Delivering highly sustainable lower-cost and affordable housing in Scotland

  • Investment Strategy,
  • Date of Initial InvestmentJune 2021
  • Bridges ExecutivesSimon Ringer
    Celia Harrison


With 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, there is a pressing need for more lower-cost and affordable housing.

In Scotland, construction of new homes is still lagging behind pre-pandemic levels – and the latest figures suggest the Scottish Government may struggle to meet its ambitious commitment to build 100,000 affordable homes by 2032. Edinburgh Local Authority has one of the poorest building stocks in Scotland, due to the age of construction and lack of insulation.


In June 2021, Bridges acquired a 1.2-acre site at Beaverhall Road, close to Edinburgh city centre and the Botanic Gardens. The site is within one of the top 2.1% most underserved areas in Scotland, based on the Housing domain of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (“SIMD”) 2020.

Planning permission has been granted for 205 residential units, of which 25% are affordable; while part of the ground floor area will be reserved for commercial use, to provide accommodation for local SMEs. The site currently provides short-term accommodation for workshop occupiers, who may be re-housed in the ancillary commercial element of the proposed development.


Beaverhall Road is expected to support around 425 residents, representing a contribution of over 6% towards Edinburgh’s annual housing needs.

The scheme is designed with well-being features in mind (such as dual-aspect flats, amenities, good daylighting, greenspace and cycle provision), and targets over 50% CO2 emissions reductions over a standard new-build.

The development is expected to achieve a Silver level certificate for Section 7 of the Building Regulations, which is considered to be equivalent to a “Very Good” accreditation for BREEAM.