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Pioneering net zero housing development granted approval


Proposals for a ground-breaking ‘net zero’ housing development, as part of the £1.3bn Granton Waterfront regeneration project in north west Edinburgh, have been granted approval by city planners (12 January 2022).

The Granton D1 project is the first Edinburgh Home Demonstrator (EHD) pilot which will see the construction of 75 net zero carbon homes and three retail units in Granton. The project is led by the City of Edinburgh Council with support from construction and academic partners and is part of the Council’s ambitions to deliver 20,000 affordable homes by 2027.

The project is being undertaken in partnership with CCG (Scotland) Ltd to test this new business model for building affordable, net zero homes.  A large proportion of the construction will be carried out off site in a factory setting reducing the overall  time it takes to build the homes. The homes will also include zero emissions heating. This will help to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and support the city’s 2030 net zero target.

The pilot is also supported by a team from Napier University that will analyse the energy performance to validate and inform the net zero carbon strategy for future EHD projects. The EHD project aims to deliver 1,000 affordable net zero carbon homes across the six council areas in the City Region Deal.

With an ambitious target to become a ‘net zero’ city by 2030, both of these developments, alongside the 444-home Western Villages development, will act as a blueprint for future sustainable development and help Scotland to transition towards a greener economy.

Councillor Kate Campbell, Convener for the Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Committee, said:

“Making homes more sustainable will help us to meet our net zero targets, but the most important thing is that our tenants will benefit. With the cost of living rising sharply, making the running costs of homes more affordable will help tenants on low incomes, preventing fuel poverty.

This pilot, and the learning we hope to take from it, is a really important step for us on our journey to making all of our housing stock more energy efficient, and better for tenants to live in.

We have incredibly ambitious plans which form the bedrock of our housing strategy over the next ten years. There is a critical need for more affordable homes in Edinburgh and we are responding to that through our commitment to deliver 20,000 social and affordable homes by 2027.”

Councillor Mandy Watt, Vice Convener for the Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Committee, said:

“The Granton D1 development will provide affordable places to live for everyone with over 60% being for social rent. The development is part of  the wider Granton Waterfront regeneration, which includes the creation of one of Europe’ s largest new coastal city parks. We hope to provide residents and visitors with the chance to reconnect with the city’s waterfront and take advantage of the new leisure and outdoor experiences that will be on offer – altogether fostering an environment that will benefit everyone’s health, community spirit and wellbeing.”

Councillor Neil Gardiner, Convener for the Planning Committee, said:

“This sustainable development is a great addition to our major regeneration of Granton Waterfront to create a coastal town with lots of green and open space. It was good to see the committee unanimously backing the project which will provide the area with much needed affordable net zero homes as well retail units providing businesses opportunities and employment locally.”

Calum Murray, CCG (Scotland) Director and Edinburgh Climate Commissioner, said:

“The approval of Granton D1 is another important milestone for the City of Edinburgh Council and CCG. By working collaboratively alongside our partners, we are pioneering the delivery of affordable, net zero homes in Scotland and the Council is to be congratulated for taking these necessary first steps in delivery of our country’s net zero carbon ambitions. CCG is delighted to be leading the design and build of Granton D1 where we will provide a cutting-edge demonstration in the use of fabric first design and construction technology. We look forward to advancing works on-site in the very near future.”

The approval made at the Development Management Sub-Committee on Wednesday 12 January and construction of Granton D1 is expected to begin in Spring 2022.

The Granton Waterfront regeneration project also includes the refurbishment of the Granton Station building and the Granton Gasholder restoration project, which is currently lighting up the skyline in a joint project with Edinburgh College. The wider proposals will bring over 3000 additional homes and create one of Europe’ s largest coastal city parks linking Granton Harbour to Cramond and Lauriston Castle, reconnecting the city with its waterfront and providing  opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy spectacular views across the Forth while experiencing enhanced leisure and outdoor activities.

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