Multi-million pound plan to transform Craigmillar

The entire 50 acre site including homes, shops and a school. Picture: contributed
The entire 50 acre site including homes, shops and a school. Picture: contributed
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THE new vision of the long-awaited multi-million pound transformation of Craigmillar has been revealed to the public.

The designs show the masterplan for the new high school, civic square, shopping centre and 300 homes earmarked for the 50 acre site.

The “new heart” for the community is part of a new urban regeneration plan ordered in 2012 in an attempt to kick-start interest in the area.

Updated designs went on show at The White House – itself a symbol of the area’s ongoing regeneration in the face of recession and a site overhauled by the same publicly-owned development company, Parc.

The landmark 1930s art-deco building is now home to a high-quality coffee shop, with a chef offering healthy food options, as well as function rooms, office space and meeting rooms available to groups and individuals.

City economy convener Councillor Frank Ross said the development will provide a much-welcome boost for the area.

He said: “As the Capital coalition, we have always prioritised job creation, coupled with the delivery of quality housing for those who work in the city.

“Projects like the redevelopment of Craigmillar’s town centre not only seek to deliver these, but also seek to build on the sense of community so vital to the sustainability of Edinburgh’s neighbourhoods”.

Planning chiefs have previously admitted that attempts to transform the district are running about four years behind schedule and that a new vision was needed to attract private investment.

It is hoped the new retail space will bring jobs to the area and revitalise the centre of Craigmillar. Existing shop fronts will be improved, new footpaths created and more than 250 trees will be planted.

The new centre has been based on the character of traditional Scottish towns like Biggar and Moffat in the hope it will become a focal point for the community. New flats and colony-style housing are planned in addition to new streets to improve pedestrian and cyclist routes between residential and retail areas.

Central to the regeneration plans will be the building of a new state-of-the-art community high school – to be completed by 2020 – to replace the existing Castlebrae High.

Norrie Davis, the community representative on Parc’s board, said the proposals were encouraging but more public involvement was needed for what should be done with the space in the meantime.

He said: “These plans represent a considerable improvement to Craigmillar’s main shopping area on Niddrie Mains Road.

“As a community, we’re excited about the next phase of the development.

“Something else PARC is keen to get feedback from locals on are the potential temporary uses of the various sites before the land is redeveloped and how can we make best use of that land, to the benefit of the community.”