A FORMER B&Q site is to be turned into nearly 200 new homes in an effort to reinvigorate an abandoned site overlooking the Water of Leith.
The Warriston Road development – to be named Canonmills Garden – will see four blocks set around a courtyard creating a communal “green heart” for residents.
The 180 homes will be made up of a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom flats, with a quarter set aside for veterans and affordable housing.
The three-bedroom apartments will have direct access to a private garden within the communal courtyard and those above the ground-floor level will have large balconies or access to a private roof terrace.
Architects Sheppard Robson have designed the new housing on behalf of the developers, Artisan REI.
Partner Adam McGhee said: “We are delighted that our designs have been given the go-ahead.
“The project has been designed to have two different characters – the inner courtyard which will be the calm and tranquil heart to the development, while the perimeter has a definite urban character respecting its location and surrounding landscape.”
The development will also include 12 colony-style properties, sited opposite the listed Printworks on Warriston Road.
Artisan’s development manager Charlotte Swanson said: “We are thrilled to have been granted planning permission and we will now continue with our next stage of work which will include seeking approval for the demolition of the existing B&Q.”
Although supportive of bringing a brownfield site into residential use, New Town and Broughton Community Council echoed concerns which were raised by local residents about the height of the proposed buildings, and increased congestion in the area.
The cited the “cumulative impact” of various developments in the area.
But developers maintain that traffic in the area will be less than when the site was occupied by B&Q.
A spokesman said: “Owing to the development location a range of goods and services are within easy walking, cycling and public transport distance of the site, reducing the necessity to use a car. A residential development will generate less traffic than the previous B&Q.”
The application drew 81 objections, with residents also commenting that the “stepped” apartments, including four-, five- and six-storey blocks, “impacted on the amenity and privacy of the existing residents in Powderhall Brae”, blocking the natural light and compromising their privacy.
Building is expected to start by the summer, with the development finished by the end of 2019.
Artisan property director Clive Wilding said: “We design our developments to create value to users and the community.
“On this project, we think this will be achieved by the generous provision of landscaped amenity space, which received very positive feedback during the two public consultations for the scheme.”