New £2bn ‘West Town’ planned near Edinburgh Airport

A planning application has been submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council for a new £2 billion “West Town” neighbourhood near the Scottish capital’s airport with capacity for 7,000 homes plus commercial and community facilities.

West Town Edinburgh Limited, a development consortium headed by Drum Property Group, which owns more than 200 acres of prime development land to the west of Edinburgh, has unveiled its ambitious proposals.

The 205-acre West Town site – located between Ingliston Park and Ride and the Gogar Roundabout at the western gateway of Edinburgh – is regarded as one of the most strategically important large development areas in the UK.

West Town Edinburgh said the £2 billion project would become the biggest, single homes-led development in Edinburgh in modern times, “significantly addressing” the city’s housing emergency.

“Proposed facilities include schools, medical provision, civic and community space as well as bars, restaurants, cafes, retail and other commercial spaces,” said West Town Edinburgh.

“There are plans for 27 acres of accessible green space – including a large 5.5-acre central park, several ‘pocket’ parks and a ‘wildlife’ corridor, criss-crossed by a network of cycle, running and walking tracks.

“The Edinburgh Tram route runs directly through the site and a new tram stop will be created to ensure the whole development has access to quick and efficient public transport.

“The proposals for West Town are consistent with the West Edinburgh Placemaking Framework, approved by CEC in December 2023 and align with the ambitions of the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework 4, which was approved in February 2023.”

Drum Group MD Graeme Bone said: “We now have the opportunity to make West Town an exemplar, sustainable 20-minute neighbourhood on a par with the best new developments taking place across the UK and Europe.

“This planning application is a significant milestone in realising the ambition we share with the council both for the local area and for the city, further strengthening the long-term collaborative process that is set to deliver a major transformation of the west of Edinburgh.

“The amount of space on the site combined with its superb location allows for a natural extension for the city providing 7,000 mixed-tenure homes and new jobs in a new 20-minute neighbourhood.

“West Town has direct access to some of the best public transport in Scotland – the tram line travels through the site and there are integrated rail, cycle and road connections, creating a strategic gateway to Edinburgh …

“Drum has a proven track record of delivering high quality large-scale communities across Scotland and our ambition for the area matches that of the proposed Edinburgh City Plan 2030.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Council to advance our shared vision to create a new, sustainable urban quarter for the city.”

It is hoped that work will start on site before the end of 2024, with the first phase of homes and community amenity being ready for occupation from early 2026.

The West Town planning application has been submitted following a 12-month local consultation programme which included two online and one public consultation events, resulting in more than 2,000 visits to the West Town website.