PLATFORM_ is planning to bring its next Build-to-Rent development to Edinburgh. We’re working to transform a former industrial site to create a new, permanent residential community in the heart of the city.

 

 

ABOUT US

We are an innovative developer in the UK’s growing Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector. Since launching in 2016, we have grown to own and operate five town-centre developments, in locations where we are the first active Build-to-Rent operator. We have also achieved planning consent for a further 1,000 units in Sheffield, Cardiff and Glasgow.

At PLATFORM_ we maintain a long-term interest in each development after construction. Every PLATFORM_ development is managed and operated by us after construction, making it crucial that we maintain the value of our developments. We do this by investing in quality – in both design and management. Our developments are stylish and each has a concierge on site. We aim to create quality, sustainable and responsibly-managed developments that keep their value and contribute positively to the vibrancy and quality of the local area.

PLATFORM_ developments are not aimed at the student market, but instead seek to create permanent communities by building a high-quality environment for people to make the most of urban, city living. Our residents sleep in their apartment, but live in the whole building, with all the facilities we offer.

We want to be good neighbours. We have a keen focus on helping to enhance the wider environment surrounding our developments so that both our residents and neighbouring communities benefit from our schemes.

 

The design team

To help us deliver the Edinburgh scheme, PLATFORM_ has appointed a design team with a wealth of experience with developments of this type. To find out more information, please click on the logos below:

LOCATION

The Bonnington Road Lane development is located on a large site which includes John Lewis’ former depot. The site is located in the Bonnington area of Edinburgh, approximately 2 miles north of the city-centre. Access is presently taken from Bonnington Road Lane from the west, with frontage to Bonnington Road to the south and Anderson Place to the east. The Water of Leith is immediately to the north. The surrounding area has historically been in industrial and commercial use but is currently undergoing redevelopment and regeneration change.

Public transport in the local area is extensive, with several bus routes along Bonnington Road, Newhaven Road, Ferry Road and Leith Walk. Waverley train station is reachable by bus or on foot (circa 30-minute walk). There are additional proposals to extend Edinburgh’s tram route down Leith Walk in 2022, indeed the “Tram Procurement Team” are working from a building on the site.

Local schools include Broughton Primary School and St Mary’s RC Primary School with high schools at Drummond Community High and Holy Rood RC High.

Accommodation for you

PLATFORM_ focuses on providing accessible Build-to-Rent housing and aims for rents to be affordable to at least 50% of the working population of the city.

Across the UK currently, our developments are currently home to residents with an age range from 19-66 years. 58% of successful applicants across our schemes earned less than £30,000 per annum, and the median salary of a PLATFORM_ resident is £29,510. 12% were classified as key workers including teachers, police officers, and NHS staff.

The average salary in Edinburgh is £33,968 and, in line with this, we aim to provide competitive and affordable homes to meet the needs of those in this salary bracket.

Why Build-to-Rent?

Build-to-Rent (BTR) is a relatively recent model for new residential buildings in the UK, where all the properties are built for rent, not sale. As all of our units are available to rent, this means less are used as second homes or remain unoccupied, and in turn more homes are available for people to rent. BTR buildings are actively managed by one owner with a vested interest in maintaining high quality buildings, tailored services, efficient maintenance for the residents who live in them.

This type of development offers people flexibility and meets a wide range of housing needs, allowing people to easily move from one size of apartment to another as their requirements of living change, without having to relocate to a new building. We also offer leases up to 3 years in length, meaning residents can settle in for the long-term.

• Our development will ensure residents have people on-hand to deal with maintenance, deliveries, and security issues. There will be cared-for shared spaces within the development such as lounges and roof terraces, which will help create a genuine sense of community.

• Demand for this type of housing is high, particularly in a city locations, and helps support city-centre amenities such as shops and restaurants.

PROPOSAL

The proposal is for a residential development of a Build-to-Rent tenure.

PLATFORM_ will fund, procure the design and construction, and ultimately manage the finished building with a desire and vested interest to produce a quality development.

Build-to-Rent is currently subject to the same planning policy requirements as any other residential development, including sustainable design, architectural design, amenity, public realm and transport, as outlined within Edinburgh Design Guidance. Apartment sizes will be based on the design guidance issued by Edinburgh Council.

In addition to the new BTR units, areas of amenity such as a resident’s lounge, concierge and reception, a “Bike Club”, shop and café, a variety of external communal spaces will be provided for use by the residents. Private roof terraces are also envisaged within the development.

The development will also deliver:

• apartments at different price points in the market

• a mix of housing types; from one-bedroom accommodation to family housing

• stability and certainty for residents

• professional management

• social integration and flexibility

• long-term investment and stewardship in the local area

• the creation of quality homes; whilst supporting the successful delivery of regeneration within the local area

The site extends across the former John Lewis site and includes the neighbouring site of the Bonnington Training Centre. The acquisition of the site adjoining Bonnington Road allows the development of a commercial unit/s to Bonnington Road creating an active frontage.

The team are currently engaging with the planning authority through the pre-application consultation process. Work to analyse the site in terms of historic context, urban grain, and site condition has been undertaken. Preliminary site massing in relation to the neighbouring buildings and context (both macro and micro) is being explored and initial massing studies suggests there will be a number of buildings designed to create a sense of place.

You can download the Public Consultation Exhibition boards here.

Timeline

We’re currently in our Community Consultation Period, where we’d like to hear your views on our proposals. The deadline for feedback from our exhibitions is 7th January, 2020 after which we intend to respond to the feedback received and submit our application in March 2019.

FAQ

 

What is a Build-to-Rent development?

Build-to-Rent (BTR) is a relatively recent model for new residential buildings in the UK, where all the properties are built for rent, not sale. As all our units are available to rent, this means less are used as second homes or remain unoccupied, and in turn more homes are available for people to rent. BTR buildings are actively managed by one owner with a vested interest in maintaining high quality buildings, tailored services, efficient maintenance for the residents who live in them.

This type of development offers people flexibility and meets a wide range of housing needs, allowing people to easily move from one size of apartment to another as their requirements of living change, without having to relocate to a new building. We also offer leases up to 3 years in length, meaning residents can settle in for the long-term.

Who Are Our Residents?

Across the UK currently, our developments are home to residents with an age range from 19-66 years. Nearly 60% of successful applicants across our schemes earned less than £30,000 per annum, and the median salary of a PLATFORM_ resident is £29,510. 12% were classified as key workers including teachers, police officers, and NHS staff. The average salary in Edinburgh is £33,968 (Office for National Statistics).  

How much parking will there be within the scheme?

Due to the central location of the proposed development, the site will benefit from new tram and improved bus links. All city-centre amenities are within easy walking distance, and the site is also just a thirty-minute walk from both Edinburgh Train Station and Bus Station and existing tram stops.

 With this in mind, we anticipate residents will make use of public transport, and pedestrian and cyclist routes to get around. The development will provide cycle racks for residents and visitors alike, who will be able to enjoy quick trips to the city centre or longer rides out into the nearby Pentland Hills.

We expect rates of car ownership to be very low among residents. However, a limited number of parking spaces will be included as part of the plans, particularly for staff, visitors, and people with disabilities. With the site located immediately off the inner ring road, the few extra car trips generated would have very little impact on traffic levels in the area.

What will the commercial space be like?

To help create a vibrant atmosphere within the development, the proposals include retail and employment space at ground level. This will be made accessible to residents, start-up companies, and other workers. Detailed plans for ground floor use are still being developed.

Where else does PLATFORM_ operate?

PLATFORM_ owns and operates five town-centre developments where they are the first Build-to-Rent operator in each. These locations are Bedford, Bracknell, Crawley, Exeter and Stevenage. Under a second phase of expansion across the UK, PLATFORM_ has secured three new planning consents in Sheffield, Cardiff, and Glasgow – together these three sites will deliver in excess of a further 1,000 units.

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