Apartments for former Edinburgh Royal Blind School approved

A former blind school will be transformed into 49 apartments after being given the thumbs up by councillors.

By David Bol
Thursday, 1st August 2019, 9:33 am
Housing plans for the former Edinburgh Blind School
Housing plans for the former Edinburgh Blind School

CALA Homes has secured planning permission for the former Edinburgh Royal Blind School at Craigmillar Park, which has remained empty since 2014.

The revised plans for the C listed Victorian school building were approved by the city council’s development management sub-committee.

Planning convener, Cllr Neil Gardiner, said: “There has been a lot of dialogue with the community on this one.

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“I think the proposal that has been brought forward is an improvement on the earlier one. It allows the blind school to sit prominently. The blind school means a lot to the people that attended it and it’s an important building in the community.”

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Royal Blind School says farewell to 179-year site

CALA’s plans will see the current vacant school building, swimming pool, Royal Braille Press and a bungalow spilt into 21 apartments created within the school building, a new build flat over the garage, the refurbishment of the gatehouse and 26 new build town houses.

Craig Lynes, land director with CALA Homes (East), said: “We’ve worked closely with neighbours over the past three years to ensure we create a site that brings benefit to the local area.

“Naturally, we’re thrilled that our plans for this important building have been approved and we’re looking forward to returning the Royal Blind School back to its former glory.

“We’ve carefully considered our proposals so that we can create a development which quickly becomes part of the fabric and adds to the area.

“It’s been crucial to us to engage with members of the local community through a series of events and amend our plans following feedback and we’re pleased that this flexible approach has been appreciated by local people and city planners.”

The Royal Blind School and Scottish Braille Press are run by Scottish sight loss charity, Royal Blind. The charity sold the site to CALA Homes and relocated the Royal Blind School and Scottish Braille Press to modern premises in Edinburgh.