Fresh bid to sell Hunters Tryst plot

The old Hunters Tryst school site is on the market. Picture: Rob McDougall

The old Hunters Tryst school site is on the market. Picture: Rob McDougall

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The site of a former school that has lain derelict for eight years is back up for sale amid hopes that developers will snap it up for housing.

Hunter’s Tryst Primary School was closed in 2007 and previous attempts to sell the site were thwarted by the recession.

The school was torched by fireraisers in 2008 and was demolished, leaving a brownfield site that has been an eyesore ever since.

Now it has been put back up for sale by the council, with the 1.4 acre site marketed as being “well placed for easy access to both the city centre and Edinburgh bypass”.

City finance convener Alasdair Rankin said conditions were right to push for a new sale.

Councillor Rankin said: “We always seek to gain best value for the council when selling any of our assets and as market conditions have improved, we have taken the decision that now is a good time to put this site back up for sale.”

The former school building became a magnet for vandalism and antisocial behaviour before finally being pulled down following the fire.

Locals had branded the school a “death trap” and firefighters called for its demolition following the blaze.

£20,000 was spent on reinforcing security around the site before council officials gave up on the building and the bulldozers were called in.

Pupils were moved from Oxgangs to Pentland Primary in Comiston, and developers Dundas Estates had lined up a planning application for new homes before the global downturn torpedoed the scheme.

Separate plans to build 104 affordable homes put forward by the Dunedin Canmore Housing Association, or to build a care home creating badly-needed local jobs, both also fell by the wayside.

Heather Levy, chairwoman of Firrhill Community Council said: “The community would be very pleased if the site is finally redeveloped. Our preference would be for social housing, because there is a strong need for social housing in the area.”

Oxgangs councillor Jason Rust also welcomed the news that redevelopment of the site was back on the agenda.

Cllr Rust said: “I welcome the fact that at last there is some action and the economy is such that it is now being marketed. While it is important for the public purse that the council ensures it obtains best value for the site, I hope that the views of residents are properly taken into account come any planning application.

“The grounds having lain redundant for so long, we want to ensure what comes is appropriate to the amenity of the area. I will be monitoring this closely.”