Plans submitted for 91-bed student flat scheme in Canongate

PLANS have been submitted for a new student flat development in the heart of the Old Town.

Wednesday, 16th January 2019, 7:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 2:36 pm
A planning application for high-quality student-led residential development has been lodged by property developer, Summix Ltd.

London-based Summix wants to build the 91-bed scheme in the Canongate, next to Old Tolbooth Wynd and the Canongate Kirk.

Those behind the project say it will regenerate a neglected and under-used plot in the Unesco World Heritage Site while providing high-demand student accommodation.

Stuart Black, from Summix, said: “It also serves to reduce pressure on the private housing market as well as delivering a substantial amount in additional expenditure into the local economy.”

Adjacent to the Waverley Development now under construction, the building will comprising a mix of clusters and studios together.

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It will also include a community area, student common rooms, a laundry, cycle parking and bin stores.

There is provision for access but no car parking will be provided on site. Developers believe the modern design 
will be sensitive to the Old Town’s World Heritage status and the Old Town Conservation Area.

Images of how the site will look show the new building rising above a retained stone and ornate brick wall currently on the derelict plot.

Architects say it will “draw on the existing fabric of the 
currently neglected (redundant) buildings which are at the end of their economic life.”

Those behind the scheme also believe it will bring economic and social benefits to the Old Town and High Street by creating jobs.

Mr Black added: “We are delighted to submit this application for high-quality student accommodation which will serve to regenerate this rather neglected part of the Old Town through careful re-development.

“Great attention has been taken to implement a design-led approach which delivers a final piece of the jigsaw in this World Heritage Site and Conservation area.

“The development also serves to address the increasing demand for student accommodation, fulfilling the ambitious growth plans of universities in the city, which are key drivers of the economy.

The development seeks to address a perceived shortfall in student accommodation as the Capital remains below average compared with competing student cities across the United Kingdom.

The rising demand for accommodation among students places unwanted pressure on the private rented market, say developers.

Numbers of full-time students across Edinburgh are projected to rise by 14 percent by 2021/22.

Students from the development are estimated to generate about £840,000 in additional expenditure on food, clothes and eating out.

The plans will be subject to a decision by the city council.

James Garry, of conservation charity the Cockburn Association, said: “We look forward to considering this application in due course.”

andy.shipley@edinburghnews.com