Developer welcomes support for Leith Walk plans

DRUM Property Group has claimed more than 2,000 letters of support have been lodged with the City of Edinburgh Council for the firm’s Stead’s Place planning application near the foot of Leith Walk.

Drum’s £50 million proposal for the 2.9-acre site is for a mixed-used scheme featuring affordable housing, post-graduate student accommodation, a hotel, restaurant, café and retail units.

The plans were revised following a community consultation programme and are due to be considered at a committee hearing later this year.

Drum said that of the total amount of letters of support received, 1,141 are for the full development proposal detailed in the planning application, while 962 back moves to demolish and redevelop existing buildings – including the row of red sandstone retail units facing directly onto Leith Walk.

Graeme Bone, group managing director of Drum said, “This shows that there is a significant appetite amongst local people and businesses welcoming change for this important part of Leith Walk. We have recently witnessed a very aggressive and high profile campaign of opposition to our plans, largely focused on the retention of the existing units along Leith Walk.

“The conversations we have been having with local people tell us something different – that this area has been neglected and desperately needs new investment to create a welcoming, distinctive and accessible destination linked to the rest of the city. This is reflected by the high levels of public and local business support for our proposals which present a much more balanced picture of local feeling towards our plans. It is clear that existing buildings at Stead’s Place are no longer an economically viable investment, which is why we are proposing to invest £50 million in a new mixed-use development when all of the existing tenants move out and the site is completely vacant in 2019.

“Our proposals will bring an added dimension to Leith Walk, opening up what is currently an inhospitable industrial site by creating a vibrant, contemporary and accessible community for residents and visitors alike.”