WORK on the long-awaited multi-million-pound transformation of Craigmillar is set to begin next year.
Blueprints for the delayed £200 million project to revive the town centre were submitted to planning chiefs this week.
The £60m first stage will see the building of more than 300 homes and a shopping centre. The 50-acre site will also have a restaurant, a supermarket and a petrol station.
Community leaders have hailed the plans, which will see 400 jobs created in the area.
Carol Clydesdale, secretary of Craigmillar Community Council, said: “The town centre planning application is long overdue progress in the regeneration of Craigmillar.
“Hopefully, the new homes will attract more people into the area and, along with the high school, will bring more families into the area.”
Parc, which is spearheading the regeneration project, stressed that discussions with retailers and developers were at an “advanced stage”, but was unable to reveal further details because of a confidentiality agreement.
Mark Harris, senior development manager at Parc, said: “These plans will see a hugely revitalised town centre at Craigmillar, providing residents a bolstered retail offering, and civic and green space for local residents and families to enjoy.
“One of Parc’s chief aims is to offer quality, affordable housing. I’m thrilled to say that these plans, designed to the highest architectural standards, will help us achieve that aim.”
Several firms are in contention for the contract to build the 300-plus homes.
A Parc spokeswoman said: “We are looking to build on this momentum and are in discussion with a number of major housebuilders on the residential development.”
An outdoor market is among the options for civic space, while central to the regeneration plans will be the building of a community school – to be completed by 2020 – to replace the existing Castlebrae High. Plans for the new secondary school will be brought forward as a separate application later.
The “new heart” for the community is part of a new urban regeneration plan ordered in 2012 in an attempt to kick-start interest in the area.
Planning chiefs have previously admitted that moves to transform the district are running about four years behind schedule and that a new vision was needed to attract private investment.
Councillor Frank Ross, the city’s economy chief and chairman of Parc, said: “As the Capital coalition, we identified a number of sites – either brownfield or gap sites, or those in which development would be key to regeneration of a particular area of the city.
“This is such a site, and would be the latest phase of an investment totalling £200m to the area.
“These plans include over 300 new homes and will also bring almost 400 much-needed jobs to the area.”