Back to the future for city housing plan

Artist's impression of the proposed colonies style development
Artist's impression of the proposed colonies style development
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A HUGE redevelopment in the north of Edinburgh is to be modelled on the city’s historic colonies.

New images have been released outlining plans for more than 160 new homes in Muirhouse and Pennywell, which is part of a wider regeneration of the area.

Present properties are being demolished

Present properties are being demolished

Planning leaders are expected to approve early plans tomorrow after which the city council will seek to link up with private housing firms to begin work on the project.

The current plans for the buildings include internal stairs, similar to colonies at Lochend, instead of the more sought-after version with external steps such as those at 

But the final design, which includes three-storey townhouses on the end of each row, may change when a developer is appointed.

New information released today has also revealed that the entire roof of Muirhouse shopping centre will be removed to allow for an opening-air shopping experience from October in a bid to cut down on antisocial behaviour and breathe new life into the centre.

In total, 800 new homes are being built in Muirhouse and Pennywell after run-down properties were demolished.

Cammy Day, the city’s 
housing leader and a councillor for the Muirhouse area, said the new design would avoid a repeat of the mistakes made with 1960s blocks of flats.

He said: “The old deck-access flats gave us a lot of problems and were only ever designed as a temporary solution so I’m really pleased to see the next generation of housing will be something creative.

“The colony models, at Stockbridge for example, are very successful and signify the kind of homes we need.”

Once completed, the scheme, part of the council’s broader 21st Century Homes development, will see half of the properties sold at affordable rates, with the remainder let out for mid-market rent or mixed-

Cllr Day added: “These colonies will be a new pilot for us and will form the basis for one of the biggest housing schemes in Scotland.”

Euan Leitch, assistant director of the Cockburn 
Association, said colony developments were associated with strong communities.

He said: “We are supportive of this project and pleased to see the use of colonies-style housing in contemporary developments.

“Not only can it be attractive but it seems the existing colonies all have strong communities, with neighbours knowing each other and children playing in the street.”

Councillors are expected to approve the plan tomorrow.