Plan for ‘urban quarter’ at capital brewery site

Plan for ‘urban quarter’ at capital brewery site


Raymond Duncan

The Herald




Plans for a £200m redevelopment of a former beer distribution depot in Edinburgh involve hundreds of homes, offices, and shops.


Developers are also including boulevards and a new public park at the Fountainbridge site once occupied by the bottling plant of Scottish and Newcastle.


Up to 2500 jobs are expected to be created by one of the largest regeneration schemes ever for the city centre. A planning application has been submitted to the council by developer, Fountain North.


It reveals proposals to develop 900,000sq ft of the former McEwan’s brewery site, sandwiched between the city’s Western Approach Road and Fountainbridge. The blueprint has been drawn up by a consortium comprising AMA (Newtown), Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster’s company, and the Royal Bank of Scotland.


The development plan combines 160,000sq ft of office space with 650 flats, town houses and luxury penthouses on the eight-acre site.


The land has played a critical role in the industrial development of Edinburgh, with William McEwan first establishing a brewery and bottling plant in 1856. The brewery became part of Scottish Brewers in 1931, with the subsequent merger to create Scottish & Newcastle Breweries in 1960.


The consortium claims the proposals incorporate ground-breaking environmental and landscaping benefits for an area which became the city’s largest regeneration site last year. As well as the green spaces, there will be pedestrian and cycle routes and underground car-parking for about 650 vehicles.


The two boulevards will cut through the development from north to south, taking traffic away from the residential areas and creating two new junctions on the Western Approach Road.


Office developments will provide a visible frontage on to Fountainbridge and the Western Approach Road, which will also incorporate retail outlets and showrooms at street level.


Within the development area itself, smaller ‘artisan’ units will cater for more specialist professional companies, such as lawyers and architects.


The masterplan has taken almost a year to complete and closely follows the framework recommended by the council’s development brief for the Fountainbridge area published last year.


John Irvine, director of Grosvenor in Scotland, said he believed the proposals provided Edinburgh with a vibrant new urban quarter. ‘We listened to what the local community and the council wanted for the area’, he said.


‘The result will be an attractive and high–quality environment in which to live or work, linking together surrounding communities and regenerating an area which has been excluded from the urban fabric of Edinburgh for more than 150 years.’


Dr Ali Afshar, director of AMA (Newtown), said: ‘The development has been de-signed to be sensitive to the local area, with a maximum five to six-storey heights blending in with surrounding tenement buildings and preserving the existing skyscape and views across the city.


‘We intend the majority of homes to be owner-occupied to add to the genuine community feel that already exists in the area. Opportunities to create a brand new urban district in the very heart of a dynamic city centre such as Edinburgh do not come around very often. We believe our design proposals provide exactly what is needed to complete this ‘missing’ part of the city’.


Fountain North will undertake a major consultation exercise with the local community to continue its involvement with the regeneration of the area. Depending on planning approval from the council, work is expected to start on site by the beginning of next year.


Source: The Herald.