Plans for new student housing on Gorgie Road recommended for approval

Kiltane Developments are looking to build 140 student flats, 77 student studios and 28 residential flats.

An impression of the proposed development at 535-555 Gorgie Road
An impression of the proposed development at 535-555 Gorgie Road

Plans for a new mixed-use development comprising student accommodation, commercial units and residential flats on Gorgie Road have been recommended for approval by Edinburgh City Council planning officials.

Edinburgh-based property group Kiltane Developments are hoping to redevelop the 0.52-hectare site at 535-555 Gorgie Road.

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Currently, the mixed-use urban site is used for commercial and student accommodation purposes.

An impression of the proposed development at 535-555 Gorgie Road

Kiltane Developments are looking to build 140 student flats, 77 student studios and 28 residential flats, eight of which would be classed as “affordable housing accommodation.”

Three commercial units are also proposed to be made available for retail, financial and professional services use.

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Designs for the development include 2147 square metres of external amenity space, which would be provided in the form of a shared central courtyard, an area of amenity space adjacent to the Water of Leith and an external roof terrace to be accessed by those occupying student flats.

Residential units would have 285 square metres of external space and there would also be 442 square metres of internal amenity space for students.

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The lower ground floor to the rear of what is currently ELS House would be retained as an undercroft, accommodating 33 car parking spaces and 28 electric vehicle charging spaces.

Plans are also in place for 264 cycle parking spaces to be built.

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While the proposed development has been officially recommended for approval, members of the council’s Development Management Sub-Committee will have the final say at a vote scheduled for next Wednesday.

Sighthill-Gorgie independent councillor Ashley Graczyk strongly opposes the plans.

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In a post on Twitter she said: “Not happy at all with this: 28 flats, 217 student beds & 950 m² of commercial space across 3 units.

“There is a severe housing development imbalance in Gorgie Dalry – hundreds of new student flats and zero affordable or social housing. Will be raising this matter at Edinburgh City Council.”

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A spokesperson for Kiltane Developments said:

“We are clearly pleased to see this recommendation for approval for our planning application, which it should be noted has received only one public objection.

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“The proposal will create a sustainable mixed-use community, comprising housing, student accommodation and shops and offices, preserving the viability of the nearby local centre.

“There is a desire for up to two-bed flats in the area and this development will serve to address this. It will also comprise 29 per cent affordable housing, more than the policy requirement of 25 per cent.

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“The site is highly sustainable, withing cycling distance of the city centre and is also on a number of major bus routes. There will be 264 cycle parking spaces and car parking will be provided underground in the existing underground storage area. The proposed car parking represents just 30 per cent of the maximum car parking allowed by parking standards.

“We are also providing an attractive frontage on the Water of Leith and significantly enhancing the public realm, including upgrades to the public footpath.”