City Plan 2030 – Commercial Needs Industry Study

Having a healthy stock of land and spaces for a range of businesses to grow is a key concern in planning for a growing city. We commissioned a study on the supply and demand of business and industrial land in Edinburgh which found that there is 1.08 million square metres of industrial space in Edinburgh across 1,214 units which support an estimated 30,000 jobs.

The study shows the spatial pattern of all business and industry spaces, not just industrial estates that we designate for planning purposes. You can see from the map below the pattern of industrial space follows the historic siting of industry along the Water of Leith, where the river powered early industrial processes before coal or electricity was widely used.

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Industrial properties in Edinburgh

One of the main findings is that the industrial stock is ageing, as can be seen in the bar chart below, and this is reflected in the industry rating of the quality of the space. It shows that most of our industrial space is at least 40 years old as 57% was built during the 1980s or earlier, and 93% of Edinburgh’s industrial space is of a very basic standard.

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Industrial property in Edinburgh by decade built

But rising rent and low vacancy rates tell us that demand for space is strong. However, speculative development of new units has been slow and industrial land has the potential to redevelop for other uses, especially to new homes in inner city areas such as Bonnington. Speculative development has been targeted to the west of the city, with good access to the trunk road network.

The study signals that more flexible floorspace will need to be built and/or refurbished to current standards to replace the older units and meet demand. We expect planning for modern industrial floorspace will be a key issue for City Plan 2030 and we will be reflecting on what delivering replacement premises means for the city’s spatial strategy.

We have also been looking at topics such as shopping and leisure and visitor accommodation and will be looking to share similar posts in future covering these. The commercial needs studies are available to view here.

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Redford Barracks Place Brief – Consultation Event

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Last week we hosted the first two of three consultation events to allow the public, local interest groups and stakeholders to express their ideas about the future of Redford Barracks and its redevelopment. Thank you to everyone who attended the events at Colinton Bowling club and Boroughmuir Rugby Club. Around 90 people came long to speak to officers about future plans for the site and many more have made comments online.

The Ministry of Defence is proposing to dispose of the Redford Barracks in 2025 creating an opportunity to knit this large site back into the fabric of the surrounding area. In order to make the most of this opportunity, City of Edinburgh Planning Service will prepare a Place Brief setting out agreed uses and design parameters to guide the future development of the site. As part of this work we are asking local people and groups to give us their views on the site and surrounding area; taking into account elements such as:

  • Housing  including affordable and mixed tenure housing
  • Routes through the site for pedestrians, cycles and vehicles
  • The preservation of listed buildings and how they might be enhanced
  • Green spaces and trees and opportunities to create, enhance and improve them
  • What other uses might be appropriate for the site

The online consultation – open to anyone – is available here.

Are there any features of the site you want to see retained? Is there any part of the surrounding area you would like to bring to our attention? What uses would you like to see provided on the site?

Please fill out the online consultation and come along to our next event at Oxgangs Library on Tuesday 18 June from 2pm to 7pm.

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Best Buildings in Scotland Awards 2019

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland has published the winning projects of its 2019 awards, showing the best new buildings from around the country.

Councillor Neil Gardiner, Planning Convenor commented on the awards saying, “It is worth noting that two of the award winners are in Edinburgh, with the judges describing the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service building at Heriot Watt as an ‘Open, bright, engaging and uplifting place of work’. Great architecture can extend to buildings where people interact and what better place to celebrate good design than through our voluntary blood donation service?

If you can’t make it to Heriot Watt, which is well worth a visit, you can also give blood at Lauriston Place.”

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City Plan 2030 – Strategic Development Plan Update

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We wrote earlier about the need to change the City Plan project timetable as we were waiting for a decision on the second Strategic Development Plan for South East Scotland. It has now been confirmed that the Scottish Ministers have decided to reject the plan, and the letter which sets out the reasons for this can be read here.

We will work with the Scottish Government, national agencies and our regional partners as we progress City Plan 2030. We will still publish our new Development Plan Scheme in August 2019 which will include the new timetable and dates for consultation.

You can keep up to date with the project by:

Subscribe to the newsletter by emailing us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk

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Help us Celebrate World Heritage Day 2019 in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

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Image © HES: World Heritage Day 2018, Kelvingrove Museum and Gallery, Glasgow

If you are passing by the Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile on Thursday 18 April, come in and explore the Our World Heritage exhibition which gives visitors an insight into what makes Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site, and each of Scotland’s other World Heritage Sites so special and why they are internationally recognised.

After you have visited the exhibition why not stay on for a variety of fun and interesting activities on offer on World Heritage Day:

  • Discover more about real people who lived in Old and New Towns of Edinburgh in the 18th century through our Auld Reekie handling box
  • Try out brass rubbing
  • Make your very own mini 18th century replica sedan chair
  • Visit our World Heritage stall to learn about all of Scotland’s World Heritage Sites
  • To further celebrate World Heritage Day, Edinburgh World Heritage will host their annual World Heritage Day lecture. This year the pre-eminent historian Professor Sir Tom Devine, will deliver ‘Victorian Edinburgh Powerhouse of the Empire?’ For further details please visit the EWH website

Councillor Neil Gardiner, Planning Convener, said: “We’re really proud of our World Heritage Sites in Edinburgh. I would encourage residents and visitors alike to pop in to the Tron Kirk and learn more about our city’s rich heritage. There’s lots of activities planned for all ages and its events like this that help encourage us all to make sure we look after these historic sites for generations to come.”

Friendly and knowledgeable staff from Historic Environment Scotland and City of Edinburgh Council will be on hand to have a chat or answer any questions.

Drop-in from 10am to 4pm on 18 April to enjoy the above activities.

The exhibition is open during the Tron Kirk’s normal opening times.

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City Plan 2030 – March Timetable Update

cpupdateimage2As we mentioned in our City Plan Timetable Update, we’re revising the City Plan 2030 project timetable.  We’re making these changes as we don’t want to ask for your views on the choices for City Plan until we know what is in another plan – the second Strategic Development Plan for South East Scotland.

We had hoped to carry out the main consultation for City Plan 2030 in the first half of 2019. However, this is now not possible. The main consultation for City Plan 2030 is now expected to take place in the latter half of 2019. We will publish a new Development Plan Scheme in August 2019 which will include the new timetable.

Until then, we will use this time to gather and build on our evidence and studies for Choices for City Plan and hold further engagement events in local places around the city. In the meantime, watch this space and keep up to date with the project by:

Subscribe to the newsletter by emailing us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk

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Chief Planner for the Day

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David Leslie, Lisa Proudfoot, Convener of Planning Councillor Neil Gardiner

This blog is written by Lisa Proudfoot, MRTPI

Stepping into the shoes of the Chief Planner for a day has been a great experience. Led by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland expressed an interest in hosting a young planner for a day as part of a work-shadowing scheme. The aim was to give young planners the chance to learn from the best – those who hold leadership roles in LPAs – to see what it’s like to be ‘at the top table’, the challenges and opportunities they face, and to see first-hand how decisions are made at top level.

I joined David Leslie, Chief Planner at the City of Edinburgh Council for a busy day of learning and observation. From the outset I hoped to see more of the spatial effects of decision making and how different fields and services can work well with each other – be that housing, transport and environment, or more broadly, with the public and private sector. I believe good leadership is important for collaborative working.

In my day to day job, as a Planner with Montagu Evans, I often work with planners within the LPA but my contact with senior management and leaders is often limited. Stepping into the shoes of the Chief Planner for the day has given me the chance to gain an insight into the qualities that make good leaders, an important element in progressing my own planning career.

My day started with an introduction to the service, joined by all service managers, to run through the Council structure – the who’s who. It was then time to head up to the City Chambers for a weekly meeting with the Planning Convenor where we discussed recent workshops held on a number of subjects.  Later I met the current year out students working within the Council who are responsible for arranging the annual Committee site tour. This involved picking out recent developments around a range of topics including sustainability, use of materials and affordable housing.

Later, I was involved in a pre-application project workshop with other services of the Council including case officers and internal consultees. This was a great opportunity to see the challenges faced but also to offer my own thoughts on my experience of using the Service as a customer. I was then involved in a discussion on the Planning Performance Framework, a document to be prepared once a year showing a number of benchmarks and statistics set by the Scottish Government.

Soon enough it was time to head back up to the City Chambers for a briefing, to prepare for the next Development Management Sub-Committee meeting, where we then finished off our day speaking with the planner who acts as Service and Policy Advisor to discuss how officers work with the planning committee.

…a busy day indeed!

I would highly recommend this scheme to other young planners – it is great to see the RTPI and LPAs working to push for good leaders in planning and to provide Chief Planners of the future with these opportunities.

Our recent Scottish Young Planners Conference included a session on “Chief Planners of the Future” where a number of young planners took to the stage to speak about their thoughts on leadership, priorities, deliverability and the future of planning. I think it is important that we keep this moving.

Lisa Proudfoot MRTPI

Planner

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