The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has been granted planning permission by City of Edinburgh Council, with conditions, for a plan to improve its Inverleith Nursery, which lies to the North of the main Edinburgh Garden.
The go-ahead means that work on the project, which includes new polytunnels, a glasshouse and a new staff facilities building, may begin this year. The plan approved was a scaled back version of previous plans for the site, which RBGE reviewed after listening to neighbours’ concerns.
The works aim to improve accommodation at the nursery and help the RBGE to carry out more plant conservation and research work. It will also be a ‘decant’ facility when a major redevelopment of the research glasshouses in the main garden takes place. Plans for this project are in development.
The immediate conditions on the planning permission include:
- Confirmed removal of the vehicle shed which appeared in early plans
- Confirmed removal of street style lighting throughout the site, again which appeared in early plans
- Confirmed restriction of boiler house flue to 0.6m above the height of the roof
- Council approval of additional planting
Although it could not be made a condition of the planning approval, RBGE also confirmed an offer to the residents of Inverleith Avenue South to provide reasonable remedial works to the unadopted road.
RBGE regius keeper Professor Stephen Blackmore said: "This is the first major milestone in a journey which will transform our facilities to match the world-class research work we carry out into plant biodiversity and conservation. Our bigger plans will put this research work on public display for the first time and will substantially reduce our carbon footprint.
"In the meantime though, we are simply pleased that this first project can go ahead, as, in itself, it delivers much needed improvements to the nursery."