Fountainbridge neighbourhood given green light

The New Fountainbridge development, Picture: 3DReid / Dalgety DesignThe New Fountainbridge development, Picture: 3DReid / Dalgety Design
The New Fountainbridge development, Picture: 3DReid / Dalgety Design
A canalside neighbourhood that will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists has been granted planning permission by councillors.

The New Fountainbridge development, at the former brewery site, will include 223 flats, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments – while 11 town houses will also be built, facing the Union Canal. The development will include 58 affordable homes.

The scheme by Vastint has been designed as two “urban perimeter blocks” which will range from three to eight storeys high. Six commercial units totalling 745sqm will include food, drink and leisure space and be provided on the ground floor, below the new housing. Two units fronting the canal towpath have been offered to the council for social enterprise use.

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A new public square will created by the Leamington Lift Bridge, while internal courtyard space will be established between the buildings.

While 95 car parking spaces are set to be provided, a total of 528 cycle spaces will be available for residents – all located underground in secure parking areas.

Vastint has already been granted planning permission for phase one of the former brewery site, which closed in 2004 – a 262-bedroom Moxy Hotel as well as office space.

The city council’s development management sub-committee unanimously approved the proposals.

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Chris Jetten, development manager for Vastint Hospitality, said: “We worked hard with the design team, architects 3DReid and other consultants for almost three years and it is great to have the entire development consented now.

“Vastint is intending to hold the assets long term and our overarching objective is to create a high quality and lively place where people can live, work and enjoy their free time.”

The development includes two new streets to connect Fountainbridge to the Union Canal, one connecting a through route to Bruntsfield and the south, the other providing a local link to the canal towpath through a series of terraced garden spaces.

Local Green Cllr Gavin Corbett said: “The old brewery sites have been empty for 13 years so it’s good to see plans beginning to be approved for much needed new homes.

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“Vastint has been open to conversations locally which is important as there is still work to do in making the new square next to the lift bridge and the canal front generally as green and attractive as possible. That is why an additional condition was added to the planning consent this week and that will be taken forward through the Greening Fountainbridge working group.”

The blocks, which will predominantly be made of brick, will range from a height of 10m to the south to a maximum of 22m.

In a report to councillors, planners said the height of the proposal “sits comfortably within its surroundings”.

It added: “The proposal forms part of a wider mix of uses and delivers a mix of housing types and sizes with integrated affordable housing.

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“The development will enhance the edge of the Union Canal, create a high quality public realm and pedestrian/cycle priority routes, contributing towards the cohesive regeneration of the wider area and sense of place.”