D-Day for Edinburgh’s Mayfield Road student flats plans

CITY councillors have been asked to rubber-stamp plans to flatten a row of terraced houses to make way for 148 student flats – with only bicycle parking provided.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 10:38 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 10:43 am
A visualisation of the accommodation. Picture: TSPL

Developers S83 Ltd want to raze six terraced houses on Mayfield Road and other commercial units.

The updated plans, which were originally for 83 units and didn’t include the terraced houses, have been recommended for approval by planning officers ahead of a meeting today.

The proposed student halls would be between three and five storeys high. If approved, it would be made up of 31 units on the ground floor, along with a reception, office and “break out space”. The first and second floors would both contain 36 student flats, 30 units on the third floor and 15 studios on the fourth floor.

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A total of 148 under-cover cycle parking spaces would be located to the rear of the building – while no provision has been made for cars.

A design statement by Kenneth Reid Architects on behalf of S83 Ltd, states that the current buildings “do not have a common architectural language and appear haphazard and disjointed”.

It adds: “The adjacent properties are mainly residential with some of the properties on Braefoot Terrace being retail at ground level with residential above. To the north there is the Braidburn Inn public house which was recently granted planning approval for student accommodation.

“The development is ideally located to integrate into existing pedestrian, cycle and public transport networks. The proposed development is within walking distance of a wide range of local facilities and amenities. It is also within extremely short walking distance of the University of Edinburgh King’s Buildings.”

Both Grange and Prestonfield Community Council and Liberton Community Council raised concerns on the scale of the development amid fears of “inadequate open space” and flooding worries.

In a report to councillors, planning officers said: “The proposals comply with the development plan, the council’s guidance for student housing and the Edinburgh design guidance.

“The scale, design and materials are satisfactory. There is no unacceptable loss of residential amenity and the proposal provides a satisfactory level of amenity for the new occupiers.

“There are no road safety issues. There are no other material considerations which outweigh this conclusion.”

In February 2017, planning permission was granted to demolish the existing Braidburn Inn pub to make way for student accommodation. In November 2016, approval was granted for 83 self contained studio student flats over five levels – but this application has increased the proposals to include the terraced houses.

Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South previously urged the plans be approved.

He said residents were “keen” for the plans to be rubber-stamped so they can sell developers their homes and move out.