Grand plan to house growing population

An artist's impression of the Craigmillar development. Picture: comp
An artist's impression of the Craigmillar development. Picture: comp
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A MASTERPLAN to create hundreds of new homes, a school and shopping centre in Craigmillar have been publicly unveiled – but dreams of a train station have been shelved.

Work to transform the district could begin as early as next year if green-lit by planning bosses.

The new plans, set to be lodged by PARC Craigmillar Limited, have been scaled back from original proposals announced more than a decade ago following the economic downturn.

They include more than 300 new homes, a purpose-built secondary school and a shopping centre, with scope for a new supermarket and family restaurant plus a civic space and community gardens.

Original proposals included aspirations for a train station but developers said, while not part of current plans, “there could be a train connection in future.” Norrie Davies, chairman of the Craigmillar Community Council, welcomed the plans but called for work to be accelerated.

“It’s been scaled down but not very much,” he said. “We are still getting the secondary school and supermarket and there are going to be other buildings for shops. Nothing has been taken away, and there is a good mix of housing to deal with our expanding population. This is making the community a better place.”

Ward councillor David Walker said the plans failed to consider the extra homes would impact on traffic.

He said: “It is disjointed. They are talking about developing one side of Niddrie Mains Road but not the other. The plan should encompass both. They also need to think what they are going to do with the existing shops. I don’t think enough consideration has been given to the impact of the proposals on traffic congestion.”

The number of proposed houses has been slashed from 500 and around half will be affordable including a mix of social housing and mid-market or shared equity properties.

Also included are improved pedestrian and cycle routes into the town centre from Wauchope Square.

Developers PARC will submit an application this summer for the first phase of developments including the new retail and residential elements.

The new secondary school will be brought forward as a separate application.

Eric Adair, director at PARC, said: “PARC’s proposals are far-reaching, revitalising Craigmillar not only through new housing development and a new shopping centre, but also through its ethic to work with the local community.”

Councillor Frank Ross, convenor for the Economy Committee at the City Council and Chair of PARC, said: “This investment will be a source of many jobs locally.”