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Edinburgh Gives Green Light to New Craigmillar Town Centre

Shops, town square, high school and public library to create “new heart” for regeneration area.

Craigmillar Town Centre Craigmillar Masterplan

Ambitious plans to create a new vibrant town centre for Craigmillar, Edinburgh, have been approved (21 Jan 2009) at committee by the City of Edinburgh Council[1].

New shops, a civic square, a £30 million high school and public library form the cornerstones of the Craigmillar town centre masterplan which has been spearheaded by PARC, the organisation behind the regeneration of the area.

Covering an area of more than 50 acres, the masterplan sets out to create a new heart for the Craigmillar community and for the entire regeneration process. Key features include:

– a vastly improved shopping and retail centre, including a new food-store and local shops to meet the needs of residents and visitors whilst creating more employment opportunities for local people.

– a £30 million state-of-the-art community high school and public library to replace the existing Castlebrae High School

– a new commercial and civic heart for Craigmillar including new offices and commercial units plus – providing opportunities for economic development and inward investment

– more community and medical facilities

– safe, secure and integrated links with the ParcLife housing development at The Square, plus the development of over 600 new residential apartments and houses

– creation of a new town square with improved streetscape, including additional footpaths and crossings, improvement of junctions on Niddrie Mains Road, development of shop frontages and the planting of over 250 trees.

John Quinn, General Manager at PARC, said: “The approval of the town centre masterplan marks a significant milestone in the Craigmillar regeneration process by providing a central focal point bringing together all the new developments in the area.

“This impressive blueprint will create a new heart for the regeneration area by both revitalising the town centre and giving the wider area an identity and sense of place – whilst at the same time creating a range of employment and social opportunities for local people.

“We are now looking forward to working closely with the Craigmillar community to transform this exciting vision into reality.”

The final planning application was submitted following a lengthy consultation process led by Broadway Malyan, the architect commissioned by PARC to undertake masterplanning and urban design services for the masterplan.

An extensive programme of public consultation began in June 2007, consulting with key stakeholder and community groups and the general public within Craigmillar through a series of meetings, drop-in sessions and public exhibitions.

Mike Harrison at Broadway Malyan said: “This is an extraordinary opportunity for the regeneration of Craigmillar with the potential to create a vibrant and community focused town centre. We have spent a lot of time in Craigmillar over the last year sharing these proposals with the community and to give the people of Craigmillar the chance to express their views and inform the process.”

As part of its plans for Craigmillar, PARC is also carrying out a feasibility study into the use of combined heat and power (CHP) for the community. If practical, the new town centre developments would be the first to benefit from a CHP scheme, which would deliver considerable energy savings in Craigmillar, along with environmental benefits through reduced carbon emissions

The masterplan is a 10 to 15 year vision, but it is likely that the foodstore and the school will be delivered early on in the process.

Craigmillar Buildings
Craigmillar Buildings
photo © Adrian Welch

PARC is a joint venture company which brings developers The EDI Group and The City of Edinburgh Council together with groups and representatives from the local Craigmillar community.

PARC is spearheading the regeneration of Craigmillar, involving a total investment of around £200 million. For Craigmillar, PARC wants to achieve:

– Quality, affordable new homes promoted and sold under the ParcLife name.
– New primary schools – including a joint primary schools campus at The Square.
– A new community high school and library located in the town centre.
– A new, revitalised town centre providing some 300,000 sq ft of space for commercial and retail development.
– A network of public parks bringing together 150 acres of green space.
– More local job and career opportunities.
– Improved learning and leisure facilities for young people.
– Better transport linkages and traffic calming measures.

For further information on ParcLife, please call 0845 220 5000

Broadway Malyan
Broadway Malyan is a leading international practice of architects, urbanists and designers, employing over 600 people across fourteen offices throughout the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Established in 1958, the company recently celebrated 50 years in practice and has been ranked as one of the top 25 architecture practices in the world.

58 new homes get planning consent at The Square, Craigmillar, Oct 2008
The Square Craigmillar
photo © Adrian Welch

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