There was a lot of excitement when the new out of town shopping centre opened in 1993, and now the owners are about to consult on some really new options for the development, focusing hard on active travel and sustainability.

After its initial opening the £68 million shopping centre was extended, but plans lodged last year for small extensions and a cinema were rejected by The City of Edinburgh Council.

Now the Development Managers Bankfoot APAM, have refreshed their plans and are proposing a major new housing and office space on the site which has all major public transport links on hand. This is the latest housing development planned for the west of Edinburgh where there are already 18,000 new homes in the mix. It will form a new town centre where people can live, work and play, while proving that such an area can be most sustainable in one of the country’s fastest growing residential and commercial areas.

The options on the table for discussion are:

  • A new community in which people can live, work, shop, rest and play within easy reach of the city centre and countryside
  • A renewed and revitalised retail offer with enhanced facilities for click and collect, home delivery and other services 
  • New homes for families and professionals that bring people to live more closely to their jobs to encourage more public transport use, cycling, and walking
  • A new east/west ‘green link’ that provides better and safer walking and cycling facilities and new public green space
  • Improved access to the existing Tram, Bus and Rail services that run through and around The Gyle

Chris Moore the Managing Director at Bankfoot APAM said: “When the Gyle was built it was a leading modern shopping destination. However, we are now looking at a new normal that is very different for shopping and living. The creation of a new urban city district will help transform the visitor experience and bring many more new residents, workers and customers to the shops and facilities.

“Increasingly people will travel by public transport and the facilities need to reflect that new normal. We have seen the changes that the new St James development in the city centre is making to people’s shopping experience and our aim is to deliver better and higher quality shopping, rather than just increasing floorspace. We have also studied the quality of the proposals for new homes and offices at the nearby Edinburgh Park. 

“Edinburgh is changing, and west Edinburgh is changing faster than almost anywhere in Scotland and our plans must reflect sustainability issues and respond positively to those changes. Looking ahead we should consider how best to serve our customers and meet their growing concerns about the environment. A more balanced community is what is proving to work best.

“We will be consulting local residents and communities on our new vision in the near future, and we look forward to starting the regeneration and revitalisation of The Gyle in a way that makes it an even more special place for many more people. The Gyle can again be one of the finest shopping destinations in the country, but our ambition is to make it one of the finest places to live, work and play as well.”

The consultation will begin in the coming weeks and continue over the summer. Consultation with existing shops in the centre has already begun and will run concurrently with the wider public consultation.

A planning application will only be brought forward following the completion of the public consultation and is expected to be submitted in the autumn. 

A tram at Edinburgh Park near The Gyle ©2021 The Edinburgh Reporter

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