Edinburgh’s World of Football set for demolition to make way for more student housing

Edinburgh’s World of Football and bowling alley are set to be bulldozed to make way for more student accommodation at the Corn Exchange.

London-based developers Watkin Jones, has applied to Edinburgh City Council for permission to demolish the site behind the Corn Exchange to make way for build-to-rent (BTR) homes, in addition to student accommodation.

The site, just off New Market Road, is currently home to World of Football and World of Bowling.

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Final designs are yet to be released, and the developers are expected to hold a public, online consultation event next month.

The site, just off New Market Road, is currently home to World of Football and World of Bowling. Photo: Google Street View
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Local Fountainbride and Craiglockhart councillor Gavin Corbett, Green Party, said: “This is very early days for what would be a huge development if it went ahead.

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“I know there will be some dismay at the loss of easily accessible football, bowling and other leisure facilities here in south west Edinburgh and I hope the community consultation next month will explain what lies behind that proposal and how to address that loss.

“That issue aside, I’d expect any future proposals to be clear about the housing mix, including vital affordable housing.

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“I’d want to see a commitment to a zero carbon development and on proposals which maximise cycling and walking connections, including a footbridge across the river to connect to the development on the Booker site.

“It seems there is quite literally a lot of water to flow under the bridge.”

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A letter, submitted by London-based consultancy firm Montagu Evans, on behalf of Watkin Jones, reads: “On behalf of our clients, Watkin Jones Group / New Mart Road Ltd, we would like to notify you of our Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) submitted today to the City of Edinburgh Council for the above proposals.

“It is the applicant’s intention to hold a public consultation event in the form of an online exhibition to accord with recent Scottish Government guidance of April 2020.

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“This recommends the holding of an online exhibition as a suitable alternative to a physical event.

“It is anticipated that such an event will take place in October 2021 and we will be back in touch with further details on this in due course.”

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