Plans for a student accommodation block housing more than 140 students have been approved by Edinburgh City Council for a gap site on Montrose Terrace in Abbeyhill.
The proposals, brought forward by Edinburgh-based property company Glencairn Properties, will see the site formerly home to a Shell petrol station before a fuel leak forced its closure in 2011, be the latest addition to student accommodation in the Capital.
The development will take place despite the developers admitting that “significant contamination” remains on the site, but they believe the transformation of the site will create a “characterful building” which will help regenerate the area.
Planning permission was passed by the council’s development management sub-committee at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, however the developers were pushed on the topic of bicycle parking.
During the meeting, Green councillor Chas Booth pushed for an additional condition for cycle parking as part of the development which was accepted by the developers and backed by councillors.
He said: “I would prefer if we were firm with applicants about cycle parking. Without wishing to stereotype students I think there is a very high likelihood that students will cycle given the right opportunities, given safe facilities and somewhere safe to store their bicycle.
“I think we need to ensure that developers are taking this into account at an early stage of the planning not simply adding it as an afterthought.”
Daryl Teague, managing director at Glencairn Properties, said he was “thrilled” about the decision and said the construction of the block would reduce pressure on traditional housing stock used for student flats.
He said: “We’re thrilled our application has been approved and the strong community support we received for it. These proposals will redevelop a vital location in the heart of the capital and help to tackle Edinburgh’s growing student accommodation without removing available properties from housing stock.
“We believe that these proposals are in line with City of Edinburgh Council’s stated aim to deliver purpose-built student accommodation throughout the city, reducing pressure on mainstream housing stock. Montrose Terrace not only makes use of a derelict site but offers a realistic use for the location without placing additional parking or access issues on the immediate community.
“The plans represent the conclusion of a collaborative discussion about how best to make this site work. Glencairn consulted widely with stakeholders and the community to ensure this site represented the kind of forwarded momentum the city-centre needs.
“We welcome today’s vote, and Glencairn is thrilled to offer a new lease of life to Montrose Terrace.”
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