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Moxy signage has been put up on their new building. Looks really nice IMO – not too in your face but still conveys the brand well. The office block is coming along nicely too. This was my first time wandering by Fountainbridge in a while and its incredible just how much work is going on here, even in the midst of our current situation. The area will be unrecognisable once vertical work starts on the sites by the canal!
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In that case I’d ask what it is you’d propose instead? There’s a housing shortage and we have to build more homes. This is firmly background stuff in terms of design but I’d position it in the tradition of mass produced flatted blocks that Scotland has been building for centuries - and as has been the case for centuries some compromises over quantity (and often quality) of private space might be made, but it can equally create densely populated, liveable neighbourhoods.
The Fountainbridge area is a very rare opportunity to build on a site of significant scale in the heart of the city - not only that, the canal provides a central feature and some unique opportunities.

We can look at the New Town, the Old Town, the West End - even the Victorian developments on the edges of the city centre. Compare and contrast with the proposed featureless blocks that make up most of the Fountainbridge plan.

If you want to make it solely about housing, that's one perspective. But this is really nothing to do with density, which can be accommodated in a far less depressing way - Leith Walk may not all have high quality building, but it is the most densely populated part of Scotland and managed to accommodate that without resorting to... well, this.

This part of the city could attract visitors and showcase modern Scotland near our World Heritage Site, becoming another major city district - but one that adds variety and difference. This will not. But it'd be daft to assume we're building for anything other than easy profit and temporary gap-filling: what's going up here will be unlikely to survive 50 years before being flattened. Let's hope they can do a bit better then.
 

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The Fountainbridge area is a very rare opportunity to build on a site of significant scale in the heart of the city - not only that, the canal provides a central feature and some unique opportunities.

We can look at the New Town, the Old Town, the West End - even the Victorian developments on the edges of the city centre. Compare and contrast with the proposed featureless blocks that make up most of the Fountainbridge plan.

If you want to make it solely about housing, that's one perspective. But this is really nothing to do with density, which can be accommodated in a far less depressing way - Leith Walk may not all have high quality building, but it is the most densely populated part of Scotland and managed to accommodate that without resorting to... well, this.

This part of the city could attract visitors and showcase modern Scotland near our World Heritage Site, becoming another major city district - but one that adds variety and difference. This will not. But it'd be daft to assume we're building for anything other than easy profit and temporary gap-filling: what's going up here will be unlikely to survive 50 years before being flattened. Let's hope they can do a bit better then.
Again, no real evidence that any of these buildings are being poorly built - cheaply built perhaps in terms of material spec and "interesting features" but that doesn't automatically mean they'll be falling down in 50 years. Tenements were cheap mass produced housing and the ones that have been looked after haven't been knocked down.

Anyway, the site we were discussing isn't near the canal. It's next to the Western Approach Road. There is a site that's next to the canal, which arguably has had some more "interesting" proposals over the past 20 years but as yet none of them have come to fruition. I'm all for innovation and variety but someone has to stick their neck out and pay for it. Maybe that tells us as much about modern Scotland as your mythical new district.

The comparisons with Leith Walk are also unhelpful and misleading. "Leith Walk" covers a huge area of the city so of course it displays a greater variety of building types and qualities. To make it a fair comparison you'd have to consider this gap site in the context of the entire Fountainbridge district as well as Merchiston, Dalry, Shandon and Tollcross - suddenly this background development doesn't seem so monolithic.
 

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I recall a conversation with an elderly client in Bruntsfield back in the 1980s, who’s father was a stonemason working on the tenements in the late 19C. People complained of the monotony of stone wind tunnels that blocked out the sunlight.
 

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As per ElectricityWon'tHurt's link above - ISA's newly submitted application is for 74 student flats replacing the consented 20-home development, with the previous commercial unit replaced with a reception & student amenity space. Minor changes to the elevation.

20/02976/FUL | Demolition of existing buildings and erection of student residential development with associated landscaping. | 7 Lower Gilmore Place Edinburgh

Recommended for approval. Decision due 25th November.
 

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What is the issue? I'd love someone to explain it.

  • The numbers of student flats built are still utterly dwarfed by the scale of non student housing built and being built in the immediate area - and indeed across the whole city.
  • It means less students in random rented tenement and other flats, freeing up space in the private rented sector for so called residents.
  • The greater density of purpose built student accommodation means you have many more students occupying the same building footprint that a private or social build would. It's a really efficient way for 'residents' not to have to live in the same stairwell as 000's of students if that is really important to you.
  • Students are by and large good tenants with near enough nil contribution to the crime rate and low anti-sociability, not least than when in purpose built accomodation.
  • Edinburgh is a student city with loads of Unis and colleges - and they're 'residents' as much as anyone else
 

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What is the issue? I'd love someone to explain it.

  • The numbers of student flats built are still utterly dwarfed by the scale of non student housing built and being built in the immediate area - and indeed across the whole city.
  • It means less students in random rented tenement and other flats, freeing up space in the private rented sector for so called residents.
  • The greater density of purpose built student accommodation means you have many more students occupying the same building footprint that a private or social build would. It's a really efficient way for 'residents' not to have to live in the same stairwell as 000's of students if that is really important to you.
  • Students are by and large good tenants with near enough nil contribution to the crime rate and low anti-sociability, not least than when in purpose built accomodation.
  • Edinburgh is a student city with loads of Unis and colleges - and they're 'residents' as much as anyone else
As a student, I approve this message.
 

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What is the issue? I'd love someone to explain it.

  • The numbers of student flats built are still utterly dwarfed by the scale of non student housing built and being built in the immediate area - and indeed across the whole city.
  • It means less students in random rented tenement and other flats, freeing up space in the private rented sector for so called residents.
  • The greater density of purpose built student accommodation means you have many more students occupying the same building footprint that a private or social build would. It's a really efficient way for 'residents' not to have to live in the same stairwell as 000's of students if that is really important to you.
  • Students are by and large good tenants with near enough nil contribution to the crime rate and low anti-sociability, not least than when in purpose built accomodation.
  • Edinburgh is a student city with loads of Unis and colleges - and they're 'residents' as much as anyone else
I agree, assuming the planing dept, Unis and developers have data on the current and future student population and an eye on a saturation point. But a change is coming. Slowly but inevitably. The current pandemic has shown an alternative approach that is gaining traction around the world.
 

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I’ll bite, slightly.

I think students deserve to live in decent flats like the rest of us. Building flats that are fit for multiple types of residents is better long term planning, allowing for demographic and economic changes without needing to be physically changed.

The passed 12 months are the first in over 15yrs that I’ve not had student neighbours, I miss it. Learning to share space with others within a flat, within a tenement and within a community, is a good thing for all of us. I get that there’s an argument for accommodation specific to first years, although at 18 I wouldn’t have needed it.

Corralling any group is not good for anyone, in my opinion.
 

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New young offenders institute in Fountainbridge.
Vastint really need to have a word with themselves. Their 'architects' are clearly more used to the rarefied context of the highways, byways and approaches to airports than to dense city fabric. If one were to say it is better than Moxy at High St, Glasgow, it serves only to reaffirm from what a low base quality they're operating.

You guys got brick albeit horribly efflorescent.

I'll never forget the consultation in Glasgow where a young guy from Vastint (perhaps in his thirties), about my height but a bit of fitness fanatic (thick neck, pecs and guns) and Dutch sort of squared up to me when I told them how bad their proposal was. I think something must have been lost in translation as I was scrupulously polite about it. The planning consultant ,a local guy, who was alongside him at the consultation went a pale shade of green when he saw what was happening and apologised profusely. I can't imagine that 'Developer Beats up Local Objector' was the kind of publicity they were looking for that day. 🤣


 

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Yes Belle there is that. I'm not advocating purpose built accomodation for all or indeed most students. What a nightmare....for the students! Can't think of anything worse if I were a student. I think there's a balance to be struck as always and I suspect the amount of purpose built accomodation still only serves a large minority of students. Partly as there's finite demand for purpose built. I wouldn't be surprised if the rate of build drops in the rel near future.
 

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New young offenders institute in Fountainbridge.
Vastint really need to have a word with themselves. Their 'architects' are clearly more used to the rarefied context of the highways, byways and approaches to airports than to dense city fabric. If one were to say it is better than Moxy at High St, Glasgow, it serves only to reaffirm from what a low base quality they're operating.

You guys got brick albeit horribly efflorescent.

I actually 'quite' like it. Windows are a bit small but it's quite well mannered and kinda fits the slightly warehousy canalside feel of Fountainbridge
 

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Students are one of the remaining acceptable targets in society. If you were to complain about an area having too many elderly people, or poor people, or foreign people you would (rightly) be regarded as intolerant. But saying an area has too many students isn't just socially acceptable, it's backed up by government policy.
 

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That large minority is a third of the student population - 20,000 purpose built beds for a population of almost 60,000 students. Forecast:

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and for those really interested, this is the last CEC summary
 
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