North Edinburgh set for a new park and 900 flats and park despite fears over lack of teenage facilities

A new park and more than 900 flats for the north of the Capital have been given the green light despite fears over a lack of facilities for teenagers.

Saturday, 28th September 2019, 7:00 am
New flats and a new park have been approved by Edinburgh Council

The city council’s development management sub-committee approved two separate applications by Edinburgh Forthside Developments for a new 4.4-hectare park and 938 homes to be built as part of the Western Harbour regeneration. The developers will be asked to speak to school pupils in a bid to provide activities for older children, alongside plans for a play park.

The housing development will be split into eight blocks set around a communal garden. The accommodation will be made up of 382 one-bedroom homes, 372 two-bedroom homes and 184 three-bedroom flats.

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The proposals for the park at Western Harbour

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Planning convener, Cllr Neil Gardiner, said: “This has laid dormant for far too long. I hope it is developed very quickly to provide further much-needed housing in the city.

“The block layout is good, it creates a series of intimate spaces. I think they have achieved a lot in this proposal.”

The new green space will be formed in a semi-circle and will have two access routes through it – with the path “lined with avenue trees”.

The north-eastern edge of the park will feature “gathering spaces” as well as a “contoured amphitheatre” near to the primary school site, a play space and community growing area. Elsewhere in the park, space has been allocated for “informal sports” and a central wetland. Next to the new Victoria Primary School, a sports pitch has also been proposed.

But councillors raised concerns there will be very little to keep teenagers occupied.

“While this looks good and I applaud it, I don’t see anything for older children. When we are doing a place like a park, it’s about what the residents round about want. Is there any room for actually consulting with them? What goes down there, might not be what the residents want.

“I do genuinely worry that we do never consider the older children or young adults. It’s not just somewhere to hang about. We just need to be a bit more imaginative because it’s not just about younger children.”

Cllr Joanna Mowat added: “This looks really lovely but I’m not 15 and living down there and going out.

“We do have separate areas so you could have some of that poplar walks that look lovely – but one of the areas could be designed with younger people in mind, who might want something completely different.”

Developers will be asked to speak to pupils at Trinity Academy and Victoria Primary School to form any facilities that could be provided for teenagers at the park.