Historically, Bonnington was a milling village that grew around the Water of Leith. The area has since been home to business and light industry, including the John Lewis depot, the former Crawfords Biscuits warehouse and the original Chancelot Mill (before it moved to Leith Western Harbour in the 1970’s).
In more recent years, as industry has declined, the area has had great potential to provide new homes for the city.
We created a long-term development brief for the area in 2008 to ensure that:
- housing development did not prejudice existing businesses;
- modern, flexible business space was still provided in the area; and
- better connections were made between Bonnington and wider pedestrian routes, cycle networks and green spaces.
Our development brief covers the area highlighted in purple below. It’s been almost ten years since its publication – so, what has happened in that time?
Well, there’s been a wealth of redevelopment, and the area is almost unrecognisable when compared with the 1929 aerial shot. Development in Bonnington has been residential-led and there’s potentially a lot more to come.
We recently had a walk around Bonnington to visit completed development, sites under construction and sites currently being assessed for planning permission. These included:
- Flaxmill Place
Located just off Newhaven Road, this development for 130 residential homes was granted planning permission in November 2012. The development was finished in 2016, on the site of the former Johnston Print Works. Although space for light industry has not been formally reinstated, business space has been provided. One unit is currently occupied.
- Bonnington Village
Works to construct Bonnington Village are underway, just off Bonnington Road Lane. The development was granted planning permission in 2016 and works began in May 2017. The development will provide 214 homes, as well as two commercial units that will lie adjacent to the existing flats at Tinto Place. An improved north to south pedestrian link will also be delivered through the development.
- West Bowling Green Street
The building works for 98 residential properties on West Bowling Green Street began in July 2017. As you can see in the plans below, both commercial and retail space is to be provided on the ground floor units fronting Anderson Place. The development will also deliver the foot way and cycle way we initially proposed in our development brief. You can see this route in Figure 4b above.
As we move towards our next Local Development Plan, LDP 2, we will be reflecting on how well our policies for housing and employment space have been working. New employment space is being provided in Bonnington, however, it is not as flexible as the older industrial and storage buildings it is replacing. We still think there’s a need to provide industrial space in this part of the city.
The LDP 2 process is likely to include reassessing our approach to such areas, to ensure that a variety of employment sites are available across all parts of the city.
We will be looking for your input soon as we prepare to plan for the future of Bonnington and the wider city. In the meantime, you can view and comment on the range of planning applications we receive for the city on our planning portal.