Green light for first phase of £500m Edinburgh ‘urban quarter’
Work on plans to transform around 43 acres of land south of Edinburgh Park into a £500 million ‘urban quarter’ is set to start within weeks after councillors approved the first phase of the project.
Property developer Parabola has sought permission for seven blocks providing “grade A office accommodation” and two multi-storey car parks.
The overall development is set to deliver office space for 8,000 jobs and 1,800 homes including sale, rent and affordable. A ‘civic square’, 150-seat conference and events facility, bar-restaurant, leisure and medical centre, micro-brewery and specially commissioned works of art would also be created.
Planners recommended the application for approval, but transport officers raised concerns over the width of pedestrian crossings at junctions to the west and east of the site. The approval comes 20 years after the original matersplan was submitted for the project.
Councillors welcomed the site’s public transport links, including two train stations, two tram stations and good bus links. The site will link to dedicated cycle and pedestrian routes as well as provide 930 cycle spaces.
Planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner said: “I think that this is a welcome development to Edinburgh and Edinburgh Park. It urbanises the area. It brings a business park feel to the area.
“It’s an amazingly connected place in terms of transport. There’s a lot of public transport and the development itself will enhance that. My only concern is the level of car parking. The number of cars is dictated by the previous application and I don’t know if we can restrict that.
“There may be an impact on the road network. There’s a green travel plan and hopefully that will be taken up by occupants.”
Parabola said the first phase of the plans is estimated to create around 5500 jobs.
Peter Millican, owner and founder of Parabola, added: “Parabola is delighted by this decision.
“We have worked with a world-class team and expect to deliver a world class place at Edinburgh Park, which will set a new benchmark in design, place making and wellbeing for the new community of this new quarter of the city.”
Parabola managing director Tony Hordon said: “This is a great result. This is the right result marking a huge team effort over the course of the 12 months since the submission of the planning application, but also the many years before the submission.
“We have a wonderful opportunity now to deliver an exemplar in commercial space and public realm so desperately needed by the city. I am hugely grateful to the whole design team for their tireless efforts and to the support we received from the council officers and now councillors in deliberating and managing this application given its scale. Parabola is keen to realise its ambitious vision for Edinburgh Park and finally start work on site.”