GROUND has officially been broken at Scotland’s largest net zero housing development.

The start of construction works at the £72m Western Villages project represents a significant milestone for the City of Edinburgh Council in the delivery of the £1.3bn Granton Waterfront regeneration project.

Over the next ten years, 3,500 mixed-tenure homes and associated infrastructure will create a new, sustainable coastal community.

Housing convener Jane Meagher was joined by representatives for the project - including the Council’s own development and regeneration team, contractor CCG (Scotland) and architect Cooper Cromar - at the site located on West Shore Road adjacent to Forthquarter Park.

The 444-home Western Villages will consist of one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, including wheelchair-accessible ground-floor dwellings, available in a mix of social rent, with 195 homes, mid-market rent, with 193, and private sale tenures, with 56, that will each benefit from stunning parkland and sea views.

To achieve net zero carbon, all homes will be constructed using advanced construction methods to improve thermal performance (and reduce heat loss).

The Herald: L-R Council programme director for the Edinburgh Waterfront, Sat Patel; Edinburgh housing, homelessness and fair work convener, Jane Meagher; and CCG's managing director, David WylieL-R Council programme director for the Edinburgh Waterfront, Sat Patel; Edinburgh housing, homelessness and fair work convener, Jane Meagher; and CCG's managing director, David Wylie

Delivered by an on-site energy centre containing air-source heat pumps and renewable technologies such as solar PV panels, this low carbon heat system and zero emissions strategy is being supported by £4.1m of funding from the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme.

Complemented by carbon offsetting measures, this pioneering approach to reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions has been developed by CCG in partnership with energy and sustainability consultancy, Carbon Futures. 

Set for completion in 2024, the homes for rent will be managed by the Council whilst the private homes will be led by CCG Homes, the private housing arm of the CCG Group.

Ms Meagher said: “With an ambitious target to become a net zero city by 2030, this first phase of Granton Waterfront will act as a blueprint for future sustainable development and help Scotland transition towards a greener economy. This housing is going to provide hundreds of affordable homes, right at the centre of what will be Edinburgh’s newest neighbourhood - offering a fantastically lively, active, and sustainable waterfront lifestyle for everyone who moves in."

David Wylie, CCG managing director, said: “CCG’s contribution to the regeneration of Granton is significant with over 500 homes set to be under construction by the middle of this year. Western Villages, alongside a further 75 homes with the Council at Waterfront Avenue (known as Granton D1, the first pilot project of the Edinburgh Homes Demonstrator initiative), will play a major role in the creation of this new coastal community and also help shape our understanding and capabilities of net zero housing delivery in Edinburgh and across Scotland.

“We are very proud to be pioneering applied research and development into net zero housebuilding to support our economy’s green ambitions whilst also ensuring that high-quality, highly energy efficient homes remain accessible to our communities.”

City centre hotel under new ownership

ONE of Europe's largest private hotel groups has acquired the Premier Inn at Glasgow's Charing Cross following the opening of a rival establishment within the city by its previous owner.

Manchester-based Britannia Hotels, headed by multi-millionaire Alex Langsam, has purchased the 278-bedroom property off a guide price of £8.5 million.

​Ofgem to update energy price cap quarterly

OFGEM has announced the energy price cap is to be updated quarterly amid staggering increases. 

The regulator said the move comes to reduce the risk of prices rising quickly when wholesale prices go up but falling slowly when they go down.

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