Quartermile Edinburgh – Masterplan

Scottish Construction : Feb 2003


Current PPP Scotland Programme: across Scotland, 29 councils are now part of the current PPP Scottish Construction programme involving total investment of over £2.2 billion. By 2009, a further 300 Scottish Schools are due to have been rebuilt or refurbished. Scottish Local authorities were invited in September 2001, to bid for a share of Scottish Executive revenue funding to support school building capital projects under PPP.

PFI Construction schemes in Scotland are failing to attract sufficient quality investors. The Scottish Executive held an ‘open day’ in Jun 2004 to publicise new projects and attract finance into Scottish PFI schemes such as hospitals and schools.

Some organisations are wary of negative publicity surrounding PFI projects such as the East Lothian Schools debacle. However, the Scottish Executive reportedly suggested reduced numbers of bidders for projects does not reflect loss of interest in Scottish Construction PPP projects but relates to the quantity of work in Scotland.
Jul 2004

PFI Budget Cuts
The government’s mid-2004 proposal to cut up to £3 billion from its civil spending bill could reduce profit margins in Scottish PFI Construction projects, construction firms have been warned. Larger projects including IT and construction are due to deliver the biggest savings. Fiscal tightening of the PFI process would make bidding uneconomic for many companies and may damage the ongoing maintenance of Scottish buildings. All but the largest Scottish
Construction companies had already withdrawn from PFI and PPP in Scotland due to the cost of bidding.


February 2003
Various Scottish Construction News Stories:
Galleries Strip Site
The £26m Playfair Project at the National Galleries of Scotland sites in Princes Street Gardens gets go ahead after MSPs yesterday endorsed the plans.

Andrew Miller’s contribution to the refurbishment of Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery: bookcase units, tables and seating for the new bookshop.

Strategic Need
"Villages like Aberlady would totally lose their atmosphere if they doubled
in size. The unpopular Cala homes development already underway in our village will increase the housing stock by 25%, the population by 33% and no. of cars by at least 40%. It will change the character of the village for all time".

Aberlady Conservation Society PR

Dunbar’s speedy expansion to the south seems to be disjointed from the main community and promotes excessive commuting. The expansion of Gullane to the east and Drem to the north-west also seem raw in appearance compared to their respective contexts.

Haddington Amisfield Park site is under negotiation. Other Haddington proposals include the Briery Bank scheme put before the RFACS last year and Letham Mains to the West of the ancient market town:

Edinburgh & Lothian Structure Plan:
A proposed housing development at Letham Mains, 450 – 1000 houses. 20.02.03
Ten sites for new housing are likely to be named by East Lothian Council

Shrub Place Campaign
Shrub Place PR:
good news: council planners have written to Wimpey making it clear that there still is a large gap between Wimpey’s latest proposals and the design brief approved by the planning committee in November 2002
bad news: Wimpey have appealed against the planning committee’s rejection of their previous scheme in August last year. There will be a public inquiry later this year

Harald Tobermann

World Trade Centre
Councillors in Edinburgh have agreed a further feasibility study to establish a temporary WTC in Edinburgh and draft a business plan to create a permanent WTC at the Granton Waterfront.

Current Cases
RFACS Edinburgh Cases Reports:
Lauriston Place – redevelopment of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary Site – Foster and Partners – Page and Park – Hurd Rolland – Richard Murphy Architects – Michel Desvigne with Derek Lovejoy Architects
“The Commission advised against approval of this application as it stood.”

Scottish Executive Development Department/City of Edinburgh Council:
West Edinburgh Planning Framework Consultation Draft
“With the existing wording of the Draft, it could be argued, for example, that the planning permission for the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters building at the Gogarburn Hospital site should be granted. The proposal was, however, clearly a departure from the Development Plan and contrary to the development brief prepared for the site by the City Council. Safeguarding areas of Green Belt for future development in the long term, one of the key policy objectives, would also be contrary to the Development Plan and current national planning policy guidance.“

City of Edinburgh Council:
Blackford Hill – 21 Observatory Rd – construction of new laboratories and offices – Bennetts Associates
“The view of the Observatory when seen from the distance on Blackford Hill indicated that the additions, though prominent, were unlikely to compromise the appearance of the original Category A Listed Observatory.”

Usher Hall
LDN Architects’ proposal for the Phase 2 Redevelopment of Edinburgh’s Usher Hall has been awarded lottery grants of £2.8m from the Scottish Arts Council and £1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project transforms the Grade A listed building, providing additional public space in a new wing on Grindlay Street as well as re-organising existing accommodation.

Richard Murphy on Architecture
Richard Murphy states in The Scotsman that Listing should be much more rational and based on four categories: the historic, the last of the species, the parts and the whole, and finally, and much harder to define, architectural value. Richard Murphysays he was asked why he wanted to knock down a B-listed building and he replied ‘because I wanted to build an A-listed one in its place’.

Richard Murphy Architects project for AMA New Town Ltd: Cramond housing at the former Dunfermline College of Education site at has finally been given planning permission “after over a year and a half in the planning system”.

Resume of recent Scottish projects by
Malcolm Fraser Architects
Park Rangers‘, Holyrood
Opal Lounge, George St
Water of Leith Visitor Centre, Slateford

Waverley on hold?
Conflicting reports on the long-awaited redevlopment, initially suggesting it had been completely called off: Waverley

Usher Ambitious plans to refurbish Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and turn it into one of Europe’s leading concert halls have been given the go-ahead.

Scottish Churches

Scottish Castles

Comments / photos for Edinburgh Architecture News page welcome

Edinburgh Building News Feb 2003 – Building : page