript of Monte Cassino were carefully removed by contractors working on behalf of Edinburgh St James in December 2017. 

From this weekend, work will begin to remove trees from outside St Mary's RC Cathedral in order to facilitate future works at Picardy Place. 

The trees need to be removed before bird-nesting season begins later this month. 

Under plans to improve public space in Picardy Place and the city centre, two trees will be replanted for every one that is removed.

Revised proposals for the Picardy Place junction were approved by councillors earlier this month, following an extended period of consultation.

The removal of the trees is the start of a period of enabling works while the detailed design is finalised in consultation with key stakeholders. Works to revamp the junction are scheduled to get under way later this spring. 

Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Transport Convener, said: "These trees need to be removed to allow work to go ahead on Picardy Place and it's essential they're taken down before bird-nesting season begins at the end of February. 

"Meanwhile, discussions continue with key stakeholders to finalise the finer details of the design."

A special meeting of the Transport and Environment Committee was held on 25 January 2018 to consider the latest design for Picardy Place, which incorporates a new landscaped public space for the island site at the centre of the junction. Financial details for the proposals were subsequently approved by The City of Edinburgh Council on 1 February 2018. 

The updated plans reflected feedback from around 1000 responses to the consultation, which demonstrated a strong desire for improved public realm in the area, as well as further improvements to provision for pedestrians and cyclists.

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