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Leith Walk block earns a reprieve with revised vision

April 7 2020

Leith Walk block earns a reprieve with revised vision

Plans to overhaul a 2.9-hectare site at the foot of Leith Walk, Edinburgh, have been radically reimagined by Drum Property Group in the form of a new proposal of application notice (PAN).

Stead’s Place had been earmarked for a major student-residential led redevelopment, but a change of heart will now see the existing sandstone building retained and refurbished instead to provide a mix of commercial uses.

New build elements will be restricted to replacing industrial sheds to the rear which will be replaced by a landscaped housing development connecting to Pilrig Park, with Halliday Fraser Munro retained as the architect.

Commenting on the changed approach Graeme Bone, group managing director at Drum Property, said: “We have listened to a range of concerns voiced during the previous application. As a result, we are proposing to retain and refurbish the two-storey sandstone building to ensure that, once again, it plays an important role in the future of the Leith Walk community. We have no intention of selling the building and will hold it as a long-term investment for the Group.

“The rest of the site will be designated to provide much needed local housing. This will open up what is currently an inhospitable industrial site by creating an accessible living environment linked through landscaped walkways and cycle routes to Pilrig Park and the rest of the city.”

In light of ongoing disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak Drum are investigating means of meeting consultation obligations ahead of any detailed application via a dedicated website and online portal, in lieu of a public exhibition.


Bill S
#1 Posted by Bill S on 7 Apr 2020 at 12:43 PM
Great news indeed. I have always said that development is perfectly fine in the right location, and for this site and it's context, the warehouses to the rear are ripe to be replaced by a series of dense housing blocks. Linked to the adjacent Pilrig Park and increasing the cycle routes to the city is a worthy prospect, offering new residences to people is decent, and the refurbishment and letting of the existing sandstone buildings to Leith walk is exactly the correct way forwards. I'm impressed by the initial community response, and now the response by the Developer. Hopefully the two can come together to find a common ground when the new proposals are submitted.
Damp Proof Membrane
#2 Posted by Damp Proof Membrane on 8 Apr 2020 at 09:31 AM
Better news, yes. But really there was zero need for the previous approach in the first place - displacing / closing / jeopardising multiple locally-owned businesses, never mind withdrawing a great deal of collective energy and attention from the local community who conducted a superb campaign of collective community activism.
Neil C
#3 Posted by Neil C on 8 Apr 2020 at 15:22 PM
The best of both worlds - the attractive sandstone buildings along Leith Walk are retained (and hopefully improved far beyond their current appearance), while the ugly industrial units behind them give way to new homes. Hope this proposal gets the green light now.
#4 Posted by dadabouttown on 9 Apr 2020 at 16:28 PM
The right level of development for a strategic site fronting Leith Walk, bus routes and a tram line - a short hop from centre of city - is high density with v limited parking. In other words, something like the previous scheme - which for some bizarre reason became the lightning rod for a lot of quite vague, populist, inverted snobbery nimbyist anti-ness. Widely accepted best practice urbanism would say the existing block is under-developed and out of synch with Leith Walk frontage density.

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