The council’s Development Management Sub Committee approved Revived plans to develop a gap site in Edinburgh’s city centre at a meeting earlier today. There was a demonstration outside and the public gallery was full to overflowing but despite the lengthy presentations and debate, the planning application was granted by majority decision.

The international consortium headed by Artisan Real Estate Investors will now build the £150m mix of leisure, retail and offices linking New Street and East Market Street with Waverley Station and the Royal Mile, covering a total area of around 220,000 sq ft.

It will be centred around a £6.5m civic square with office space, 400 hotel bedrooms and commercial units. Artisan also previously obtained planning permission for 145 residential units and 40 affordable homes.

The former SMT bus garage and gas works previously occupied a large part of the site.


Councillor Ian Perry, Convener of the Planning Committee, said: “First of all, I would like to thank those that have taken the time and effort to contribute to the debate about this site over the last 10 years.

“Following an 18-month consultation period on the current plans, it is great news that we finally have a decision on a development which I believe will breathe new life into a long standing vacant site in the heart of the city.

“The plans we considered today will preserve the listed Canongate Venture building, the historic Sailor’s Ark frontage on the Royal Mile, and give an exciting new life to the arches on East Market Street.

“There will be substantial investment across the site in the public realm and the creation of a new public square will make the area more attractive and pedestrian friendly. A new viewing area will be built for people to enjoy the views to Calton Hill from Johnston Terrace.

“As the development has a mix of uses it will attract many more people to the area and with new housing on adjacent sites, including 40 affordable homes that are already being built, it will bring a real boost to the Old Town community.

“The economic benefit of this new development is huge and is estimated to bring in £43m to the local economy each year, as well as creating almost 2,000 jobs.”

Aerial photos courtesy of RCAHMS