Bid to kickstart estate plans may stir up local resistance

A SUPERMARKET, hotel and 200 homes are planned to be built on the site of a ruined stately home in a bid to kickstart development in the southern edge of the Capital.

A developer has drawn up the ambitious plans for the derelict Edmonstone Estate next to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary at Little France.

It hopes to attract one of the UK's big name supermarket chains to the site, while the hotel is expected to interest major operators, such as Travelodge and Premier Inn, which have both been expanding rapidly in Edinburgh in recent years.

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The new developments would serve the expanding Edinburgh BioQuarter, and it is hoped that they could help kickstart the regeneration of the surrounding area.

But local representatives have warned that the scheme is likely to be strongly opposed by local residents, who do not want to see development on the green belt.

The plans are being developed by Isle of Man-based land holding company Baywater IOM. A spokesman for the firm said: "We have just started consultation with the community and our view is that it needs something to kickstart development out there.

"This is part of the Little France regeneration and, with the scale of the biomedical quarter and the ambition to move the Sick Kids Hospital out there, it will add to that regeneration."

Talks are expected to be launched with potential hotel and supermarket occupants if planning consent is secured. Developers have lodged a "proposal of application" notice and will now carry out a consultation before submitting formal plans in late summer.

Councillor Tom Buchanan, the city's economic development leader, who also represents the Liberton/Gilmerton ward that the development is within, said: "As convener of economic development, I am keen to see Edinburgh grow to its best potential and attract inward investment.

"But we have to balance that wish with people's desire to have a green belt."

A public consultation event on the development is expected to be held at Danderhall Library on June 16.