Former Edinburgh Lloyds Banking call centre to be converted into 170 flats

Empty building and new block will provide 170 homes
Finance House in Orchard Brae dates back to 1968 and has lain empty since November 2018Finance House in Orchard Brae dates back to 1968 and has lain empty since November 2018
Finance House in Orchard Brae dates back to 1968 and has lain empty since November 2018

A FORMER call centre in the Capital could be turned into 170 new homes under plans soon to be submitted to the council.

Developers want to convert the disused Finance House in Orchard Brae and add a new block to the rear to provide the flats.

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The white-painted office block, which housed a Lloyds Banking Group call centre, was built in 1968 with a large extension added in 1978.

The building was under-used for several years and has been lying vacant since November 2018.

The site is being acquired by Queensberry Properties, a joint venture between housebuilders Cruden Homes (East) and land and property experts Buccleuch Property.

The proposal is to retain and convert the main building, but demolish the 1970s extension and replace it with a new building,

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Queensberry Properties say together the converted building and the new block will create around 170 apartments, 25 per cent of which will be affordable housing.

Parking spaces on the site will be reduced from the 166 used by Lloyds to about 60 spaces, which the developers say will cut traffic flow through neighbouring streets. They also promise to liaise with the City Car Club to explore the potential for new car club parking spaces on site.

An exhibition at nearby Orchard Brae House last week allowed the local community to see the proposals for the first time.

Queensberry said around 150 residents attended the event, which is part of the pre-application consultation being undertaken by the developer.

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A second exhibition is planned for March 19 when revised proposals will be brought back to the community for comment.

Queensberry Properties director Steven Simpson said: “We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to put forward our proposals to the community and would like to thank all those who attended.

“Getting feedback from them and having their assistance in shaping the development going forward is vital.

“This is an exciting set of proposals to regenerate this derelict building. The site sits on a brownfield site at a time when there is a desperate need for housing, and the city council is looking for a greater focus on development on brownfield sites.

“We welcome all feedback from the community and look forward to ongoing engagement.”

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