The potential foothold for the Garden District, which it is hoped will eventually encompass 3,500 homes on the western outskirts of the Scottish capital, was approved at Edinburgh’s Full Council meeting in the city chambers.
The city’s councillors gave their approval to Murray Estates’ proposals for the Garden District, and paved the way for over 1,300 new family homes that includes 300 affordable homes in first instalment.
Its backers said the new district will be close to train, tram and bus links and it claimed “as such would be one of the best served sites for public transport in Scotland”.
It is also claimed that the site puts the homes in easy reach of 10,000 jobs at Edinburgh Park and Royal Bank of Scotland.
In ratifying the latest decision made by the council’s powerful planing of last month, the council chose by majority to support the new development.
However, the size of the £1bn development means it is likely to come under scrutiny by the Scottish Government.
Jestyn Davies, managing director of Murray Estates, said: ‘We are obviously delighted that the council has given such overwhelming backing for our vision for the Garden District.
“We are keen to progress the delivery of new homes, and hope to be on site in the near future.
“Right from the beginning, our plan was to set out and create a genuinely world class extension of the nation’s capital, and now we have the support.”
The council report also stated: “Within the council’s area, there is land with planning support and free of planning constraints for around 30,000 homes.
“This includes sites in the proposed local development plan but not the application site.
“This means that the site is not required to meet housing land need.”
Murray Estates was said to be keen to bring 1,379 new family homes to Edinburgh “as quickly as possible”.
The plans were given the green light by Edinburgh councillors against the advice of the city’s planning department which recommended rejecting the proposals which breached several key environmental policies set out.
Conditions attached to the decision to drive through the plans included more detailed analysis on flood prevention, traffic and public transport.
The development will also see the creation of a new school, community hub and shopping centre, sports facilities and green space.
There was only one objection from Green councillor Steve Burgess but the decision will be ratified – or potentially rejected – at a full Edinburgh Council meeting.
SNP councillor Alex Lunn said the development would be good for employment but also give people the chance of their first home.
The planning report said that “there is an effective housing land supply – this means that the land is not required for housing” and because of this “the proposal contravenes policies on Green Belt and Special Landscape Areas as well as the overarching policies in respect of housing land supply as there is no requirement to release the land for housing”.
Developer Murray Estates – owned by former Rangers chairman Sir David Murray – previously said the ambitious scheme would create a “world class extension to the nation’s capital”.