Moorgarth, asset manager for the owner of the Waverley Mall, has submitted its latest development proposals designed to revitalise the mall’s existing roof space and create a new market-style piazza and natural meeting place within the heart of the capital.
Montagu Evans are the planning consultants for the proposals, the latest in a number of high profile projects across Scotland including Edinburgh’s Quartermile and the former BHS stores on Union Street, Aberdeen, and on Princes Street, Edinburgh.
Along with a newly-designed roof space, a new entrance at the corner of Princes Street and Waverley Bridge will be created enabling full disabled access, much improved circulation at the top of Waverley Steps and a doubling of the width of the pavement travelling west towards the Scott Monument.
Tim Vaughan, CEO Moorgarth Group commented that these proposals are all about maximising the potential of this unique site, for the benefit of both Edinburgh’s residents and visitors:
“Following our acquisition of Waverley Mall, the intention has always been to explore and fully understand the role it plays within the fabric of Edinburgh. This has brought about a vision that looks to return areas of the mall back to the original market concept, whilst looking to create something of real quality and vibrancy within the heart of the city.
“Along with the improved roof space, the new entrance and the widening of the pavement on Princes Street are all about establishing a greater sense of arrival into Edinburgh that utilises its unique and very important location. Retail is continuing to change and through innovative design we can create a truly destinational scheme offering facilities that Edinburgh currently doesn’t have. It is imperative that we enable the current offer to change and evolve to meet today’s customer demands for both residents, businesses and visitors to Edinburgh.”
A key feature of the new roof terrace will be the creation of retail, restaurants and leisure units along the south, east and west elevations. The north elevation of the terrace will be open onto Princes Street with steps leading from Princes Street to a wide open European style piazza area. This area can be secured at night, addressing anti-social behaviour issues whilst providing the opportunity for the terrace to become a controlled social and amenity space. The designs at roof level reflect the elegant parterre style gardens of the original Victorian Waverley Market and will provide an attractive addition to the site. A walkway along the entire southern elevation will provide access to the magnificent views of the Old Town.
Andrew Munnis, Head of Scotland at Montagu Evans and Moorgarth’s planning consultant on the scheme, added:
“Waverley Mall is located in a strategic location within the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage Site and the New Town Conservation Area. While it’s not listed directly, the team has been very careful to respect the heritage status of the surrounding buildings, especially the adjacent Balmoral Hotel, when drawing up these proposals.
“Nevertheless, this is a 1980s shopping centre in the middle of a historic city centre and with Moorgarth involved it is a real opportunity to put forward wide-reaching improvements that show great sensitivity to local concerns without compromising the many things that already make this part of Edinburgh such a draw. Focussing on the mall as a destination, creating a central open courtyard, bringing in more independent names and better reflecting its location next to Waverley Station are all important elements of the plans.”
In March 2018, Moorgarth was granted planning permission to widen the entrances onto Waverley Steps in an effort to enhance the visitor experience to the centre and the general aspect up the steps themselves. In addition, Waverley Mall will soon undergo a programme of internal works, aimed at reviving the look and feel of the mall.