S1 Developments has submitted the application for the former site of Tynecastle High School. Restoration of the original Category B-listed school building, designed by John Alexander Carfrae, forms an integral part of the proposals.
Charities Love Gorgie Farm and People Know How have also been revealed as preferred operators for community facilities on the site should planning permission be granted. The urban farm will operate an extensive community garden while People Know How, which already works with Tynecastle High School, will operate a community facility within the building.
The original school hall will be repurposed as a central amenity hub, sitting within a collegiate-style courtyard space and providing shared facilities for student residents. The landscaping proposals increase green space across the site by more than 40 per cent, helping to increase biodiversity within the local area.
The development has been designed to be sustainable with zero parking, 100 per cent cycle parking, the employment of low-carbon technologies and no use of fossil fuels.
Council guidance points to the benefits of purpose-built student accommodation in freeing up traditional housing stock for families with children and it has been estimated that a development such as this could release up to 180 properties back into the housing market. Local businesses will also benefit through increased spending from student residents, said the developer.
Dan Teague, director at S1 Developments, said: "We're delighted to be submitting a planning application for this exciting development, and to also highlight our involvement with two charities who do such valuable work in local communities.
“As S1 Developments we develop sites to suit the location and have delivered hundreds of homes, including affordable homes across the city. Following our careful assessment of this site, we feel that student development is the most appropriate use given the constraints. This will not only secure the redevelopment of the Old Tynecastle High School, and provide a boost to the local economy, but also allows us to develop the site in manner which is compatible with neighbouring uses.
“The original school building has fallen into a sorry state since it ceased being a school over a decade ago. Whilst the redevelopment is challenging, we are hopeful that the proposed use brings with it an opportunity to save and renovate the original school building and continue its educational use, benefitting the local community.”
Julie O’Donnell, hHead of Love Gorgie Farm, said: “We’re very exciting about the prospect of operating the community garden should the scheme receive consent. With the environment and climate change such topical issues the garden will complement superbly what we do at the farm in the terms of educating our children and young people on nature and the delivery of an eco-friendly future.”
Glenn Liddall, chief executive of People Know How, said: “It is great to be offered this facility, allowing us to increase our activity with the local community. While we will operate it, we are also keen that other groups and organisations be able to make use of it.
“As a large number of students routinely work with us by way of volunteering, internships and placements, this is a win-win for us. It not only allows us to establish a positive relationship with students in the building who can support us in our work but benefits and engages them in the local area.”