PLANS to turn the former HQ of a failed airline company into luxury flats have failed to take off.
Cala Homes’ application to demolish and build a high-end development of 14 apartments at the former Flyglobespan office in Colinton had been welcomed by residents who produced a 184-signature petition supporting it.
There were fears, if left empty, the building on Westmill Road would become a hotspot for vandalism and antisocial behaviour, prompting community body the Colinton Amenity Association (CAA) to rally in favour of the proposals.
Planning permission was granted last year for the high end apartments but conditions of developing the site, which sits within the green belt and conservation area, have led to doubts the development is still commercially viable.
Ten months since the decision, no agreement has been reached between Cala Homes and the airline company’s creditors, and the site is expected to be put back on the market by PricewaterhouseCoopers this summer.
Colinton councillor Jason Rust, who backed the original application, said it was a shame the deal has stalled. He said: “The Cala application enjoyed strong local support from residents. While technically green belt, the site is in reality brownfield.
“There would have been conservation gain in terms of additional green space being provided and the change from business to residential usage was also welcome with an anticipated reduction in motor vehicles.
“Having residents in situ in a new building would also be helpful for the security of the adjacent Spylaw Park. It is a real blow that the property is to go back on the market and I hope the delay is kept to a minimum.”
Planning conditions meant developers would have to scale back the planned penthouse and use more expensive materials, like natural stone and slate, to keep in step with the local area.
The additional costs are thought to have impacted on the residual land value and now its creditors are hoping to re-market the development to establish its current market value.
Peter Gray, chairman of the CAA, said it was frustrating for the community that the development was no further forward. He said: “All we know is that it has stalled. We are no further forward than we were when it was approved. Everybody is quite keen to see the proposals go forward as we were all in agreement that it was a good thing.
“We will have to see what happens but I suppose we could be back to square one. Our understanding is that it could be going back on the market again.”
No-one at Cala Homes was available to comment.
Passengers and crew stranded
BUDGET airline Flyglobespan entered administration just a week before Christmas in 2009, leaving thousands of passengers and its own cabin crew stranded abroad.
About 650 people who worked for what was then Scotland’s biggest airline lost their jobs as the company collapsed with many finding out from news reports.
It has since emerged that some 40,000 Flyglobespan creditors – mostly passengers who paid for flights that never took off – have made claims against the company totalling around £40 million.
In March 2010, protected creditors – who paid for flights on credit or Visa debit cards – recouped £12m via a consumer protection scheme.