Consultation launched to convert Edinburgh council cleaning depot into wheelchair-accessible homes

Consultation launched to convert Edinburgh council cleaning depot into wheelchair-accessible homes

A consultation has been launched on a proposal to convert the Cowan’s Close depot on the south side of Edinburgh into new specially-designed wheelchair accessible homes.

The City of Edinburgh Council’s cleansing depot is set to close under a review of council sites.

The council highlighted that there is a shortage of affordable housing, like council housing, in Edinburgh. It revealed that for every council house that becomes available for relet there are an average of 192 households ‘bidding’ to get it.

The council said: “As well as the shortage of affordable housing there is an even greater shortage of adapted homes suitable for people with a disability or who need to use a wheelchair.”

“The proposal to build new wheelchair-adapted council homes at Cowan’s Close is being done as part of a council target to build 20,000 new affordable homes in the city aimed at addressing some of that need.”

It added: “The site is currently used as a depot by council street cleansing staff. This use and staff based there are due to relocate as part of the council’s depot review. Staff will relocate on a phased basis throughout 2021 and 2022.”

A report to the council’s finance committee published earlier this year said the closure of Cowan’s Close had been delayed by Covid-19, but some staff are due to move to the Seafield depot, where it is planned to convert a large area previously used for fire and rescue safety training operations, refurbish other parts of the depot and possibly add new unit.

Other Cowan’s Close staff could relocate to the Craigmillar depot where another new unit is being considered, the Edinburgh Evening News reports.

The first online consultation on the Cowan’s Close proposals took place last month and further online drop-in sessions will take place on Thursday between 8.30am and 9.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm, and 6.30pm and 7.30pm.

As part of the consultation people are also invited to give their views in an online consultation form about the surrounding area, including their opinion on walking routes and public transport, whether there is too much traffic and whether there is good access to natural spaces.

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