By Ian McConnell

Business Editor

FORTH Ports has unveiled plans to reduce dramatically the number of car-parking spaces at a 938-home development at Leith, declaring it “no longer believes” existing approved proposals are sufficient to achieve its own, and Edinburgh’s, “carbon-reduction aspirations”.

It is seeking permission from City of Edinburgh Council to amend the already-consented plans for the development, with a spokesman for Forth Ports noting the company has consulted the local authority about its new plans.

The amended plans for the £250 million Western Harbour housing development at the Port of Leith feature a 43 per cent reduction in on-site parking, to 326 spaces from 570.

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Forth Ports also plans to replace “carbon-intensive structures with centralised, electric vehicle-enabled spaces”.

And it proposes “significantly increasing car club provision”.

Forth Ports is applying for permission to create a “Go Green” hub, including an educational centre that will “encourage residents to join the green revolution, persuade car users to adopt other, greener forms of transport [and] facilitate E-cycle hire”.

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The ports company envisages that the Western Harbour development will ultimately comprise a total of around 2,000 homes. The 938-home development is the first phase of housing planned on the site.

Forth Ports said: “As part of its wider net-zero agenda for the Port of Leith, Forth Ports has submitted an amended outline planning application to City of Edinburgh Council to actively drive the adoption of green energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the £250m development of the first 938 homes at Western Harbour. Planning permission for the latest phase in this development of one, two and three-bedroom homes was granted in June 2020 but Forth Ports no longer believes that these proposals are sufficient to achieve its, and the city’s, carbon-reduction aspirations.”

Charles Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports, said: “It’s becoming clearer by the day that not only do we have a responsibility to reduce carbon emissions but that there is a real appetite for this change too. At Forth Ports, we are committed to supporting this, not only through our major industrial projects such as the creation of a £40m renewable energy hub within the Port of Leith, but also through housing development projects such as Western Harbour.”