Councillors reject Edinburgh retail and student accommodation plans

Structured House Group’s proposals to develop a block of student flats with a convenience store on behalf of Scotmid have been refused by Edinburgh councillors.

A joint planning application submitted in the summer proposed the demolition of the existing Scotmid store at 236 Gorgie Road to be replaced with a modern supermarket below a new block of student accommodation.

Councillors reject Edinburgh retail and student accommodation plans

The 152 student apartments and management suite were to be operated on an ongoing basis by Structured House Group’s in-house property management-arm BOHO.

Manson Architects said its designs would have given the heart of Gorgie a new and refreshing development that will provide a boost to the local area.

However councillors refused the plans over the impact on neighbouring properties.

Chief planning officer David Leslie said: “It would offer little in terms of amenity – only eight per cent of the site would be soft landscaping.

“It would lead to quite an enclosed feeling for residents, particularly on the west side of the site. It would have an adverse impact by virtue of its mass, height and footprint.”

Only two councillors voted in favour of the plans.

Planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner added: “I do have concerns about amenity of the tenements particularly in Smithfield Street – it’s about 18 metres, window to window.

“I think it’s over-development in the back area and it’s a substantial reduction in the amenity of largely residential blocks. I think we are undermining the long-term liveability of these flats.”

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