COUNCILLORs have unanimously approved plans to demolish a former car showroom to make way for flats and shops.
The city council’s development management sub-committee approved plans by Eastern Properties to knock down the former Alfa Romeo garage on Colinton Road at Craiglockhart and build 19 flats and space for two shops.
Two retail units will be built on the ground floor with flats above – a mix of two and three-bedroom apartments.
Officers, who had recommended the plans for approval, said the lower ground floor along Colinton Road “will be subterranean and will be used for two car parking spaces, communal cycle storage and bin storage.” There will be 19 parking spaces altogether, including six spaces with electric charging points and two disabled spaces.
Planning officers told councillors that the proposed building materials are an “appropriate response” to the site and that the plans have been “significantly reduced from the refused scheme” for 37 flats in August 2017.
Officials said that a “commuted sum” to provide affordable housing elsewhere in the city is “acceptable” partly because four affordable units, that are required, “would be too small a number for social landlords” to take on.
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Cllr Chas Booth appealed for the funding to be used for locally-built affordable housing.
He said: “It’s regrettable that there’s no on-site affordable housing. In Craiglockhart, there’s an absolute chronic shortage of affordable housing.”
Officers said that “options in the ward are limited” and mentioned the overhaul of Redford Barracks as a potential use of the funding – although proposals are thought to be some time away.
Councillors unanimously approved the plans.
Planning convener, Cllr Neil Gardiner said: “I think there’s always a merit in this scheme including the retail frontage.
“While the design may not be my cup of tea, the community have backed it. On balance I think I can support this.”