Construction gets underway at pioneering age friendly development in South Edinburgh

Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association has started on site at the £6 million Fortune Place development in Edinburgh, a pioneering age friendly development designed by local architects Smith Scott Mullan to meet the requirements of older people.

The development is part of Castle Rock Edinvar’s ‘1000 Homes for Edinburgh’ initiative to deliver new affordable homes in the capital over the next five years in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council.

All of the 54 flats at Fortune Place will be available at affordable rent to people aged 60 and over. The scheme is a redevelopment of St Barnabas Court, one of the first sheltered housing developments in Scotland built by Castle Rock in 1974 and the adjacent council owned care home at Craigour, which now demolished, had also reached the end of its useful life.

Alister Steele, Castle Rock Edinvar managing director, said:

“How we feel about our physical surroundings can impact on our well-being. We are creating stylish apartments for people who wish to live independently for as long as possible. The spaces are larger than normal to accommodate any required home-based care or mobility aids, and interiors are designed to allay confusion or anxieties which may occur either now or in the future. Loneliness and isolation are often associated with old age. The last thing older people need as their mental and physical health declines is the upheaval and stress of moving on to more appropriate accommodation in a new community, leaving behind their home and everything that is familiar.”

The main building comprises two-storey four in a block cottage apartments and a flatted corner block which benefits from south facing views over the park and includes four homes specifically designed to be fully accessible to wheelchair users. Three of these flats are on upper floors, an option which is not usually available. All of the homes are energy efficient with large windows to let in as much light as possible and easy access to attractive outdoor spaces to encourage residents to engage in outdoor activity.

Eugene Mullan, director of Smith Scott Mullan Architects, said:

“The buildings have been designed to overlook the surrounding streets and the local park, creating interest and a pleasant outlook for residents. The design of the streets reduces the car speeds while maintaining safe pedestrian routes. There are enclosed communal gardens and the detail design of these gardens will take place once the homes are occupied. We hope this housing will be a distinctive and welcoming addition to the Moredun area.”

Fortune Place is due to open in March 2015.

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