500 new homes planned for Portobello site

Plans for the proposed Barrat housing development at Baileyfield site of the Standard Life development near Portobello
Plans for the proposed Barrat housing development at Baileyfield site of the Standard Life development near Portobello
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PLANS to build 500 homes on the outskirts of Portobello have been lodged with the council.

Developer Barratt Homes said the scheme would create 2000 direct and indirect jobs – boosting the local economy with an investment of more than £85 million.

But residents have raised concerns over the sheer number of new homes being constructed in the area, with more than 1300 already earmarked for nearby greenbelt land.

Dubbed Baileyfield South, the new development would take the place of the current Standard Life buildings and is set to include commercial space, as well as family homes.

Mansoor Ali, development director of Barratt Homes in the east of Scotland, said he was “committed to engaging with the local area”.

He added: “The proposed redevelopment at Baileyfield South in Portobello would provide an excellent opportunity to add to the already thriving local community, providing much-needed homes and some commercial space.

“Families to young professionals can enjoy the charm of Portobello’s coastal location while being extremely close to Edinburgh’s city centre.”
Bosses held two public consultation events at the end of July, with a decision by the council expected in early 2017.

They said a quarter of all housing built on the site would be affordable.

Geoff Lynn, chair of Portobello community council, said it was too early to assess the merits of the application.

But he added some residents were “surprised” at the number of houses involved – and the overall scale of development in the surrounding area.

He estimated more than 2000 homes were currently scheduled to be built in and around Portobello.

He said: “It’s a significant additional number of houses, but I guess you also have to look at the city-wide context. Obviously if you are a resident, it could feel like a significant change to the area.

“There’s nothing too out-of-the-ordinary [in the plans], though maybe it would be nicer to see some community space coming out of it.”

Nearby developments already lodged with the council include New Brunstane, where arms-length council company EDI wants to build 1330 houses, a school and leisure facilities over a 48-hectare site known as Brunstane 
Farmland.

Community campaigners are currently gearing up to launch legal action against the plans – amid claims they breach European and Scottish legislation.

Meanwhile, Newcraighall, further to the south, has been earmarked by the council as one of thirteen Edinburgh sites pegged for future expansion.

Documents revealed city bosses are looking to develop a number of “major gap sites” – including for industrial uses.

And plans for 200 homes and a supermarket at a neighbouring site on Baileyfield were given the go-ahead in 2014, despite concerns over the rising pressure on schools, doctors’ surgeries and roads.

Barratt is the biggest house builder by volume in Britain.