CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » General Edinburgh

"DIY store to be demolished for student flats"

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  1. chdot
    Admin

    http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/diy-store-to-be-demolished-for-student-flats-1-3457454

    I know there are people around the Southside and Tollcross who think there are already 'too many students'.

    It's not always personal - more about lack of (new/extra) 'family housing'.

    Clearly the 'way the world works' means that there wouldn't be 'normal' housing if the student ones weren't built.

    It is quite remarkably how much student accommodation has been built in the last 10 years.

    Are there that many more students? Or do they want 'high standard' accommodation? It used to be that "Halls" were mainly for first years as a transition between home and the 'real life ' of student flats/rental market.

    Are these new residences for the full length of the course?

    Or is the general rental market in Edinburgh so 'tight' that more accommodation just for students is actually beneficial to everyone else?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  2. earthowned
    Member

    It's not just Southside/Tollcross - recently there was graffiti on the hoardings of the building site on Abbeymount saying:

    "Students 1 - Locals 0"

    That was swiftly painted over....

    Posted 3 years ago #
  3. SRD
    Moderator

    my recollection is that the move towards building privately managed halls was a response to complaints about HMOs and buy-to-let landlords.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  4. crowriver
    Member

    @earthowned, aye, halls for 400 students are currently being built on the site of the former Chathams car showroom/garage (once a cinema, before that a railway yard).

    Big huge crane dominating the skyline for the summer.

    It will certainly change the Abbeyhill area, which is not traditionally populated with lots of students. I suppose the local convenience stores will do alright out of it. Maybe some pubs and cafes too.

    The planning application's online: search for 13/02890/FUL. New cycle parking, new set of steps to Croft-an-Righ, spruced up public realm, some trees. Not all bad. Allegedly a 'car-free' development (except for disabled residents). On the other hand, right next door to the playground of my children's primary school, not ideal. It will blot out the afternoon sun in the winter time. I only found out it was happening once they started demolishing Chatham's. No chance to comment/object by then.

    A strongly worded objection by the former Old Town Community Council (since resigned en masse!) was pretty much ignored. However at least the developers have reduced the height of the complex from the original seven storeys...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  5. cb
    Member

    And from a DIY store slant, this will be good news for the likes of Home Hardware.
    St Leonards Homebase is probably the only big DIY shed that I would consider travelling to by bike.

    Are there any others left 'in' town?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  6. Min
    Member

    It is quite remarkably how much student accommodation has been built in the last 10 years.

    Are there that many more students?

    The student population has gone up massively since just about everybody goes to uni these days. Used to be top 5% of the population I believe. Keeps them off the unemployment figures.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    "The student population has gone up massively since just about everybody goes to uni these days."

    True, but I don't know how much that has changed for established unis like EU and Napier.

    Also don't know whether people going to 'local' uni are more or less likely to stay at home now.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  8. crowriver
    Member

    Are there any others left 'in' town?

    B&Q at Powderhall, very close to the NEPN WoL section. As a consequence, much frequented by cyclists despite a lack of any proper cycle parking..

    The student population has gone up massively

    Edinburgh's population overall is rising too every year. Anecdotally quite a lot of folk from other EU countries are moving here. In my local area quite a few Polish families, also I am hearing a lot of folk speaking Spanish in the streets, shops and parks these days. Majority do not appear to be students.

    I imagine these recent arrivals are mostly renting privately, putting pressure on accommodation which in the past might have been rented by students.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  9. algo
    Member

    @cb - during day time hours, I always go to Murray's Tool Shop… in the evening, which is the traditional time for my DIY disasters and ensuing emergency trips to DIY shops, I used to go to Homebase, but often go out now to the B+Q at Kinnaird Park, but there is one at Powderhall too….

    Posted 3 years ago #
  10. Nelly
    Member

    @crowriver "Anecdotally quite a lot of folk from other EU countries are moving here"

    Indeed - was hillwalking up The Pentlands on sunday with son. As always a nod and a hello given to people coming opposite way.

    By my (unscientific) estimate, circa 90% were non-uk. Lots of Polish, Russian, a few Spanish.

    Most of the local scots were probably on the sofa watching other people run around at Wimbledon or Brasil........

    Posted 3 years ago #
  11. dg145
    Member

    @Crowriver: I was quite surprised recently to learn that there are over 20,000 Spaniards living (i.e. resident and working, not students or visitors) in Edinburgh. Most, as you say, are housed in the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

    The pressure on housing in Edinburgh is significant and the Council has invested a lot of its strategy on opening up the PRS as an alternative to the hard-pressed social housing stock.

    Around 3,800 people present as homeless in Edinburgh each year - and there is no way that the Council could even temporarily house them without significant use of the PRS (1,600 temp. homeless properties in use as part of the Private Sector Leasing scheme, for example).

    My guess would be that the upsurge in specific student accommodation is partly a response to the increased student population but also a reflection of the pressure on student access to mainstream housing because of wider competing demands.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  12. Roibeard
    Member

    Edinburgh Uni has a strategic goal to increase its student numbers, particularly for postgraduate courses. PGs tend not to favour halls, although the Uni appears to be building those too.

    The council don't want student ghettos, so prefer to see developments of student specific housing in non-student areas (i.e. not Marchmont!), and I think they see private student accommodation as a way to relieve pressure on the private rental market - students can be housed more densely than families, yet they take up family sized private flats.

    But then I may have swallowed the developer hype - there's a planning application for student accommodation to replace Paramount Printers on the QBiC. As the church is a neighbour, we've been specifically invited to comment.

    It's just opposite Kittle Yards - 14/02288/FUL on the Council planning site:

    https://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk

    ~180 beds, ~45 cycle spaces (less than Council guidelines, but argued as more than required given student modal share, and given the walking distance to Edinburgh Uni), and only two (disabled) parking spaces.

    They claim the students won't get residents' parking permits (I wasn't aware they couldn't), and they will provide time slots for coming up weekend (so are anticipating some undergrads).

    Looks quite nice, to be honest, so I don't think we'll be submitting an objection. Feel free to correct me!

    Robert

    Posted 3 years ago #
  13. PS
    Member

    ~45 cycle spaces (less than Council guidelines, but argued as more than required given student modal share, and given the walking distance to Edinburgh Uni),

    And it's not like there is any high quality cycling infrastructure nearby to encourage the students to shift their modal share towards cycling...

    Posted 3 years ago #
  14. chdot
    Admin

    "And it's not like there is any high quality cycling infrastructure nearby to encourage the students to shift their modal share towards cycling..."

    True.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  15. Focus
    Member

    Homebase is also at the Craigleith Quarry site, so easily accessible from the NEPN

    Posted 3 years ago #
  16. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Am in the process of moving so will be in need of multiple trips to DIY emporia for paint, paper, varnish, sandpaper, unjustifiable power tool purchases etc. Homebase was going to be my nearest and before that it would have been the old B&Q on Easter Road, looks like I too will now be off to B&Q at Powderhall.

    I was in Homebase only the other day and was remarking that the exterior was in poor enough a state that the green paint is peeling off revealing the old Texas Homecare blue and red.

    Never got why the shop was built "back to front", with a brick wall facing the street and the front door so inconvenient to get to on foot.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  17. gembo
    Member

    Big b and q at hermiston gait. They seem to have flung up a lot of shoddy buildings when they first started and have let these fall down whilst building new ones at edge of town.

    Student flats also shoddy. The ones built at moray house on the east of the cowgate are wild. Tiny rooms but each with a big window jutting out of the room

    When I was a. Drugs counsellor I used to advise my clients to hang about in student areas (west end of Glasgow) as their bad behaviour would be more tolerated if they were considered students

    Posted 3 years ago #
  18. MediumDave
    Member

    ..and bang goes another Useful Shop. Ah well.

    @cb Wickes on Stevenson road (for some values of In Town) is still there. This store used to be a mini-B&Q, which was demolished and then rebuilt as a Wickes.

    Wickes is a little odd compared to the other DIY sheds (though they are starting to stock non own-brand products in store). It does seem to be cheaper, certainly cheaper than Homebase. Their timber seems to be uniformly awful so I go to Walker Woodstock for that and for decorating stuff Ian Russell/Caledonian paints are excellent.

    As an aside Edinburgh does seem to sport lots of trade counters (Plumb center, Jewson, ...) in useful places - a real advantage over other places I've lived.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  19. Rabid Hamster
    Member

    Remember, Murray's Toolstore has moved to Pitt Street in Leith now, and they do a lot of their business by t'nternet nowadays! Ah could never get parked at Morrison St anyway, as a Black Meanie would hover in the stair next door and book ye as soon as ye went in the shop! Long live Fred Murray, long live The Man!

    Posted 3 years ago #
  20. chdot
    Admin

    Oh.

    When did that happen?

    Do they still have boxes of 'interesting' secondhand tools?

    http://www.murraystools.com

    Posted 3 years ago #
  21. algo
    Member

    I hadn't realised Murray's tools had moved either - no problems with parking if you went by bike - but my purchases were never that voluminous. Hope they still sell proper refurbished old chisels and the like....

    Posted 3 years ago #
  22. crowriver
    Member

    @kappers, don't forget Screwfix on Seafield Road East, Porty end. Very good for fixing, tools, all kinds of other stuff too. Also worth checking out some 'non-DIY' retailers, eg. quasi-pound shop B&M stores stock certain DIY essentials like paint brushes, some tools. Branch in Meadowbank, also another twice the size on Seafield Road. As ever, you get what you pay for, but some of their products are perfectly serviceable and not expensive.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  23. michaelk
    Member

    Never got why the shop was built "back to front", with a brick wall facing the street and the front door so inconvenient to get to on foot.

    It wasn't built as a Homebase.
    It was originally the cold store for Usher's Park Brewery. Must have been built just before Vaux closed Usher's down in 1980.
    Beer was meant to be garbage, by the way.

    http://www.archives.gla.ac.uk/sba/sbacolls/tu.html

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    "Do they still have boxes of 'interesting' secondhand tools?

    That was Mr Murray's personal sideline. he sold the business to an Italian chap when he retired, who I guess has taken the business to Leith and on-line.

    Murray's Toy Shop...I'll miss the banter, advice and the possibility of cutting a deal. If anyone's ever up north, the best toy shop in Scotland is here;

    http://www.hisltd.co.uk/

    It's the kind of place you wouldn't be surprised to see a .300 gauge Winchester next to a pan handled shovel and a MIG welder.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. chdot
    Admin

    Back OT -

    Great opportunities for direct walk/cycle access towards the Innocent.

    But no doubt some of the neighbours would object and the planners would be unable/unwilling to insist(?)

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. chdot
    Admin

  27. kaputnik
    Moderator

    My Dad was in Homebase and asked the staff about this. They said they hadn't been told for sure they were closing and Homebase actually wanted to keep the store open, but it all depends what happened to the land. The feuhold or whatever it's called must be up for renewal. Generally these things are 25 years (or multiples thereof) for commercial property so that would figure with the age of the store.

    I have given up going to the B and Q at Hermiston Gait as it is so big I can never find what I'm looking for. Much prefer the small one at Powderhall which is perfectly formed and has most everythign, except decent cycle parking.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. ARobComp
    Member

    MY old neighbours at east parkside are having kittens about this. So much so that they've got to the point of actually going against their own rules and putting up posters on lampposts to get people to complain. I assume they're sending themselves passive aggressive e-mails.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Oh, just found the picture on my phone of the "bike racks" at B&Q. I actually think they're meant for tieing up dogs too, but it's two little wall-mounted wheelbenders, the sort on a pivot, that have seized solid. Ended up putting bikes along the wall and getting the D-lock through the stays and onto the "rack". No mean feat though trying to get the shackle up against a brick wall and hands through the wheel.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  30. chdot
    Admin


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