The investment of just over £620,000 from the Vacant & Derelict Land Investment Programme will allow the latest phase of the Council-led regeneration of Greendykes to move ahead. The council will clean site of contamination and improve ground conditions, while work begins to design new, affordable, net-zero-carbon homes.
The council expects to fund the build of around 130 homes on the site. Regeneration specialist Urban Union has been appointed to deliver the properties and will progress plans via the Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Programme – a new business model for delivering affordable homes based around greater use of offsite construction.
The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Programme involves collaboration between local and national government, academia and the construction industry. The aim is to establish improvements in new affordable housing with a focus on time, cost, quality and carbon reduction. The programme was set up to develop and test a new business model for the construction of affordable homes using offsite construction methods. The council said that it has the potential to transform the productivity and performance of affordable housing and enable a move towards homes build to net-zero standards.
Planning permission in principle has already been granted as part of an existing masterplan. In the coming months, the council and Urban Union will engage with local people on home designs and, subject to ground works, it is anticipated that the first properties will be delivered in phases from early-2024 to mid-2025.
Councillor Jane Meagher, the council’s housing, homelessness and fair work convener, said: “Never has our need for better housing been greater as we face a cost-of-living crisis and a climate emergency, so we need to be really ambitious and use the small amount of space we have in our city creatively.
“For years, developers have overlooked this empty piece of land because of how complex it is to unlock. Yet, it’s situated minutes away from the Innocent Railway cycle path and is close to the Royal Infirmary and local employment. The area benefits from countless bus links into the city centre and it is a fantastic place to live.
“I’m thrilled that we’re going to be able to put the green back into Greendykes and we’ll work with local residents as we create these new net-zero-carbon homes. The funding will help us to transform the land and the local environment, while also providing new affordable and efficient places for people to live in line with our major housebuilding strategy.”
Urban Union managing director Neil McKay said: “As a delivery partner for the regeneration of Greendykes, it is our responsibility to ensure that we provide homes that not only create a community but that bring benefits to the occupiers and the wider environment.
“By utilising the Edinburgh Home Demonstrator Programme, the council is showing its commitment not only to its tenants through the selection of quality homes but to innovation and the city’s pledge to be net zero by 2030.
“We are looking forward to meeting with the local residents to discuss the plans for the new homes and to obtaining their valuable input which will make sure that Greendykes becomes a blueprint for city centre regeneration.”
An image of Greendykes Gardens which once stood on the site – please credit photo to Richard Webb of geograph.org.uk.jpg