• 26 February 2021

Planning approved for Edinburgh’s New Town Quarter

Waterman is delighted that plans for the mixed-use regeneration of the former Royal Bank of Scotland site in Edinburgh have secured planning approval. Set to totally rejuvenate the site, this major scheme incorporates a new hotel and office space, along with over 350 new homes.

Submitted by Ediston and Orion Capital Managers, the £250m mixed-use plans include a 116-bedroom hotel with its main entrance on Dundas Street, featuring a double height area on the ground level which will accommodate a café, restaurant and lounge area. The development also incorporates around 144 build to rent units, 117 private residential units and 88 mid-market rent/affordable homes which are complemented by a new urban centre providing a significant addition of public realm space, alongside 7,430 m2 of new office space and retail/leisure facilities.

The development has been designed to respect its unique location and respond sensitively to the adjacent listed buildings, whilst retaining and strengthening the existing ‘green edge’ boundary of the site. Bordered by the World Heritage Area, the plans aim to reconnect the King George V Park with both the New Town and the wider urban context.

Working alongside 10 Design architects, RSP Consulting Engineers, OPEN landscape architects and project managers, Gardiner & Theobald, Waterman is providing structural and civil engineering design in addition to a variety of specialist services, including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), acoustic and geotechnical design, flood risk and drainage for this significant mixed-use redevelopment. Sustainable drainage systems are a key component of the overall drainage strategy and our hydrology team are assisting the architects with the development of a combined blue and green roof system for attenuation and treatment of surface water run-off.

Surrounded by some of the highest value residential properties in the UK outside of London, our environmental team commissioned an initial socio-economic appraisal as part of the planning application which predicted the vibrant new development has the potential to create a market-leading economy, generating around £34.4 million and incorporating up to 700 jobs.

Our specialists will also assess the development’s impact on air quality, noise and vibrations, ensuring the works are carried out sustainably and with minimal effect on surrounding businesses.

Ross McNulty, Development Director of Ediston, said in a recent statement: “The New Town Quarter will make a huge contribution to the economic recovery in the city centre and in the wider Edinburgh area. We’re keen to progress the development as quickly as possible with a view to delivering a new community that will become one of the best places to live and work, in one of the finest cities in the world. We’re determined that the New Town Quarter will create a lasting and positive legacy for the local community and the City of Edinburgh.”

Alex Smith, Waterman’s Associate Director, commented: “We are delighted to see the major redevelopment at New Town Quarter secure planning permission. Our team to have played an integral role in developing the plans for this iconic redevelopment for Edinburgh’s city centre and we all look forward to seeing the design become reality as we work together to drive this project forward into the construction phase.”

Works are due to commence in summer 2021, with completion expected in 2024.

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