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New housing project

Leith homes plan advances build-to-rent concept

Community life: build-to-rent remains new to UK

A plan for 527 build-to-rent (BTR) homes in Leith has been submitted by property developer and operator PLATFORM_.

The development will be on the site of a derelict John Lewis depot and warehouse in Bonnington Road Lane.

The new homes will be a mix of studios, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments spread across three blocks ranging from four to seven storeys.

All PLATFORM_ units are available to rent, meaning that fewer are used as second homes or remain unoccupied, and in turn, more homes are available for people to rent.

Build-to-Rent (BTR) is a relatively recent model for new residential buildings in the UK, where all the properties are built for rent, rather than for sale.

PLATFORM_’s model represents an affordable and integrated offering where residents live not just in their apartments but can use the entirety of the building equipped with a gym, communal workspaces, bike club and a full-time concierge service.

Nearly 60% of successful applicants within PLATFORM_ schemes earned less than £30,000 per annum, and the median salary of a PLATFORM_ resident is £29,510.

About 12% are classified as key workers, including teachers, police officers, and NHS staff. The median full-time salary in Edinburgh is £32,182.  

Matt Willock, development director at PLATFORM_, said: “Not only will we develop the site, but we will operate the building. Our residents may rent an apartment.

The plans represent a collaborative discussion about how best to make this site work

– Matt Willock, PLATFORM_

“These proposals not only serve to redevelop a vital location, but help to tackle Edinburgh’s crisis in realistic housing, especially in Edinburgh city centre.

“We’ve consulted widely and diligently with stakeholders in Edinburgh and the public in Leith to ensure they’ve had an opportunity to input their views about the proposals. The plans represent a collaborative discussion about how best to make this site work.” 

jmarchitects worked on the scheme, and the planning consultancy was Turley, engineering was by Harley Haddow; landscape architecture was provided by Hirst, the cost consultancy was Thomas & Adamson. 

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