by Noa Hoffman Local Democracy Reporter.
Plans for a new mixed-use development comprising student accommodation, commercial units and residential flats on Gorgie Road have been recommended for approval by Edinburgh City Council planning officials.
Edinburgh-based property group Kiltane Developments are hoping to redevelop the 0.52-hectare site at 535-555 Gorgie Road and the decision will be made at a planning committee meeting this Wednesday.
Currently, the mixed-use urban site is used for commercial and student accommodation purposes.
Kiltane Developments are looking to build 140 student flats, 77 student studios and 28 residential flats, eight of which would be classed as “affordable housing accommodation.”
Three commercial units are also proposed to be made available for retail, financial and professional services use.
Designs for the development include 2147 square metres of external amenity space, which would be provided in the form of a shared central courtyard, an area of amenity space adjacent to the Water of Leith and an external roof terrace to be accessed by those occupying student flats.
Residential units would have 285 square metres of external space and there would also be 442 square metres of internal amenity space for students.
The lower ground floor to the rear of what is currently ELS House would be retained as an undercroft, accommodating 33 car parking spaces and 28 electric vehicle charging spaces.
Plans are also in place for 264 cycle parking spaces to be built.
While the proposed development has been officially recommended for approval, members of the council’s Development Management Sub-Committee will have the final say at a vote scheduled for next Wednesday.
Sighthill-Gorgie Independent councillor, Ashley Graczyk, strongly opposed the plans.
In a post on Twitter she said: “Not happy at all with this: 28 flats, 217 student beds & 950 m² of commercial space across 3 units.
“There is a severe housing development imbalance in Gorgie Dalry – hundreds of new student flats and zero affordable or social housing. Will be raising this matter at Edinburgh City Council.”
Mark Keane, Company Director at Kiltane Developments said: “We are clearly pleased to see this recommendation for approval for our planning application, which it should be noted has received only one public objection.
“The proposal will create a sustainable mixed-use community, comprising housing, student accommodation and shops and offices, preserving the viability of the nearby local centre.
“There is a desire for up to two-bed flats in the area and this development will serve to address this. It will also comprise 29 per cent affordable housing, more than the policy requirement of 25 per cent.
“The site is highly sustainable, withing cycling distance of the city centre and is also on a number of major bus routes. There will be 264 cycle parking spaces and car parking will be provided underground in the existing underground storage area. The proposed car parking represents just 30 per cent of the maximum car parking allowed by parking standards.
“We are also providing an attractive frontage on the Water of Leith and significantly enhancing the public realm, including upgrades to the public footpath.”
Alongside 535-555 Gorgie Road, council planning officials have also recommended approving a proposed new residential development on Corstorphine Road.
Euan Marshall and Simon Cook, Managing Directors at property group Square and Crescent, have established a new company to develop 20 apartments at 37 Corstorphine Road.
The pair are hoping to demolish an existing villa and garage and build in its place a four storey development, contemporary in style and fit with terraces, balconies, cycle and car parking, landscaping and refuse space.
The proposed development’s main facing material would be sandstone, supplemented with brick cladding, bronze coloured aluminium, timber cladding and bronze finished windows.
Plans are in place for landscaped areas to be built to the front, in the north east corner and south west corner of the development, with timber decked private gardens facing onto the Water of Leith and Roseburn Park.
The proposed new property has received 175 comments from members of the public on the council’s planning portal, 125 of which are objections.
As with 535-555 Gorgie Road, despite being officially recommended for approval by planners, members of the council’s Development Managament Subcommittee will have the final say at a vote next Wednesday.
Mr Cook commented: “We are clearly delighted that this planning application for a contemporary high-quality design development has been recommended for approval, subject to conditions.
“While this a previous application was refused following an appeal to the Reporter, we have now served to address the two outstanding issues highlighted. It is therefore disappointing to note those objecting focusing on issues, such as scale and setting, that the Reporter has deemed satisfactory.
“The outstanding issue relating to vulnerability of the ground floor to flood risk has been addressed by raising the ground floor level well above what the Reporter recommended and hence the Council’s flooding team is satisfied with this approach.
“In addition, we have redesigned the western façade of the building to address concerns over the impact on neighbouring privacy from overlooking of the garden.
“This development will also assist in addressing the city’s housing shortage by providing high quality apartments.”
Noa Hoffman is The Local Democracy Reporter covering Edinburgh. The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) is a public service news agency : funded by the BBC, provided by the local news sector, and used by qualifying partners. Local Democracy Reporters cover top-tier local authorities and other public service organisations.