St James Quarter

Waterman coordinated the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process for the development of the St James Quarter in Edinburgh. Proposals involved the replacement of the existing St James Shopping Centre, The Thistle Hotel and multi-storey car park, with a large, retail-led, mixed-use development, in accordance with the City of Edinburgh Council’s 2007 Development Brief for the site.

Project Details
  • Client


  • Architect

    BDP Architects & Allan Murray Architects

The new development will comprise of 65,000 m2 of retail space, over multiple levels, with a central galleria, and will also include up to 250 residential units, two new hotels with associated leisure facilities and three basement levels of car parking.

Situated within a World Heritage site and Conservation area, which necessitated particularly meticulous assessments of the proposed developments, an important aspect of the EIA process was close and regular consultation with Historic Scotland and the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust.

The potential environmental impacts from the development were considered throughout all phases, with mitigation measures recommended to enhance potential benefits and avoid, reduce, or offset adverse impacts.

Following on from the outline planning permission, Waterman has provided:

  • Ecological appraisal, including updated bat surveys prior to building demolition,
  • Acoustic design services,
  • Detailed wind modelling using wind tunnel and computer-aided techniques,
  • Archaeological Written Scheme of Investigation and Building Recording,
  • Air Quality modelling,
  • Appraisal of visual effects through the provision of detailed photomontages.

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