Gorgie pub Luckies set to be demolished to make way for flats - despite public backlash

A pub on a busy Edinburgh street opposite a refurbished park is set to be knocked down to make way for 11 flats under plans to be considered by councillors.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 9:53 am
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 9:55 am
Proposals to turn the Luckies pub site into 11 flats, Picture: Caledonian Heritable/Oberlands

A Gorgie pub is set to be demolished to make way for 11 flats – despite being subject to 277 objections from concerned locals.

Caledonian Heritable Ltd, which owns a host of pubs and restaurants in the Capital, has teamed up with Oberlanders Architects to bring forward the plans for the site, currently home to the Luckies pub on Gorgie Road.

The pub was previously subject to flats plans in 2017, when it was called the Horseshoe Inn. The proposals won approval but were never taken forward by developers and the scheme has now been updated. In documents handed over to planners, the developers labelled Luckies “an under-utilised public house” and said that the building has “no distinctive features or architectural merit”.

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The updated plans would see the pub, which sits opposite Saughton Park, flattened and replaced by a four-storey block of flats. If approved by Edinburgh City Council’s development management sub-committee on Wednesday, the 11 homes will not include any affordable housing and no parking spaces are being proposed by the developers.

Planners have recommended that the scheme is approved by councillors.

In a report to councillors, planning officials said: “The proposal is acceptable in principle, and is of an appropriate scale and design which will enhance the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

“The proposal will create a satisfactory living environment for prospective occupants, will not have an adverse impact on the amenity of neighbouring residents and does not raise any issues in respect of vehicle and cycle parking, flood prevention, species protection, archaeological significance, waste and recycling provision or infrastructure contributions.”

The site was originally home to a joinery business in the 1960s – before becoming a workshop and builders’ year which closed in 1975. Permission for a licensed lounge bar was approved in 1979.

But locals have rallied against the proposals – pointing to the loss of the pub and the impact a development with no car parking could have on neighbours.

Catharine Campbell said: “Gorgie and Chesser has for many years suffered from a lack of community facilities.

“In the last few months the investment in Luckies and Saughton Park has improved the area which, in turn has helped develop an improved identity. Squeezing another set of flats into too small a space will deprive the residents of Gorgie of that improved community feel.”

Kirsty Reid added: “This has just become a popular pub again after extensive work by the current landlord.

“Additional housing in this area would add to the current traffic congestion which is already bad.”

But planners said that “the demolition of the public house and the formation of dwellings is acceptable in this location”.

They added: “The potential loss of an individual’s job is not a material planning consideration.

“Luckies is a public house and operates as a commercial premises. It is not a health or community facility, the retention of which is necessary to foster community life.”

The developers say the proposals will “create an appropriately civic scaled gateway building” and will “provide much needed housing” through a development “appropriately scaled to the community”. They added that the plans will “protect the amenity of existing residents”.

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