Homes are scaled down - but it's not the end of the storey

A SEVEN-STOREY flats development planned to replace an eyesore 1970s office block has been scaled down following protests from residents.

Cala Homes wanted to replace former NHS offices in Trinity with nearly 300 flats.

But it withdrew the proposals for Trinity Park House in South Trinity Road earlier this year after an outcry from local residents.

Cala has now gone back to the drawing board for the second time and overhauled the project drawn up by renowned architect Richard Murphy.

A reduction in the number of flats from 292 to 256 and a cut in the majority of the building from seven to five storeys are among a raft of changes to the scheme.

Under the plan, Trinity Park House - which formerly housed the NHS’ Common Services Agency (CSA) - would be bulldozed.

The early 1970s four-storey building on South Trinity Road has long been regarded as an eyesore by local residents.

The curved tan-coloured building housed the CSA until last year, when it relocated from Trinity Park House to South Gyle.

Dozens of residents had objected to the scheme amid fears that the project would spoil the area and dwarf surrounding buildings. More than 150 people also attended a public meeting to discuss the plans.

Clive Preston, spokesman for the Trinity Park Residents Association, said the changes were an improvement on Cala’s previous plans.

"We feel the development is an improvement on the past two plans," he said.

"Cala has taken on board our concerns and listened. They have made an attempt to save more trees and have moved the entrance to the car park to the rear of the site.

"We are still concerned about the height of the west block near the villas on Wardie Road. We also hope something can be done to save more of the trees."

Local councillor Allan Jackson said: "The community is concerned about the height, but overall these are general improvements. It appears to be more acceptable than the previous application."

David McDonald, director of the Cockburn Association, added: "We are pleased to learn that the scale and height of the proposals have been significantly reduced in the resubmitted application.

"Richard Murphy has been very successful in inserting qualitative designs in the city centre, such as the Tron apartments, and many of his designs display an understanding of the past without compromising the contemporary flair of his work."

Although a central tower in the project remains seven storeys high, most of the proposed building is five storeys high.

Gerry More, managing director at Cala Homes East, said: "We believe that these improvements and new benefits ensure that the proposed development both enhances and sits sensitively within the local residential area and provides an excellent opportunity for home-buyers in the capital."

He said around 40 affordable homes will also be built as part of the project.

The single centrepiece tower, which he insisted had the support of city planning officials, would remain seven storeys.

The project is expected to be discussed by councillors at a planning committee meeting in around three months time.

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