RBS Re-development – Summary of Proposed Changes

As discussed at recent NTBCC meeting, amended proposals have been lodged on the Edinburgh Planning portal mainly covering changes to the proposed new buildings fronting Fettes Row and Royal Crescent.

These amendments can be viewed on the planning portal (under the original application 16/05454/PPP). There are 35 new documents including 22 new drawings as well as updates to the original Design & Access Statement & the Environmental Impact Assessment.

Following NTBCC’s request, the final date for comments to be lodged has been extended by 10 days until Monday 15 January 2018 to reflect the Xmas holiday. It has also been confirmed that comments made on the previous application in November 2016 WILL BE taken into account when the Planning officer determines this amended application.

Broadly, the amended application proposes a small retail element (at street level fronting Dundas Street / Eyre Place) with maximum of 400 flats (if development is 100% residential) or some office / business use and/or an hotel and/or a care home with a reduced number of residential apartments.

The 8 January NTBCC Business meeting will be preceded by an open discussion (starting at 7:00pm) on these amended plans to allow the community to express their views and for everyone to better understand what is now proposed.

NTBCC also agreed to provide some guidance as to the key documents that have been either been added or amended to try to help understand the information contained therein.

In summary, the key changes are :

  • Maximum developed floorspace (across all uses) reduced by 20% vs. previous proposal.
    • Overall floorspace now proposed - approx. double that when RBS in residence.
    • Reduction mainly achieved by 4 blocks opposite Fettes Row being reduced from 8 storeys to 7 (compensated somewhat by joining the blocks for the lowest 3 levels) & the blocks fronting Royal Crescent reduced from 8 storeys to 4.
    • The 4 blocks fronting Royal Crescent now less than 2 storeys above pavement level .
  • Positioning for the 4 blocks to the south-east of the site adjusted to improve symmetry with the crescent (but with the footprint encroaching northwards to the existing buildings on the current car-park).
  • Parking spaces (for all potential uses) reduced from 527 to 311 (such that not all apartments will have a parking space) which includes visitors, disabled spaces etc. This compares to approx. 225 - 250 spaces today.
  • Vehicle access to the development still from Eyre Terrace but with slight amendments to access way including a turning circle at the south-east edge for refuse lorries.
  • Further details on the proposed landscaping of “public” areas.
  • High level responses to the key concerns raised in Environmental Statement Addendum.

What hasn’t changed ?

  • All buildings on site will still be demolished.
  • Pedestrian accesses through the site including walkway / cycleway from Dundas Street & raised walkway parallel with Fettes Row / Royal Crescent as before.
  • Footprint / heights of blocks to north-east (fronting Eyre Place / KGVP) & north-west (fronting Dundas Street/Eyre Terrace) essentially unchanged.
  • Maintains maximum flexibility for the ultimate develop(s) for the various Class uses i.e. essentially 100% residential despite comments from Edinburgh Council Economic Development  that Council policy (Emp9 )should require a minimum floorspace designed to provide for a range of business users.

The key new documents are :

  • Design & Access Statement Addendum December 2017 (listed on the portal as Design & Access Part 1 to Part 5)- perhaps the most useful summary albeit in 5 parts
    • Part 1 : Executive Summary
    • Part 3 : Section 2 : from page 10 : proposals showing 3D visualisations
    • Part 3 : Architect’s Drawings : easier to access drawings rather than accessing the individual drawings listed separately
    • Part 4 : Key drawing is the Quantum of Development (page 6 from 12) showing schematics for each level, floorspaces and proposed uses (this is also listed separately but doesn’t load up correctly).
    • Part 5 : Landscape Design Strategy – new & more detailed landscape proposal
  • Environmental Statement Non-Technical Summary (listed as Environmental Addendum vol4 (part 1) ) –
    • pages 3 – 4 : Alternatives ; list of main concerns from consultation)Assessment.
    • pages 8 – 14 : key aspects considered in more detail in the ES (Access & parking; Transportation; Air quality; Daylight, Sunlight & Overshadowing)
  • Environmental Statement Addendum Vol 1 Main text (as listed)
    • page 2-3 : Key Concerns from HES,NTBCC & CEC) and where addressed
    • pages 5-1 to 5-14 : Socio-economic impact assessment which is somewhat disappointing as it takes the baseline as the current (“derelict”) site as the starting point.
  • Environmental Statement Addendum Vol 2 – Figures (listed as Environmental addendum vol 2 - figures (part 3))
    • photomontages showing current views followed by views of proposal
  • Other useful drawings :
    • Vehicular & Sanitation Access Fettes Row (listed as 21a) – shows vehicle & service routes proposed
    • Proposed Sections Fettes Row (listed as 13a section aa) – shows heights of existing vs. proposed looking north from Fettes Row / Royal Crescent.
    • Level -1 Plan Fettes Row (listed as 3a level-1 plan) – shows no. of car parking spaces & max. number of apartments per block.