Striking building to offer affordable homes at old ERI
The first images have been unveiled of the multi-million-pound next stage of the redevelopment of the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary site.
Hillcrest Housing Association is to develop 174 homes in a striking building on the edge of the Quartermile site.
The 24 million scheme, partly funded by the city council, will be the first affordable housing to be created on the site, where the focus so far has been on the creation of luxury apartments, offices and shops.
Hillcrest has taken control of the site and a 30-month building project is to get under way.
The designs for the building have been drawn up Richard Murphy Architects.
Lead architect Graeme Armet said: "The 174 affordable housing units are based around a central courtyard with as many balconies and external amenity spaces as we could achieve.
"It is cut away in the south-west corner because we wanted the sunlight and daylight to penetrate the central courtyard and for the units to have as many views across the Meadows as was possible."
Affordable homes have to be built in order to meet agreements made with the council over the original planning consent for the development.
Around one-third of the Quartermile site has been developed and developer Gladedale intends to complete the work, which includes 900 apartments, 30,000sq m of office space and 10,000sq m of leisure and retail space, in 2015.
Paul Curran, Gladedale's managing director, said: "We are delighted that this project has now come to fruition. This takes us a step closer to the completion of the development."
It is hoped that the Hillcrest development will help ease the shortage of affordable housing in Edinburgh. It has been backed with 7m of funding from the city council through the Scottish Government-backed affordable housing investment programme.
Emma Hutchison, Hillcrest's business development manager, said: "We feel that the design perfectly complements the wider Quartermile development. We are providing a range of affordable housing which includes wheelchair accessible and elderly amenity flats.
"We are also providing larger family homes with dedicated terraced spaces which will benefit from magnificent views."
Councillor Paul Edie, the city's housing leader, said: "There is a desperate shortage of affordable housing in the Capital with an estimated 15,800 affordable homes needed over the next ten years.
"Many people cannot afford to get on the property ladder but developments like these represent a lifeline to them."
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