First Look: Plans for 400 student flats and 100 homes for former artists' base at Meadowbank

PROPOSALS have been lodged to build almost 400 student flats and more than 100 homes at a former artists' base – and “open up the challenging site” at Meadowbank.

Detailed proposals for housing and student accommodation at Meadowbank, Picture: Drum Property Group
Detailed proposals for housing and student accommodation at Meadowbank, Picture: Drum Property Group

Drum Property Group, which secured outline planning permission in 2016 for the nine-storey St Margaret’s House site on London Road, has now handed over detailed proposals for the scheme to the city council.

Edinburgh Council has ruled out student housing and hotel use for its Meadowbank regeneration on the site next-door – but planning permission was granted for 198 student bedrooms on the other side of London Road for private developers.

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Graeme Bone, group managing director of Drum Property Group, said: “Our designs for St Margaret’s House respond to fulfil the principles established by the existing planning consent and will open up this challenging site with a blend of affordable and private homes and student residences.

An open space is proposed for students at the St Margaret's House site, Picture: Drum Property Group

“This prime site is ideally located on one of the main access routes to the city centre, and our proposal represents a significant opportunity to complement and contribute to the regeneration plans for the Meadowbank area identified for major redevelopment by the city council.”

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The 377 student flats will include 304 en-suite room and 73 studio apartments. The accommodation will include common social facilities, study areas – while back of house support will be provided on the lower levels of the block. Developers are proposing 53 parking spaces for residents but none for the student flats.

Last summer, community artists as part of Edinburgh Palette, who current use St Margaret’s House, secured a new long-term home after agreeing a five-year lease on land in Portobello to build a container village of creative studios.

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The three buildings will replace the current nine-storey St Margaret's House on London Road, Picture: Drum Property Group

In a statement, the panel said: “The panel generally supported the design concept for the site and noted it was a positive progression from the 2016

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PPP proposal.”

In planning documents, Drum say the proposals will “significantly improve the pedestrian experience” along London Road – helped by the buildings being set back 6m from London Road. The firm also claims that these specifics will “transform a site disjointed from the public realm by level changes and the positioning of existing buildings into a vibrant and lively location”.

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Landscaping and amenity space has been proposed by developers, Picture: Drum Property Group