Tollcross, Gorige/Dalry and Corstorphine Town Centre Supplementary Guidance Review

What is the Town Centre Supplementary Guidance?

We produce Town Centre Supplementary Guidance for each of our town centres, that aim to guide the change of use of buildings. The Guidance contains policies to manage change of use within the town centre boundary and set out when a change to another use is appropriate.

What is a Change of Use?

The Use Class Order sets out types of use that exist in the Scottish planning system but only some of these are appropriate in our town centres.  The most common uses in the town centres are:

  • Class 1: Shops
  • Class 2: Financial, professional and other services
  • Class 3: Food and Drink

The character and concentration of uses is unique in each of Edinburgh’s town centres. This is why we prepare Supplementary Guidance with specific policies on changes of use in each town centre.  For example, the right mix of shops in Leith may be different to what would work in Tollcross.

Get Involved

We are currently reviewing our Guidance for Tollcross, Gorgie/Dalry and Corstorphine. Please take the opportunity to let us know what kind of uses you would like to see in these town centres.  Should town centres be mostly shop units? Would you like more cafes and restaurants? or how do we create the right mix of uses? let us know your thoughts!

We also have a handy Quick Guide to Change of Use applications that will help you decide what changes of use require you to apply for planning permission.

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Open Space 2021: Edinburgh’s Living Landscape

Ian Mackenzie from Scottish Wildlife Trust gave the second in a series of talks to raise awareness of Open Space 2021, Edinburgh’s new Open Space Strategy. Ian manages the Trust’s Living Landscape programme across Scotland.

The Edinburgh Living Landscape is a unique urban project, involving the Council, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, University of Edinburgh and GreenSurge.

It aims to create, restore and connect green areas in the city to make attractive and biodiverse landscapes, enjoyed by residents and visitors.  Landscapes will be healthy, nature rich and resilient to climate change.

The Grey to Green shoreline project has been run with local schools to raise awareness of the city’s shoreline biodiversity and threats from climate change. The Square Meter For Butterflies initiative looks to expand the use of green roofs.

Working with local communities, over 70 meadows have been created in Council parks and greenspaces, using a mix of species suited to the city.  Other measures include:

  • reducing how often some areas of grass are cut and allowing natural grassland to thrive;
  • mowing pathways through areas of longer grass so they can still be explored and enjoyed;
  • tree planting and creating woodlands;
  • increasing our use of herbaceous perennial planting; and
  • bulb planting.

Ian showed a map of the city which marked the best places for pollinating insects like bees, flies, moths, butterflies and beetles to thrive. The map will guide the growth of Edinburgh’s network for nature, both in Council parks and in new developments.

You can also get involved through the Pollinator Pledge by making your garden more wildlife friendly or you can suggest new sites for living landscape projects by emailing parks@edinburgh.gov.uk

Here is a short video clip from the talk:

You can also watch Professor Catharine Ward Thompson from the University of Edinburgh speak about why greenspace is good for us.

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National Clean Air Day

National Clean Air Day

The UK’s first ever National Clean Air Day is being held on 15 June 2017.  The aim of the day is to encourage everyone to take simple actions to improve our health and reduce air pollution.  To celebrate we have written a blog about the work we do as a Council to monitor and improve air quality in Edinburgh. Did you know?

  1. Air pollution increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and asthma attacks, as well as being associated with dimentia
  2. Drivers can be exposed to nine times more air pollution than cyclists because cars gather pollution from the vehicle in front
  3. Most of the pollutants that damage our health are too small to see, and they get through the gaps in simple fabric face masks

Thankfully, there are lots of things you can do to help reduce air pollution including:

  • Use your feet and take to the street by walking, cycling, bus or tram
  • Switching your engine off when stationary
  • If you are thinking about replacing your car, consider buying a less polluting vehicle such as an petrol-hybrid or an electric car

A joined-up multidisciplinary approach is being taken to address concerns about air quality in hot-spot areas across the City by the Council. The new Spatial Policy team which came into operation in June 2016 includes officers from the Planning, Transport and Environmental Health disciplines.

The role of the team is to develop and coordinate policy and projects in relation to planning, transport and air quality with a view to securing outcomes that deliver better placemaking and linkages between spatial and community planning.  Some of the actions the team are working towards delivering through the Air Quality Action Plan include:

  • Promoting cleaner transport, in particular buses via voluntary means
  • Adoption of fleet recognition efficiency scheme for reducing emissions from heavy goods vehicles
  • Improving traffic flow and easing congestion by use of intelligent traffic signalling
  • Promoting modal shift away from car use by means of an active travel action plan

The Council has also recently proposed to take a lead and work with the Scottish Government towards progressing Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone in Edinburgh.

Get in touch and let us know the small steps you are taking to improve your health and reduce air pollution in the City on twitter or instagram.

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Open Space 2021: Greenspace and Health talk

To raise awareness of some of the key themes of Open Space 2021, Edinburgh’s new Open Space Strategy, we are holding a series of lunchtime training sessions for staff.

Professor Catharine Ward Thompson from the University of Edinburgh gave us a great overview of her research into why greenspace is good for us.

Catharine is Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University and directs OPENspace – the research centre for inclusive access to outdoor environments.  The University is also one of the Council’s key partners for Edinburgh Living Landscape.

Catharine’s research has featured in the Green Health project for the Scottish Government, which looked at links between green space and stress in deprived urban populations. More recently Mobility, Mood and Place, focused on outdoor access and older people’s quality of life.

Catharine plans to deliver her talk to The Friends of Edinburgh Parks at their annual event later in the year.

The video below is a short clip from the talk.

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World Heritage and Conservation Areas at the Meadows Festival – 3 and 4 June 2017

World Heritage at the Meadows Festival

This weekend is the Meadows Festival!  The World Heritage Team will have a stall to promote the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.  There will be information about the Site with cool maps, information leaflets on conservation of historic properties and activities for our younger visitors.  We’ll be at the festival on both days and are keen to get your views on the draft management plan for the World Heritage Site.

Fingers crossed for some sunshine and we hope to see you there!

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Help out with a Swift survey

In Edinburgh we’ve been working since 2000 to help our declining population of swifts.  This summer, in partnership with the RSPB, we are carrying out the first full survey in 10 years to identify where these amazing birds are nesting in the city.  We need as many volunteers as possible to help and the good news is, this is a survey which works best in good weather!

A training event is being held on Wednesday 24th May 6.30pm, hosted by Historic Environment Scotland at the Holyrood Park Education Centre.  So if you fancy a summer’s evening stroll to look for these avian acrobats, please email Amber.Jenkins@rspb.org.uk to book your training place.

For more information on swift conservation work across Edinburgh email us at biodiversity@edinburgh.gov.uk

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Guidance for Householders Review

Our Guidance for Householders is being reviewed and we’d like your comments on the proposed changes.

Guidance for Householders draft for consultation front cover April 2017

What the Guidance is for

The Guidance is for people considering altering or extending their house.  This includes dormers, conservatories, extensions, decking, garages and outbuildings.  It aims to assist in creating high quality and well designed alterations and extensions that:

  • complement the existing house, leaving it as the dominant element
  • maintain the quality and character of the surrounding area and
  • respect the amenity of the adjacent neighbours

Dormer ExtensionsSide Extensions

Street Alterations

What are the changes?

The main changes include:

  • reordering the document
  • clarification of some text
  • text on self-contained extensions
  • bungalow extensions and
  • roof terraces.

Changes have been made as a result of internal consultation with planning teams and reviewing the use of the Guidance in decision making.

Have your say

You can give us comments using the consultation hub, which also contains a link to the draft revised Guidance.  After the consultation we will consider if any further amendments to the document are required before reporting the changes to Planning Committee for approval.

Consultation on the Guidance will close on 2 June 2017.

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