Scotland's largest net-zero housing development gets the go-ahead at Edinburgh's Granton waterfront

Plans for Scotland’s largest “net zero” housing development have been given the go-ahead at Edinburgh’s Granton waterfront.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 4:55 am

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The 444-home Western Villages scheme is expected to serve as a blueprint for future sustainable development, helping Scotland to transition towards a greener economy.

Work is expected to begin in mid-2022 on construction of the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, including wheelchair-accessible ground-floor dwellings, available in a mix of social (195), mid-market rent (62), market rent (63) and private sale tenures (124).

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The homes will be a mixture of one-, two- and three-bedroom dwellings

The development is being led by the Edinburgh City Council in partnership with Glasgow-based contractor CCG (Scotland) and architect Cooper Cromar.

It is part of the Granton Waterfront Regeneration, where over 3,500 homes are set to be created over the next ten years, with greater emphasis on pedestrian and cycle movement, electrical car charging, car club accessibility and public transport.

The homes will have low-carbon heating and renewable technology as part of a gas-free energy strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Housing vice-convener Mandy Watt said: “All of the steps we’re taking to make homes more sustainable will reduce the energy they use once occupied, thereby helping us to tackle climate change and become net zero carbon by 2030.

The development is one of the first parts of the Granton waterfront regeneration

"It’s great to see this development with a large proportion of social rent homes get planning approval. We have incredibly ambitious plans which form the bedrock of our housing strategy over the next ten years. There is a critical need for more affordable homes in Edinburgh and we are responding to that through the commitment to build 20,000 social and affordable homes by 2027.

“Western Villages forms part of the wider £1.3bn Granton Waterfront regeneration project which will create one of Europe’ s largest coastal city parks, providing opportunities for residents and visitors to reconnect with the city’s waterfront by offering more areas for leisure and outdoor experiences, civic spaces and sustainable housing.”

CCG managing director David Wylie said: ”Housebuilding is going to play a major part in achieving our ambitious target of becoming a ‘net zero’ economy by 2045. With gas being removed from new-build homes as early as 2024, it places greater emphasis on collaborative working as the partners on this project have demonstrated; utilising the CCG Net Zero Home building standard to create an affordable, scalable and practical solution that can ultimately be delivered now for any residential development.”

Cooper Cromar Project Director, Graham Connor, said the development was one of the initial phases of the Granton waterfront regeneration. “We have sought to create a masterplan that not only stands alone for its significance as Scotland’s largest net zero development but also respectful to the wider regeneration of Granton. It will complement and integrate with future phases of housing delivery.”

It will be the largest net-zero development in Scotland

And Andrew Money, director of energy consultancy Carbon Futures, praised the “bold and ambitious plans” for Western Villages. “From the outset, the key areas of focus for the design team were to maximise fabric performance and avoid the use of fossil fuels. This approach, together with the use of on-site renewable energy, will greatly reduce energy demand and deliver a significant reduction in utility costs for homeowners.”

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