£75m homes project - with 500 new houses - pledges extra £1m for Little France park
More than 500 homes could be built on farm and parkland in Little France if proposals are given the go-ahead by City of Edinburgh council.
Springfield Properties have submitted plans for 505 homes on land adjacent to The Wisp close to the Royal Infirmary with the proposals including a pledge of £1m to help regenerate the Little France park.
The entire development will cost the developers around £75m if approved by councillors at the next planning committee meeting.
The specific improvements planned for the park have not been detailed, but the prospective developers have said they will open up the east side of the park.
However, more than 300 of the proposed homes are due to be built on council-owned land, a sale that could see a windfall of around £5 million for the council.
The development, due to be discussed on 31 July, also includes a commitment to gift a section of land to the east of Little France park to public ownership.
Springfield states this gift and the commitment to spend £1m on the park will “deliver a high quality, close to 39-hectare park with sustainable annual funding.”
Innes Smith, Springfield’s chief executive, said: “People will be sceptical but this will create a really good environment and it will be completely revitalised for those people.
“Having areas of overgrown grass doesn’t really benefit anybody and turning it into something that everyone could use surely is a good thing.”
He added: “Creating great places for people to live is surely better than leaving it unused. It could be a really good place for people to go.”
Construction of the proposed development could also see the creation of 2,000 jobs and 20 apprenticeships.
Of the 505 planned homes 29 per cent, or 144, will be built as energy-efficient affordable homes.
The developers have submitted two separate planning applications to the council, with one covering the 199 homes on land controlled by the house-builder, allowing Springfield to build some of the houses if the council do not want to sell the land at Little France.
Springfield executive chairman Sandy Adam said: “Our proposals will help to address Edinburgh’s housing shortage and enhance the existing green space for the benefit of all, making a significant contribution to the sustainability of the new community at Little France, helping it to flourish for generations to come.
“The Council has rightly prioritised the improvement of parkland at Little France but spending constraints have meant that only a fraction has so far been delivered.”
The construction of three retail units, earmarked to provide services to the new population on the development, is included in the plans.
Springfield said houses on the site could be on sale by the end of the year if approved by councillors.