A HUGE expansion of the Cameron Toll shopping centre which will see a five-screen cinema, six new restaurants, a major new store and a rooftop terrace has been given the go-ahead.
The £25 million scheme will also include ten new retail units with the development expected to create 500 jobs and take 18 months to complete.
Councillors backed the application last year, but full approval was finally granted this week as negotiations continued regarding planning conditions.
Centre manager Jim Riddell welcomed the news.
He said: “The granting of planning consent for the proposed new extension to Cameron Toll marks an exciting new chapter in the history of the centre.
“Cameron Toll has been an important shopping destination in Edinburgh for the last 25 years and the addition of a new cinema, restaurants, retail and a major retail anchor will extend and enhance our appeal across a wide area.”
The city council’s economic development convener, Tom Buchanan, said: “This new extension will bring many benefits to the local area, creating a number of much-needed jobs and boosting the city’s economy, as well as enhancing leisure opportunities.
“That part of Edinburgh has missed out in recent years in terms of cinema provision, so I’m sure that element of the development will be welcomed.”
The extension will be sited on car park at the southern end of the shopping centre.
John Bury, the council’s head of planning, said: “The mix of retail, restaurant and cinema uses represents a positive contribution to the area in line with the aim of improving the quality of the offer at the centre.”
Last year, critics of the plan warned that it would lead to increased traffic problems and loss of views to Arthur’s Seat because of its height.
The Craigmillar Park Association also raised concerns about any extension to opening hours due to the cinema.
St James Centre owner Henderson Global Investors also objected.
The centre, which opened in 1984, was bought by Irish investment fund Warren Private for £80m in 2008.
The application also includes the creation of a pedestrian link from Liberton Road, as well as additional parking, including a car p