PLANS to turn one of south Edinburgh’s best-known buildings and site of a former school for the blind into homes have been approved.

Backers said proposals from housebuilder CALA Homes will breathe new life into the former Royal Blind School at Craigmillar Park.

The original C-listed Victorian school building has been empty since closure in 2014 but will now be transformed into 49 homes.

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Plans were initially submitted by CALA in December 2018 but were later revised following extensive community consultation to reduce building heights, reconfigure key blocks and change some of the materials used.

More recent extensions to the old school building and some surrounding buildings will be demolished which will enable “carefully considered” new-build homes, with design and materials appropriate for new development within Craigmillar Park Conservation Area.

Craig Lynes, land director with CALA Homes, East, said: “We’ve worked closely with neighbours over the past three years to ensure we create a site that brings benefit to the local area.

“Naturally, we’re thrilled that our plans for this important building have been approved and we’re looking forward to returning the Royal Blind School back to its former glory.”

The Royal Blind School was founded in 1835 and the building dates from 1874. It moved to Morningside five years ago.