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Council gives OK to 'urban village'

CONTRACTS - SCOTLAND

HBG will start work on a £200 million mixed-use scheme in Edinburgh later this summer after city planners gave it the thumbs-up.

The job to turn a former Scottish & Newcastle brewery site in the city centre into an urban village was given the green light by City of Edinburgh Council earlier this month.

HBG won the contract in 2004 but has since been working on the design stage only.

Now demolition work on the former bottling plant, which had been at the site for 150 years, is due to start this summer with main construction work beginning shortly after.

The work in the Fountainbridge area of the city will see 650 homes go up, accompanied by 50,000 sq m of office space, underground car parking, shops, restaurants and other community facilities such as doctors' surgeries.

The main feature of the scheme will be two central boulevards but other focus points will include public squares and a new park. Emphasis has been placed on providing pedestrian and cycle routes throughout the development.

Homes will range from affordable and social housing through to flats aimed at firsttime buyers and larger family town houses. City-style apartments and luxury penthouses will also be included.

The development is based on a masterplan designed by Edinburgh-based architects Oberlanders.

The first part of the deal is valued a little over £100 million and HBG is expected to pick up the second stage, worth just under £100 million.