The aim is for the contract to be signed in the coming weeks.
Over the next couple of years, the council will work in partnership with Cruden to take forward pre-development works including detailed designs for around 750 net-zero homes for sale and rent. The plans also involve commercial space as well as transport infrastructure and public realm areas to connect the surrounding neighbourhoods with Granton Waterfront. A new school and medical centre will also be delivered in the first phase of the project.
In addition, the Council will also work with Cruden to bring forward a low-carbon energy scheme for the first and future phases of the project, contributing to its target to reach net zero emissions by 2030.
Cruden Group is set to bring on board local architect Smith Scott Mullen. Scandinavian architect CF Moller is also earmarked to work on the project with Cruden, bringing its international experience in delivering large-scale coastal regeneration.
Granton Waterfront, which is three miles north of Edinburgh’s city centre, sits in a ‘necklace’ of coastal communities from Cramond in the west to Portobello in the east.
Council leader Cammy Day said: “It’s fantastic news that we can now look to pushing forward on the first phase of our major regeneration at Granton Waterfront with our development partner to transform the north of the city for people living there now and for future generations to come.
“This is the largest regeneration project of its kind in Scotland and it’s giving us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transition towards a greener economy in our Capital city while building many of the affordable homes Edinburgh needs within 20-minute communities with shops, healthcare, cultural and leisure and education facilities all nearby.
“As Granton Waterfront is one of the seven strategic sites within the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal it will build on Scotland’s vision for achieving net zero, placemaking and people-led growth.
“The area will be well connected to the rest of Edinburgh and beyond with new sustainable travel links and active travel routes running through the site following the principles of sustainable travel in our City Mobility Plan.
“We’ve been consulting with local people at every stage of this project. I’ll make sure this continues when the development partner comes on board with jobs for local people and wider community benefits as well as providing new high quality net zero affordable homes with integrated facilities and public space that communities want and need nearby.
Fraser Lynes, director for the Cruden Group, said: “We are excited to reimagine Granton Waterfront and create a brand new coastal quarter that champions sustainable waterfront living with net-zero carbon homes, just three miles from the city centre.
“This new approach to urban development is transformational and will provide a blueprint for the future as we reconnect the Capital to the Firth of Forth and create a new coastal neighbourhood which will become one of Europe’s largest coastal amenities.”
The council said that great progress is already being made with early-action projects at Granton Waterfront with over 500 net-zero affordable homes currently under construction at Western Villages off Marine Drive and a further 75 being built behind the former Granton Station building. There are also three commercial units fronting onto Waterfront Avenue under construction as well. A further 142 additional homes planned for Silverlea are currently waiting to be considered by planning.
There has also been progress in growing a cultural and arts cluster in Granton Waterfront. Last year, the council announced the start of works to refurbish the former Granton Station building into a creative work space with a lease being given to Scottish arts Charity Wasps, and arts charity Edinburgh Palette has been granted a lease in a vacant industrial unit on West Shore Road.
The Granton Gasholder is now also illuminated every night for the remainder of this year, in a joint initiative with Edinburgh College. It is currently lit up to show solidarity with Ukraine in the colours of the country’s flag. Refurbishment of the gas holder and creation of public amenity space, part-funded through the UK government’s Levelling Up Funding, is due to start on site at the end of this year to be completed mid-2024.