A residential development is “going green” to support net zero ambitions


A HOUSING development in Edinburgh is “going green” with a new proposal to reduce the number of parking spaces on-site.

As part of The Western Harbour housing development’s net zero agenda, Forth Ports has submitted a planning application to City of Edinburgh Council to drive the adoption of green energy.

Planning permission for the latest phase in this development of the homes was granted in June 2020 but Forth Ports no longer believes that these proposals are sufficient to achieve its carbon reduction aspirations.

Western Harbour - Property and Constructions News Scotland
Photo by Western Harbour. The centre will aim to integrate information on domestic and transport energy use to give residents an overview of energy usage.

Charles Hammond, Chief Executive Officer of Forth Ports Group, said: “It’s becoming clearer by the day that not only do we have a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions but that there is a real appetite for this change too.

“At Forth Ports, we are committed to supporting this, not only through our major industrial projects such as the creation of a £40m renewable energy hub within the Port of Leith, but also through housing development projects such as Western Harbour.

“We want to continue the regeneration of Leith, but we believe that it needs to be done in a way that supports the move to net zero carbon.

“This is truly a transition, and we are confident that the steps we are proposing for Western Harbour will support the kind of behavioural change needed for Scotland to achieve its net zero aspirations.

“Forth Ports is proud of our role in helping create a much more vibrant and successful community and we are determined to do that in a way that is sustainable.

“These new homes for families will create a fantastic place to live in Leith beside one of the finest, and biggest, new parks in Scotland and, of course, our fantastic waterfront.”

Western Harbour - Property and Constructions News Scotland
Photo by Western Harbour. The development will deliver a total of 2,000 homes to be completed over the next five years.

The new homes will create a whole new community alongside a new 540 pupil primary school and nursery which is nearing completion and is planned for opening in late 2021.

As petrol and diesel car use reduces over time, as forecast, the infrastructure will already be in place to convert further parking spaces to E-car spaces or, should overall car ownership decline, be repurposed.

Matthew Benson, Director, Development Services at Rettie & Co, said: “It makes no sense to ‘bake in’ acres of underground concrete car parking spaces that are likely to be largely redundant by 2030 and which cannot be easily re-purposed.

“We are all becoming more aware of our carbon footprint and in particular the impact that our travel choices have on that.”

Western Harbour - Property and Constructions News Scotland
Photo by Western Harbour. The “Go Green” Hub’s Education Centre will be the first of its kind in Scotland and an important new attraction in Leith.

He continued: “In such a well-connected city like Edinburgh, the opportunity is growing for making different choices, but this change takes time.

“Our proposals recognise the need to help people embrace this transition over the coming years.”