Updated plans to replace Edinburgh music venue where Nirvana played twice with flats set for approval

Revised proposals to knock down a former night club and music venue made famous by Nirvana and build flats is set to be approved by councillors.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 15th November 2019, 8:12 am
The revised flats plans on Calton Road for flats, Picture: Square and Crescent

Square and Crescent has brought forward scaled-back plans to bulldoze the former Studio 24 nightclub on Calton Road and replace it with 22 flats in a five-storey building as well as an office on the ground floor.

An initial application for 24 flats was refused by Edinburgh City Council in March – while a subsequent appeal was dismissed by the Scottish Government due to fears the rear of the development would harm to character of the conservation area by ruining views.

The revised plans, which have been recommended for approval by planning officials, include the central section of the building being reduced from four to three storeys and the rear section has been lowered from five to four storeys.

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An initial application for 24 flats was refused by Edinburgh City Council in March

No on-site affordable housing will be provided as the “applicant has clearly demonstrated that the development would not be viable” – but a commuted sum is set to be agreed, which would go towards other affordable housing projects.

If approved, a communal garden will be constructed on the roof of the central section of the building and another area of green common space will be formed in the open courtyard. Private terraces will be provided for five flats. The council’s development management sub committee will consider the plans on Wednesday.

Euan Marshall, joint managing director of Square and Crescent, said: “After a period of redesign of the scheme with City of Edinburgh Council planners, Square and Crescent is looking forward to hopefully a positive result at committee to enable us to deliver much needed city centre housing stock in the form of a quality development designed by award winning architects Morgan McDonnell.”

But the Old Town Community Council has officially objected to the plans, labelling the proposal “unnecessarily ugly”.

Square and Crescenthasbrought forward scaled-back plans to bulldoze theformer Studio 24 nightclub on Calton Road

In a statement, the organisation added: “Although slightly lower and less damaging to the skyline, this re-application does not materially differ enough from the previously rejected application.

“Namely that the proposed design does nothing to conserve or enhance the character of the conservation area, that it is unsympathetic in architectural style whereas the building to be demolished, albeit not listed, does indeed fulfil all those things. It should instead be cleaned and restored and incorporated into any development on that site.”

Studio 24 shut its doors after 22 years in June 2017 following renewed complaints from neighbours over noise levels. Under its former name, the Calton Studios, the venue played host to Nirvana in 1990, supported by Glasgow outfit The Vaselines – and again in November 1991. Fellow grunge rockers Mudhoney also took to the stage in 1990 and Smashing Pumpkins performed at the venue in February 1992.

In planning documents, the developers said: “It will provide much-needed housing in a highly sustainable and well-connected location, making better use of the brownfield site.

“The housing proposed is suitable for the character of the area and designed appropriately to positively contribute to the conservation area and to provide much-needed high-amenity residential units, in keeping with the recent regeneration of the surrounding area.”

In a report to councillors, planning officers claimed the scheme “does not

have an adverse impact on the setting of the conservation area”.

It adds: “The development has no detrimental impact on significant archaeological remains, residential amenity, road safety or infrastructure.”

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