Developer wins appeal for 64-apartment Edinburgh student complex

PLANNING permission has been granted for a student accommodation project in Edinburgh with 64 studio apartments, following a successful appeal by property and development company S Harrison.

Planning consultants, Turley, managed the appeal process that resulted in a decision being issued, and also provided heritage and townscape services on the project.

Designed by CDA, the scheme, on East Newington Place, will see an disused commercial unit demolished and the site redeveloped into a four storey building, with on-site management.

As well as the 64 studios, the development will boast separate study rooms, a multimedia room, gym, break out space, cycle storage, and a south facing courtyard garden.

David Clancy, from S Harrison, said, “As the universities continue to successfully attract increasing student numbers, the provision of purpose-built student accommodation like this will help to relieve the pressure on family housing stock, which is very much in line with the council’s own guidance. It’s the ideal location for a student development, just half a mile from the George Square campus, and a ten-minute cycle to both the King’s Buildings campus and Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus.

“We are confident students will be attracted to East Newington Place’s position, as well as the high-quality studios and communal facilities.

“City of Edinburgh Council planning officers considered there to be no material planning reasons to justify refusal and that our designs will preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area. They also stated that the development will not result in excessive concentration of students in the locality, and the planning inspector agreed with these conclusions.”

Adopting a fabric first approach, the development will have LED lighting, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, and utilise air source heat pumps and photovoltaic panels.

David Clancy added, “The scheme has excellent energy efficient credentials and the high-quality building materials will reflect and be sympathetic to the surrounding buildings. Its height is also more in keeping with other buildings in the local area and it’s a positive result that will see a disused brownfield site get a fresh new future.”

Demolition work will start next month, and work is due to start on site in spring 2023, with studios being ready for occupation for September 2024.