West Edinburgh: Transformation of vast factory site in the west of the Capital will create more than 1,000 homes

A factory site in Edinburgh has changed hands in a deal that could lead to the building of more than 1,000 new homes.

By Scott Reid
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 12:31 pm

Developer Osborne+Co and build-to-rent operator Moda Living have together acquired the 15.5-acre Saica factory site located next to the Edinburgh Gateway rail and tram interchange to the west of the city.

Their masterplan would deliver a “vibrant range of new homes”, including “substantial” affordable housing provision, workspaces and community amenities, as well as a “sustainable neighbourhood public realm” and access to a new transport hub.

Developers said the proposals have the potential to accommodate in excess of 1,000 homes across a wide pricing spectrum, responding to “an imbalance in demand and supply across the city”. The homes will aim to include a mix of studio, one two and three-bedroom apartments alongside townhouses.

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Developer Osborne+Co and build-to-rent operator Moda Living have together acquired the 15.5-acre Saica factory site located next to the Edinburgh Gateway rail and tram interchange to the west of the city.

The firms said their vision aligns with City of Edinburgh Council’s City Plan 2030 to transform the west of the capital into a “high-density mixed-use extension to the city with a focus on placemaking, sustainability, connectivity and biodiversity”.

Pre-application discussions, as well as community engagement and consultations, will begin within the coming months, and the team aims to submit outline planning to the local council within the next 12 months.

Will Hean, development director at Osborne+Co, said: “The acquisition of the Saica site is an exciting and evolutionary addition to our portfolio, again reinforcing our commitment, strategy and long-term vision in Scotland. We are looking forward to continuing our successful partnership with Moda to realise a truly transformational opportunity.

“As a priority, we will work in collaboration with all our vital stakeholders to shape and deliver on a vision to create a neighbourhood that enriches the existing, thriving community that is designed around accessible and sustainable housing options.

“We always strive to be good neighbours and hope to bring significant benefits to the community.”

Oscar Brooks, director at Moda Living, said: “This is a hugely important site for Moda. Working with Osborne, we are excited to deliver a fantastic next generation neighbourhood that will form the beating heart of west Edinburgh, providing much-needed new homes along with outstanding new public realm and intended connectivity with the transport interchange at Edinburgh Gateway.

“We have solid confidence in the Scottish market and as a family company with a long-term view, it is crucial we continue to invest, develop, and operate at scale whilst remaining a trusted partner of the city.”

Spanish-headquartered paper and cardboard company Saica is active in ten European countries. It will shortly be moving to a new purpose-built facility in Livingston.

Adam Haycock, regional director Scotland for Saica, said: “When it came to assessing the multiple bids received for this site, Saica selected Moda and Osborne due to the consortium’s commitment to creating a new neighbourhood with appropriate amenities and infrastructure. This is very much in line with our own strategy of building sustainable communities in the places we operate.”

Saica will be Moda’s second major development site in Edinburgh and fourth in Scotland.

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