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Barriers to Delivering Mixed Use Development: Final Report



Project 1: Quartermile Edinburgh

5.1 The Quartermile development is a 19 acre mixed-use development on the southern edge of central Edinburgh at the former location of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The site is bounded on the north by Lauriston Place, to the east by Middle Meadow Walk, to the west by Chalmers Street and to the south by the Meadows. The site is within the UNESCO World Heritage Area, is part of a Conservation Area and includes a number of significant listed buildings designed by William Adam, David Bryce and Sidney Mitchell.

Concept: Scale & Uses: site area/floorspace

5.2 The development concept focuses on masterplan-led, mixed-use regeneration project to create a new urban quarter in central Edinburgh. The masterplan sought to re-utilise some of the existing building stock whilst demolishing some of the former hospital buildings to allow the introduction of new, contemporary buildings into the context of historic buildings in an established landscape setting.

5.3 The masterplan has been modified over-time and currently aims to create a new neighbourhood of approx. 1,600 residents with access to onsite retail, leisure and community facilities. In addition the masterplan accommodates hotel accommodation and commercial office development.

5.4 The principal design concept locates residential buildings at the greener edges of the site with the commercial and retail activities concentrated in the centre. The masterplan currently accommodates:

  • Over 900 apartments in new and period buildings (18% affordable);
  • Over 30,000 sq m of new office accommodation;
  • Over 10,000 sq m of retail and leisure space; and
  • 7 acres of open landscaping.

Promoter/developer & partners

5.5 Lothian NHS Trust marketed the entire site on the open market. The parameters were set out in a development brief prepared by City of Edinburgh Council. Developers were selected on the basis of cost and quality. Beyond the financial offer for the site a key criteria for the public sector vendor was consideration of the enhanced value of the delivered scheme to maximise a share of returns which would eventually be due to the vendor through Overage Agreements.

5.6 The original consortia selected by the vendor, the local NHS Trust, was Southside Capital - a joint venture between the Bank of Scotland, Kilmartin Property & Taylor Woodrow. The project is now being developed by a joint venture of Gladedale Capital and the Bank of Scotland. The Gladedale Group includes Gladedale Homes, Bett Homes, Furlong Homes and Furlong City.

Design team

5.7 Foster + Partners - Masterplanners and Architects; Richard Murphy Architects; Hurd Rolland Architects; CDA - Architects; EDAW - Landscape Architects.

Planning & development process

5.8 The original masterplan was submitted for full detailed planning consent, along with the requisite listed building consents, and secured consent in 2004, following referral to the Scottish Ministers. The proposals were controversial given the size of the development, its high profile within the historic city centre core and the potential affect on the built heritage on the development site. The project therefore received press attention and a high level of scrutiny from heritage groups.

5.9 Subsequently a change in the mix of uses on the site required amendment to Planning Consents to decrease hotel and commercial office provision and increase the number of residential units. The changes included;

  • reducing office and retail by 9,500m 2
  • increasing residential by 385 units
  • reducing hotel accommodation by 20,000m 2
  • changes to increase the number of affordable units

5.10 These changes were precipitated, in part, by the difficulties in converting the former Main Hospital building to accommodate a 220 bed - 5 star hotel and a lack of interest from hotel operators for that project. The re-use of two smaller buildings in the centre of the campus for a 70 bed boutique hotel became the alternative hotel offer on the site. The changes also involved the demolition of the Listed "Red Home" building by Mitchell which drew further objection from heritage bodies. The justification for the demolition was supported by the masterplanner's revised spatial concept of creating a focal urban square in the centre of the development and was deemed to offer design benefit.

5.11 The affordable housing element is being delivered in partnership with Hillcrest Housing Association. The 18% ratio is below the city-wide policy of 25% but was justified and agreed with the LPA on the basis of open book assessment of increased costs due to abnormal site contamination and remediation costs and the extent of asbestos removal required to enable development.

5.12 These amendments secured a revised planning consent and work is progressing broadly east to west across the site with 5 of the 12 development blocks now completed. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Ownership & management

5.13 The entire development site was transferred from NHS ownership to Southside Capital and subsequently Gladedale Capital. Therefore the development site was within single ownership at masterplanning and delivery stage and developed on the basis of a single source of funding.

5.14 Whilst developed blocks have been sold to a diverse range of owners (from owner-occupier residents to pension fund investors) all transactions require each owner to sign up to a Deed of Condition resulting in a commitment of owners and occupiers contributing to the funding of Quartermile Estates who manage the external spaces, common internal areas and provide insurance for the entire campus, as well as offering supplementary services for owners ( e.g. dry cleaning).


5.15 Interview with Colin MacPherson - Development Director, Gladedale Capital : 25 Feb 2009

Quartermile Promotional Literature


Project 2: Grandholm Village: Aberdeen

5.16 Grandholm Village is a 17 hectare mixed-use development approximately 4km north-west of Aberdeen city centre. It is situated in the valley of the River Don, which forms a green corridor between the urban areas of Danestone in the north and Woodside/Hayton/Tillydrone in the south. The development is on the site of the former Crombie Mills on the north bank of the River Don the Mills were used for the manufacture of woollen cloth and opened in the 1790s and closed 1991. Crombie Mill is a substantial 3 storey high, granite category A listed building that was derelict for many years and has been restored to become the centrepiece of the development. Over a quarter of the site has been retained as open space with new walkways and pathways.

Planning policy context:

5.17 The Aberdeenshire City District-Wide Local Plan which was adopted in September 1991 included the site in the designated Lower Don riverside policy area. The riverside area was intended to be maintained as an attractive green valley area. Policy EN11 presumes against development unless related to landscaping, improving recreation land and tourist opportunities, expanding or improving existing authorised uses, developing the nearby science and technology park, restoring derelict sites and converting existing properties. In the finalised Aberdeen Local Plan the site is allocated as Policy M35 - Mixed Use Area.

Concept: scale & uses: site area/floorspace

5.18 The development concept at Grandholm Village was to create 'Scotland's first contemporary urban village' within the city of Aberdeen, which stems from the conversion of the Category A listed mill building and from the broad mix of uses and house types across the site. The overall concept focused the commercial and businesses parts of the development in a higher density zone around the mill building to bring activity and vitality to the public areas. Proposed uses in the Jenkins and Marr design Statement were: offices, shops, restaurants, a care home, leisure uses, doctors/dental surgery, heritage centre and nursery.

Design team

5.19 Masterplanners: CALA, Architects: Jenkins and Marr

Planning & development process

5.20 Development Briefs: A number of site briefs were prepared for the central mill area; none for the residential areas. CALA acquired the whole site and subsequently sold off two individual plots for office development (to Business Homes) and a care home

5.21 CALA own Grandholm Bridge and agreed with Aberdeen City Council as obliged by their planning permission to close the bridge to the public and make it available solely for the use of Grandholm Village residents and other occupiers. The site has been subject to a number of separate planning applications over a period of six years; some have gone to appeal.

5.22 Outline planning permission was originally obtained in 1997. The overall scheme approved a mix of residential, business, retail and restaurant developments, all with associated infrastructure, landscaping and open space, and all subject to a Section 75 agreement. Subsequently there were various other permissions granted across the whole site.

5.23 In late 1999 there were six applications being considered for planning permission and listed building consent which together represented proposals for a comprehensive development of the Crombie Mills site to form an urban village comprising housing, office and retail development, access roads and car parking, a leisure and nursery building, a restaurant, a museum/heritage facility, landscaping and public open space. Five of those applications were granted planning permission. The table below provides an indication of the number of applications and appeals at Grandholm Village over a six year period.

Table 1.1 Summary of planning applications and appeals


Decision date




Dec 2001
August 2002

Erection of six detached family houses

Appeal granted



Erection of 107 mainstream flats, 35 sheltered flats, 136 semi-detached, detached and terraced houses, 594 sq m of Class 1 (retail) floorspace and associated road network and landscaping (amended to secure the retention of elm trees and including an exclusion zone)

Decision based on:
Erection of 119 mainstream flats, 35 sheltered flats and 131 semi-detached and terraced properties (285 properties in total); 594 sq m of Class 1 retail floorspace

See below

Granted subject to a binding legal agreement with Aberdeen City Council that included the following:

no more than 80 dwelling houses or 1,500 sq m of Class 4 (Business) use may be occupied unless the pedestrian and vehicular bridges over the River Don are refurbished

no more than 80 dwelling houses or 1,500 sq m of Class 4 (Business) use may be occupied unless the pedestrian and vehicular bridges over the River Don are refurbished

a public parking area for 20 cars is provided for the use of recreational visitors to the areas

restrictions on times of deliveries and uplifts in association with the commercial units

measures to overcome any adverse effects on the amenity of the residents of the flats above commercial premises

an assessment t of oil and groundwater contamination and remediation strategy

Class 1 (retail) shall not exceed 757.5 sq m

approved layout detailing the service area

arrangements for the commercial units located on the ground floor of the Mill flats


December 2001

Outline planning permission to erect 41 flats within a 4 storey block

Refused contrary to the Director's recommendation and subsequently appealed. The subsequent appeal was dismissed due to concern that the 4 storey flats would have an unacceptable relationship with the setting of the listed mill building.


December 2001

Outline planning application to erect a 3 storey block of flats of 30/31 units with a leisure/crèche facility on the ground floor



June 2001

Outline planning application for the erection of leisure and nursery buildings

Granted on condition that specified maximum floor areas of 1549 sq m for Class 2 leisure and 253 sq m for Class 10 nursery use respectively.

Application A1/0986)

August 2001

Amended proposal (of above application) that included replacing the leisure and nursery facility with 30 flats.

The proposals to reduce the leisure space stemmed from a lack of demand by an operator to take up a facility of the approved size - that it would be too small for a leisure operator to run successfully.


August 2002

Appeal proposal to restore the nursery element. Substitution of 30 flats for the leisure facility.

Refused on the grounds that the loss of the leisure facilities would adversely alter the nature of the mixed use development eroding the urban village/central commercial concept, affecting the setting of the listed building and encourage further residential uses in place of commercial uses.

Application A5/0747

Recommended for approval July 2005

Erection of 18 flats (reduced from the previous application of 30) and 648 sq m of unspecified retail/commercial floorspace on the ground floor. The lack of interest from and attracting leisure users together with strong interest in a use for the restaurant in the mill building and the various retail outlets led to the application proposing a mix of retail/commercial and residential use. It was considered that since the Reporter's decision in 2002 circumstances had changed and progress made both physically on the ground and in the market place which would suggest the originally envisaged urban village concept would be delivered even without the application site being devoted to a leisure use.

Granted subject to conditions that included:

Parking provided on the basis that it would be shared between the residential and commercial uses

that any noise generated by the use of the premises is inaudible within the flatted properties on the upper floors

occupational use of the premises shall be restricted to 0800-2000 daily


December 2001
August 2002

Planning application to erect 6 town houses (in place of 3 large detached houses)

Refused and appealed.
Granted on appeal


August 2001

79 detached houses and 43 townhouses.

Incorporated the above application area.



Recommended for approved in July 2004.

Erection of 24 mainstream flats replaced the previous planning permission for 34 sheltered flats. This was due to McCarthy & Stone confirming that the site was not of interest as it fails to meet certain important criteria including insufficiently easy access to the town centre and unsuitable gradients.


Recommended for approved in September 2004.

Erection of 31 flats


5.24 Interviews with Aberdeen City Council, CALA and Residents Association during March 2009.

Jenkins and Marr: Design Statement
FG Burnett: CALA Grandholm Proprietors & Residents Buyers Pack
Aberdeen City Council Planning Committee Reports
Scottish Executive Planning Appeal Letters

CALA Promotional Literature


Project 3: Stenhousemuir Town Centre: Falkirk District

Location & place context

5.25 The Stenhousemuir Town Centre redevelopment is a 6.48 hectare (16.02 acres) mixed use development located in the centre of the town. The site is bounded on the north by the B905, and includes part of King Street and Main Street, the main shopping streets in the town centre, and Crownest Park which forms the southern part of the site.

5.26 Land assembly for the project has involved the acquisition of over 40 properties including the demolition of some town centre buildings. This has included 1960s housing and shops on King Street, the old library, community centre and health centre.

Concept: scale & uses: site area/floorspace

5.27 The regeneration plan for Stenhousemuir town centre is part of the wider 'My Future's in Falkirk' initiative launched in December 2002 by a public/private partnership of the then Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, BP, and Falkirk Council with support from the European Regional Development Fund and INEOS. The 10 year (2002-2012) £23m economic development initiative (originally called the Falkirk Action Plan) and partnership aims to transform the Falkirk area's economy by attracting investment, creating jobs and growing local companies. The Stenhousemuir town centre redevelopment is the first of four town centre regeneration programmes included in the initiative.

5.28 The majority of the town centre development has been completed and occupied. The site, once complete will include :

  • A 40,000sq ft food store occupied by ASDA with 360 parking spaces
  • More than 34,000 sq ft of retail space in 3 single story blocks
  • A new Larbert Library - 700 sq ft
  • A new access road off the B905 and one-way bus link
  • A new football pitch and changing rooms
  • A new Tryst Community Centre with dedicated car parking facilities
  • A new Medical Centre for NHS Forth Valley with dedicated car parking facilities: 2,500 sq m; 2 storey building with 4 GP practices and a number of health board activities; upper floor offices and a base for nursing staff.
  • Landscaped civic spaces including play park and reshaped lido public realm within the adjoining Crownest Park
  • Town square and other public realm improvements

5.29 Currently under construction and due for completion later in 2009 are:

  • Community Trust building
  • King Street retail block (12,000 sq ft) to service the traditional side of the town centre

5.30 A number of complications with NHS Forth Valley led to a delay in signing the agreement to develop the Tryst Community Centre and Health Centre. This has now been resolved and the medical centre, the final component of the masterplan is due to be completed in April 2010.

5.31 In early 2008 the first local shops opened in the first of the new retail blocks; this included pharmacy, butchers, newsagents, two banks and betting office. The new Larbert Library opened in April, followed by ASDA in the summer of 2008.

Promoter/developer & partners

5.32 Falkirk Council recognised that the level of capital expenditure required to improve Stenhousemuir Town Centre could not be met by the Council alone and would therefore require substantial private sector funding. To deliver and develop the proposal a management group were set up comprising appropriate staff from across the Council eventually including representation from the preferred developer.

5.33 A marketing brief was prepared and issued in 2001 which attracted interest UK-wide. Following expressions of interest, the second stage brief was issued to eight prospective developers giving additional information on the requirements of the Council including design, legal and financial guidance. This shortlist of developer teams was invited to prepare a detailed masterplan for the town centre, together with a financial terms, partnership proposals and delivery mechanisms.

5.34 A corporate assessment team was established by Falkirk Council which included representatives from community, finance, law & administration, development and housing services of the Council to assess the proposals. Following Stage 3 submission the developer was selected based on criteria including financial resources and terms, appreciation of the brief, partnership proposals and delivery mechanisms, design and planning merit. Financial deliverability was a key component.

5.35 As a result of the competitive tender Macdonald Estates plc was approved as Falkirk Council's preferred developer for the scheme in September 2002. In their submission Macdonald Estates plc originally proposed a joint venture agreement between themselves and the Council. Following 9 months of dialogue their revised proposal was progressed based upon capital receipt to the Council from the sale of the food store and the use of development agreements.

5.36 Two development agreements were set up between the Council and Macdonald Estates plc; the first related to the main town centre and the second to the development of the health centre. The town centre agreement confirmed the transfer of housing land to Macdonald Estates plc in exchange for a new library, £200,000 sinking fund, new town square and improvements to Crownest Park and was subject to conditions including planning approval, site/property acquisitions and food store operator commitment. The health centre agreement confirmed the transfer of the existing Tryst community hall to Macdonald Estates plc in exchange for a new Tryst community hall.

5.37 The Council required certainty of delivery before vacating and demolishing existing public buildings. This was difficult but was agreed as part of the development agreements.

5.38 The total development value is anticipated to be £15m secured by the two formal development agreements between the Council and MacDonald Estates plc, ensuring best market value in terms of transfer of Council assets.

  • MacDonald Estates Design Team:
  • Masterplanners and Landscape Architects: Fouin and Bell Architects
  • Planning Consultants: James Barr Limited
  • Architects: Supermarket, 3 retail blocks
  • Library, Health Centre and Tryst Community Centre: Ian Burke Associates

Planning & development process

5.39 The comprehensive redevelopment of Stenhousemuir shopping centre had been clearly identified and supported by Local Plan policy. The town centre was identified as a priority for comprehensive redevelopment in the Falkirk Council Local Plan Finalised Draft (deposit version) April 2007. The earlier Larbert and Stenhousemuir Local Plan adopted in 1998 gave priority to the improved retailing facilities in Stenhousemuir Shopping Centre.

5.40 The Central 2000 Structure Plan identified a growing local catchment population. To service anticipated consumer demand the development of a modern food shopping facility, together with an improved environment was considered essential for the future vitality of Stenhousemuir town centre. A marketing exercise was undertaken to attract private sector interest in the regeneration of the town centre.

5.41 The marketing brief for the site prepared by Falkirk Council included a requirement for a major food store in order to bring people back into the town centre. Another key requirement was to open up the town centre to the main route - the B905. This necessitated the removal of the King Street 1960s block of commercial units with residential above and another retail unit. (site of Block A)

5.42 As well as consultation across the Council, affected parties such as tenants, local businesses and private households were consulted on the proposals. As part of the consultation, staff were available at a town centre drop-in centre and quarterly newsletters were distributed

5.43 The outline application was approved in March 2005. The development masterplan was prepared by Fouin and Bell Architects and this formed part of the detailed planning application submitted by MacDonald Estates plc to Falkirk Council in April 2006.

5.44 The masterplan was severely criticised in the A+DS Design Review Report of May 2006, where the masterplan was considered unacceptable as presented, with a recommendation that it did not proceed. Some of the reasons given were:

  • Lack of convincing masterplanning principles: no vision for a long term cohesive town centre; driven by infrastructure and servicing provision
  • Failure to stitch new development into the existing urban fabric
  • Formulaic, anonymous out of town retail model adopted; the civic heart should be a high quality public space, not a car park
  • Adaptability: limited ability over time to adapt the layout that can incorporate or convert to other uses such as residential.

5.45 The report recommended that a contextual analysis and design statement should be prepared in advance of a masterplan that sets out a coherent vision for the wider town centre. A& DS however were brought in very late in the development process. Council planners reviewed their comments but considered that the development should still go ahead.

5.46 Planning permission for the proposed development was granted in July 2006 for the demolition of existing retail, commercial, community and residential units and the development as described above. The detailed planning consent reflected ASDA's design reconfigurations to the original outline planning consent and incorporated feedback from public consultations.

5.47 Work on site was originally planned to start in spring 2004, but this was delayed for approximately a year due to additional time required for discussion and negotiation with the developers. The original proposals were to include a hotel and restaurant and a leisure complex but this has not come to fruition.

5.48 ASDA's firm commitment to Stenhousemuir allowed progress on the acquisition of all property interests. One compulsory purchase order was required (for the demolition of the King Street retail/residential block and a privately owned single storey retail block). The Local Plan allocation was crucial in securing this and the CPO was approved by the Policy and Resources Committee of Falkirk Council in 2003. In addition to the CPO the complicated site assembly exercise involved acquiring 42 sites and buildings were successfully achieved through negotiation.

5.49 Phasing/demolitions/construction: The importance of maintaining services at both the existing community centre and health clinic throughout the development period was important and a key concern to the community. Only once the new community hall is completed will the former hall be demolished. The public realm project has been divided into eight working areas to minimize disturbance during construction works.


5.50 Interviews with Falkirk Council officers during March 2009.

Stenhousemuir Town Centre: Marketing Brief
Falkirk Council Policy & Resources Committee Reports

Project 4: Clydebank Re-Built: Queens Quay

Location & Place Context

5.51 Queens Quay is a mixed use waterfront development site which has been promoted for regeneration by Clydebank re-built Urban Regeneration Company. The site is the former John Brown's shipyard (where the Queen Mary and QE2 were constructed) and is located around the Queen's Dock fit out basin, a man-made inlet into the north bank of the River Clyde located approximately 10 miles west of central Glasgow. The site is bounded by Dumbarton Road (separating the site from Clydebank's Town Centre) to the north, the Rothesay Dock to the east and an expanse of vacant, former industrial sites to the west which are earmarked for redevelopment in future phases of this waterfront regeneration.

Concept: scale & uses: site area/floorspace

5.52 Clydebank re-built URC has been working toward 'design-led' regeneration in Clydebank, The Clydebank re-built URCDesign Guidelines, prepared by Page + Park Architects in 2003, established overarching principles for development in 9 key locations, 3 of which focused on the area around the Queen's Dock. The concept outlined three interlinked areas of investment including;

  • Zone 2 - Creating linkages across Dumbarton Road to link the existing town centre to the new waterfront development
  • Zone 3 - Developing to the west of Queens Quay a civic quarter adjacent to the existing Town Hall with a new residential quarter on the waterfront adjacent to the landmark Titan Crane
  • Zone 4 - Delivering an urban structured retail, business, leisure and education16 acre area to the east of Queens Quay.

5.53 Whilst considerable work has been undertaken to clear the former shipyard site and remediate the contamination across all of these Zones initial development has focussed in Zone 4 (now referred to as Queen's Quay Enterprise and Learning District). In addition the Titan Crane has been refurbished to create a visitor attraction and viewing platform overlooking the entire area.

5.54 The Queens Quay Enterprise and Learning District project, on a 16 acre site, has delivered to date;

  • £28m new 3 storey Clydebank College building on a 6 acre site catering for 10,000 students
  • 2,250m 2 of office space at the Titan Enterprise Centre (including the URC's current offices and Business Gateway) and catering for business start ups
  • 2,500m 2 of office space at Pavilion 2 (currently nearing completion) adjacent to the Titan Enterprise Centre
  • approximately 40 affordable residential units at Cart Street for Clydebank Housing Association (on site)
  • £3.5m restoration and refurbishment of the Titan Crane to create a landmark visitor destination
  • Public realm and road infrastructure including riverside walkway
  • Further projects on adjacent sites include; 10,000m 2 of office space in the Enterprise and Learning District, 1600 new residential units, including 15% affordable units and 200m 2 of commercial space, new £12m Leisure facility.

Promoter/developer & partners

5.55 Clydebank Re-built is an Urban Regeneration Company Limited by Guarantee and is also a registered charity. Its two founders are West Dunbartonshire Council and Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire. The URC have set up Clydebank Property Company to undertake some of the large commercial property development in the Town. This is wholly owned by Clydebank Re-built and has the same objective as its parent company - to regenerate Clydebank for the benefit of all its residents, workers and businesses.

5.56 The URC and its Property Company have worked either as sole promoters of schemes, in joint ventures with development partners or providing funding for project enabling through advance works to prepare sites for development by the private sector. The URC has secured funding from a range of public sources including the EU, to supplement funding from central and local governments and Scottish Enterprise.

Design team

5.57 Numerous designers have been involved at Queen's Quay including; Page and Park (architects and masterplanners), Ian White Associates (landscape architects), Reiach and Hall, Elder and Cannon, and Jenkins and Marr.

Planning & development process

5.58 Prior to Clydebank re-built URC being incorporated a masterplan was prepared by Llewelyn Davies. At this time proposals for the Queen's Quay location were being brought forward for a retail park.

5.59 At the time of the establishment of Clydebank re-built URC the Local Plan was being revised and the land use designation for the Queen's Quay waterfront was amended to be outwith the Town Centre thereby reducing the retail aspect of any development, encouraging mixed use development rather than a single retail use and aiming to refocus the retail offer within the existing town centre. Clydebank re-built then instigated a masterplanning process which resulted in the Clydebank re-built Design Guidelines which were approved and adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance. At that point in time the site was entirely still in private ownership.

5.60 Thereafter projects have secured relevant consents, and been brought forward and funded on a project by project basis.

Ownership & management

5.61 Clydebank Property Group acquired approx. 20% of the Queens Quay site when it was offered as planning gain as part of the redevelopment of the former Clydebank College site. The balance of the site remains in private ownership and negotiations have been ongoing between Clydebank re-built, potential joint venture developers and the group of current landowners (Clydeside Regeneration Ltd.)

5.62 Those areas which have been developed by the Clydebank Property Group have been covered by a Common Management Agreement which is legally binding and ensures continuity of management and maintenance.


5.63 Interview with Eleanor McAllister - Managing Director Clydebank re-built 26 Feb 2009

Clydebank Re-built Design Guidelines