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Edinburgh’s South Side Conversation Area has been expanded to include a group of Category ‘A’ listed buildings, with special architectural and historic importance.

In a report by the City of Edinburgh Council, which was approved by the local authority’s Planning Committee yesterday (Wednesday, 27 February), The Royal Commonwealth Pool, the Scottish Widows building and the first phases of Pollock Halls were all described as having distinct character and significant value and were cited as good examples of their architectural styles.

The South Side Conservation Area boundary line will now be amended and follows consultation with local residents, businesses and other local institutions as well as city-wide amenity groups.

The South Side Conservation Area was originally designated in May 1975.

Cllr. Neil Gardiner, Planning Convener, said: “Thanks to all those who took part in the consultation process. I’m delighted that the Committee was unanimous today in approving this report. The Widows building is hexagonal in shape after the rock face of the nearby Crags and is surrounded by a water pool. ‘Commie’ pool is a well-loved Edinburgh institution which has received substantial investment in recent years and has contributed to the success of medallists from David Wilkie onwards.

Two girls in blue synchronise a dive
The Commonwealth Pool continues to attract National and international aquatic sports

“Our conservation areas are not just about the individual icon but building groups which make great places to be. In the 1960s and 70s much of the South Side was under threat of the wrecking ball. Several streets were demolished and you can see pictures in the City Art Centre’s Blomfield exhibition, which runs to mid-March and is well worth a look.

“We can be grateful to past generations of Edinburgh folk who campaigned to save the South Side. The new City Plan consultation is ongoing and this will help the area to continue to be a great place where people want to live, work and visit. When developing the City Plan we need to think about sustainable communities for the twenty-first century which can become conservation areas of the future.”

Further information on Conservation Areas can be found here

www.blackwells.co.uk