Edinburgh secures Scottish Government cash paving the way for 130 affordable homes at Greendykes

Around 130 new affordable, net-zero carbon homes are to be built in Greendykes after the city council received £620,000 in funding from the Scottish Government to help prepare the site.

By Ian Swanson
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:55 am

Planning permission in principle has already been granted for the homes as part of an existing masterplan for the area. And soon the council will engage with local people on designs.

The funding was secured from the government’s Vacant & Derelict Land Investment Programme and will allow the council to improve ground conditions and clean the site, where Greendykes Gardens used to stand.

Construction company Urban Union, which specialises in regeneration projects, have been appointed to build the new homes and will progress plans via the Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Programme, an innovative new business model which uses off-site construction. The programme aims to establish improvements in the provision of new affordable housing with a focus on time, cost, quality and carbon reduction.

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Subject to ground works, the first properties are expected to be delivered in phases from early-2024 to mid-2025.

The 5.2 acre site, which was farmland until the 1940s, when housing was developed. That was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with the flats which stood on the site until being demolished in phases in the 2000s-2010s. The final properties were demolished 2012.

There are steep changes in levels across the site as well as unstable ground requiring special foundations. An existing substation needs to be relocated. And there is believed to be ground gas on the site which will require protective measures, such as gas-resistant membranes and sub-floor venting.

Housing convener Jane Meagher said: “Never has our need for better housing been greater as we face a cost-of-living crisis and a climate emergency, so we need to be really ambitious and use the small amount of space we have in our city creatively.

Greendykes Gardens once stood on the site but have now been demolished. Picture: Richard Webb/geograph.org.uk

“For years, developers have overlooked this empty piece of land because of how complex it is to unlock. Yet, it’s situated minutes away from the Innocent Railway cycle path and is close to the Royal Infirmary and local employment. The area benefits from countless bus links into the city centre and it is a fantastic place to live.

“I’m thrilled that we’re going to be able to put the green back into Greendykes and we’ll work with local residents as we create these new net zero carbon homes. The funding will help us to transform the land and the local environment, while also providing new affordable and efficient places for people to live in line with our major housebuilding strategy.”

Neil McKay, managing director, Urban Union said it was his company’s responsibility to provide homes that not only created a community but brought benefits to the occupiers and the wider environment.

“By utilising the Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Programme, the council is showing its commitment not only to its tenants through the selection of quality homes but to innovation and the city’s pledge to be net zero by 2030. We are looking forward to meeting the local residents to discuss the plans for the new homes and to obtaining their valuable input which will make sure that Greendykes becomes a blueprint for city centre regeneration.”

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