Cameron Toll Shopping Centre

Cameron Toll Shopping Centre
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Cameron Toll Shopping Centre

An unusual structure located at Nether Liberton, 2 miles (3 km) south southeast of the centre of Edinburgh, Cameron Toll Shopping Centre was built on a sensitive 10.5-ha (26-acre) site on the edge of Inch Park, following considerable debate and some controversy, to become the city's first suburban covered shopping mall. Designed by Michael Laird and opened in 1984 at a cost of £32.5 million, the building is surrounded by a black glass-covered prismatic curtain, giving the overall impression of a large crystal, yet much of the building and its car parks are hidden from the north and west due to its situation in a hollow. Construction on a low-lying flood plain required months of pile-driving to achieve adequate foundations.

The centre was originally formed around two major stores; an immense Savacentre hypermarket, which was a joint venture between Sainsbury's and British Home Stores, and a rather smaller Safeway supermarket. Safeway closed in the early 1990s and was remodelled into smaller stores, including a separate British Home Stores after their partnership with Sainsbury's dissolved.

The car park originally had space for 1158 cars, with the Braid Burn running in a culvert beneath. Not long after opening, the centre was flooded when the stream overflowed. A petrol station was added in the early 1990s. On the edge of the southwestern car park is Liberton Bank House, once the home of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930), which was threatened with demolition in 2002 but saved to become Dunedin School in 2007. Adjacent is the Arthur Conan Doyle Medical Centre, by architect Richard Murphy (2007), rather crowding what had been a quiet corner of the site. Two drive-through food outlets were built in the northeast car park during 2016, reducing parking provision to 1028 cars.

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