Edinburgh housing projects featuring balconies and fruit and veg plots form blueprint for green living

A property developer believes that a string of housing projects in Edinburgh featuring balconies and fruit and veg plots can become a £90 million blueprint for green living.
A CGI of the proposed Rowanbank Gardens development in Corstorphine area of Edinburgh.A CGI of the proposed Rowanbank Gardens development in Corstorphine area of Edinburgh.
A CGI of the proposed Rowanbank Gardens development in Corstorphine area of Edinburgh.

Homebuilder and regeneration specialist Artisan Real Estate plans to invest the cash in several city centre residential developments.

The first phases of the Canonmills Garden scheme will be ready for occupation in the spring, while planning applications for two major projects – at Rowanbank Gardens, Corstorphine and Abbey Lane in Abbeyhill – are due to be discussed by the city council at the end of this month.

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The firm, which is behind the capital’s New Waverley scheme, believes that its “game-changing” blueprint could have significant environmental and investment benefits for Scotland’s cities. It is looking to invest as much as £150m in residential development in Scotland over the next 12 months.

Group development director Clive Wilding said the plans came at a “critical time” for investment in the city.

He said: “Artisan is firmly committed to future investment to get the city living again following lockdown.

“Initially our plan was to achieve low to zero carbon development across all our new homes developments. But the challenges highlighted by the pandemic has accelerated the importance of other critical aspects of development planning – such as technological efficiency, easy access to the outdoors and improved amenity space.

“We are going above and beyond the existing council guidelines for sensitive city centre environments. This includes reducing urban sprawl by optimising the number of people living in well-designed, sustainable homes in low car-use locations well-served by public transport and linked to pedestrian and cycle networks.

“Across all our developments, we are introducing creative concepts such as green roofs, communal ‘edible’ gardens with fruit and vegetable plots and integrated green transport plans.”

He added: “We are also envisaging what people want from their post-Covid living environment. Significant emphasis is placed on the quality of internal space and light to create enjoyable home-working environments, whilst accessible balconies, gardens and landscaping promote health and well-being by making nature and well-designed outdoor space integral to the day-to-day living experience.”

Artisan is best known in Scotland for large-scale city regeneration projects such as New Waverley at the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town.

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The development’s Queen Elizabeth House, now a major UK government office hub to house thousands of staff, was recently awarded the Innovation Award at the 2020 British Council Offices Awards.

Wilding added: “Artisan now has an opportunity in Scotland to set a new benchmark for high quality urban regeneration in sensitive city-centre environments – whether it be commercial, residential or mixed-use.”

The firm said the brownfield former care home site in Corstorphine was set to answer the council’s requirement for “well designed, high density living” while providing spacious communal areas and well-established public transport links ensuring low car ownership.

The development is designed around a central courtyard garden providing nearly twice the level of open space recommended by council planning policy, according to the firm. Green roofs are said to ensure benefits of surface water retention, insulation and ecology.

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Homes for sale near Water of Leith, Canonmills, Edinburgh

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