Glencairn Properties has unveiled detailed plans for a new canal side housing and commercial development in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh.

The city-based developer has designed a mix of apartments with associated landscaping and parking creating a frontage to Lower Gilmore Place and to the Union Canal.

The proposed plans include 30 private residential and 13 affordable apartments along with ground floor commercial space. The private apartments comprise 10 one-bedroom or studio apartments, 16 two-bedroom apartments, and four three-bedroom apartments. The proposed mix meets the guidance in the Edinburgh Local Development Plan for 25% of all new housing of 12 units or more to be affordable.

The site is currently occupied by a small number of residential units as well as some vacant and existing commercial properties. These include a car repair garage and an office. A brick wall also screens the site from the canal front.

There are a number of large scale developments surrounding the site, including land formerly occupied by Scottish & Newcastle Breweries (Vastint Development), short stay serviced accommodation at Fountain Court Apartments, and the proposed mixed use housing developments at India Quay.

Glencairn Properties is submitting a full planning application for the first phase of the development, with the second phase being submitted for planning permission in principle.

The application site forms part of the wider Fountainbridge area and is identified in the Edinburgh Local Development Plan as an area for comprehensive redevelopment. The policies outlined in the report support the development of the site for housing-led, mixed use development.

The site also falls within the Fountainbridge Development Brief zone, which establishes a comprehensive townscape and infrastructure framework for the Fountainbridge area.

The proposed development will include shared amenity space and shared surface parking at ground level, while roof gardens will offer views over the canal and surrounding area. To maximise the amenity value of the canal side location, the development includes recessed balconies which would create an attractive façade.

The building has been designed to set back at the upper levels to ensure that the proposed massing does not impact on the surrounding buildings or garden areas. The entire build will be of a high quality in terms of both materials and design to ensure that it blends sympathetically with the area and surrounding architecture. It will have generous floor to ceiling heights, not only to create spacious, inviting interiors but to generate and enhance the frontage onto to the canal.

Looking at where the proposed new development sits, it would act as a natural transition in terms of building and flow between the commercial heights of the developments towards the city centre and the residential heights of the surrounding buildings. Blonde brick has been selected to give the development a domestic character and scale. The brick’s natural variation in colour and texture add richness to the facades while tonally matching the sandstone of the immediately adjacent tenement buildings on Leamington Road and Lower Gilmore Place.

The use of brick allows for considered details to delineate floor levels, highlight entrance porticos, and create depth at window and door reveals to give a sense of solidity. Bronze-toned metal balustrades contrast with the light sandy brickwork, framing porches and balconies. Windows are generally double leaf and full height which open in the form of Juliette balconies. The proportion of these windows echoes that of the surrounding tenement buildings. They are also bronze in colour to match the metalwork.

Daryl Teague, director of Glencairn Properties, said: “The site at Lower Gilmore Place is already identified as a redevelopment opportunity to create a quality urban environment, exploiting and enhancing its distinctive canal side location.”

He added: “Our plans fit well within the brief and have taken into consideration the highest quality design and build specifications. We have built a reputation based on quality, design-led homes and our proposed development will deliver quality private homes for sale in a prime location within the centre. There’s a higher mix of student, office and proposed private rental sector development in this particular area of Fountainbridge. What are we proposing is to help to create more of a community by establishing increased opportunity for residential ownership in the area.

“We recently held a community consultation and there was a suggestion that the plans could create congestion.  We have been extremely careful to strike a balance with parking and are actually aiming to discourage car ownership by potentially incorporating charging points for electric cars and spaces for the city car club. There are only ten spaces in the plans with two of those allocated to the office units.”

Partners on the project include ISA Architecture and Design LtdScott Hobbs PlanningRankin Fraser Landscape ArchitectureHorizon M&E Services Design Ltd and Etive Consulting Engineers.

Source: Scottish Construction Now!

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