Regenerating Scotland’s capital with New Town North
Planning permission is being sought to redevelop the former Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) 5.9-acre plot of land adjacent to Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Being delivered by Ediston and Orion Capital Managers, this high-quality mixed-use scheme within the city’s New Town Conservation Area proposes the demolition of the existing RBS office and data centre buildings. This will allow approximately 100 new luxury apartments, 200 build-to-rent apartments, 100,000 ft2 of premium office amenities and a boutique hotel.
Working alongside 10 Design architects, RSP Consulting Engineers and project managers, Gardiner & Theobald, Waterman are providing structural and civil engineering input 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.
Having delivered the RIBA Stage 2 Concept Design, the team are now developing the detailed proposal in support of a planning application in Spring 2020, with a decision hopefully to be made by the end of the year.
Surrounded by some of the highest value residential properties in the UK outside of London, our environmental team recently commissioned an initial socio-economics appraisal which predicts this vibrant new development has the potential to create a market-leading economy generating £34.4 million including 700 jobs.
Alongside the redefinition of New Town, the site’s landscaping will be rejuvenated, retaining as many of the existing greenery and open spaces as possible. In a bid to maximise engagement with green spaces, plans are also in place for a pedestrian walkway to link the local park and neighbouring streets.
Sustainable drainage systems are a key component to the overall drainage strategy and our hydrology team are assisting the architects to develop a combined ‘blue and green roof system’ for attenuation and treatment of surface water run-off. A technical solution is also being developed to obtain approval for a ‘build over agreement’ with Scottish Waters, where the scheme sits over an existing sewer which runs from north to south throughout the site.
Our structural engineers are currently developing the outline design for the main buildings, including the reinforced concrete podium deck that will sit under the office, hotel and residential blocks. An assessment is also being undertaken to determine the feasibility of re-using the existing piles to the RBS office and data centre buildings, delivering significant programme and cost savings.
Throughout the demolition and construction phases, we will undertake various transport and access responsibilities, including changes to the traffic flow on local roads and the accessibility of nearby public transport facilities and cycle routes. Our teams will also assess the impact on air quality, noise and vibrations, ensuring the works are carried out sustainably and with minimal effect to the surrounding businesses.
Waterman’s Director in Scotland, Alun Rae, also Project Director for the scheme, commented; “We are delighted to be involved in a multidiscipline capacity on this major rejuvenation project for Edinburgh’s city centre. New Town North has the potential to create a vast new economy in Scotland that will benefit its local community for years to come.”