New plans for student flats and build to rent homes in a Scottish city have been recommended for approval.

The 15-storey homes block and 16-floor student flats complex have been reduced in height and the number of homes has been cut by six per cent in a revision.

Edinburgh councillors are due to discuss the scaled-back Ocean Drive development in Leith by S Harrison Developments and CDA on Wednesday, with officials supporting the application.

"The principle of both residential and student accommodation with ancillary uses is acceptable at this location …" planning officers reported on the plans, which also include a coworking space.

"The height of the development is in keeping with the emerging heights of the area and will have an acceptable impact on the views as considered in the submitted townscape and visual impact assessment."

They added: "The proposed design of the blocks follows that of the adjacent spatial pattern with the proposed materials described as referencing the industrial heritage of Leith.

"The proposed landscaping is acceptable with a section of the promenade proposed to link into adjacent sites and open up access to the water's edge."

The documents to go before the development management sub-committee continued: "In terms of amenity, there are some infringements on daylighting, both in relation to the adjacent dockside development and the proposed development itself.

"Environmental Protection has raised some amenity concerns for future occupiers of the blocks, primarily in relation to noise from the port and conditions have been recommended to help mitigate the impact."

The proposal is for a mixed-use development comprising build to rent residential accommodation, purpose-built student accommodation, and co-working space on the ground floor, with associated landscaping and infrastructure.

The build to rent block will have a total of 112 homes, reduced from 120, split into 24 studio units, 25 one-bedroom, 36 two-bedroom units and 27 three-bedroom flats. Twenty-five percent of the units are to be affordable.

The purpose-built student block will have 404 student bedspaces, split into 168 studios, 26 six-bed cluster flats and 16 five-bed cluster flats.

Sir Tom pays tribute as BrewDog founder steps down


Scots entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter has paid tribute to James Watt after the BrewDog CEO announced he would be stepping back from the drinks business.

Mr Watt is to take on a newly-created non-executive role of “captain and co-founder” after 17 years at the helm, having seen the Scottish brewer and pub chain achieve global success. “James is very honest about his ups and downs,” said Sir Tom. “I took offence when the BBC did a hatchet job on him. I’m going to defend James – not that he needs me to defend him.”

Scottish economy strengthens, second-top in UK on key measure


Scotland’s private sector economy has grown at its fastest pace since April 2023, with the advance driven by services and manufacturing continuing to contract.

Royal Bank of Scotland, publishing its latest PMI (purchasing managers’ index) report today, notes that the difference between the performance of the services and manufacturing sectors north of the Border is the greatest in 26 years of data collection. Scotland achieved the second-fastest growth in employment among the 12 UK nations and regions in April, behind only Northern Ireland, the survey shows. It was the 15th consecutive month in which employment in Scotland’s private sector economy has risen.