Controversial 'barracks block' Edinburgh student flats to go ahead after property sale
A new student accommodation development in the Meadowbank area of Edinburgh is pushing ahead after the site changed hands.
Q Investment Partners (QIP), a Singapore-based private equity firm, and UK-based developer HGD have acquired the site from property developer Summix, enabling the delivery of a £30 million development to press ahead.
It follows the granting of planning permission in June despite councillors blasting the design of the six-storey building.
The purchase marks the launch of a “long-term strategic partnership” between QIP and HGD.
Located opposite Meadowbank Stadium, the development is on a brownfield site which was formerly in retail use.
Ben Hall, head of investment for QIP, said: "Despite the uncertainties of Brexit, UK purpose-built student accommodation remains an attractive asset class and Edinburgh is proving especially buoyant as one of the top student accommodation investment markets.
"With world-class universities there is strong demand for student accommodation, boosting investor confidence, and this is especially true for Asian investors."
Stuart Black from Summix added: "It is great to be working in partnership with QIP and HGD as they begin work on this scheme, their first venture north of the Border. We look forward to working with them on future deals.
"This development will serve to address the increasing demand for student accommodation, fulfilling the ambitious growth plans of world-leading universities in the city, which are key drivers of the economy. It will also help to reduce pressure on the private housing market as well as delivering a substantial amount in additional expenditure into the local economy."
The application to build the 198-bed flats had received 63 objections from residents but council officers said it “would be acceptable development on the site”.
Planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner called for the application to be rejected.
He said: "I do have concerns about the design quality. The elevations as they stand, I’m not convinced by. It looks very much like a barracks block."