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EMA submits plans for 425 homes in Edinburgh

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Edinburgh-based EMA Architecture + Design has submitted proposals for a 425-home community at Ocean Terminal in the port of Leith

Waterfront Plaza, a residential scheme backed by housebuilder CALA Homes, is the latest attempt to revitalise the derelict site after a number of previous permissions for mixed-use schemes failed to be built.

Site owner Forth Ports has been unsuccessful in attracting developers interested in developing a mixed-use scheme, according to a planning statement submitted on behalf of the housebuilder to City of Edinburgh Council.

The statement continued: ‘Therefore, the proposals for a commercial-led masterplan are now considered to be out of date and unachievable. Accordingly, the main focus of the proposed development is to provide much-needed housing on a brownfield site in a location which would greatly benefit from high-quality redevelopment, associated public realm and increased footfall for local business.’

The scheme proposes a mixture of flats, townhouses and studios, with 25 per cent provided as affordable, plus three units for retail use.

Following concerns raised at a public exhibition earlier in the year, the density of the original scheme was reduced and a new open space was included.

The 5ha site sits next to the Category B-listed Victoria Dock and just north of the Leith Conservation Area.

CALA’s statement said: ‘Although the proposed development would impact such assets, given their proximity to the site, such an impact would not be significantly adverse.

‘Indeed, it could be argued that the proposed development would have a positive impact. [It] would retain and enhance the listed Victoria Dock edge and appropriate edge protection would be incorporated, similar to that of the successful residential development at Albert Dock.’

Subject to securing planning permission, CALA says it hopes to start the development in early 2017.

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