Health at heart of plans for new Edinburgh '˜urban quarter'

NEW football pitches and tennis courts would be built in the Capital under £500 million plans for a major urban quarter featuring 1800 homes.

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 8:33 am
Updated Thursday, 8th March 2018, 8:37 am
An artist's impression of the Parabola development at Edinburgh Park

Developers Parabola have said they are optimistic that the proposed scheme at Edinburgh Park will be approved as it reaches the next stage of planning.

The public will now have the opportunity to view and comment on the vision for 43 acres of undeveloped land which includes football pitches, tennis courts and a yoga and pilates health suite.

Open to the public and on the doorstep of new homes for 3,500 people and offices for 8000 workers, the health facilities form the heart of what developers believe will be a vibrant new community.

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Welcoming the plans, Alex Cole-Hamilton, MSP for Edinburgh West, said: “One of the criticisms of the other developers is that they have been constructing dormitories rather than communities but I don’t get a sense of that with Parabola – the idea of community seems quite important to them.

“Identifying an area with good public transport links and formed with health promotion, creative spaces and art installations make it a far easier proposal to support.”

A planning application has been submitted to the council ahead of a public exhibition which will be held in May at the Edinburgh Park Novotel.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said concerns around increased pressure on local roads and health services had been addressed. “My red line with Parabola was always that they needed to address the impact on traffic and on local health services,” he said.

“I was delighted that of their own instigation they had signalled a desire to construct a new doctors surgery and I brokered a meeting between them and NHS Lothian to see if this was possible and the city council were very receptive to that.

“On balance I think this is a positive move and I welcome the fact that there will be decent affordable housing within this development with a minimum impact on local traffic and health services in the west.”

Parabola’s founder and owner, Peter Millican OBE, said the firm was confident the application would advance. “We have the very best of architects, designers and masterplanners who are keen to work collaboratively and creatively with the city council to produce an architectural exemplar.

“This masterplan is designed around delivering truly great place making which results in improved well-being for those who live, work and play at Edinburgh Park. Parabola is delighted to be advancing to the next planning stage and is keen to share our vision more widely.”

Parabola’s managing director, Tony Hordon, said: “We look forward to engaging with the wider community during the consultation in advance of submitting a planning application.

“Parabola remains committed to plans which include commercial space, civic and landscaped squares and a recreational area for tennis and football in the very heart of the park and we are optimistic that planning for this first phase will be approved shortly.”