'Much-needed' 155 Leith flats approved by Edinburgh Council

One of the blocks is seven stories high
One of the blocks is seven stories high
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PROPOSALS to build 155 “much-needed” new homes in Leith have been approved by councillors – despite concerns over the sustainability of the development.

In May 2017, Cruden Homes East and Teague Homes won planning permission in principle to turn the wider site into more than 600 homes over seven phases – as well as space for retail and commercial space.

Now, detailed permission has been granted for two of the plots at Salamander Place near Leith Links – 155 homes in ten blocks. The accommodation will be provided as 31 one-bedroom homes, 68 two-bedroom homes including 23 duplex units, 50 three-bedroom properties and six studios. One of the blocks will be seven stories high – with the remainder being three stories in height.

These two phases of the development will include the provision of 131 car parking spaces and 148 spaces for cycles. Affordable housing provision has been secured through a legal agreement for other phases of the development.

Concerns were raised over the sustainability of the proposals – largely the materials being used for the windows. But officials, who recommended the plans be approved, told councillors that the scheme will meet current building standards and “will meet 30 per cent carbon reduction”.

Solar panels will also be installed on top of the blocks.

In a report to councillors, officers said: “The proposal comprises a good mix of
housing and is well-designed, set within a suitable landscaped areas with access to pedestrian open spaces.

“The development is acceptable in terms of access and parking, and cycle routes are provided. Features of historic interest are addressed or incorporated within the design. Amenity is acceptable or issues can be addressed, and potential flood issues are addressed.”

Planning convener, Cllr Neil Gardiner said: “I think that this proposal has a lot of merit and I support it. The longer-term aim is to link Leith Links back up to the sea – it used to be on the sea. I look forward to future phases even going up to the docks to unite Leith with its beach.

“There are some small issues. I’m happy to move this application.”

Cllr Chas Booth added: “This is in my ward and there’s a dire need for housing. The reason I called for a presentation was to see whether we could address some of the shortcomings of the application. It’s not a perfect application but I accept that it’s unusual to get a perfect application before us. Nonetheless, this is housing in an area where there’s a very high need for it. There’s an extension of the allotments, which is extremely welcome.

“A number of local residents have expressed concerns about the lack of an education and health contribution. I think that is not a fault of this application, that is a fault of our policy. I do think we need to look again at our policy.

“Overall this is a good application. It will provide much-needed housing in Leith where there is an absolute shortage.”