Council acts on sustainable vision for meadowbank

July 23, 2020

Steps are being taken to realise an ambitious vision for Edinburgh’s flagship new sports centre and hundreds of eco-friendly homes at Meadowbank.

With work to build a new state-of-the-art sports facility already well underway, contractors are now getting ready to return to work when Scottish Government guidance allows.

A series of safety measures are being put in place to make sure workers and members of the public are protected when construction is back on track, with these preparatory works now underway.

An initial search has also been launched to seek interest from private sector partners to work with the Council, the Meadowbank Steering Group and the local community on designs for a sustainable mixed-use development on the surrounding land.

Developed in detail with community groups, the masterplan for this site is currently being assessed by the Planning department for a five-hectare area, featuring proposals for a low-car, low-carbon development which pays tribute to the site’s sporting and industrial heritage, prioritising pedestrian and active travel through a network of new paths and roads.

Around 600 modern energy-efficient homes – a minimum of 35% of which will be affordable – are proposed in the development plan for the new community which will give people priority over cars.

Subject to planning permission, it is set to be the first development of its size in Edinburgh to promote the Council’s net zero carbon ambitions, and also offers space for community and commercial uses, a GP surgery, a number of play and park spaces, rain gardens and plans to retain and plant more trees. Further options for boosting energy efficiency, including an idea for homes with green roofs, are also being explored.

Prior Information Notice (PIN) was lodged on Thursday 11 June seeking feedback from interested parties to allow a procurement exercise to start later in the year estimated to be worth around £110 – £130m. While the development plans remain at an early stage, the notice includes a questionnaire seeking expressions of interest from potential development partners and consortiums including small and medium enterprises.

Councillor Kate Campbell, Housing Homelessness and Fair Work Convener, said: “These are ambitious designs for a sustainable development in keeping with the area, featuring much-needed new homes for our City. They have been shaped by the local community and people’s physical and mental wellbeing has been put at the heart of our plans, with a strong emphasis on green living, energy efficiency and homes for social rent. Despite the challenges we all face, as a City we need to keep future plans progressing and no more so is this a priority than the urgent work we need to do to create modern, warm, safe and affordable homes for residents.”

Councillor Mandy Watt, Housing Homelessness and Fair Work Vice Convener, said: “Working to support local communities and the wellbeing of our people and planet is going to be central to our recovery plans from this pandemic, alongside promoting good growth and job opportunities. Through projects like Meadowbank, the construction industry can help us kickstart this economic recovery and we’re working across all of our sites so that they’re ready to operate safely, when they can reopen.”

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