A plan for a block of 24 new flats on West Bowling Green Streets has been modified after 27 separate comments or objections were sent to planners about the proposals, including one from Greener Leith.
The revised design is now likely to be approved by councillors on the 29th of May.
The vast majority of the objections concerned the impact that the proposals would have on the wild space to the north of the site by the Water of Leith. Many objectors highlighted how much they value this space, and how many different wild species, including otters and bats, have been seen nearby.
Furthermore, Greener Leith, along with SPOKES, CTC Scotland and the police raised concerns over proposals to put cycle parking toward the rear of the building as this had the potential of being both insecure and inconvenient.
As a consequence, the developers have revised the scheme – and we’re now pleased to see that the cycle storage is to be included within the building itself.
When it comes preserving the biodiversity of the site, planners propose to attach a condition to the planning application in order to ensure that wildlife is protected. This will mean that no trees will be felled other than those physically in the way of the building without permission. The report reads:
“A condition shall be attached to this permission requesting a fully detailed land
scape plan which should provide native species, retain and reinstate the wildlife habitat lost as a result of the building work and development.
“The landscape plan must set out the treatment of the natural area and most particularly how it will be affected by the development and how it will be finally
treated. Any part of the habitat which is lost must be reinstated. This will ensure that the existing character of this area of trees and grass on a local nature reserve and biodiversity site will remain largely unchanged. This is also recommended in the Wildlife Report Partnership Report Update April 2013.
“The trees are an important element on the site and will be retained with the exception of those trees and shrubs required to facilitate the construction of the building. An area of trees and grass will be lost to accommodate the building itself.”
“Therefore, an appropriate condition should be attached to the planning permission, to ensure that no trees or shrubs shall be felled until approval is given in writing by the Head of Planning and Building Standards. The loss is acceptable given that the overall existing character of the open space with trees and shrubs will mainly be preserved and the core path and pedestrian/cycle way will be improved.”
The block will also include 10 affordable housing units, solar water heating that will benefit the top floors, and the developer will also be required to pay £9000 toward Trinity Primary School.
You can find all the comments and details of the revised plans on the council website.
Other organisations to submit comments included the Water of Leith Conservation Trust, The Friends of the Water of Leith Basin and the Sandport Residents Association.