New primary school in Morningside approved - but it won't have any car parking or drop-off zone
A new primary school and nursery will be built in Morningside - powered by renewable energy and without a single car parking space or drop-off facility.
Proposals for a new primary school in the south of the Capital have been given the thumbs up – despite running a year behind schedule.
The new Canaan Lane Primary School in Morningside was unanimously backed by Edinburgh City Council’s development management sub-committee – despite issues raised over not a single car parking space to be included.
Last year, the school was delayed for 12 months to ensure “unexpected delays” do not force the authority into a scramble to find alternative schools for new pupils starting P1. The new school is expected to open in August 2021 and cater for 462 primary pupils as well as offering 80 nursery places.
To make way for the new school, the unlisted Oaklands care home building will be knocked down. Deanbank House, which dates back to 1913, will be refurbished as part of the development to provide six new classrooms.
Planning officials told councillors that the building set to be demolished “does not make a valuable contribution to the conservation area” – but warned that “15 trees are identified for removal”. The planners reassured councillors by adding that “a replanting scheme is proposed”.
No parking spaces or drop-off facilities will be provided at the new school, but a combined 86 spaces for cycles and scooters have been proposed in the development. The proposed playground will be used for “informal ball sports” while “sand and water play elements” will be included.
Officials concluded by telling the committee “there will be no detrimental impact on amenities or road safety” and added the proposals will “enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area”.
Cllr Cameron Rose raised concerns about the scheme being approved despite no parking spaces at all. But officials said they were “comfortable with the level of car parking” – while provision for blue badge holders is available nearby.
Planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner said: “It is quite an urban catchment area.
“I’m relatively relaxed that there is not any provision for car parking. We need to encourage pupils to walk to school for many reasons including primarily for their own health.
“I’m very happy to support this proposal that meets education needs in the area.”
A local councillor has called on the authority to ensure that the delayed school now meets the timetable to open in August 2021 and to carry on engaging with local residents.
Conservative ward Cllr Nick Cook said: “After years of dither and delay, it is positive that permission has been granted for the long-overdue new primary in north Morningside – albeit on a suboptimal site.
“The council must pull its socks up to avoid further slippage of the project and continue to engage with the local community.”
The final name of the school will be revealed before the school opens it doors following community consultation.
Cllr Ian Perry, Education, education, children and families convener, said: “It’s excellent news that we can now press on with building a much-needed brand new primary school for south Edinburgh and I know the project team are raring to go.
“This decision marks the start of a great new chapter for the area. There’s a special emphasis on outdoor learning, with a variety of opportunities for different types of play in a green and diverse environment that aims to reconnect children with the natural world. And we’ll make strides towards our ambitious target of becoming a carbon neutral Capital city by 2030 with the inclusion of air source heat pumps to supply the school with renewable energy.”