7N Architects has submitted plans for a 938-home neighbourhood on Edinburgh’s waterfront at Leith’s Western Harbour
The detailed plans include shops, commercial space, a health centre, a primary school and ‘one of the largest new parks in the city for over a hundred years’ which has been drawn by landscape architect Rankin Fraser.
The scheme, which is backed by Forth Ports and estate agent Rettie and Co, will effectively deliver the next stage of the wider Western Harbour masterplan, which aims to transform empty, reclaimed land in the Port of Leith into a new waterfront community.
In October 2018 the practice won approval for its Revised Design Framework for the site, effectively superseding an earlier masterplan from 2004 by Robert Adam.
According to the practice, the driver for the neighbourhood’s layout has been a focus on the public realm with ‘the streets, spaces and buildings designed to prioritise people over vehicles and to have a discernible character [and] to cultivate variety, identity and legibility’.
The park at the heart of the new community features large open meadows, varied woodland and an outdoor classroom for the neighbouring primary school, which will be ‘directly connected to it so that children don’t have to cross any roads’.
The application for approval of matters specified was lodged with the City of Edinburgh Council on 27 February on behalf of Edinburgh Forthside Developments to address conditions of the planning permission in principle granted in 2004 and revised design framework approved in October 2018.
7N Architects - Western Harbour, initial sketch
7N Architects project leader Ben Watson 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.’
Subject to approval of the plans –- technically an application for approval of matters specified – work is expected to start on site towards the end of 2019.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that Collective Architecture has been appointed to work on a separate waterfront site to the east of Western Harbour. The practice is working with design consultants including Dutch urban adviser Jeroen Zuidgeest from Studio for New Realities and a former partner at MVRDV.
Collective Architecture has been asked to draw up a development framework for the nearby Granton Waterfront on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council and partners.
The residential-led project will also include a primary school, as well as a healthcare facility, shops, business and creative space ‘tied together with a high-quality public realm and diverse green spaces’.
The site is also home to the Edinburgh College, the National Museums of Scotland and the proposed National Collections Facilities by McAslan and Partners.
Location Western Harbour, Leith, Edinburgh
Description A new neighbourhood including 938 homes, 4.2 hectare park, 13 commercial units, health centre
Client Edinburgh Forthside Developments
Architect 7N Architects
Landscape architect Rankin Fraser
Planning consultant Holder Planning
Agent Rettie and Co
Infrastructure engineer Arup
Structural engineer Woolgar Hunter
Building services engineer Atelier Ten
Transport consultant Sweco
Start on site End of 2019
7N Architects - Western Harbour, view over the new park towards Edinburgh