The dust has not yet settled on the Stead’s Place proposal, controversially refused planning permission last week. Already, though, another development is in the offing over the road. 

Edinburgh-based CW Properties has registered a proposal of application notice for a major development on land east of 139 Leith Walk (Ref. 19/00415/PAN). 

It comprises, ‘Refurbishment of the existing building, or potential demolition for sui generis flatted accommodation, class 7 hotel, student accommodation and commercial uses with associated footpaths, roads, landscaping and potential reconfiguration of existing car park’.

Nine-and-a-half hours of staffed public consultation over two days will take place in McDonald Road Library on 22 April (2.30–7.00pm) and 23 April (noon–5.00pm).

The site is tucked away but surprisingly large, and with access to Halmyre Street to the east and Manderston Street to the north. See the map HERE

There may be trouble ahead

So far, we have no real details of what is planned, but to constitute a ‘major development’ the developer must be envisaging 50 or more homes and/or a site of 2 hectares or more.

When details do emerge, local residents and community councils will surely, once again, be carefully scrutinising the proposed mix of housing (preferably favouring social and affordable) and its ratio to student accommodation, and to what extent ‘commercial uses’ reflect current Leith residents’ needs and aspirations.

It is, in theory, an opportunity for positive change. The PAN consultations give locals a chance to describe what they do and don’t want. However, past experience suggests that when it comes to people versus profits, positive development outcomes are rarely achieved without a struggle.

Leithers know how to persevere, but with limited time and resources, few local residents and organisations would relish fighting on two fronts, against an inappropriate proposal for this site and a Drum Property appeal submitted to the Scottish Government (not yet confirmed). The coming months may require considerable stamina.

Calder Weir Properties (CWP) is described on its website as ‘the trading name of a group of companies active in the property development and investment market in Scotland and the North of England’. Its main focus is on retail and residential development.

Previous CWP projects in Edinburgh have included managed student accommodation on land adjacent to 194 Fountainbridge (Ref. 12/000128/AMC), consented in 2012. 

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139 Leith Walk