Mixed-use proposals submitted for ‘highly constrained and challenging’ Edinburgh site

A planning application has been submitted by Alumno Group for purpose-built student accommodation, including ground floor commercial space, at Jock’s Lodge in Edinburgh.

Located on the corner of Restalrig Road South and London Road, the proposed development will comprise 191 student rooms, with the ‘constrained nature’ of the site on a busy arterial route described as being well suited to student accommodation.

The project will deliver a mix of single bedrooms with shared kitchens and larger studio-style bedrooms. Facilities will include a ground floor lounge, study, gym and social spaces, with cycle storage provision and laundry.

External amenity provision includes a rear landscaped courtyard and external terraces at roof level.

Following a pre-application and public engagement process, a series of design changes and developments have been realised including:

  • The overall massing has reduced from eight to seven storeys, while revised floor-to-floor heights and a shortening of the parapet has reduced the building height.
  • The commercial area offering has been increased, with additional provision for an outdoor terraced area. The proposed commercial space will include community local food and drink use, replacing the neighbouring Limelite pub, but under the same local ownership.
  • Let by Heineken UK, the Willow pub, which currently operates on the site, has been relocated to Musselburgh and is now trading as Willow on High Street following an agreement with Heineken. It will operate both at this new location and it is hoped at Jock’s Lodge until the latter is redeveloped.

Alumno is working with arts consultant Matthew Jarratt to deliver a series of sculpture and other artwork commissions which will be integrated into the new building and public realm by Edinburgh-based artist Kenny Hunter. Local artists and students/graduates from Edinburgh College of Art will also be engaged in design projects and given the opportunity to showcase their works.

David Campbell, founder of Alumno, said, “This exciting mixed-use scheme will serve to ease the acute housing pressures by providing greater options whilst, addressing the increasing and well documented, student housing demand by providing modern, high quality and well managed accommodation. We have listened to the responses of the local community through our thorough consultation process and have reduced the height of the building to accommodate this feedback.

“Employment and investment will be generated both during construction and once complete, increasing footfall to local shops and also serving to provide a new sustainable food/drink outlet for the community, including outdoor space. We are committed to being a good neighbour and believe our plans will make the best and most positive impact on what is a highly constrained and challenging urban site.”