Plans for one of Edinburgh’s biggest new parks in over a century revealed

A vision has been revealed for a new waterfront equivalent of Princes Street Gardens is to be created at the end of Edinburgh's extended tram line.

Architects have unveiled plans for one of the biggest new parks in the city for more than a century - which is earmarked for a vast swathe of derelict land at Newhaven.

It will be created at the heart of a "new neighbourhood" of 1600 new homes and a boardwalk-style promenade, which is planned just a few minutes walk away from the last tram stop at Newhaven.

The team working on the plans for the new "waterfront community" says its blueprint will "prioritise people over vehicles."

A 4.7 hectare park will be created on reclaimed land at Newhaven under the vision to revive the waterfront site.

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Open meadows, a woodland, spaces for events, sports and informal games, walking and running circuits are all envisaged for the 4.7 hectare park at the Western Harbour.

An outdoor classroom is also proposed for a planned new primary school which will be directly connected to the park to avoid the need for children to cross a road.

The park is being created as part of a bid to kick-start development of the site after work ground to a halt in the wake of the property crash in 2008. Initial plans to develop reclaimed at Newhaven were approved six years only but only a fraction of the site was development.

The new park will be at the heart of a development of 1600 new homes at the Western Harbour.

Edinburgh-based 7N Architects, who are behind the masterplan for the new development, are working on the park designs with another local firm, landscape architects Rankin Fraser.

A spokesman for 7N Architects said: " The new neighbourhood focuses on the public realm and the spaces between the buildings to encourage people to inhabit and activate their environment.

"The streets, spaces and buildings are designed to prioritise people over vehicles and to have a discernible character.

"The new park, designed by Rankin Fraser, will form the heart of the new community offering play space, large open meadows, varied woodland, a community growing space and an outdoor classroom for the adjacent primary school which will be directly connected to it so that children don’t have to cross any roads."

The new park at the Western Harbour will be one of the biggest created in Edinburgh for more than a century.

Ben Watson, project leader at 7N, said: "Western Harbour presents an unprecedented opportunity to create a new neighbourhood in our historic city that can begin to address Edinburgh’s housing needs and can act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the city’s waterfront."