Edinburgh's Cameron Toll could see hotel and housing added alongside shopping centre

A hotel and new housing are being proposed to sit alongside a popular shopping mall as part of a development masterplan for the city site.

By Ian Swanson
Monday, 29th November 2021, 4:55 am

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Cameron Toll, which opened in 1984 as Edinburgh’s first out-of-town shopping centre, would become the centre of a “vibrant mixed-use community neighbourhood”, according to the developers.

The hotel, expected to have around 155 bedrooms would front onto the roundabout at Lady Road on a plot of land directly opposite the existing Travelodge. It is understood discussions are well advanced with well-known operators. Work on the hotel would be expected to start as soon as planning permission was granted.

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Impression of the new hotel proposed for the site.

Details of the housing element of the plans are less clear, but it is described as “fairly significant” and could “wrap around” the shopping centre.

The council’s 2030 City Plan identifies some scope for mixed-use development at Cameron Toll and talks are taking place with planners.

A Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) has been submitted to the city council, outlining the plans and kick-starting a period of pre-application consultation.

The plans would not alter the shopping centre itself, which currently has 100 pr cent occupancy with tenants ranging from local independent traders to national chains.

A roof terrace on housing at the site would give impressive views

Recent new additions include Savers and a successful independent Edinburgh bike shop. Other tenants, including Specsavers, Tui, Lloyds TSB, The Gym Group and VPZ have all recently renewed or extended their leases.

Other features of the proposals include plans for easier pedestrian and cycle links to Inch Park and the local area.

And some of the existing 1,000-plus car parking spaces may be removed as part of the redevelopment.

The developers say their plans would fit well with the council’s strategy for 20-minute neighbourhoods, where people can live, work and enjoy leisure activities within easy reach.

Impression of aerial view of the site

There is still planning consent for a cinema at the site and that could link with other leisure outlets including restaurants.

A spokesman said: “Plans have been carefully drawn-up to complement the existing retail offer and ensure Cameron Toll can continue to play a key role in South Edinburgh.

“Central to the plans is the emerging ’20-minute neighbourhood’ concept, where daily services can be accessed within a 20-minute walk.

“The proposed residential element also has the potential for bringing much-needed affordable housing, consistent with the aim of the emerging City Plan that is seeking to maximise development on brownfield sites with higher density developments, protecting Edinburgh’s existing greenbelt.”

Impression of the entrance to the shopping centre with adjacent housing

Following the submission of the PAN, a consultation programme is due to start soon, with events both inside the shopping centre and online, offering all those with an interest in the plans an opportunity to learn more about what is proposed and give their feedback.

A full planning application for some or all of the masterplan is expected to be made in early 2022.

Claire Jefcoate, Cameron Toll general manager, said: “These proposals mark an exciting new direction for Cameron Toll, and we are really excited to be sharing them for the first time.

"As a shopping centre, Cameron Toll continues to perform well. However, we recognise that we need to keep evolving and offer a broader range of uses, reaffirming our role as an important community neighbourhood centre.”

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