Submitted by Editor on Thu, 25/02/2021 - 12:32


Planning permission has been refused for Kerwick Ltd’s proposed development of 25 flats on the site of a car park at 5–6 Marshall’s Court (20/00486/FUL).

Councillors agreed yesterday that affordable housing here was problematic, and accepted that providing the statutory 25% elsewhere in this ward or an adjacent one was a fair compromise.

However, they were concerned by the proposal’s height and massing, and the narrowness of the footway which would further complicate access in the area for people with restricted mobility.

Doubts also emerged about visual erosion of the valley setting, the development’s obtrusive relationship to higher listed buildings in the vicinity, and the overbearing character of its ‘pseudo-historical’ roof.

Marshall's Court

Some 34 members of the public had objected to the scheme, as did Edinburgh World Heritage and the New Town & Broughton Community Council.

After due consideration, councillors went against the advice of officials and turned down the plans. They found that the proposal was in breach of:

  • Des 4 Layout Design
  • Des 7 New Pedestrian Routes in the City Centre
  • Env 1 (respect and protect outstanding universal values of the World Heritage site and its setting)
  • Env 3 (Listed Buildings – must not be detrimental to architectural value, appearance, or historic interest of the building and its setting)
  • Env 6 (Conservation Areas – preserve or enhance the special character or appearance of the conservation area and demonstrate a high standard of design utilising appropriate materials for the historic environment).

This decision is a serious setback for the developer, which had made various changes to the plans since they first appeared (Issue 293). They will doubtless be frustrated at criticism of the roof, which was apparently introduced after Edinburgh World Heritage’s earlier objection to a flat and lower sedum design.

Reducing the height of the building and increasing the width of the pavement will also involve rethinking finances and configuration. However, most observers anticipate Kerwick returning with a revised proposal before long.