Councillors defer decision on Leith housing development

How the homes will look from Ocean Terminal

How the homes will look from Ocean Terminal

A decision on a major housing-led mixed-use scheme proposed for Leith’s Waterfront Plaza has been deferred by councillors.

Amended plans for the 388-dwelling scheme by CALA Homes (East) included 97 affordable homes and 29 commercial units suitable for a range of local services and small businesses.

Located on disused land opposite Ocean Terminal, the revised proposals saw the number of homes reduced from 425 to enabled the developer to further reduce the height of the apartment block directly adjacent to properties on Commercial Street in response to local concerns.

An aerial view of the proposed development

An aerial view of the proposed development

Planning officials had recommended refusal on the basis that the scheme is contrary to the Local Development Plan, which advocates a commercial led development and not housing.

Members of the City of Edinburgh Council’s development management sub-committee decided to defer a decision on the revised plans pending a public hearing of interested parties, which is expected to take place in a month’s time.

Ahead of the committee, Lord Provost Frank Ross called for “common sense to prevail” and urged “these houses to be built, not only to provide much needed homes but a boost to Ocean Terminal.”

CALA had argued that the development would “deliver much needed housing on the site to regenerate this neglected area of Leith”.

Craig Lynes, Land Director at CALA Homes (East), said: “We are very pleased that the Committee recognised the importance and complexity of this site and the opportunity to deliver new homes along with considered commercial opportunities.

“Not only will Waterfront Plaza provide a welcome boost to housing supply across a wide segment of the local market, but by incorporating traditional colony-style homes, townhouses and flats with large public spaces, it will create a welcoming and entirely appropriate neighbourhood.”

CALA’s proposals received widespread backing from across community, housing and business leaders, including from the Leith Trust, Leith Chamber of Commerce, Ocean Terminal and Port of Leith Housing Association.