Edinburgh Council buys Liberton Hospital site

Wednesday April 26th 2023

Liberton-Hospital


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

The City of Edinburgh Council has secured a major new site for accessible affordable housing in the South of the city.

A successful £14.8m bid for Liberton Hospital and its grounds, including the former Blood Transfusion Centre, has been accepted by NHS Lothian – paving the way for around 400 hundred homes in the area, a significant number of which will be accessible and affordable for social or mid-market rent.

The NHS will continue to occupy the premises until March 2025 to allow the hospital’s remaining services to be gradually relocated. During this time, the council plans to appoint a development partner and consult with the local community to draw up plans for an accessible green neighbourhood – making sure to retain many original features of the historic hospital, gatehouse and gardens facing Lasswade Road.

The council’s vision for the site is to focus on supporting a range of housing needs while delivering homes at scale to help meet the city’s growing demand. It is anticipated that the regeneration will deliver at least 380 energy efficient mixed tenure homes for sale and rent, all of which could be fully accessible, with up to 50% affordable. This would exceed the council’s commitment of at least 35% affordable homes on residential developments.

The area already has a significant level of public amenity due to existing woodland and original hospital gardens, creating a fantastic opportunity for a range of high-quality public spaces as part of a wider green network. The regeneration of the land will retain as many of the existing trees as possible and incorporate them into green routes throughout the site, allowing for active travel connections to Burdiehouse Burn Valley Park, St Katharine’s Park and Liberton Park.

A Prior Information Notice (PIN) seeking interest from potential development partners has been issued and work will be carried out to prepare for construction, including developing detailed designs and agreeing a net zero carbon energy solution for the site, contributing to the Council’s ambitious target to reach net-zero emissions by 2030.

Councillor Jane Meagher, Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Convener, said:

“For close to 150 years Edinburgh residents have been cared for under the roof of Liberton and Longmore Hospitals. I’m delighted that we’ll be able to pay that care forward as we convert the site into much needed new homes.

“By demolishing the 1960s built extensions, including the disused Blood Transfusion Service, we’ll be able to design an accessible green neighbourhood of low-carbon housing from scratch. This will help lots of people with specialist needs to live comfortably and with independence. Plus, it will allow us support people who are in desperate housing need as we’re looking for a developer who can commit to our vision of at least half of these new homes being affordable.

“We’re committed to putting care-based housing at the centre of this redevelopment and I’d like to thank our partners at the NHS for working with us to secure the land. It has been many years in the making.”

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