Stead's Place: Drum Property Group finally wins battle to redevelop Leith building
Drum Property Group has finally been given the official green light for work to start at the Leith site following a long battle with the local community.
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Its revised proposals for Stead’s Place, near the foot of Leith Walk, have been approved by Edinburgh City Council for the 2.9-acre site.
The site was earmarked for development in 2008 and consists largely of an old industrial estate and office space, together with a two-storey sandstone building which had been a thriving row of shops and cafes facing directly on to Leith Walk.
There was a major backlash against the original plan to demolish the building and replace it with student housing and a mix of other uses.
Under the new plan the sandstone building will be retained and refurbished and made available again for commercial occupation for retail and business occupiers.
Drum will replace the existing industrial units with 148 high-quality apartments, including 38 affordable homes, as part of a landscaped residential scheme linking to Pilrig Park and beyond.
Graeme Bone, group managing director of Drum, insisted the company had “worked hard” to ensure its current proposals are “aligned with the objectives and plans of local community groups”.
He added: “We listened carefully to their views, enabling us to draw on the positive characteristics of the surrounding area to create a real sense of place that features a mix of private and affordable housing with a refurbished, vibrant and dynamic retail frontage facing Leith Walk.
“We believe we have responded directly to the objectives and vision the community has for the site.”
Drum is now committed to ensuring the shop frontages on to Leith Walk retain the current individual style and size, reflecting and supporting the current local small trader units at the site whilst refurbishing the office suites for rent on the first floor in a revamped business centre offering.
Mr Bone continued: “By retaining and refurbishing the red sandstone buildings facing on to Leith Walk, we are also contributing to the wider regeneration of the local area, providing investment to create an attractive and distinctive destination and focal point which is needed now, more than ever, as the local area recovers from lockdown and the new tram works are progressed.”