£7m development built into historic wall launched in Edinburgh

SCOTLAND’S housing minister Kevin Stewart has officially opened a new £7 million affordable Edinburgh development, constructed into the historic wall of Edmonstone’s walled garden.

Welcomed by Hillcrest chairman Alan Russell, chief executive Angela Linton, Cruden Homes East MD Steven Simpson and Hart Builders business development director Gill Henry, Mr Stewart received a tour of the homes and spoke to residents.

The 47 homes, delivered by the Cruden Group, have been constructed using the historic wall as an integral part of the structure. The homes have been built facing into the old walled garden compound, with the structure forming the rear wall of the properties.

Of the 47 homes, 28 are for social rent while 19 have been developed for mid-market rent. £2,106,720 of funding was provided by Scottish Government for the social-rent portion of the development under the Scottish Government’s Housing Investment Programme. A further £944,794 of government funding was provided for the mid-market rent portion.

The affordable homes form part of a wider development featuring 28 properties for private sale by Cruden Homes on the old Edmonstone Estate.

Construction on the project began in May 2018, and the new homes have already scooped Police Scotland’s Secured by Design Gold Award. Secured by Design is a national police initiative that encourages developers to create housing projects with security in mind, using landscaping that promotes natural surveillance, as well as high performance windows and doors to help prevent break-ins.

Hillcrest chairman Alan Russell said, “The wall of Edmonstone Estate’s historic garden is a nod to the extensive heritage of the area, and we’re delighted to have been able to preserve and respectfully incorporate this piece of history into these new homes. Not only has the inclusion of the wall into the design of the properties resulted in unique and innovative homes, it also gives the area a fantastic identity all while helping boost Edinburgh’s affordable housing provision.”

Cruden Homes’ MD Steven Simpson added, “This project presented an exciting development opportunity for the Cruden Group to deliver a mix of private homes for sale and affordable housing for Hillcrest, in a truly unique setting. As with all Cruden Homes developments, securing desirable and interesting locations is key and Edmonstone is no exception. The range of product and tenure, combined with the heritage of the site and the mature natural environment, has generated a sustainable new community that has proven extremely popular with those who reside here.”

The original Edmonstone House, which once stood at the site, was believed to date back to the 13th century and was occupied by the Edmonstone family until 1626, when it was sold by Andrew Edmonstone to James Rait.

In the 18th century, the Wauchope family, who owned the estate, built a new mansion house on the site of the previous one. The house was demolished in 1950 with only the walled garden and other ruined structures such as stable houses and an ice house surviving.