Submitted by Editor on Mon, 23/01/2023 - 00:00

On Thursday this week (26 Jan), councillors on the Finance & Resources Cmte will consider selling off Council-owned land in Eyre Place.

The 552 m2 site currently serves as garden space but was, until some point in the late 1980s, a tenement.

Before that, the area had been built on since at least 1804, when John Ainslie's 'Old and New Town of Edinburgh and Leith with the Proposed Docks' was published.

Eyre Place old map

Officers recommend selling the ground to Eyre Place Properties Ltd for £505,000. EPP has already acquired the former Smithies bar next door at Nos 49–51, for which planning permission in principle as housing was consented in 2020 (19/05565/PPP).

EPP plans to build 11 low-rise (not necessarily affordable) dwellings on the amalgamated ground, and this would be a Council condition of the sale. Whether that condition would extend to future uses of the land we don’t know, but it’s an important consideration given the proposed concentration of student accommodation across the road at 72–4 Eyre Place (see Breaking news 6/1/22 and Issue 325 forthcoming 1 Feb).

Eyre Place site

Other conditions of the sale are:

  • site surveys
  • all necessary consents including Full Planning Permission, Demolition Warrant, Building Warrant and Sewer Connection Permit for the construction of a Development of 11 residential properties on the assembled property.

The site surveys may prove interesting. Spurtle understands the original tenement on this site was demolished due to chronic subsidence.

If the sale were to go ahead (and the parlous state of the city’s finances make this seem more likely than not), profits from it would be reinvested in ‘the delivery of new Council homes in North Edinburgh through the Council’s affordable housebuilding programme’.

All Ward 5 (Inverleith) councillors have been informed. It is not clear to us whether residents immediately bordering the site at the back have been afforded the same courtesy. The full F&R Cmte Report is attached below.

Eyre Place back green


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