City Plan 2030 – Visitor Accommodation Seminar

As City Plan 2030 moves forward, we are holding more events on key subjects such as the Housing Seminar we shared just over a week ago. The events are attending by people who work in these areas and are a way of sharing and gaining knowledge in specific topics.

Our most recent event was on the subject of visitor accommodation, (such as hotels, short-term lets, hostels and guest houses) dealing with the growth of tourism and the impact on the property market.

We invited those involved in building or running visitor accommodation, or with a stake in this activity. With over 60 people signed up to attend, we heard from a range of perspectives.

The first speaker was Jim Galloway,  our Head of Enterprise and Innovation at the Council, who covered the trends in tourist numbers over the last few years, why they have changed, and what issues may affect these numbers in the future.

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The next speakers were Dr Mark Robertson of Ryden, Andrew Renouf of GVA and Ian Derrick of GVA who discussed the current state of the property market for this sector.

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This was followed by a discussion session with input from both industry and community representatives, on the topic of how to address the growth of visitor numbers in City Plan 2030, with a range of views given and discussed.

The final speaker was Keith Miller from our Development Planning team who gave an outline of City Plan 2030 and how we will be involving more people in the discussion in the future.

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The event was closed by Councillor Lezley Cameron who rounded off the event and addressed a few key points and issues which came up.

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Next year we intend to hold a further event on the subject of the retail and leisure sector. Watch this space! If you’d like to give us your own views on this subject, let us know in the comments, or email us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk

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City Plan 2030 – Housing Seminar

We want to include the views of people involved in housing in Edinburgh as we prepare City Plan 2030, so as part of our consultation we held a housing seminar last Friday and invited a range of people representing groups with a stake in building and providing housing.

We invited Councillors, colleagues and representatives from Homes for Scotland, Shelter Scotland and ESPC to present on a number of topics.

The event was kicked off by Councillor Neil Gardiner, Convener of the Planning Committee and Kate Campbell, Convener of the Housing and Economy Committee;

 

Speakers then talked about how to deliver the housing the city needs;

 

…and about the challenges and opportunities for housing;

 

After this a discussion was held amongst the groups of guests. All groups were asked “What makes a good place?”

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Themes which came up:

  • People and communities are key.
  • Early engagement in the planning process.
  • The importance of connectivity and infrastructure such as transport and schools.
  • Direct approach to bringing forward housing sites.
  • The right mix of tenures and housing types needs to be found to tackle high prices.
  • More certainty through long-term planning.

We enjoyed hosting this event and think the guests did too. We also found it very useful and look forward to having more of these discussions as work on City Plan 2030 proceeds.

We hope to post guest blogs in the future on the subject about what makes a good place to live. Watch this space!

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City Plan 2030 – Housing Land Audit and Completions Programme

The Housing Land Audit and Completions Programme sets out the amount of land available for house building, identifies any issues and assesses the amount of land supply against the targets and required land in the Strategic Development Plan.

We’ve produced a short video which helps explain where we are with land availability and housing completions in Edinburgh:

The audit we prepare has always provided an estimate of what is likely to be built on each site, each year.  The key change is that we now look at the supply of housing land, (managed by the planning system) and the delivery of new homes (by developers and landowners) as separate things.

This is better because we can see what is holding up the building of houses, and what can be done to increase the number of new houses.

Our report to the Planning Committee on 3 October 2018  shows that there is more than enough housing land, free from development constraints and that we are exceeding our five year target to build more houses.

The Review of the Scottish Planning System identified the need to be clear about how much housing land is required, and we want this new approach to help inform future policy and guidance.  We have shared this with other Scottish planning authorities and had the pleasure of winning a Scottish Award for Quality in Planning for our new way of working.

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City Plan 2030 – Community Workshops Video

Watch this short video on how we have been engaging local communities in Edinburgh.

More updates on how City Plan 2030 moves forward will be posted here on the Planning Edinburgh blog.

We are holding an additional community workshop at Currie Library, 210 Lanark Road West on Monday 3 December from 6pm – 7.30pm. To book a place or to join the mailing list you can email the City Plan team at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk.

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Planning and Building Standards portal – now back online

We're back

You may have already noticed that the planning and building standards portal is now back online.

The upgrade has resulted in a number of improvements for us in-house in how we handle planning and building warrant applications. The upgrade has also resulted in a number of improvements to the public portal, including:

  • Documents can be bulk downloaded
  • Draft comments will be retained after a time out
  • Comments can be spellchecked
  • Social media integration means you can easily share comments and applications via email or Twitter
  • Email addresses are checked to ensure they are valid before registering for the portal
  • Uncommon email domains are now supported – for example, .house
  • You will be able to track notifications of map searches
  • New links to ePlanning and eBuildingStandards are included for the submission of applications

In terms of how customers submit planning and building warrants, improvements include:

  • A ‘Client to Pay’ option for ePlanning and eBuildingstandards means agents can submit the application form without payment, and their client will receive an email with the eDevelopment reference number and telephone details for them to make the payment
  • For Building Standards, drawing numbers, revision numbers and document descriptions will be uploaded into our system as input by the agent/customer

Planning applications effected by the downtime will have additional time added to allow for public comments. For users who wish to check the expiry date for public comments on an application, this can be viewed in the “Important Dates” tab.

Whilst much of the upgrade was about providing greater stability in our systems and improving how we manage planning and building standards applications, we hope that you find the ‘user experience’ has been greatly improved in the process.

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City Plan 2030 – Children and Young People Engagement

As we start to prepare City Plan 2030, we have been visiting secondary schools across Edinburgh, coinciding with the 2018 Year of Young People. We have been asking young people about what they think about their area, and what issues are facing the city.

To help us with this, we have been using the Place Standard Tool, which helps us to structure conversations about place – including the physical and social aspects, identifying the assets of a place, as well as areas where places could improve.

We have collected views from nine schools across the city including Queensferry High School, Craigmount High School, Wester Hailes Education Centre, Firhill High School, George Watson’s, James Gillespie’s High School, George Heriot’s, Liberton High School and Portobello High School.

We are now using the views collected to inform the preparation of City Plan 2030.

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What are the young people’s views telling us?

Although the issues raised and the results varied across the city depending on location and school, we can identify a number of key themes.

Parking and traffic was highlighted as an issue in relation to safety, space and sometimes making it difficult to walk and cycle safely.

Having a sense of control or influence was also brought up by a number of young people across the workshops. One attendee from the South East of the city said from “We rarely get chances like this to change our area”. And another said that they “feel like there should be more opportunities to get my voice heard in my local community.”

Edinburgh’s natural spaces were rated the best across the city. Many attendees mentioned their local favourites and appreciated that these spaces were open free and accessible.

Good quality public transport and a wide variety of bus routes were also mentioned as positives, as well as trams and trains which were highlighted as being of importance to young people.

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What next?

We are encouraging all young people in Edinburgh to keep up to date with the City Plan 2030 project by following this blog or following us on Twitter or using #cityplan2030.

For those that had views on transport and mobility in the city a major public consultation called ‘Connecting our City, Transforming our Places’ is also currently looking for the views of the public and we would encourage everybody to share their views by completing the online survey which is open until 12 November 2018.

There will be more opportunities to engage with the City Plan 2030 project moving forward – you can contact the City Plan team and/or subscribe to our newsletter by emailing Cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk or find more information on the City Plan 2030 website www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cityplan2030.

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Planning and Building Standards systems downtime: 1–7 November

As a follow up to our previous blog post, we can confirm that the Planning and Building Standards systems upgrade will commence on Thursday 1 November with completion expected on Wednesday 7 November.

As a reminder, the upgrade will impact on the delivery of the service and the planning and building standards portal will be unavailable during this time. The weekly list of planning applications will not be issued and you will be unable to view and comment on applications.

The Development Management Sub Committee scheduled for 7 November has been cancelled. All outstanding items of business will be dealt with at subsequent meetings. The Local Review Body meeting will continue as planned on 14 November.

When the systems are back online, the weekly list of planning applications will include newly submitted applications and decisions. Decisions will not be issued during the period of downtime.

Additional time will be given to comment on applications affected by the downtime.

The internal systems we use to manage applications will also be unavailable which means staff will have no access to planning and building standards records.

The upgrade will have no effect on the national eDevelopment Portal and planning and building warrant applications can continue to be submitted in this way. However, we would ask you not to submit new applications during the downtime as they will not be registered which could create a backlog that leads to delays in processing.

You can keep up to date by following us on Twitter @planningedin or subscribing to the Blog.

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