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Leith housing scheme lives to fight another day despite thumbs-down from officials

Words: Roger Milne
Leith | Shutterstock_267617924

A controversial major housing-led mixed-use scheme proposed for a key brownfield site in Edinburgh, recommended for refusal by officials, has won a stay of execution.

At issue was the fate of a 388-dwelling scheme proposed for derelict land opposite the Ocean Terminal in Leith. The proposals included 29 commercial units suitable for a range of local services and small businesses, and 97 affordable homes.

Members of Edinburgh City Council’s development management sub-committee decided to defer a decision on the revised plans for the Waterfront Plaza project pending a public hearing of interested parties. This is expected to take place in a month’s time.

City planners had recommended that the scheme should be refused because “the mix and balance of uses proposed are contrary to the development plan”.

Officials pointed out that the site was located within the Leith strategic business centre and formed part of Edinburgh's strategic office land supply. The non-inclusion of major office development as part of the mixed-use proposal was contrary to three separate local development plan policies, stressed the planners.

CALA land director Craig Lynes argued that the proposals would “deliver much-needed housing on the site to regenerate this neglected area of Leith”.

Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross has backed the scheme. He tweeted: “Common sense needs to prevail to allow these houses to be built. Not only to provide much needed homes but as a boost to Ocean Terminal”.

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