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Leith expands in teeth of downturn

December 9 2008

Leith expands in teeth of downturn
Edinburgh’s newest new town could soon sprout on an unpromising tract of ex-industrial lands as detailed plans for Leith Docks go before city leaders tomorrow.  

Cocking a snoop at the present market bedlam, developers are presenting proposals for a shiny new sequence of “urban villages”, housing a substantial 16,000 people, in an ambitious £700m scheme.

A glistening cavalcade of trophies will embed this investment with a new cruise liner terminal, tram plaza, expansion of the Ocean Terminal shopping precinct and a visitor centre for the Royal Yacht Britannia also in the running.  

Developers aim to bombard the brown field lands with an avalanche of flats, hotels (including a 16 storey tower) and a concert hall.

Artists impressions commissioned by Forth Ports depict a waterfront quarter of shiny new homes and businesses phalanxed by two new piers and an esplanade which will accommodate a new cross Forth commuter ferry.

Forth Ports are seeking an international partner to realise their gargantuan proposals.

Work on the swish complex is predicted to commence by late 2009 with phased construction occurring over a glacial 30 year timespan.  Outline approval was granted in August.

Forth Ports Group Chief Executive Charles Hammond said: “It is important to have a vision in difficult times.  Edinburgh Harbour sits at the heart of the largest expansion of Edinburgh for 300 years.”

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