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‘Net zero ready’ Edinburgh development site comes to the market


A residential development site in the west end of Edinburgh has been brought to market by Lismore Real Estate Advisors and Scarlett Land and Development, on behalf of Square and Crescent.

The Finance House development is located on Orchard Brae, between the west end and Stockbridge – immediately west of Edinburgh centre, via the main arterial route of Queensferry Road.

The main building was constructed in 1968 for Lloyds Bowmaker over eight storeys, with a  five-storey extension added in 1978. It extends to two acres and benefits from minded to grant planning consent for 151 apartments, over a total area of circa 135,000 sq ft.

Made ‘almost entirely’ of concrete frame construction, it will be retained and converted in 86 apartments, whilst the 1970’s building will be demolished and replaced with a new build block, containing 65 residential apartments, ranging in height from three to five storeys.

The development will also feature 3,000 sq ft of office/co-working space on the ground floor, and 23,000 sq.ft of private and communal external amenity spaces. With vehicle access from Learmonth Gardens, the site will have 32 car parking spaces plus 380 bike spaces.

With sustainability credentials firmly in mind, the development is designed to be net zero ready – all-electric energy, with a predicted EPC rating of ‘B’ and an aggregated reduction in CO2 emissions of 40.6% lower than a baseline compliant development. The re-use of existing concrete frame will capture embodied carbon.

The developers said that the design standards ensure the development will achieve net zero in regard to operational carbon when the grid reaches net zero. It includes air source heat pumps via common centralised plant to provide heating and domestic hot water throughout. The standards will also meet the requirement of the new build heat standard coming into force in Scotland in 2024.

Colin Finlayson, director of Lismore Real Estate Advisors, said, “Few UK cities can match the performance of Edinburgh’s private residential market, which has a proven history of growth and resilience, due to a combination of constrained supply and strong demand.

“This development opportunity has so much to offer and is ideally placed in Edinburgh’s high desirable west end. It will be a real draw and we anticipate strong interest from potential developers, as well as institutional investors seeking exposure to the Edinburgh residential market.”

Will Scarlett, founder and director of Scarlett Land and Development, added, “Large scale prime residential sites with planning consent rarely come to the market in Edinburgh. Not only does Finance House benefit from minded to grant planning for 151 apartments, it is also net zero ready – all electric (Air Source Heat Pumps) and uses no fossil fuels.

“The opportunity also exists at Finance House for a BTR scheme of 172 units within the same massing in a city that boasts some or the strongest fundamentals in the UK, yet lags other regional cities in terms of supply due to multiple constraints.”

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