Edinburgh council cleansing depot set to be transformed into homes for wheelchair users

A council cleansing depot looks set to be transformed into social housing suitable for wheelchair users.

Sunday, 11th July 2021, 3:45 pm

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Cowan’s Close depot on the Capital’s South Side is scheduled for closure under a review of council sites and a consultation is under way on the proposal to use it to build the new specially-designed homes.

The council said: “There is a shortage of affordable housing, like council housing, in Edinburgh For every vouncil house that becomes available for relet there are an average of 192 households ‘bidding’ to get it.

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A consultation is under way on the proposals Image: Google

“As well as the shortage of affordable housing there is an even greater shortage of adapted homes suitable for people with a disability or who need to use a wheelchair.

“The proposal to build new wheelchair-adapted council homes at Cowan’s Close is being done as part of a council target to build 20,000 new affordable homes in the city aimed at addressing some of that need.

“The site is currently used as a depot by council street cleansing staff. This use and staff based there are due to relocate as part of the council’s depot review. Staff will relocate on a phased basis throughout 2021 and 2022.”

A report to the council’s finance committee earlier this year said the closure of Cowan’s Close had been delayed by Covid-19, but some staff are due to move to the Seafield depot, where it is planned to convert a large area previously used for fire and rescue safety training operations, refurbish other parts of the depot and possibly add new unit. Other Cowan’s Close staff could relocate to the Craigmillar depot where another new unit is being considered.

The cleansing depot could be turned into social housing for wheelchair users Image: Google

The first online consultation on the Cowan’s Close proposals took place last month and further online drop-in sessions will take place on Thursday between 8.30am and 9.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm, and 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

As pat of the consultation people are also invited to give their views in an online consultation form about the surrounding area, including their opinion on walking routes and public transport, whether there is too much traffic and whether there is good access to natural spaces.

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