EDINBURGH COUNCIL have unanimously granted a planning application to transform an old nursing home into student flats.
The committee voted, today, in favour of a 230-bed student scheme, over 29 cluster flats, on the former Little Sisters of the Poor nursing home site. This C-listed main building includes a chapel.
The proposed project will see communal facilities installed in the retained and refurbished chapel, while existing east and west outbuildings and extensions will be demolished and replaced with new three storey accommodation around a retained landscaped courtyard.
These buildings will be of high-quality stone and zinc and this will be a predominantly car free development with provision for 230 cycle parking spaces.
The proposal ensures an effective new use for a unique listed building and its grounds whilst causing the least possible harm.
The potential to deliver the site for another care home was not considered suitable for modern requirements, and upgrades to meet Care Commission standards were prohibitively expensive.
Delivering housing was severely constrained by a number of factors including access constraints and the layout of the site.
The introduction of new build elements in order to deliver a viable proposal will only deliver a 4 per cent increase in the current building footprint, while the delivery of a high-quality courtyard will see a 12 per cent increase in the green space.
The site is in an accessible location and close to university facilities. Provision of new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) will support the growth and development of the higher education sector in Edinburgh. In doing so it will increase the range and choice of accommodation offered to students.
The current ratio of approximately three students per one bed space in Edinburgh, demonstrates the demand for new purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA).
A spokesperson for S1 Developments, said: “I’m delighted with the decision taken today by councillors. As an Edinburgh-based family company, we are thrilled to see this exciting project given the green light and look forward to breathing new life into this former nursing home.
“Redevelopment will restore the existing care-home building into high quality student accommodation, allowing the retention of the central chapel in its existing form.
“We look forward to getting these proposals underway and to continue working with council officials and the local community to deliver them.”