Final Part of Caltongate Given Go-ahead

Submitted by edg on Wed, 5 Mar '08 10.58pm

The controversial £300 million Caltongate development project in Edinburgh Old Town has been given the final go-ahead by Edinburgh City Council after developers changed the plan to preserve the MacRae tenement buildings for affordable housing.

Most of the controversial project won support from Edinburgh City Council at a vote last month, but councillors asked project owners Mountgrange to come back with an alternative to the destruction of all but the facades of the Canongate tenement buildings.

Under the new design the "majority" of the front of the 1930s buildings designed by Edinburgh architect EJ MacRae would now be saved, and the upper floors, chimney stacks, and internal partitions of the building at 221-223 Canongate will be kept with three floors of housing.

Mountgrange, responding to public feedback, agreed to reduce the large pend (the archway into the main courtyard) in the tenement wall by 30 centimetres and, in keeping with the character of the area, to finish the pend in stone rather than white concrete.

The plans now go to Scottish ministers for approval.