Proposals for more than 200 new homes on the site of a car showroom have been backed by planners at despite a wave of objections and concerns about residents being disturbed by barking from a neighbouring animal shelter.
Officials have urged councillors to grant permission for the principle of the major redevelopment project that would deliver two new blocks of flats overlooking the Firth of Forth.
However the council raised several issues with the site at 24 and 25 Seafield Road East, currently occupied by a car dealership, including noise from the Edinburgh Dog and Cat home next door and smells from Scotland’s largest sewage treatment plant just a stone’s throw away.
The council receives regular odour complaints from the occupants living near to Seafield Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW) and said that although there are other residential properties closer to the plant the stench “has no bounds”
To address this, applicants Manse LLP submitted a “sniff test” undertaken at the plant which sits 760 metres from the proposed site.
After reviewing the plans the authority’s environmental protection team said there was “disagreement about the length of sniffing time” and added the scope of the test was “limited” and “unlikely to demonstrate the full extent of the odours”.
However, they concluded it would be “unreasonable” to refuse planning permission on this basis.
Environmental officers were more concerned about residents being disturbed by barking dogs at the adjacent dog and cat home and said work on the development should not start until the rescue shelter moves to a new site.
A report stated the charity, which has operated at Seafield since 1957, “may relocate in time”.
It added: “Environmental Protection note that complaints about noise barking from existing residential properties has resulted in mitigation measures already being implemented by the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home previously.
“Further complaints would likely severely curtail the operation of the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.
“The proposed mitigation measures put forward by the applicant include high quality glazing, no opening windows on specific elevations, siting habitable rooms away from both the Seafield Road and Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.”
The early stage plans going before councillors on Wednesday, which have attracted 105 objections from local residents and community councils, include proposals for 220 flats with rain gardens, potential roof gardens and car parking.
The applicant also said there could be some commercial units on the site and further detail on this element of the plan is expected to be included in a bid for full planning permission.
They said the project would provide a “highly desirable new neighbourhood” providing “safer and more attractive access to the waterfront”.
Plans submitted to the council added: “The vision for the new community at Seafield Road looks to regenerate a quarter of the city that has lost its identity over time with physical and visual barriers that prevent connections to the Promenade.
“The redevelopment of this area will allow historic connections to the Promenade and beach to be re-established.”