Proposals to build a new “high quality” canalside community are set to be approved after councillors were urged to give plans for more than 200 homes the thumbs up.
Vastint has already won planning permission for phase one of the former Fountainbridge brewery site, which closed in 2004 – a 262-bedroom Moxy Hotel and office space. Councillors are now expected to give phase two the green light after being recommended for approval by planning officers.
If given the go-ahead, 223 flats, ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments will be built – along with 11 town houses. One quarter of the proposed accommodation will be affordable housing.
The scheme has been designed as two “urban perimeter blocks” which will range from three to eight storeys in height. Six commercial units totalling 745sqm will include food, drink and leisure facilities and be provided on the ground floor, below the housing. The 11 town houses will face the Union Canal, if planning permission is granted.
A new public square will created by the Leamington Lift Bridge, while internal courtyard space will be established between the buildings.
Local Green Cllr Gavin Corbett said: “This is the long-awaited first batch of new homes in the three former brewery sites which, when completed, will add over 1,000 homes on these sites which have lain derelict since 2006. These homes, especially those at below-market price, are much needed.
"As a developer, Vastint, has engaged constructively with the local community and, because it plans to stay around long term, managing the development, it has a lasting interest in how the area works as a neighbourhood.
“There is still some work to do on improving the public spaces within the plans – making them as green and wildlife-friendly as possible, improving the way the development connects with the canal and making the new Leamington Square next to the landmark lift bridge a lively and popular place. I am confident that Vastint is committed to those improvements too.”
If plans are approved by councillors, the blocks will range from 10m to the south to a maximum of 22m, while the buildings will be predominantly made of brick.
The developers say they will provide 95 car parking spaces and 528 cycle spaces, which will be kept in an underground car park accessed from the north-east of the site. An additional public space will be created through the centre of the site which will include public terraced gardens and rote from north to south of the development.
In a report to councillors, planners said the height of the proposal “sits comfortably within its surroundings”.
It adds: “The proposal forms part of a wider mix of uses and delivers a mix of housing types and sizes with integrated affordable housing.
“The development will enhance the edge of the Union Canal, create a high quality public realm and pedestrian/cycle priority routes, contributing towards the cohesive regeneration of the wider area and sense of place.”
The developers have met a request by Police Scotland for “dead space” at the eastern end of the development to be blocked off “to prevent rough sleeping or any other anti-social behaviour”.
Vastint declined to comment on the proposals.