Muirhouse Shopping Centre to undergo major revamp

Muirhouse Shopping Centre Pennywell Road.
Muirhouse Shopping Centre Pennywell Road.
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IT’S been a prominent part of the community since the 1960s and will star in the much-hyped sequel to Trainspotting next year.

But Muirhouse Shopping Centre and its surrounding area is set to undergo a major revamp – after an early stage planning application was submitted to the city council.

Ewan Bremner who plays Spud  on set filming the sequel to Trainspotting in Muirhouse.

Ewan Bremner who plays Spud on set filming the sequel to Trainspotting in Muirhouse.

Developers Barton Willmore want to transform the dreary site, which has been described by locals as an “eyesore”, into a thriving community square – boasting shops, restaurants, businesses and a “civic square” for community events.

However, the application states in order to do this, parts of the existing structure will have to be demolished.

Roy Douglas, chairman of Muirhouse Community Council, said the majority of locals are in favour of the revamp and have praised the proposal of application notice.

He said in order for the site to be “cleaned up”, most of it would have to be rebuilt.

The front of the shopping precinct was swamped with cameras and film fans in May this year, when it was used for filming Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting 2.

Mr Douglas said: “The plans are still vague but the community are already excited about it.

“We are really positive about the regeneration and are hopeful we can attract more shops and employment to the area. We’d love to get a supermarket back.

“Over the next few years, more people will be coming to live in the Muirhouse area due to new developments, so this is important.

“It’s about reshaping a community that has been lost.”

Mr Douglas added he is hopeful a thriving new civic square, that would host local events such as markets, would lower crime levels on Pennywell Road.

The city council has arranged two public exhibitions in Muirhouse later this month, where residents will be able to view the proposals and make comments.

Dave Pickering, a spokesman for local action group, Community Action North (CAN), said: “Major opportunities to transform a community like this don’t come along too often so we have got to seize this chance and make it work for local people. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Few people will shed any tears to learn that the shopping centre is to go, no one has a good word to say about it, it’s an unpopular place.

“What replaces it is very important though.

“It’s crucial that local people are involved in planning the area’s future right from the start.

“The developers have said their redevelopment plans are ‘fluid’.”

Included in the proposal, is plans to transform the library into an enhanced community hub.

The plans come as part of the multi-million pound revamp of Muirhouse and Pennywell, which has been made possible through a Scottish government regeneration capital.

Barton Willmore did not respond to a request for comment.

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk