New vision for docklands provides Quay to the future
IMAGES of a striking new docklands development, designed by architects who worked on the new Scottish Parliament building, were unveiled today.
Architects RMJM released the first computer-generated impressions showing how a gap site in front of the Scottish Executive building at Victoria Quay will be transformed under a 50 million scheme.
More than 400 flats boasting spectacular views of the Port of Leith and Calton Hill are to be created on a site adjacent to the office block housing the national headquarters of VisitScotland.
A new quayside, public park and extension of the Water of Leith walkway are all planned to be created under the development.
The site had previously been earmarked for two huge "skyliner" apartment blocks which received planning permission under a previous owner.
However, the current scheme is now being pursued by the developer George Wimpey City, after the firm purchased the site more than three years ago.
The same developer was behind the Great Northern Tower development in Manchester and Green Bank, a major development featuring public piazzas and a new public park on the bank of the River Aire, in Leeds. Plans have only just been lodged with the city council for the development, but it is hoped work could start early next year, if the green light is secured within the next few months. It is expected that the work would take up to four years to complete.
The development will feature 425 one, two and three-bedroom apartments, a 240-space underground car park, a tree-lined waterside promenade and a pavement cafe area. At its highest point, the development will be 18 storeys high. It is expected to be one of the most significant housing developments created over the next few years in the docks area, where there are plans to build 18,000 new homes by 2020, along with new visitor attractions, parks, schools, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
Plans for the development were announced last year by George Wimpey City, which launched a public consultation exercise and exhibition.
Planning consultants Jenkins and Marr state: "The proposed scheme will result in the regeneration of a derelict brownfield site and will make a significant contribution to the regeneration of Leith's waterfront over the next 25 years."
A spokesman for RMJM said: "It is the intention for the quayside promenade to become a traditional meandering route through Leith. The waterfront edge is actually the termination of the Water of Leith, where the river runs through the docks and out into the Firth of Forth.
"The quayside promenade will become one of the final stages of the Water of Leith walkway, which stretches from Balerno and beyond through Edinburgh, finally coming to an end along the promenade.
"Because of its waterfront location, [the development] will benefit from unrivalled views back across the layers of the city towards Calton Hill and Edinburgh Castle, and north across the water to Fife and beyond."
Richard Cook, project director for George Wimpey City, said: "We worked closely with the planners throughout the application stage and are hopeful that the added benefits of the new design, such as public green space, waterfront access for the public and more affordable housing will be recognised as an improvement on the currently consented proposal."
MODERN FLATS PLAN FOR ROYAL FURNISHER'S HISTORIC FACTORY
THE historic headquarters of the former furniture designers to the Royal family are to be converted into a modern housing development.
Sunbury House, on Sunbury Street, will be converted into 12 flats, including exclusive four-bedroom two-floor apartments.
The B-listed building was until two years ago used as the headquarters for Whytock and Reid, which supplied fine furniture and carpets to the Royals.
The plans by developer Gregor Properties involve putting a small extension to the side of Sunbury House for three apartments, as well as converting the interior to modern flats.
Prices for the properties are expected to range from 400,000 to 600,000, and the company believes the proximity of the site to the Water of Leith will be a major selling point.
The building was formerly the workshop, storage house and showroom for Whytock and Reid. The firm was established in 1807 by Richard Whytock. It then joined forces with John Reid, a cabinetmaker and upholsterer from Ayr, in 1876.
The company was awarded the Royal Warrant in 1838, and over the years has decorated and furnished some of Scotland's most famous houses and visitor attractions, including Holyrood and, most recently, the Royal Yacht Britannia.
But just three years short of its 200th anniversary, the family-owned company went into voluntary liquidation.
Local councillor Tom Ponton said: "I am generally happy with the plans for this development.
"There have been some concerns from local groups, but we are going to see development in that site and I think these are good plans which will fit well into the area."
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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