Popular Edinburgh indie venue Leith Depot has been granted a ‘stay of execution’ following the rejection by local councillors of a £50m development on Leith Walk in Edinburgh.
The Drum Property Group had submitted plans to demolish the building at Stead’s Place, which houses various businesses including the Depot, as well as Punjabi Junction, the Leith Walk Cafe and The Bed Shop.
The scheme, which would replace the current building with a hotel, student accommodation and flats, sparked a huge campaign from locals as well as music fans from across the country, and even saw the developers add a music venue to their plans in an attempt to placate the core of the protests.
But councillors rejected the developer’s proposals in a meeting lasting over four hours, saying that said the plan failed to meet various of planning policies.
The council’s planning convener, councillor Neil Gardiner, said: “I do feel all options to keep the building have not been fully explored. There are good things about this development.
“I hope that Drum will go away and think about what’s been said and come back with a proposal that looks at conserving the existing building.”
Leith Walk councillor Lewis Ritchie described the proposals as “charmless and bland”, adding: “The people of Leith Walk don’t want this development. Leith Walk deserves better.”
A spokesman from the Save Leith Walk campaign, said they were “delighted” by the decision of the City of Edinburgh Council’s planning committee.
“It is a victory for Leith, for Edinburgh and for local democracy.”
However, Drum Property Group suggested that the victory might be a mere stay of execution, with an appeal a possibility, saying: “We are naturally disappointed, but not surprised, that councillors chose to ignore the recommendation of their officers to approve our transformational planning proposal for Stead’s Place.
“We remain wholly committed to developing the site, and view today’s decision as another step in what could be a long process. This will include the possibility of lodging an appeal with the Scottish government.
“It’s a shame that Leith will be deprived of much needed new homes, facilities and improved amenity whilst that process is ongoing.”
More at www.facebook.com/leithdepot / www.facebook.com/saveleithwalk
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