Student flats plan for old church gets green light

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COUNCILLORS have given the go-ahead plans to convert a historic church into student flats despite local protests.

St Kentigern’s Church in Fountainbridge is to be transformed into flats and a waterside restaurant, as part of the city’s proposed Canal Quarter.

The development will see the run-down exterior of the church, built in 1897, preserved.

But while local residents welcomed the retention of the church, they had objected to the plans, which they said would destroy the peaceful area and add to the already huge number of students in the area.

More than 30 objections had been lodged with the council, while the proposals also drew concerned comment from heritage watchdog the Cockburn Association.

However, at a meeting of the city council’s planning committee, student housing developer ELS Limited gained approval for the scheme which will see it develop a 100-seat restaurant on the ground floor and create 31 student flats divided between the first floor of the church and a large extension.

St Kentigern’s was used as a church until 1941 and, since then, it has been a nursery and a garage. It is currently used as a workshop and for storage.