Edinburgh planning: Around 145 affordable homes to be built at Castlebrae High School site after land deal

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Council attempts to reach its house building targets

New council homes are set to be built on the site of a former Edinburgh high school, as the local authority attempts to reach its target for building new affordable homes in the city.

Land which Castlebrae High sat on has been transferred to the city’s housing department in preparation for plans being drawn up to redevelop the area. Around 145 affordable homes could be constructed on the Greendykes Road plot.

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Demolition of the old school building was fast-tracked last year after it became “the target for unforeseen vandalism” which “continued to escalate” despite security measures put in place to deter break-ins. Work to clear the rubble is still ongoing.

The site of the former Castlebrae High School in Edinburgh.The site of the former Castlebrae High School in Edinburgh.
The site of the former Castlebrae High School in Edinburgh.

Pupils moved into the new Castlebrae Community Campus on Niddrie Mains Road in April 2022.

A report said handing the site over to housing officials from the education estate would allow the council to access Scottish Government funding for the construction of new affordable homes. It added keeping it in council ownership rather than selling it off will provide greater regeneration opportunities for the wider Craigmillar area.

The 4.4-hectare plot has been valued at £2.9 million and this sum will be allocated to construction costs for the new school campus.

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The city council’s housebuilding programme “continues to make good progress” however needs additional sites to be brought in in order to continue at pace, the report said. “Following the opening of the new Castlebrae Community Campus, the former school site is surplus to requirements,” it added.

“It is therefore proposed that the site is transferred to the Housing Revenue Account with the development contributing towards the council commitment to deliver affordable housing and ensure an allocated site within City Plan 2030 is brought forward in a timely manner.

“Due to planning constraints relating to the open space within the site an initial feasibility study by the HRA suggests the site is viable for a mixed tenure housing development of approximately 145 units.”