Flats plan for upper floors on Princes St

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THE upper floors of buildings on Princes Street are set to be transformed into apartments in an attempt to attract more residents to the city centre.

New proposals would see retail units above high street stores become residential properties if there is demand from developers.

Restaurants and cafes would also be allowed to move into ground-floor premises in order to attract more shoppers. Currently, planners resist attempts to allow prime retail premises to be turned into non-retail – such as takeaways or solicitors’ officers – to ensure high street shopping remains attractive.

The move was unveiled as the new Edinburgh Local Development Plan was launched, which will map out the future of the city. It followed a major study into how best to improve the city centre by Gehl Architects.

In-depth analysis – Pages 20-21