Fountainbridge plans expected to take step forward

PLANS to develop a ‘brownfield’ site near Edinburgh’s city centre are expected to take a step forward, with a recommendation to appoint a housebuilder.

The site – in the Fountainbridge area of the city – is owned by The City of Edinburgh Council. It was purchased nine years ago.

And next week, the council’s Finance and Resource Committee will be asked to agree to a recommendation to appoint Cruden Homes (East) Limited with a £1.1million contract for so-called ‘pre-development services’ – ahead of the full development starting early next year.

Says a council announcement (here): “During the pre-development, work will be carried out to prepare for construction, including finalising designs and selecting a net-zero carbon energy solution for the entire site, contributing to the council’s ambitious target to reach net-zero emissions by 2030.”

The announcement continues: “The masterplan for the site was approved in 2016 following an extensive programme of community consultation and regular engagement on proposals for the site has continued with the Fountainbridge Sounding Board, a forum bringing together the area’s key stakeholders.

“The masterplan will enable the transformation of the site into a mix of uses including; new homes, offices, shops, social enterprise and community spaces knitted together by high quality public realm. The development will complement both the new Boroughmuir High School to the west and Vastint Hospitality’s ‘New Fountainbridge’ development to the east.

“The housing element of the development will see a total of 436 new homes built. This will comprise 113 homes for social rent, with over ten per cent wheelchair accessible, 64 homes for mid-market and market rent and 259 homes for private sale or rent.”

It adds: “Commercial, social enterprise, retail and community spaces will feature within both the affordable and private housing phases, along with a 100,000 square foot office building which will provide space for early-stage tech companies to ‘scale up’.

“A cohesive, high quality public realm will create attractive new spaces to socialise on the banks of the Union Canal while a wide range of community benefits and fair work proposals will also be delivered. These will include a £100,000 community fund for projects to enhance the canal towpath, creating park, commissioning local arts projects, work experience placements and apprenticeship opportunities for Boroughmuir High School pupils and the long-term unemployed, and summer internships paying the Real Living Wage.”

Picture credit: 7N Architects