The first phase of the biggest development in Edinburgh for more than a decade has been given the green light today despite fears raised over transport infrastructure.
Parabola have been given the green light for the first part of the Edinburgh Park development in the west of the Capital.
The opening phase, approved by the city council’s development management sub-committee, will include seven blocks providing “grade A office accommodation” and two multi-storey car parks.
The scheme will include the first new crossing built across the tram line since the network was opened. The vehicle crossing will be restricted to public transport in an attempt to reduce traffic and help the tram to keep moving.
Planners recommended the application for approval, but transport officers raised concerns over the width of pedestrian crossings at junctions to the west and east of the site.
The approval comes 20 years after the original mater plan was submitted for the project. The proposal will includes 1,372 car parking spaces and 72 disabled spaces in two multi-storey car parks to the west and east of the site. Office basement parking will provide an additional 58 spaces and there will be 24 on-street parking spaces.
The mixed-use proposal includes one million square feet of offices, a new public square, sports and leisure facilities, including football pitches and tennis courts, shops, bars, restaurants and a health centre.
Councillors welcomed the site’s public transport links, including two train stations, two tram stations and good bus links. The site will link to dedicated cycle and pedestrian routes as well as provide 930 cycle spaces.
Planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner said: “I think that this is a welcome development to Edinburgh and Edinburgh Park. It urbanises the area. It brings a business park feel to the area.
“It’s an amazingly connected place in terms of transport. There’s a lot of public transport and the development itself will enhance that. My only concern is the level of car parking. The number of cars is dictated by the previous application and I don’t know if we can restrict that.
“There may be an impact on the road network. There’s a green travel plan and hopefully that will be taken up by occupants.”
Parabola says the first phase of the plans is estimated to create around 5500 jobs.
Peter Millican, owner and founder of Parabola, said: “Parabola is delighted by this decision.
“We have worked with a world-class team and expect to deliver a world class place at Edinburgh Park, which will set a new benchmark in design, place making and wellbeing for the new community of this new quarter of the city.”
When completed, the development will create 1800 new homes on 43 acres of land to the south of Edinburgh Park.
Parabola managing director Tony Hordon said: “This is a great result. This is the right result marking a huge team effort over the course of the 12 months since the submission of the planning application, but also the many years before the submission.
“We have a wonderful opportunity now to deliver an exemplar in commercial space and public realm so desperately needed by the city. I am hugely grateful to the whole design team for their tireless efforts and to the support we received from the council officers and now councillors in deliberating and managing this application given its scale. Parabola is keen to realise its ambitious vision for Edinburgh Park and finally start work on site.”
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