Hundreds of new homes to transform derelict Ocean Terminal site

New Plans for Waterfront Plaza have been unveiled.
New Plans for Waterfront Plaza have been unveiled.
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Plans for a 388-home development on wasteland opposite Ocean Terminal could transform a neglected corner of the Capital.

CALA Homes want to build townhouses, colonies and flats on the derelict site in Leith, close to the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The plans, which will be put before councillors, also include small workspace units, which developers say could be used for shops, cafes and galleries.

The proposals would also include a green space and bring 97 affordable homes to the area.

Dubbed “Waterfont Plaza”, developers say the scheme will help create “a sense of community” to the neglected area.

Original plans for 425 new homes were submitted in July 2016 and gained the backing of Ocean Terminal bosses, Leith Chamber of Commerce and Leith Trust.

But following consultations with local residents and planning officials, CALA Homes have reduced the number of homes to 388, and included more affordable housing.

They say this has reduced the height of the apartment block directly adjacent to properties on Commercial Street in response to local concerns.

In addition, the residential led development will now include around 1500 sqm of small ‘workspace’ units, similar to The Arches development on Market Street, offering a wide range of potential uses including shops, cafes, galleries, creative space and offices ideally suited to start-ups.

Craig Lynes, Land Director at CALA Homes (East), said: “An important part of the design process is listening to feedback and incorporating that within the plans. This is even more pertinent to enable a development that marks a key step in Edinburgh’s delivery of future housing – as it reduces the need to free up further greenfield sites to address the critical housing shortfall.

“Not only will Waterfront Plaza provide a welcome boost to housing supply across a wide segment of the local market, but by incorporating traditional colony-style homes, townhouses and flats with large public spaces.

“It will create a welcoming and entirely appropriate neighbourhood.”

The new plans include 30 townhouses, 27 colonies, 
234 flats, as well as 97 affordable homes, made up of three townhouses and 94 flats, plus commercial space that offers 
a maximum potential of 29 units.

Developers say they anticipate an eclectic mix of ‘workspace’ units and café building fronting Victoria Dock at Waterfront Plaza will draw more visitors to the area and keep them there for longer.

Craig added: “Feedback we’ve received shows that smaller scale start up units are in greater demand than larger scale office space, due in part to Leith’s thriving creative sector.

“The delivery of these units will help create a sense of community by drawing people to the area supporting Ocean Terminal and local businesses.”

The amended plans are due to be presented to The City of Edinburgh Council Development Sub-Committee in November.