Proposed improvements around St Mary's Cathedral at Picardy Place include a new square, lined with cafés, restaurants and hotel. This is to be the subject of a separate planning application to the City of Edinburgh Council at a later date.
What will happen to Picardy Place?
Do you still plan to build a tall building?
HGI has identified an opportunity to create a landmark iconic building adjoining the Galleria and is still considering a taller building element. This is not part of the outline planning application.
What is the development timetable?
HGI anticipates a decision on the outline planning application by Spring 2009. We will then begin the detailed design work and submit a series of ‘reserved matters’ applications for consideration by the council. Work could start on the new St James Quarter as soon as 2011, with the new shopping element opening in 2015 and the completion of the entire scheme expected the following year.
This timing, however, is dependent on a number of factors - particularly the necessary planning consents - and might therefore be subject to change.
Are there going to be more restaurants and bars?
A vibrant mix of high quality cafés and restaurants is an important element of the St James Quarter proposals.
Will the redevelopment increase local traffic? Will there be more car parking?
The proposals envisage replacing the existing 620-space multi-storey car park with a state-of-the-art underground facility that will be able to accommodate 1,800 vehicles. Traffic management will form an important part of any future development plan and the final designs will seek to capitalise on the planned changes to Edinburgh's public transport infrastructure, including the trams.
What will the new centre look like?
The look of the buildings will be decided in the detailed design (“reserved matters”) application stages and there will be further consultation prior to the submission of these applications. The masterplan is a blueprint for the entire St James Quarter and the outline planning application submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council will simply establish principles for the redevelopment - such as the location, height and massing of buildings, with the thoroughfares and the proposed uses.
What benefits will the scheme bring?
The redevelopment of St James will bring a number of significant long-term benefits to Edinburgh, including:
What are the main elements of the proposals?
The application proposes the demolition of the existing St James Centre (excluding John Lewis), New St Andrews House and the multi-storey car park to provide a mixed-use development comprising new shops, hotels, offices, cafés and restaurants, new homes and car parking. The scheme will also include a crescent-shaped galleria, which will sweep across from Multrees Walk to the shopping centre's current Princes Street/Leith Street entrance.
What stage are you at with the planning process?
In September 2008 HGI submitted an outline planning application and illustrative masterplan for the St James Quarter. The illustrative masterplan demonstrates how the overall redevelopment could appear in the future and considers opportunities to redevelop the wider St James Quarter including landholdings outside HGI’s ownership. This includes the area around Picardy Place and St Mary's Cathedral.
How much consultation have you carried out?
Almost two years of consultation has been undertaken with the City of Edinburgh Council, the local community and other key stakeholders, including heritage organisations. This included an eight-week on site public exhibition on the outline proposals in early 2008.
The public was overwhelmingly supportive of the HGI proposals with widespread backing for plans to improve access through the site. The feedback received throughout our consultation has been extensively used to inform the design process.