'Sorely needed' homes on former health centre site given go-ahead

The council-led development will deliver 73 flats on the former site of the Wester Hailes health centre.

‘Sorely needed’ homes on former health centre site in Edinburgh given go-ahead LDRS

Plans for new “sorely needed” affordable housing in an Edinburgh neighbourhood have been given the go-ahead.

The council-led development will deliver 73 flats on the former site of the Wester Hailes health centre, which was demolished last year after a long period of lying derelict.

Close to Wester Hailes train station with active travel routes nearby, planners said the site was “very well connected” to public transport links to the rest of the city, making future residents ‘less reliant on cars’.

However, as proposals went before the planning sub-committee on Wednesday, January 25, some councillors raised eyebrows at the lack of access to some flats for deliveries and maintenance vans.

The new block of flats, comprising 41 social rent homes and 32 mid-market rent, will be built in a ‘U’ shape on the Murrayburn Gate plot around a central, south facing courtyard.

Five wheelchair parking bays and 188 cycle spaces will be provided on site.

Councillor Hal Osler, Lib Dem convener of the planning sub-committee, called it “an attractive development with good amenity”.

Chas Booth, Greens, said: “Overall I think this is an excellent proposal, it obviously delivers affordable housing in an area where it’s sorely needed.”

The SNP’s Neil Gardiner added: “I very much welcome this proposal, it fits in well with the Wester Hailes town centre and created an urban grain around where currently there is a large car park.

“There’s a lot to like about it.”

Tory councillor Joanna Mowat said: “The one thing that did concern me is, where are the flats accessed from?

“You’ve got a little bit of disabled parking and city car club provision, but when the people move in here, where do they unload – where does the removal van park to unload their sofa?

“How do they get a dishwater delivered, how do they get a new bathroom refurbished if they need to have that done?”

Councillors agreed to include a planning informative to ask developers to consider where space for deliveries could be located.