Homes planned for site of former Hunter's Tryst school

the scorched site of the former Hunter's Tryst Primary School is set to be transformed into dozens of new flats.

Hunter's Tryst Primary School was demolished after a fire in 2008. Picture; Kenny Smith
Hunter's Tryst Primary School was demolished after a fire in 2008. Picture; Kenny Smith

It’s been almost a decade since a fire gutted the building in Oxgangs Green before it was demolished.

Developer, Edinburgh-based Hopefield Partnership, is now seeking approval for almost 90 affordable, mid-market houses and flats, as well as homes for the elderly, alongside Castle Rock Edinvar housing association.

However, the proposals have already hit a snag after council officials warned the planning application was lacking crucial information for the size of the project.

Members of the public are now being invited to comment on the proposals – but planners said key information was needed quickly or it could face lengthy delays.

The brownfield site has been left empty and unused since the summer of 2007 when pupils from Hunters Tryst moved to Comiston, now Pentland Primary.

Previous attempts to sell and develop the land failed due to the recession.

The developers said they had already carried out an extensive consultation with the local community to win support for the plans.

Oxgangs councillor Jason Rust said: “It is positive to see progress after such a long period of time, but given that a decade has now passed it is disappointing that key issues appear to have been omitted from the application or are not available for public inspection.

“I hope the complete application will be fully available soon.

“Together with local 
residents I will be closely scrutinising the application, including site density and transport details.

“Having waited this long, we want to see the best possible option for Oxgangs.”

The residential development will include two-storey terraced and semi-detached houses, providing larger family properties with private gardens and parking, and a four-storey block of 

Developers have also planned for a number of single-storey bungalows to prevent the views of residents in the surrounding houses from being blocked.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has flagged up two stone 17th-century wellheads – part of Edinburgh’s first piped water supply – which are on the site.

The category B-listed features are on the Buildings at Risk register and HES made it a condition of the housing application that the wellheads are adequately protected during any works and repaired and retained as visible features within the new development.

Following the closure of the school, housing plans by Dundas Estates were thwarted by the economic downturn and a separate proposal by Dunedin Canmore Housing Association to build 104 affordable homes also fell through.

The former school was branded a potential death trap after the suspicious fire in July 2008. It came just after the city council spent £20,000 re-inforcing security on the site.