New neighbourhood plan for Ocean Terminal
Plans for a new neighbourhood on Leith’s waterfront, including around 580 homes amidst substantial public landscaped spaces, have been submitted to Edinburgh Council.
The detailed planning application marks Phase 2 of the £250m transformation of Ocean Terminal by its Scottish owners, Ambassador Group and follows the approval of its Phase 1 plans to partially demolish and reconfigure the 20-year-old shopping centre.
The new application sets out a residential-led, mixed-use development designed to support aspirations for sustainable communities and 20-minute neighbourhoods that will sit alongside a re-modelled Ocean Terminal.
Reconfigured to have a smaller footprint and a mix of tenants to meet the needs of local people, Ocean Terminal will have a new ‘town centre’ feel for visitors.
The masterplan, which is aligned with the council’s 2030 City Plan, includes a variety of affordable, build-to-rent and private homes for sale around a large central green space, with the properties designed to maximise views over the Firth of Forth.
Landscaped public realm, animated by ground floor commercial units, also opens access to the waterfront and views to the Royal Yacht Britannia, connecting the development with the wider community through paths and cycleways.
The configuration, height and scale of the new homes have been designed to complement their setting alongside the Port of Leith vertical distillery, adjacent buildings under construction and Forth Port’s renewable hub, while the materials proposed connect the development with the rich heritage and maritime identity of Leith.
The proposals also put forward the potential for a mobility hub as part of the new neighbourhood which comprises car club services, bus, tram, cycling, electric vehicle charging and E-cycle, along with other low-carbon travel.
Chris Richardson, director of Scotland-based Ambassador Investments, said: “The submission marks the culmination of a 16-month consultation process with the City of Edinburgh Council and key project stakeholders, with the aim to create a unique amenity, leisure, health and retail destination with an inherent sense of community.
“Together, we’ve looked in depth at how our development fits with the wider context of building and regeneration in ways that meet all policy aspirations for sustainability and architectural quality and character.
“The plans are a hugely exciting step forward and have the potential to turn Ocean Terminal into a £250m GDV asset for the city.”
He added: “With the go-ahead for the re-modelling of the existing centre, tailoring its footprint to respond to current retail trends, the introduction of a new neighbourhood of quality homes needed to secure Ocean Terminal’s success as a key local ‘town centre’ and asset for the community.
“These proposals, in conjunction with the existing centre works, will support the retention of over 600 jobs and create new roles within the centre and expanding local area, while offering a series of engaging amenity, health and leisure options for people from all over the Capital and further afield.”
Opened in 2001, Ocean Terminal comprises three floors and 420,000 sq ft of leisure, hospitality and retail units. Its tenants include Vue Cinema, H&M, Boots, Nando’s and Pizza Express, employing more than 625.
The centre includes on-site car parking, but with the shift towards greener and active travel, it is now also on the cycle network and will be a key stop on the new Trams to Newhaven tramline.