Initial consultation has begun on the proposal to redevelop neglected backstreets in the heart of the City Centre into high grade offices, residential and restaurants as part of a £100 million investment.
The proposal covers the redevelopment of the listed 1930s 42 St Andrews Square building (the former Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters) as well as other listed buildings to the south of Register Street (formerly a stationery warehouse latterly connected to 42 St Andrews Square).
The scheme for the Register Lanes revival has been hailed by Edinburgh councillors as a ‘real opportunity’ to bring life back to an area of Edinburgh that has been ‘forgotten for quite a few years’.
NTBCC was pleased to host the representatives from the developers (Chris Stewart Group, Gareth Hoskins and Morgan McDonnell) at their January meeting to hear of their plans for this area. NTBCC also took the opportunity for a site tour of the various listed buildings contained in this Pre-Application Consultation to assess whether the plans for their demolition/partial demolition is justified.
The full NTBCC representation can be viewed here. In summary,
- NTBCC is broadly supportive of the concept and many aspects of the proposed development at this stage, including the aspiration to reinvigorate and revitalise this area.
- NTBCC is aware of the support from other local businesses in the area.
- We are also supportive of the wider aspirations for this area and its context in terms of the St. James Quarter development.
- NTBCC strongly welcomes the restoration of the banking hall in former National Bank of Scotland building. We support the proposed use at ground floor level (including alterations to allow access from West Register Street). This should ensure long-term viability for this ‘at risk’ building.
- However, NTBCC does not support the demolition of the 1850s Victorian building on West Register Street nor the partial demolition of the venetian façade building further to the south. We believe that these buildings should be retained and alternate uses further explored prior to a full application.
- We support the aspirations regarding revitalisation of West Register Street through focus on pedestrian use at street level. We would not be averse to limiting vehicle traffic to essential servicing only.
- We support the proposals regarding improved waste management to remove as far as possible unsightly waste bins from the streets and lanes.
As a full application is expected later in 2015, NTBCC would want to represent the views of the wider community – what are your views?
Let us know through the ‘contact form ’ on the website.