Updated proposals for historic Edinburgh school site lodged after community feedback

UPDATED plans have been submitted for the restoration of the former Boroughmuir High School in Edinburgh.

Developer CALA Homes said the plans had been “revisited” prior to a community event after taking on board feedback from the previous application last year.

The new designs include the new-build block of affordable homes being reduced by a level, along with a reduction in the scale and mass of the proposed building. Other alterations include alignment with the height and windows of the neighbouring tenement.

CALA said that to reflect surrounding architecture, the new designs have been paired with a change to chosen building materials, with the use of natural atone and slate resulting in a “subtle building that preserves the character” of the area. Plans for the refurbishment of the main school building remain “relatively unchanged”.

140 neighbouring residents attended a recent event at Morningside’s Eric Liddell Centre to learn more about the new proposals. Feedback from that session has allowed CALA to take on board further changes such as the inclusion of visitor bike storage areas, bike cleaning facilities, additional tree retention and a commitment to provide residents within the development an annual bus pass to promote the use of public transport.

Gavin Pope, land director with CALA Homes (East) said, “It was especially important to us that we go back to the community following the changes to our previous plans. To that end we thank those that attended the event for their time and comments.  Comments throughout the day were very useful and we’ve been able to take on board a range of suggestions before we submitted the final application. It goes to show the importance of these events in creating a development that works for the surrounding area while delivering much needed homes.

“While we appreciate that no development will be universally popular, what was especially pleasing was that many local residents were positive about the changes to the new build aspect – and actively wanting to see the vacant school building returned to life.”

The proposals will be considered at a planning committee meeting later this year and if approved, work could start early next year.