Following an 18-month consultation period, revived plans to develop a gap site in the Edinburgh Old Town were approved by the City of Edinburgh Council’s Development Management Sub Committee yesterday.
An international consortium headed by Artisan Real Estate Investors is planning a £150m mix of leisure, retail and offices linking New Street and East Market Street with Waverley Station and the Royal Mile, covering a total area of around 220,000 sq ft.
The Caltongate site, which has been mired in controversy for a decade, will be centred around a £6.5m civic square with office space, 400 hotel bedrooms and commercial units. Artisan also previously obtained planning permission for 145 residential units and 40 affordable homes.
A bus garage and gas works previously occupied a large part of the site.
“The plans we considered today will preserve the listed Canongate Venture building, the historic Sailor's Ark frontage on the Royal Mile, and give an exciting new life to the arches on East Market Street," said Councillor Ian Perry, Convener of the Planning Committee.
“There will be substantial investment across the site in the public realm and the creation of a new public square will make the area more attractive and pedestrian friendly. A new viewing area will be built for people to enjoy the views to Calton Hill from Johnston Terrace.
Perry expects the site to attract many more people to the area and the additional new housing on adjacent sites, including 40 affordable homes, will bring a boost to the area.
“The economic benefit of this new development is huge and is estimated to bring in £43m to the local economy each year, as well as creating almost 2,000 jobs,” said Perry.