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Demolition in Leith rejected

Posted on 23 Dec 2019 by Lucy

The Cockburn welcomes the decision to dismiss the appeal at Stead’s Place, 106-162 Leith Walk and thereby refuse planning permission.

The development comprised 53 affordable housing flats, student accommodation (471 bedrooms), hotel with 56 rooms, restaurant(s) and together with a mix of leisure, retail and/or commercial uses.  It involved the demolition of a two-storey sandstone structure within the Leith Conservation Area.

The Reporter concluded their Decision Letter stating, “I find the proposed development is neither innovative nor locally distinctive. Furthermore, the height and scale of the proposed development would be an overbearing and incongruous feature in this part of Leith town centre and the conservation area, where the smaller scale and mixed townscape, as I describe above, would be completely overwhelmed. The proposal would not, in my view, preserve or enhance (namely leave it unharmed in light of the case cited by the appellant) the character and appearance of the conservation area, nor would it preserve the setting of the nearby listed building.”

The Cockburn was delighted to assist the community in its objections to this damaging proposal, and we are thrilled with the decision.  Our expertise in conservation area management helped convince the Development Management Sub-Committee of the City Council to refuse consent (triggering the appeal) against their Officers’ recommendation to approve it.  We are particularly pleased that the case for demolition was rejected.

However, the case isn’t finished.  Many of the businesses that occupied the building proposed for demolition have left.  Rebuilding a vibrant community facility will be a challenge and we hope that the developers will significantly modify their ambitions and help reinstate some of the damage they have caused.