Meadowbank needs a new masterplan after St Margaret’s House redevelopment falls through – John McLellan

The redevelopment of St Margaret’s House in Meadowbank has fallen through after a student flats deal failed to materialise, throwing the future shape of the London Road area into doubt.

The demolition of the old Meadowbank Stadium began in January 2019 to make way for housing (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)
The demolition of the old Meadowbank Stadium began in January 2019 to make way for housing (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)

The Drum property development company which had obtained outline planning permission for a scheme primarily comprising student flats, had an agreement with current owners Caledonian Trust to buy the site on condition that a pre-let deal with a student flat operator was signed by the end of last month.

As that hasn’t happened, the sale has been halted and the site, valued at £11 million, will be remarketed.

It means the Edinburgh Palette arts charity which occupies St Margaret’s, and the enterprises it supports won’t be moving out for now and indeed could be there for years.

With plans to redevelop the site on the Jock’s Lodge corner still to receive permission, it means the whole of the north side of London Road, from the stadium to the junction, apart from the Registers of Scotland in Meadowbank House, is ripe for a new masterplan.

London Road has been crying out for attention for years now and a previous scheme, and a previous masterplan for this site, got nowhere. Virtually all there is to show for it is two benches and a short bike lane.

Maybe with discussions between the Scottish government, the council and a development partner, a consortium could be formed to create something to complement the Meadowbank village set to emerge from the stadium site, involving social and market housing and a permanent home for the Palette’s eclectic family of enterprises.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston


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