Art quarter plans dropped for affordable new homes

The Hidden Door team who held the 2015 and 2016 arts festival at the  Kings Stables Road site.
The Hidden Door team who held the 2015 and 2016 arts festival at the Kings Stables Road site.
Have your say

Revised plans for the last remaining slice of the King’s Stables Road development have been submitted to the city council for consideration.

Blueprints for the final plot of land in need of planning permission show a reduction in building height and now include 11 affordable flats.

But the arts quarter originally earmarked for the residential area have been moved to form part of the hotel development approved for the site after being rejected due to the impact on neighbouring properties.

Following last year’s planning approval for the wider King’s Stables Road build, developers Campus DM and Peveril Securities submitted revised proposals to address the need for much sought-after affordable housing on the city centre site.

A Campus DM spokesman explained: “On the basis that the developer only requires to provide eight affordable units, the increase in the provision and size of the affordable homes comes following the planning committee’s express desire for the delivery and prioritisation of onsite affordable.

“Subsequent dialogue with the planning department defined that three storeys was the preferred height of any new building on the Lady Wynd site.

“Adjacent resident amenity has been protected while new occupants will enjoy private rain gardens, enclosed terraces and overlooking views into a public courtyard.”

If the plans are successful, the flats will have their own enclosed bike and bin storage and will each utilise renewable forms of heating to help households reduce energy bills.

And developers refuted claims that an area within the development, previously earmarked for use as an arts facility, had been shelved.

A Campus DM spokesman said: “As part of the planning approval for the wider development, the proposals at Lady Wynd including an arts facility and residential flats were not given consent due to the impact on neighbouring properties and the relationship the Old Town’s urban context.

“The arts facility has been relocated to form part of the hotel development approved for the site, with an improved frontage to King’s Stables Road.”

The space, originally designed to be on the ground floor of the Lady Wynd site, will now be in a hotel.

Kevin Buckle, owner of Avalanche Records, who spent time with the council advising on the proposal, said he is concerned the arts facility will be lost altogether.

“Originally the council wanted an arts centre and interesting retail offering on this site,” he explained. “There was a one-off chance to build an arts centre in the heart of the city.

“Gradually it seems the arts centre, which was previously designed as virtually the entire ground floor of the building, has been chipped away in the plans.

“It went to being just the bottom bit of the building with room for a few artists studios and now that’s scrapped as well.”

The site was used in 2015 and 2016 by the Hidden Door arts festival where the public were invited to explore and discover live music, theatre, bars, a cinema and art exhibitions at the diused site..

The overall approved scheme for King’s Stables Road will be student accommodation, residential flats, a hotel and a series of commercial units.