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£1bn plan submitted for 3,000 homes and primary school in Edinburgh

12th February 2024

Proposals have been detailed for a new community in west Edinburgh that promises 3,000 homes, office space to support more than 4,000 jobs, shops, a school, active travel routes and a green urban park.

Crosswind Developments has submitted an application to the City of Edinburgh Council to regenerate a brownfield site in west Edinburgh, as part of a £1bn development for the city.

The application (reference -24/00523/PPP) comes just three months after the local authority became the first city council in Scotland to declare a “housing emergency”, resulting from a severe shortage of social rented homes and spiralling private rented costs. Crosswind’s plans include a mixture of one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes – designed to support affordability and intergenerational living – as well as a new primary school.

The development, named ‘Elements Edinburgh’, would transform the 72-acre site situated between the established residential areas of Cammo, East Craigs, and South Gyle and the commercial centres of Edinburgh Park and NatWest’s Gogarburn campus.

The site is also adjacent to the proposed West Town development, for which an unrelated planning application was submitted last month. In total, the two proposals promise to deliver some 10,000 new homes in Scotland’s capital over the coming years, with over one-third of those properties allocated as affordable homes, more than 1,000 of them at Elements Edinburgh.

With sustainability a key goal for the city, the neighbourhood will be car-lite with a lower level of car parking to reflect the increased opportunities for those who live and work here to walk, cycle and make use of public transport connections. The site benefits from excellent travel links, with Edinburgh Gateway station less than 300m away, giving easy access to the city’s tram service and rail network.

Crosswind’s plans include a green urban park with ready access to nearly 10km of designated walking and cycling routes that weave through and around 500,000 sq ft of commercial space. In addition to supporting the enhancement of biodiversity in open spaces, Elements Edinburgh buildings will be constructed to the highest energy-efficiency standards to lower heat demand, thus reducing heating costs. Energy will be from renewable sources.

After consultation with local stakeholders and the council’s planning officials last year, Crosswind has now formally applied for planning permission in principle for Elements Edinburgh.

John Watson, chief executive of Crosswind Developments, said: “We’ve been working closely with the council’s planning officials for some time now to unlock this strategically important site in the west of the city and have invested £8m in this project since 2017. Elements Edinburgh will offer homes and commercial space, designed to provide the perfect blend of life, work, learning, and nature for all.

“We believe our proposals are not only notable in Edinburgh and regional terms, but are of national significance in terms of placemaking, sustainability, and economic impact. We want to partner with the best innovators in Scotland and embrace the latest in energy provision;
focus on different forms of mobility rather than simply cars; and work in partnership with neighbouring landowners to achieve a joined-up approach to transport and other matters.

“We are keenly aware of the need for affordable housing across the city region and have taken great care to ensure the plans we submitted align with recent changes to the planning landscape, including the 2030 City Plan and NPF4.

“The new blueprint outlines our vision for the creation of a new community, featuring inclusive housing for a range of needs and incomes, a primary school, flexible places to work, facilities and services to meet daily needs, and generous green spaces that are well connected to the city and beyond by active travel and public transport.

“If realised, Elements Edinburgh promises to form a key part of west Edinburgh’s wider prosperity and economic growth and will provide hundreds of people with high-quality, sustainable homes. The feedback we received through the consultation process shows that local stakeholders are receptive to and supportive of our vision.”


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