Dockside Development Triumphs at Property “Oscars”

by Ross Stebbing

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014


Cala Homes - Albert Dock 4An ambitious new homes development which reclaimed a dockside gap site has scooped a lucrative UK-wide property award thanks to its regeneration of the area.

CALA Homes (East) is celebrating after its Albert Dock Development, in Leith, claimed the prestigious honour for the transformation of a former industrial site.

Delighted staff from the firm, which has its UK-wide headquarters in Edinburgh, picked up the accolade at the 2014 What House? Awards in The Grosvenor House Hotel, in Mayfair, London.

Albert Dock earned Gold in the “Best Brownfield” category at the ceremony and was roundly praised for its urban regeneration and revival of the surrounding area.

The accolade is twice as sweet for the house builder, which has revealed that the first and second phases of the development have been a runaway success, with 24 of its 31 townhouses sold since the development launched earlier this year.

Sarah Stanger, Sales and Marketing Director at CALA Homes (East), said: “It’s an honour to have won the “Best Brownfield” category at the What House? Awards – it’s a fantastic feeling to be recognised for the care, thought and sheer hard work that has gone into the development.

“Albert Dock was designed to bridge the gap between the industrial working dockside at Leith and the vibrant community of the Shore – the local area is brimming with the history of its manual labour, warehouses and shipping heritage, and we wanted to pay tribute to this.

“Our main aim was to find a way to connect that proud industrial heritage to the thriving contemporary setting of Leith in 2014.

“Thanks to the Albert Dock development there is now a link between the cosmopolitan environment of the shore, and its neighbouring industry setting. It will also provide the public with a renewed walkway to the dock.”


CALA Homes built its reputation on creating high-quality homes in sought after locations, which create a powerful sense of community – which meant the disuses brownfield site was particularly challenging.

In nod to the industry-heritage of the area, CALA Homes carefully designed the development to mirror the hard-edged nature of the local industry – with bold linear designs and a simple pattern of brickwork.

Sarah added: “Before the development came to light, it’s fair to say the area was in a position of disarray and was pretty much a derelict site with no benefit to the local community. We feel proud that we have created a new community hub which has already breathed new life into an area full of charm and heritage.”

The official feedback from judges applauds CALA Homes for creating high-quality homes while also regenerating a disused space and turning it into a thriving community setting.

What House declared the development as a design of “great sophistication” with its simple contemporary elegance, paying homage to the local industry.

Industry experts from the awards also commented on the carefully designed relationship between dockside and the water, with its excellent views across to the working dock.

However, the panellists agreed the “planning masterstroke” lay in the treatment of the “street” – a space formed between the two parallel terraces where balconies not only define the streetscape and create useful carports, but provide an extensive outdoor living space.

What House further commented that the individual houses were imaginatively planned – and act as a fine response to what was overall, a “very difficult” Brownfield site.

The What House awards are sponsored by Virgin Media and Zoopla Property Group.

For more information regarding Albert Dock, and also its forthcoming phase of new properties, house-hunters are being encouraged to visit its official website.

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Public rleations agency account executive Ross Stebbing

Private: Ross Stebbing

As part of the expert PR team at a fast-paced Scottish public relations agency, Ross Stebbing works on diverse clients in sectors including film and media, construction, healthcare and logistics. While he delivers PR in Edinburgh, his results appear in newspapers, magazines and websites all across the UK and beyond.

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