Respected housebuilder announces plans for reprieved site

A greenbelt development which was given an 11th hour reprieve has taken a step towards realisation.

Political wrangling almost led to proposals for vital new homes in Balerno and Currie being shelved indefinitely in favour of another part of Edinburgh’s greenbelt, dubbed the Garden District.

However a last minute agreement among the city’s Labour and SNP coalition councillors saw the 11 hectare site at Newmills, Balerno, kept alive as part of Edinburgh’s masterplan to address housing shortages.

Respected city-based housebuilder CALA Homes has officially started the process which could see up to 200 new homes built on the land, off Lanark Road West.

The company will carry out a public consultation with local people and business to help shape its eventual detailed planning application.

Craig Lynes, Land Director with CALA Homes (East) said:

“We were obviously pleased when this site was retained as part of the Edinburgh Local Development Plan (LDP), as this is a site which can deliver much needed homes in an area of the City where there is an evident shortfall.

“We think the site has potential for a variety of new homes from 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments, 3 bedroom terraces townhouses, and a range of 4 & 5 bedroom detached homes. The proposals also include 25 percent affordable homes, which can be purchased at reduced prices or rented.”

In order to garner the view of the public on the emerging proposals, CALA will hold a public consultation event at Balerno High School on August 19 between 4.30-9pm.

Craig added:

“We are at the start of a design process and we are genuinely interested to learn what local people think of our initial thoughts for the site.

“We remain hopeful that they will share our enthusiasm for this site and the many benefits it could bring to the local area, such as the new publicly accessible linear park, upgraded cycle routes to Curriehill Station and monetary contributions to help deliver improvements to Gillespie Crossroads, Hermiston Gait Park & Ride and an extension to Currie Primary school.

“CALA has successfully built a number of homes in Balerno, stretching back almost 30 years, and we are currently developing the nearby former Kinleith Mill.

“That has seen us get involved in the community as long-term sponsors of Currie Rugby Club, while we have also supported Ravelrig Riding for the Disabled, and sponsored other local events. We expect that to continue.”

The selection of the site within Edinburgh Council’s Local Development Plan is part of the Council’s strategy to provide much need new homes. Edinburgh’s LDP was submitted to the Scottish Government for approval earlier this year, with the decision anticipated in Spring 2016. It is anticipated that CALA’s application will be approved around the same time, allowing construction to commence next summer.