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Edinburgh Scheme to be Reviewed by Scottish Ministers

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Plans to build a mixed-use scheme containing student accommodation, commercial units and residential flats on Gorgie Road in Edinburgh have been given the green light.

However, the plans will now go before Scottish Ministers because of an objection raised by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). SEPA raised concerns about the development being built within a flood plain.

Council officials were less concerned about the risks due to the floor-mitigation mechanisms that have been built into the plans.

The developer Kiltane Developments is looking to build a total of 140 student flats, 77 student studios and 28 residential flats. Three commercial units will also be available for retail, financial or professional services use.

Commenting on the proposals, Chas Booth, Green councillor for Leith, said: "This site is right next to the Water of Leith, and as we've heard from the council's own experts, is almost certain to flood in the future. We know that climate change makes extreme weather events, including severe floods, much more likely."

"Building homes on this site would condemn future occupants to the distress and anxiety of having to mop up after a flood event, and it could make those homes uninsurable. The city should be building more affordable homes in areas that aren't at risk of flooding, not putting them in the path of a likely future deluge."

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Kiltane Developments, said: "I'm delighted with the decision taken today by councillors. As an Edinburgh-based company, we are thrilled to see this exciting project given the green light and look forward to bringing this mixed-use site forward."

"The delivery of housing, including much-needed affordable housing, student accommodation and commercial units will assist in preserving the viability of the nearby local centre. We are also providing an attractive frontage on the Water of Leith and significantly enhancing the public realm, including upgrades to the public footpath."

"We look forward to getting these proposals underway and will continue to work with council officials and the local community to deliver them."