Drum Welcomes Council Officers’ Recommendation to Approve Leith Walk Planning Application

23rd January 2019



Drum Property Group has welcomed the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) officers’ recommendation to approve the developer’s plans to transform a major section of Leith Walk, Edinburgh.

The CEC officers’ report is published in advance of a meeting of the council’s development management sub-committee on 30th January which will discuss Drum’s planning application for the 2.9 acre Stead’s Place site, near the foot of Leith Walk.

Graeme Bone, Group Managing Director of Drum said: “We welcome the clarity of the officers’ recommendation which recognises the clear and unambiguous fact that we are responding appropriately to the existing council brief for the area’s redevelopment.

“This is a neglected industrial site that has been earmarked for development by the council since 2008, and remains one of Scotland’s most prominent gap sites. For the past eighteen months, we have worked closely with the council, the local community and many groups, businesses and organisations to address the urgent need to bring new investment, connectivity and life back to this hugely important part of Leith Walk and the wider Pilrig area.

“We have significantly revised our plans following feedback from the council and the local community and now have a design which has been rightly recognised by officers as one that is both appropriate for the area and that meets the council’s stated aspiration for the site - as well as receiving high levels of public support.

He added: “Our proposals bring an added dimension to Leith Walk, opening up what is currently an inhospitable industrial site by creating a vibrant, contemporary and accessible community for residents, business and visitors alike. Given there are no valid planning reasons to oppose the proposals, we are confident that the elected members will now share the view of their officers and give the green light to this major transformational investment opportunity for Leith Walk and the rest of the city.”

Drum’s £50 million proposal for the 2.9-acre Stead’s Place site is for a mixed-used scheme combining high quality, affordable housing for local people and post-graduate student accommodation, as well as a hotel, restaurant, café and retail units.

Drum submitted revised proposals for its Stead’s Place application at the beginning of December 2018, reducing the Leith Walk elevation by one storey to keep the building in line with the surrounding tenement buildings.

The revised proposals, which followed detailed discussions with the University of Edinburgh and the City of Edinburgh Council’s planning team, also included a more defined and distinct row of sandstone retail units facing on to Leith Walk as well as increased provision for cyclists and pedestrians.