Temporary park planned in £200m Craigmillar revamp

An artist's impression of the Craigmillar work. Picture: Contributed

An artist's impression of the Craigmillar work. Picture: Contributed

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A TEMPORARY parkland is set to be created on the site of £200 million town centre revamp.

The major regeneration project will see the heart of Craigmillar transformed into a bustling new hub – complete with 300 new homes and a supermarket – over the next six years.

This initiative is about creating a pleasant outdoor space that everyone can enjoy

Denise Havard

And now developers have unveiled proposals for a short-term green space on the site where a replacement Castlebrae Community High is scheduled to be built by 2020.

Plans include upgrading existing paths along a new woodland area, planting an orchard and making room for a hazel and wood copse.

Developers say the proposals will complement the “kickabout area” recently built by local high school students as part of a construction challenge to create a multi-use events space.

The park will be in place by April 2016, with work set to start on the site this month, before the greenery is eventually phased out as development on the wider transformation of the area advances.

Parc, which is spearheading the regeneration project on behalf of Edinburgh City Council’s arms-length development company EDI, said it was working in partnership with the Edinburgh & Lothian Greenspace Trust (ELGT) to deliver the plans.

Denise Havard, community development manager for EDI, said: “There is a very strong community spirit in Craigmillar and we are so pleased to have received such positive feedback on the project already.

“This initiative is about creating a pleasant outdoor space that everyone can enjoy and we look forward to welcoming the local community to take part in helping to build this new amenity.”

Blueprints unveiled last year saw a £27m replacement secondary school – providing space for around 600 pupils – set to be located close to the existing community library, with an entrance at Niddrie Mains Road.

Councillor Frank Ross, the city’s economy leader and EDI chairman, said the temporary parkland would “make the most of the currently vacant Craigmillar plot” while development is still under way.

He said: “The greening will allow the area to become an active space for the local community to enjoy and ease the construction process. Importantly, residents are being encouraged to put forward their own ideas for how the space can be used.”

Mark Sydenham, fundraising manager at ELGT, added: “This project is a great opportunity to temporarily transform the vacant plot so that it makes a valuable contribution to the regeneration of the local area before the school is built.

“We have seen from other examples in Edinburgh the difference this kind of project can make by providing landscaped areas and a park for events and other activities.”

Earlier this year, Parc came under fire after it emerged the company had made a loss of £1.3m after failing to attract developers to key projects.

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com