Artisan is an award-winning UK property developer and is proud to create places that people want to live, work and spend time in. You can see some of our projects on
We focus on delivering sustainable developments and creating vibrant, high quality environments. We bring together more than 30 years of experience in office, retail, industrial, leisure and residential developments. Our current projects include over 1,200 residential units, 860 hotel rooms, 10,000 sq. ft retail and 190,000 sq. ft of office space representing over half a billion pounds of investment that comprise some of the most innovative developments in the UK.
is a local example of our work. This former B&Q brownfield site in Edinburgh’s Canonmills area is being transformed into 135 new homes set around a large, landscaped central courtyard creating a communal ‘green heart’ for residents. Prospective residents have been impressed by the spaciousness and quality of light in the apartments.
Artisan bought the site in January 2020 from a care home operator who had closed the former Gylemuir Care Home and demolished the buildings. The decision to close the care home was made before our involvement.
The site is allocated within the urban area as defined in the Edinburgh Local Development Plan, where the priority is to provide housing as a first opportunity on brownfield sites with good access to the city centre.
Edinburghs population has grown by 13% in the last 10 years and is predicted to continue to grow. The Council has identified a need for 44,000 new homes this decade. A key priority is to utilise as much brownfield land as possible to meet this need.
Artisan will meet all of its obligations in terms of contributions as defined in local plan policy to transport, schools, healthcare, affordable housing and the City Car Club. This will be secured by a legal (section 75) agreement that is set against the land and any planning consent.
Historically, the site was near to a local horticultural business called Rowanbank Nursery. We like the idea of naming it after the Nursery to reflect the high level of greenspace and planting the development will have.
The key design idea is the creation of a large central shared internal garden to provide a tranquil focal point for community. The greenspace is an important feature and we are proposing that up to a quarter of the site be landscaped or garden area with ground floor apartments having private garden or balcony space.
All apartments will be distinctive, modern, open plan, bright and spacious. Daylight is a key feature of our designs and we undertake extensive light modelling to ensure daylight is maximised inside and out.
The proposed designs will improve pedestrian connectivity across the site with vehicles and parking spaces designed to minimise impact on surrounding streets.
The communal garden space is at the heart of the proposal and sets the driver for the material qualities of the building. A warm-toned, buff masonry has been selected for the building elevations to complement the colours of the garden and to sit comfortably with the various finishes and materials found within the surrounding buildings. Walls will be complemented by a co-ordinated, colour-coated standing seam roof.
The large gateway entrance on the eastern elevation will provide a visual link to the courtyard garden and will be used to create a colourful and interesting connection with the landscape.
We are proposing 126 one, two and three bedroom apartments and 25% of these will be delivered as affordable homes managed by a Housing Association. There is strong local demand for family living so we are providing a higher proportion of three bedroom homes than you would normally see in a development like this.
City of Edinburgh Council has a policy intent to make the best use of the city’s available brownfield land and avoid under developing sites. This proposes a minimum of 100 dwellings per hectare for sites that are close to public transport services and active travel routes. The proposals for 126 homes on this site complies with policy thus making best use of land resources.
Its too early to say - but in line with local market conditions know at point of sale.
The site is surrounded on three sides by modern residential developments. Existing building heights around the site vary, and the height of the proposed buildings vary accordingly and will be made up of four/five storeys plus a set-back roof to the south and west of the development, with three storeys along the central section to the north.
The final proposed heights range from 3 to 5 storeys including an inhabited recessed mansard roof, plus a set-back roof level. The proposed massing has been developed to be appropriate to the scale of streets, daylighting and amenity by providing a range of heights and frontages instead of one ‘solid’ block.
Heights have been reduced along the north of Gylemuir Rd, with the top 5th storey on the NW corner being set back in additional to reduced height 3-storey properties along the central section to the north on Gylemuir Rd.
The mansard roof form will mitigate visual and daylight impact and reduce perception of built form with the varied roofline and heights to the north of Gylemuir Rd complementing the adjacent scale of development.
Since the consultation event, we have also been giving more thought to the streetscape ensuring that we maximise residential amenity and create a positive and attractive street frontage and so re-enforce the character of the area as a residential neighbourhood. This improved streetscape and visual amenity will enrich the existing community. We have created more ‘main door’ apartments and also propose a significant increase in landscaping along the site’s northern Gylemuir Rd frontage with increased footway width, street- side planting and front gardens.
Yes in line with Council Policy, 25% will be provided within the new development.
The large central internal garden will be laid out to provide social gathering space, planting space, natural children’s play and a woodland area as well as a more formal lawn.
Council Design Guidance states that new buildings should be spaced out so that reasonable levels of daylight and sunlight to existing buildings are maintained. There are statutory software models that calculate daylighting impact. Computer modelling for Rowanbank Gardens has been undertaken to demonstrate that the proposals meet the requirements of the Edinburgh Design Guide, BRE Guide criteria, and planning policy requirements.
In addition, sun path modelling has been undertaken to determine any overshadowing to existing gardens and has demonstrated that at least 50% of the existing garden spaces will receive more than three hours of direct sunlight during the spring equinox, in-line with planning policy.
Privacy will be maintained with generous street widths, (between 20m and 40m face-to-face) and front gardens / hedges + planting to ground floor gardens. Immediate outlook will be improved with well-designed street frontage and gardens.
Land is an increasingly scarce resource and the Council planning policy is moving towards increasing the density of development on sites like this. The design of Rowanbank Gardens- providing 1,2 and 3 bedroom properties and a high level of outdoor garden space-is intended to attract family occupiers as well as the high percentage of local people we know would like to downsize but stay in Corstorphine. Of the 126 homes that are proposed, there will be an unusually high percentage of three bedroom properties: 40 in total, with 62 two bedroom and 24 one bedroom homes.
25% is the level of affordable homes required by Council policy and we are complying with this. The range of properties: from smaller one bedroom apartments to 3 bedroom main door apartments will offer a range of price points.
We are providing 55 car parking spaces and 260 secure dry bike spaces. Not all residents will own a car. There will be a car club, car club parking spaces and electric vehicle charging points as well as accessible parking for those who are less able.
We’ve carried out a number of parking surveys to see how much the existing car parking spaces in the area are used and this shows that about half of the spaces are used at any one time. This is in line with what we propose to provide. There is an ambition in Edinburgh and other cities to give residents alternatives to using cars and we want our developments to support this. Our experience with our new development at demonstrates this: 60% of purchasers with a car space option have reserved/bought their apartment without a space.
Rowanbank Gardens has bus stops and cycle paths on the doorstep and South Gyle train station a 15 minute walk away.
Vehicular access is off Gylemuir Road.
A Transport Assessment has been prepared and will form part of the planning application. The site is extremely well connected for those on foot or cycle and public transport services accessing a range of destinations are available with easy walking distance of the site. Buses to the city centre take 20 minutes and Edinburgh Park 15 minutes; South Gyle train station is a 15 minute walk and Quiet Cycle route 9 passes to the south of the site. The local primary school is an 8 minute walk.
Gylemuir Road has already been surveyed and this has revealed that per house ‘trip rates’ of existing housing are only 0.364 per house (morning peak time) and 0.242 (evening). For 126 new homes, this would equate to only 44 trips by car in the morning peak hour and 30 in the evening peak. This is supported by census data for the area which shows that 34% of people choose to use a car for travel to work, while 31% take the bus and 24% walk, emphasising the sustainable access credentials of the sites location.
We have redesigned Rowanbank Gardens carpark to address this concern and propose to exclude general access into and out of the Rowanbank Gardens car park at the southern access point and instead allow only outbound service vehicles to use this route, which can then be barrier controlled.
We are considering whether a speed table at the main entrance would be appropriate.
The site within the catchment areas of Gylemuir Primary and Fox Covert RC Primary and Forrester High and St Augustines RC Secondary. The Council’s school roll projections for these schools show no issue with future capacity other than at St Augustine’s in 2023. The Council makes future provision for school places and developers are required to make a financial contribution towards this.
NHS Inform advises there are 12 medical practices with a 2 mile distance from the site.
Our consultation began on 26th February 2020 when we held a face to face drop in event at Corstorphine Community Hub. The event had been publicised in the weeks preceding by:
• leafleting 2,000 local residents and businesses
• displaying posters locally – including on the Tesco Community Noticeboard
• email to immediate neighbours via factor (as well as a physical leaflet)
• placing an advert in the evening news
• launching a project website
• emailing the local Community Council, Councillors and politicians
The consultation information was posted on the project website with a link to the questionnaire to enable online responses to be gathered.
We had anticipated holding a second drop in event on 25th March but were unable to do this due to the Covid 19 outbreak. We updated the 2,000 neighbours with a flyer and a post on Community Facebook pages with a reach of 16,000.
On 31st March, we undertook a virtual meeting with Community Council representatives. We were able to deliver a presentation and discuss the proposals, community feedback on them and how we had addressed community concerns.
Before the planning application determination we will ideally hold another public consultation as soon as we are safe to do so. If this is not possible, we may lean towards a virtual public consultation. Watch our project website for updated information. All public information will be posted on the project website
145 people attended the drop in event on 26th February with the consultation information remaining available on the project website and an online survey open until 20th March. 58 written responses were received.
• 98% of respondents agreed Corstorphine is a good place to live
• 85% support the development of new homes
• 29% disagreed that new homes is the best use for the site
Key points liked:
• Greenspace and gardens
• Good plan for the site
• Good transport links
• Positive for housing supply
• Cycle storage/access to cyclepaths
Key concerns raised:
• Road infrastructure
• Daylight and views
• Local Services
All of the concerns are addressed in the .
The application was submitted to City of Edinburgh Council on 1st May 2020.
This is dependent on when all the necessary statutory consents. It is anticipated that the earliest site start would be spring 2021.
The development should take around 24 months to build.
Artisan and our contractors are responsible developers, and pride ourselves on being good neighbours. A Construction Management Plan will be completed for approval by CEC, which will ensure best construction practices are adhered to so disruption is minimised through the construction process.
In response to Covid 19, the Scottish Government has enacted . Therefore, we are unable to hold a second consultation event. It is our intention to host a further consultation event prior to planning determination. If restrictions continue, we will try to undertake a virtual consultation.
This website will be updated regularly and you can for further information at any time.