Our plans for a new canal side housing and commercial development in one of Edinburgh’s emerging property hotspots have been well received, generating significant press coverage and interest.

The designs are for a mix of apartments with associated landscaping and parking that will create a frontage to Lower Gilmore Place and to the Union Canal ultimately transforming a former industrial site in the Fountainbridge area of the city.  This site is already identified as a redevelopment opportunity to create a quality urban environment, exploiting and enhancing its distinctive canal side location.

We have applied for planning permission to build 30 private residential and 13 affordable apartments along with ground floor commercial space. The private apartments comprise 10 one-bedroom or studio apartments, 16 two-bedroom apartments, and four three-bedroom apartments. The proposed mix meets the guidance in the Edinburgh Local Development Plan for 25% of all new housing of 12 units or more to be affordable.

The site is currently occupied by a small number of residential units as well as some vacant and existing commercial properties. These include a car repair garage and an office. A brick wall also screens the site from the canal front.

There are a number of large scale developments surrounding the site, including land formerly occupied by Scottish & Newcastle Breweries (Vastint Development), short stay serviced accommodation at Fountain Court Apartments, and the proposed mixed use housing developments at India Quay.

Our application site forms part of the wider Fountainbridge area and is identified in the Edinburgh Local Development Plan as an area for comprehensive redevelopment.  The policies outlined in the report support the development of the site for housing-led, mixed use development.  We have taken into consideration the highest quality design and build specifications.  Our reputation has been built on quality, design-led homes and these plans will deliver quality private homes for sale in a prime location within the city centre.

There’s a higher mix of student, office and proposed private rental sector development in this particular area of Fountainbridge. What are we proposing is to help to create more of a community by establishing increased opportunity for residential ownership in the area with shared amenity space and shared surface parking at ground level. We have also incorporated roof gardens with views over the canal and surrounding area and recessed balconies which would create an attractive façade.

The building has been designed to set back at the upper levels to ensure that the proposed massing does not impact on the surrounding buildings or garden areas. The entire build will be of a high quality in terms of both materials and design to ensure that it blends sympathetically with the area and surrounding architecture.  It will have generous floor to ceiling heights, not only to create spacious, inviting interiors but to generate and enhance the frontage onto to the canal.

Looking at where the proposed new development sits, it would act as a natural transition in terms of building and flow between the commercial heights of the developments towards the city centre and the residential heights of the surrounding buildings.  Blonde brick has been selected to give the development a domestic character and scale. The brick’s natural variation in colour and texture add richness to the facades while tonally matching the sandstone of the immediately adjacent tenement buildings on Leamington Road and Lower Gilmore Place.

The use of brick allows for considered details to delineate floor levels, highlight entrance porticos, and create depth at window and door reveals to give a sense of solidity. Bronze-toned metal balustrades contrast with the light sandy brickwork, framing porches and balconies. Windows are generally double leaf and full height which open in the form of Juliette balconies. The proportion of these windows echoes that of the surrounding tenement buildings. They are also bronze in colour to match the metalwork.

At our recent community consultation, there was some suggestion that our plans could create congestion. On the contrary, we’ve been extremely careful to strike a balance with parking and are actually aiming to discourage car ownership by potentially incorporating charging points for electric cars and spaces for the city car club. There are only ten spaces in the plans with two of those allocated to the office units.

Our partners on the project include ISA Architecture and Design Ltd, Scott Hobbs Planning, Rankin Fraser Landscape Architecture, Horizon M&E Services Design Ltd and Etive Consulting Engineers.

We will keep you informed of how the planning process develops and welcome enquiries and comments on our plans.

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