Watkin Jones Edinburgh homes plan at Corn Exchange

Proposals for student accommodation and new homes for rent at a histric market site have been brought forward.

Watkin Jones Group, a leading developer and manager of homes for rent, has lodged a planning application with the council to redevelop the former livestock sheds, which includes the World of Football and World of Bowling buildings.

The homes will sit alongside facilities for the wider community at New Mart Road, Chesser, in Edinburgh.

It would form part of the overall regeneration of the brownfield site following the recent acquisition of the Corn Exchange by the Academy Music Group, being renamed the 02 Academy Edinburgh.

The proposed high-quality mixed-use brownfield development will comprise primarily of build-to-rent homes, including at least 25 per cent affordable homes, addressing a drastic and increasing shortage of rental housing in the capital.

Managed student accommodation will occupy about a quarter of the floorspace of the development, and community facilities.

The site, which has been operated by Marco’s Leisure for 23 years, currently comprises listed and unlisted former auction mart buildings and livestock sheds which are over 120 years old.


Each of the key outdoor public and residents’ open outdoor spaces will be given an identity as part of the overall masterplan, reflecting the history of the site, including a large central public square.

Eve Ladden Timbers, of Watkin Jones, said: “There is a massive shortage of homes for people to rent in the capital and through our build-to-rent, affordable and student homes these proposals will create much-needed places for people to live on a brownfield site.”

Paul Demarco, of Marco’s Leisure, said: “Investment in recent state of the art facilities, such as World of Football at Marine Drive, show what we can offer through delivering far more viable spaces without the ongoing cost that old out of date buildings unfortunately provide. 

“As we are finding, it is proving near impossible to provide quality and affordable facilities under a nineteenth century livestock shed. To address this, we are currently in the process of discussing possibilities for the delivery of facilities on future sites in the west of the city with agents and City of Edinburgh Council.”

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