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Consultation outlines plans for 180 'bold' apartments in Leith

March 19 2021

Consultation outlines plans for 180 'bold' apartments in Leith

Unicorn Property Services have staged a public consultation outlining their vision for a mixed-use redevelopment of up to 180 apartments at Rennie's Isle, Leith.

The virtual exhibition follows a proposal of application notice last month to erect a landmark build-to-rent complex rising from a new public space and riverside walkway connecting Ocean Drive to the Victoria Swing Bridge. Rising from a central entrance and community hub the proposed tower would provide a mix of private and affordable (25%) apartments, each with access to an external terrace and managed by an institutional landlord.

This would require the demolition of an existing 1980s office building at the junction of Victoria Quay and Ocean Drive to permit construction of a 'landmark building of real architectural quality' by Sheppard Robson and Simpson & Brown.

In a statement of intent, Unicorn explained: "We propose to develop an iconic new building that provides flexible living and working space as well as affordable housing in a bold visual landmark.

"This is initially based on a tall structure – up to 16 or 18 storeys which is similar to other world-renowned waterfront locations but this is simply to test how different forms and scales sit on such a site and relate to its surroundings and key viewpoints from near and far.

"The design is at a conceptual stage and we are simply trying to establish the parameters within which more detailed proposals will be framed."

Situated alongside a proposed tram extension the proposed apartments would accommodate a live/work studio space with potential for a cafe, gym and informal lounge area to bring further activity.

A full planning application will follow later this year with completion expected around 2023/24.

hard landscaping will improve the public realm around the Victoria Swing Bridge
hard landscaping will improve the public realm around the Victoria Swing Bridge
The zero parking proposal will have access to a nearby tram stop on Ocean Drive
The zero parking proposal will have access to a nearby tram stop on Ocean Drive


Public Announcement
#1 Posted by Public Announcement on 19 Mar 2021 at 11:20 AM
Contrary to the above, this is not a landmark of real architectural quality..
#2 Posted by Millek on 19 Mar 2021 at 12:45 PM
Has someone told the folk digging up Leith that the tram extension is only proposed?
#3 Posted by Cadmonkey on 19 Mar 2021 at 17:26 PM
So the concept is for people escaping down the fire escape stairs to exit not to the outside, but into a pair of shared ground floor lounges.
How does that comply with building regs then?
Tramming Andy
#4 Posted by Tramming Andy on 19 Mar 2021 at 19:56 PM
#2 The "only proposed" tram extension has been under construction for more than a year.
town planner
#5 Posted by town planner on 21 Mar 2021 at 11:56 AM
#1 Possibly not a 'landmark of real architectural quality' (yet - fingers crossed!) in early concept drawings, but I like the ambition on display with a taller structure. 16 or 18 storeys is indeed similar to other waterfront locations in many capital cities around the world.

There are few locations we can build taller buildings in urban locations in Scotland. Along the Clyde being one, and Leith docks another. Taller buildings in the right location also has the benefit of reducing urban sprawl, and pressure on the green belt. Newly extended tram-line close by for connectivity good too.

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