New West Bowling Green Street flats plan submitted

WBG Flats

A new plan for a further 24 flats on West Bowling Green Street has been submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council. 

The five storey development, proposed by Johnstone & Graham, incorporates the current sub-station that is the only building on the site at the moment. 

It is adjacent to the far larger 113 home development which is likely to be built by SMARTS on the adjacent brownfield site, which is indicated in the image above. You can see another indicative image of that development in this earlier blog post.

Whilst the proposed new block is itself unremarkable, locals may welcome this development for the simple reason that it will do away with a notorious local fly-tipping blackspot. 

In addition, the plans apparently maintain all the established public access footpath links between the Water of Leith path and West Bowling Green Street, whilst also pledging to link up the new waterside path that will be opened up by the SMARTS development. 

WBG Flats 2

However, the background reports also discretely admits that the site encompasses one of the few wilder greenspaces in Leith – and that it’s part of the Water of Leith Biodiversity site.

As a consequence, the developers have undertaken a biodiversity survey of the area, and other than evidence of humans using the woodland as a outdoor shooting gallery, they claim that there is little wildlife there of note. 

The background reports also point out that the site is an old brownfield site which, whilst it is relatively green now, has a long and varied past. There was even a railway yard siding there to service the nearby industrial buildings once.

To mitigate any impact on the local wildlife that taming this area might have the developers propose simply that all landscaping should utilise native plants. 

As well as some nice views of the river, the residents of the top flats will also benefit from renewable energy generated by solar panels that will be installed on the roof. 

You can see all the plans – and comment on them – on the council planning portal. It’s application reference 13/00064/FUL

Even if you don’t submit a formal comment, please do let us know what you think.

Will you be sad to see this relatively wild pocket of land developed? Or do you welcome this development on account of the fact that it will probably deter dumping on a longstanding flytipping hotspot and help to open up the river bank to public access?