- Published: 04 February 2016 04 February 2016
King’s Stables Road Yard Proposed Development, Planning Application. 15/05715/FUL
PLANNING BRIEFING NOTES FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS
This application raises a number of planning issues about the redevelopment of this part of the Old Town, in particular its minimal provision of new housing. In addition it raises management and security issues in the proposed new public open space in the courtyard behind the retained tenements. Although there has been some positive progress since the first proposals were exhibited last summer, such as the inclusion of the "Silk" night club, and the small increase in the number of houses, it still represents an overly dense development which contravenes many of the recommendations of the Kings Stables Rd. Development Brief.1. A FLAWED
PROCESS: In 2009 the City of Edinburgh Council produced an exemplary West Port/King’s Stables Road Development Brief for the current site and Argyle House, following a series of workshops with local residents and stakeholders. The draft brief agreed by the stakeholders stressed the need for new housing together with ancillary commercial uses and the possibility of student housing and a small hotel. The final brief approved by the Council in May 2010 included a large hotel and student housing (believed to be due to pressure from the owners of Argyle House).
When marketing the current site alone, the Council provided supplementary design principles to be read with the West Port/King’s Stables Road Development Brief. These stated that development of this smaller site must not compromise the redevelopment of the entire brief area and must comply with the Development Brief for the larger site.
This is the key issue. The KSR/Argyle House Development brief has been sliced up, allocating both the hotel and the student housing to KSR Yard. To keep the overall balance of uses for the whole site this implies that the housing element of the brief is to be accommodated on (or in) Argyle house. This seems highly unlikely. Almost by definition the proposed development of KSR Yard "compromises" the entire site. If the City Council is serious about controlling the redevelopment of this part of the town they should have insisted that a new separate brief was drawn up for the KSR Yard area alone.