Views sought on residential-led redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery

Views sought on residential-led redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery

A major public consultation programme for the homes-led transformation of the former Caledonian Brewery in Shandon, Edinburgh is being launched this week.

Regeneration specialist Artisan Real Estate has submitted a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) to the City of Edinburgh Council to develop the historic brewery site into a sustainable, low-carbon residential development, with plans to deliver around 170 new homes.

An initial consultation event will take place at St Michael’s Parish Church, 1 Slateford Road, Edinburgh from 4.30 to 8.30 pm on February 7, providing the opportunity to review initial proposals and to meet the design and development team. An online consultation will also be launched on the same day when visitors to the website will be able to view development proposals and complete and return a feedback form.

A further consultation event will be held in March 2024, prior to the formal submission of a planning application.

Sitting at the western edge of Edinburgh’s city centre, the Caledonian Brewery was the capital’s last major operational brewery before then owners Heineken UK made the decision to cease production and put the site on the market in 2022. Artisan Real Estate announced plans to purchase the 1.9-acre former brewery site in December last year.

Founded in 1869 by George Lorimer and Robert Clark, the brewery and its range of distinctive B-listed Victorian buildings provide an important reminder of the city’s once extensive brewing heritage.

“Artisan’s development proposals intend to respect, preserve and tell the story of the Caledonian Brewery,” explained Artisan’s Scottish regional director David Westwater. “Whilst we are excited by this superb opportunity, we are also fully aware of the cultural importance of the site and its connection both to the immediate community and the city in general - and we will aim to retain its unique character as much as possible.”

He added: “We know the brewery was an important part of Edinburgh’s past - but now it has the potential to become an important part of the city’s future. We plan to create a much needed sustainable, low carbon residential community with around 170 homes providing a healthy mix of accommodation. This will include a mix of one, two and three-bed apartments through to duplex units and mews houses, together with affordable housing in line with the City of Edinburgh Council policy.”

Artisan Real Estate has a strong track record in delivering award-winning sensitive urban regeneration projects. This includes the New Waverley mixed-use development in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town and part of the World Heritage Site, as well as recently completing the transformation of Glasgow’s historic A-listed Custom House into a thriving hotel quarter.

The Caledonian Brewery’s unique heritage and character will govern Artisan’s development approach. Around one fifth of the homes will be housed in the existing listed buildings which will be preserved and repurposed. Additional development proposals will respect and reflect the original footprint of the brewery – including recreating the skyline of the maltings buildings which was demolished following a fire almost 30 years ago.

Most of the listed buildings on the site date from the late 19th to early 20th century and were constructed using distinctive red brick with white brick dressings. The existing brewhouse and maltings were built in 1892 following designs by renowned Edinburgh architect Robert Hamilton Paterson, who also designed the Royal Scots War Memorial in the city’s St Giles Cathedral. The brewery houses what was the last remaining direct fired ‘coppers’ to be used in the UK. Also listed is the distinctive 130-ft red brick chimney which towers impressively over the neighbouring community.

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