Edinburgh councillors approve new 76-bed student housing block for London Road at Meadowbank

Councillors have approved plans for a new 76-bed student accommodation block in London Road.
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The six-storey building will form the second phase of a project by HG Developments, with construction of a neighbouring 61-bed student block already underway.

The buildings are located opposite Meadowbank Stadium and the new development will replace a non-operational car wash.

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Space will also be provided for 210 bicycles on site and the property will have energy efficient design features like low flush toilets and low flow taps and showers.

An artist's impression of the new student housing in London Road.An artist's impression of the new student housing in London Road.
An artist's impression of the new student housing in London Road.

A number of residents have voiced concerns about the growing number of student housing blocks in the area and whether the space could be better used for more affordable housing for young families.

But developers say the project will help meet increased demand for student housing in a city where universities and colleges are important for the economy and civic life.

A spokesperson for HG Developments said: “We are delighted to have received approval of our application at committee today. This high-quality student accommodation proposal will serve to redevelop a brownfield site in previous commercial use.

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“Given the high sustainability of the location there is no requirement for car parking spaces beyond those for the City Car club and disabled spaces, and we are ensuring that there is excellent provision of bicycle spaces.

“The development also serves to address the increasing demand for student accommodation, fulfilling the ambitious growth plans of universities in the city, which are key drivers of the economy. This also helps to reduce pressure on the private housing market as well as delivering a substantial amount in additional expenditure into the local economy.”

The planning application was progressed after the site was re-marketed when a previous residential development consent for the scheme could not be progressed due it not being possible to build over a sewer present on the site.

On completion, Edinburgh based charity People Know How will locate their headquarters on the ground floor of one of the blocks.

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The charity supports children, young people and their families in north-east Edinburgh transition from primary to high school and helps communities to shape their areas through community consultation and empowerment.

Glenn Liddall, chief executive of People Know How, said: “Having worked closely with the developer we were pleased to see this scheme, which acts as an extension to the neighbouring building which is now under construction, gaining planning approval. We are locating our headquarters here, allowing us to serve the local community and enabling us to grow.

“As a large number of students routinely work with us by way of volunteering, internships and placements we are in the enviable position of being able to establish a positive relationship with students in the building, who can support us in our work, which will also benefit them; and engage them in the local area.”

Ruta Turcinaviciute, project designer for building architects 3DReid, said the scheme marks an “important moment” in the development of a constrained and complicated site and will represent a further contribution to the ongoing regeneration of the wider area.

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Planning permission for the new student accommodation was approved by Edinburgh City Council committee on Wednesday, December 16.

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