​Get concert arena done ! - John McLellan

First details about how Edinburgh’s new concert arena might look have been released and at first glance it looks like a plan which might encounter relatively few problems with the council’s notoriously fickle and contrary planning process.
Initial plans for a new indoor concert arena in west Edinburgh have been lodged with the city council.Initial plans for a new indoor concert arena in west Edinburgh have been lodged with the city council.
Initial plans for a new indoor concert arena in west Edinburgh have been lodged with the city council.

​Drawings were on public display on Monday at the first of two exhibitions, showing flexible spaces for between 4000 and 8500 people, and the arena will replace a planned office block right next to the Edinburgh Park train and tram stop.

As such, the scheme does not feature any car parking, the power is all low carbon with heat pumps, and at 30m at the highest point, the building is no taller than surrounding buildings.

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The project looks like it has speed in mind and perhaps all the development team need to do to avoid awkward questions from planning councillors from the usual suspects is make sure there are enough bike stands.

But even though it looks like the design team has ticked every planning box imaginable, an expectation that an application lodged in February will pass in June seems optimistic to say the least.

The design won’t win any international architecture competitions, but although it doesn’t need to, that might be a problem itself if planners, and some councillors, decide to play fantasy architects and demand some sort of statement building.

That would be a recipe for disaster, and in a site neighbouring an electricity substation and the Hermiston Gait retail park, the best statement would be to get the thing built and put Edinburgh on the big tour map.