by Joseph Anderson Local Democracy Reporter
Plans to redevelop Corstorphine Hospital and its grounds have finally been given the go ahead by Edinburgh City Council.
Livingston-based developers Sundial Dundas Corstorphine Ltd have been working to redevelop the hospital building, and construct new-build homes in its grounds, since first lodging a planning application in September 2017.
A design statement, submitted on behalf of the developers by city architects, Michael Laird, reads: “Our proposals provide high quality residential accommodation within a sensitive development, which respects the former hospital and landscape setting.
“By removing the former additions and buildings and sensitively restoring the former hospital, providing insertions and additions, we can make the building work for modern residential accommodation.
“New build elements will be purposefully modern, contrasting with the original building to enable a clear understanding of the development period to be created.
“The new build accommodation is designed to create a sense of place, forming meaningful landscaped areas for enjoyment by the residents.
“The buildings will respect the original hospital building in both mass, height and materiality.
“Restoring the listed building setting and landscape to its former glory will allow the site to once again breathe by the creation of the garden or meadow which will contextualise the development to the street and enable views of the hospital building.
“We are very excited to submit these proposals in the hope that Corstorphine Hospital can once again thrive by providing elegant, modern residences that have longevity and quality that emulate the robust design of the original building.”
The scheme has been brought before the council’s development management committee several times, and although councillors were generally in favour of approving the development, they consistently raised concerns over a steep access route that runs north from Corstorphine Road to the old hospital.
The development was last brought before the committee in December 2019, when councillors asked for more information on potential access schemes.
The developer produced a total of eight possible access schemes to mitigate accessibility concerns, and the scheme council officers recommended to the committee included installing handrails along the length of the steep access, constructing level resting areas at equidistant intervals and providing five disabled parking spaces.
This was also the preferred scheme of the Edinburgh Access Panel, a which works to improve accessibility for physically disabled and sensory impaired people.
Now, the council has finally granted permission for the hospital to be converted into 32 apartments, with an additional 44 new-build apartments set to be built on site, after no councillors objected to the planning officers’ recommendations.
Planning Convener, Cllr Neil Gardiner, said: “I think it has been worth bringing the access panel in to find an acceptable scheme, and putting the work in to get to this point has been a worthwhile exercise and so if they’re happy, then I’m happy.”
The development will provide a mix of two and three bedroom apartments, with 113 parking spaces, five of which will be for disabled access.