Edinburgh 'needs 3,000 new homes a year'

by Gary Whittaker

Edinburgh needs to build 3,000 new homes every year to keep up with rising residential demand on the Scottish capital. 

A report by property firm Savills has said the city needs to expand beyond its current boundaries to cope with demand, with long-term plans being required.

Savills noted that a number of short-term factors, such as the construction of new housing to the west of the Edinburgh City Bypass and near the new Queensferry Crossing, will help meet short-term needs, but beyond this, a more strategic approach is needed. 

Explaining the reasons for the growth in housing demand, head of Savills in Scotland Nick Penny said: "Scotland’s capital is on the brink of a grand expansion on a number of fronts: from the gentrification of the east end, which has been turbocharged by the ambitious St James development, to the rapid residential developments that will reach well beyond the current city limits in almost every direction."

The response that the city requires is for "a very different structure and shape of the next phase of growth", which - if carried out correctly - could help the city compete as a global destination, even with far larger cities such as London, New York and Tokyo, he added.

By treating Edinburgh as a city with "looser boundaries" and looking at where "within reason" new housing can be built beyond the bypass, Edinburgh can plan for a bright future, he concluded. 

Edinburgh's current urban landscape is already very varied. Within its boundaries, there are large areas of green fields on the southern and western fringes, as well as places that cannot be built on for topographical reasons such as the Pentland Hills and the extinct volcano of Arthur's seat. 

By contrast, other areas are densely built-up, with inner city areas characterised by street after street of sandstone tenement blocks. This includes the Leith Walk ward, the most densely populated area in Scotland and the only Scottish council ward with a population density of over 100 per hectare at the 2011 census.

Edinburgh's population in 2011 was just under 500,000, but it is now believed to have passed the half a million mark for the first time.ADNFCR-1064-ID-801842052-ADNFCR

14-November-17General Lettings News