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Submitted by Editor on

Leith Central Community Council alleges muddled details, murky daylight and ill effects on local community

Leith Central Community Council has joined 76 other objectors in opposing Unite Group PLC’s application to build a 5-storey extension to the side of Shrub Hill House at 8 Middlefield (24/02439/FUL). The proposal would create 20 studio flats with en suites for students. There was one message of support.


LCCC objects strongly to Unite’s second attempt to build here (Issue 341). It says the plans would ‘significantly and unacceptably impact the neighbouring residential properties, particularly concerning daylight and overall outlook’.



In a detailed letter to officials, shared with the Spurtle, LCCC argues that the proposal is contrary to Student Housing Guidance 2016. The overall site is 0.44ha (including purpose-built student accommodation already complete next-door) but doesn’t include 50% non-student housing as required. Consent for the plan would encourage creeping, piecemeal development to get round the regulations. It would also contribute to ‘increasing a transient population’ with a detrimental impact on the Leith Walk community.


LCCC asserts that the proposal is contrary to the Edinburgh Local Development Plan on a number of grounds:

  • Des 1 Design Quality and Context: It would not create or contribute to a sense of place.

  • Des 4 Impact on Setting: It’s too close to nearby windows and would negatively impact neighbours.

  • Des 5 Development Design – Amenity: The extension would be too close to neighbours with potential or actual detrimental consequences for their daylighting.

  • Des 6 Sustainable Buildings: It does not include an Environmental Statement.

  • Hou 10 Student Housing: The proposal would add to an excessive concentration of student accommodation around Leith Walk, detracting from the balance of the local community.

  • Env 20 Open Space in New Development: It would reduce the current amount of open space at the expense of the community.

  • Tra 3 Private Cycle Parking: There is provision for only 14 bikes and storage is not integral to the building.


LCCC also says the application is contrary to National Planning Framework 4 in that it provides too little information on integrated refuse and recycling facilities, and on sustainable drainage.

Shrub Hill House


LCCC’s objection concludes with 10 major concerns about alleged failings in the quality, clarity and completeness of information submitted in support of the application.


In short, this is a detailed and damning assessment of what strikes many as a deeply flawed proposal. You can read the letter in full by opening the file attached below.


The deadline for objections has now passed (26 June). A Council determination is provisionally scheduled for 22 July.