The council’s Development Management Sub-Committee today approved plans for a new development of 69 affordable homes on Clovenstone Gardens.

The scheme will have a fabulous view over Kingsknowe Golf Course to the city beyond, and will be accessed by a road to be built here with landscaping also in the plans.

Planning Convener, Cllr Neil Gardiner, said that he welcomes the development by social landlords, Prospect Housing, although he will ask them if they can perhaps incorporate a roof garden into the plans.

He was particularly supportive as the housing will take an area designated open space and turn it into a residential one. This may sound strange, but it is an open space behind a metal fence with spikes, so it is actually not used by anyone at all.

Cllr Gardiner said: “This is much needed housing and it will create a usable space. The development almost meets the requirement of 20% of family housing, but importantly it has minimal car parking which could be converted to open space later if it is not used. Wester Hailes has low levels of car ownership, but this development is well connected to the greenway and fits with master planning for the Wester Hailes area, and the overall contribution is welcome.”

Only one councillor on the committee dissented to the planning application. Green councillor Chas Booth explained that although the city is desperate for affordable housing, he was concerned that the plans did not comply with the council’s own requirements on trees and open space.

The development will be three flatted blocks of varied height between four and six storeys.There will be 30 car parking spaces between on street parking and a small car park to the rear, and 148 cycle spaces. During the planning process windows were made larger and juliet balconies have been included, with car parking spaces reduced from 45 to 30. The council will also hand over the verge area to the housing association to be included in the scheme.