Exciting new plans will transform the place where I grew up, writes our Depute Leader Cammy Day in a piece on Granton Waterfront in today’s Evening News.
Last week we published ambitious £1.3bn plans to transform Granton Waterfront into a new coastal town to bring back to life a huge piece of former industrial land. This follows extensive public consultation in the last couple of years, and is a big deal for the city and me personally because as well as chairing the group overseeing the work on this, I grew up in the area.
Two years ago we purchased the former gas works from the National Grid, which was the final piece in the jigsaw we needed to consolidate our land, and start working on an exciting new vision with the local community.
Granton has a rich history and heritage and will be at the heart of our plans. We’ve already agreed to restore the old railway station and light up the former gas tower.
The regeneration of Granton has given us the perfect opportunity to help us to meet our commitment to become a net zero carbon city by 2030 and we’re going to make this one of Scotland’s leading sustainable developments.
We plan to build around 3,500 homes of which at least 35% will be affordable, encourage new businesses, develop a cultural hub and provide new leisure, learning and employment opportunities. We’ll make sure everything is built to an extremely high standard and along with our housing association partners we’re already delivering around 700 new homes for sale and rent in area.
We’ll also build a school, medical centre, new cycling and walking routes and there is a commitment to improve bus services and other forms of sustainable public transport. This will include looking at the business case for an extension of the tram.
A new coastal city park stretching from Granton Castle Walled Garden to Cramond and Lauriston Castle will re-connect the city with its waterfront and those using the route will get spectacular views across the Forth.
We’ve been working on a Development Framework with the local community and this is being considered by the Planning Committee today. When agreed it will be used as a guide for developers when making future planning applications to make sure the needs of the local community and sustainability stay at the heart of any future proposals.
Along with sustainable transport links it also supports our draft City Mobility Plan with proposals for a vast network of new routes which promote walking and cycling over car use and car parking has been reduced to a maximum of 25% or less.
With an overall value of around £1.3bn, we’re committed to investing around £196m to accelerate the regeneration, this will help to attract significant public and private sector funding to deliver the vision.
We’re working with public sector partners National Museums Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and Edinburgh College to make this one of the best places in Edinburgh to live, work, learn and visit.
While work is underway we want to make the best use of land available and so we have a programme of temporary uses for the site and early projects in vacant buildings or land awaiting development. These will be great for locals and include projects such as an adventure playground, urban wind turbine and shipping containers on the shoreline to provide affordable space for cafes and leisure.
I’m hugely grateful for the wider community’s involvement so far. They have told us many times that they want to see the North Edinburgh’s waterfront transformed with new homes, jobs, providing a sustainable new future for Granton Waterfront. Our plans will deliver this and I’d encourage you to go along and find out more about this exciting project. It will be on display at Edinburgh College Granton campus until Friday, 6 March. The exhibition on the Development Framework has excellent imagery of how the site could look.