Edinburgh Marina Holdings hope work will begin by the autumn on the ambitious development at Granton’s Western Harbour – which will include more than 1,850 new homes and the creation of 850 new jobs.
Scottish Government reporter Andrew Flemming approved an appeal by the developers after the 15-year masterplan planning permission, granted by the city council in 2013, expired.
Developers pleaded that had the reporter decided not to renew the planning permission extension, proposals would have needed to go back to the drawing board – further adding to the delays.
Last year, the developers applied “to extend the duration of the permission for five years to 20 June 2023”, but the application was refused by the council – forcing the company to lodge an appeal with the Scottish Government.
Steve McGavin of GL Hearn who advised the developer on the appeal, said: “A development such as this, which is of national significance, is clearly going to take time to fully deliver.
“I am pleased that the reporter has recognised this by granting the extension of time application, which we originally submitted to City of Edinburgh Council in April 2018. The Edinburgh Marina Development will provide significant benefits to both the local and national economy, enticing new visitors and residents to the area.”
In his decision, Mr Flemming said the developers wanted to extend the time limit “in order that the regeneration of Granton Harbour can continue and to ensure the effective and timeous delivery of housing”.
He added: “Whilst the 15-year time-limiting condition would, at the time that permission was granted, appear to be a generous period within which to achieve the desired outcomes, delays would not be surprising to a project of this scale and nature.
“Such delays are often caused by events outwith the control of the council and other parties, for example the recession of 2008 which proved most challenging to the delivery of major development projects, or simply as a result of the complex nature of some of the issues requiring to be addressed.
As well as a marina with 427 fully-serviced berths, the £500m development will include a retirement complex, how homes for sale and for rent, the Hyatt Regency spa and conference hotel, a medical hub and shops.
A spokesperson for Edinburgh Marina Holdings said: “We are delighted that our appeal against Edinburgh City Council’s has been successful.
“For an area that has long been promised investment but seen little change, this is one small step for the Edinburgh Marina development and one giant leap for the delivery of Edinburgh’s landmark waterfront development.”