World of work – Firrhill High School and planning

Last week, pupils from Firrhill High School, spent two days with the planning service to experience the range of work we do and to give us their ideas on what the city could be like in the future.  The programme included:

  • Mapping how young people use the city
  • Sharing photos of their favourite places
  • Using the Place Standard to assess how the city works as a place for young people
  • A visit to the St James Centre redevelopment project
  • An exercise on what the issues will be for the next Local Development Plan and how best to engage young people

The feedback from the school was really positive, with the young people having the opportunity to learn more about the work of the planning service and the challenges for the city.  It certainly has given us lots to think about for the next local development plan.

We were also delighted to hear that the group of pupils who visited us, won first place as part of the school’s business placement exercise.

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Engaging children and young people in Planning

The planning service has over the years undertaken various events, workshops and engagement exercises with children and young people to help share what we do and get their views on planning in the city.  This has included The Forth Bridge short story competition, Shops in Town Centres and the Junior road safety and air quality events.

In December last year, working with PAS, we delivered three workshops with Hermitage Park and Craigentinny primary schools and Leith Academy.  Together we explored the role of planning and how the young people would like to see Leith and the wider waterfront area change in the future.  The storyboard below is a summary of the workshops. The full report on the workshops is also available.

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Last week the Council’s Planning Committee agreed a report which sets out how we can better involve children and young people in how we plan the city.

We were delighted that pupils from Leith Academy took part in the committee discussions to present their view of the workshops, what they thought was important about their local area and how they’d like to see it change in the future.  The discussion can be viewed on the Council webcast (Item 3.1).

We will be encouraging developers to engage with children and young people in major development proposals to ensure they have their say on the future of their city.  Our guidance for applicants will be updated to reflect this ambition.

What next?

It is the Year of the Young People and we are committed to better involving children and young people in the planning system.  We will be working in collaboration with other Council services and the Young Edinburgh Action programme to ensure we deliver more meaningful engagement.

In April we will be holding a ‘co-design’ session with young people. We hope they will help us shape how to best engage all children and young people in the next Local Development Plan and other projects.

As this progresses we’ll provide more updates on the blog, with a full update going to planning committee next year.

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Community Council training – February 2018

On 27 February we held Community Council training on three topics.  The topics were chosen by the Community Councils and included planning enforcement, social media and tree protection.  Thanks to everyone who came along and took part in the discussions.  For information we have included links to the presentations below.

The next Community Council training is planned to take place on 14 June 2018, and will focus on the next Local Development Plan and how this will shape the future development of the City.

If you have any queries, or would like to suggest future topics for Community Council training, please get in touch with us at Planning.ServiceDelivery@edinburgh.gov.uk

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Development in Bonnington

Historically, Bonnington was a milling village that grew around the Water of Leith. The area has since been home to business and light industry, including the John Lewis depot, the former Crawfords Biscuits warehouse and the original Chancelot Mill (before it moved to Leith Western Harbour in the 1970’s).

Bonnington MillIn more recent years, as industry has declined, the area has had great potential to provide new homes for the city.

We created a long-term development brief for the area in 2008 to ensure that:

  • housing development did not prejudice existing businesses;
  • modern, flexible business space was still provided in the area; and
  • better connections were made between Bonnington and wider pedestrian routes, cycle networks and green spaces.

Our development brief covers the area highlighted in purple below. It’s been almost ten years since its publication – so, what has happened in that time?

fig 4b

Well, there’s been a wealth of redevelopment, and the area is almost unrecognisable when compared with the 1929 aerial shot. Development in Bonnington has been residential-led and there’s potentially a lot more to come.

We recently had a walk around Bonnington to visit completed development, sites under construction and sites currently being assessed for planning permission. These included:

  • Flaxmill Place

flaxmill-pl-comercial1.jpgLocated just off Newhaven Road, this development for 130 residential homes was granted planning permission in November 2012. The development was finished in 2016, on the site of the former Johnston Print Works. Although space for light industry has not been formally reinstated, business space has been provided. One unit is currently occupied.

 

  • Bonnington Village

Works to construct Bonnington Village are underway, just off Bonnington Road Lane. The development was granted planning permission in 2016 and works began in May 2017. The development will provide 214 homes, as well as two commercial units that will lie adjacent to the existing flats at Tinto Place. An improved north to south pedestrian link will also be delivered through the development.

  • West Bowling Green Street

The building works for 98 residential properties on West Bowling Green Street began in July 2017. As you can see in the plans below, both commercial and retail space is to be provided on the ground floor units fronting Anderson Place. The development will also deliver the foot way and cycle way we initially proposed in our development brief. You can see this route in Figure 4b above.

WBGS

As we move towards our next Local Development Plan, LDP 2, we will be reflecting on how well our policies for housing and employment space have been working. New employment space is being provided in Bonnington, however, it is not as flexible as the older industrial and storage buildings it is replacing. We still think there’s a need to provide industrial space in this part of the city.

The LDP 2 process is likely to include reassessing our approach to such areas, to ensure that a variety of employment sites are available across all parts of the city.

We will be looking for your input soon as we prepare to plan for the future of Bonnington and the wider city. In the meantime, you can view and comment on the range of planning applications we receive for the city on our planning portal.

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Edinburgh – a natural capital

Every three years, all public bodies in Scotland report to the Scottish Government on how they’re meeting the legal requirement to further the conservation of biodiversity.  Our report sets out how we’ve looked after our valuable natural environment and worked with partner organisations to improve our green and blue spaces for nature.

Examples of the type of work include:

  • policy work to incorporate the natural environment in the Edinburgh Adapts climate change programme
  • site management changes across Council-owned parks to increase natural areas and meadows
  • community projects such as food growing projects, which have wider health and social benefits as well as increasing biodiversity
  • education, communication and professional in-house training are other related activities to highlight the importance of protecting and improving biodiversity.

Working with the Edinburgh Biodiversity Partnership, the Council also supports work to look after some of our rarer species and habitats.

The report and the Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan 2016-18 are also available on our website.

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Public Life Street Assessments

A series of studies investigating the public life of Edinburgh’s town centres reveal how each currently functions in terms of pedestrian/cyclist movement and as a place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Life Street Assessments, carried out by design consultants HERE+NOW for the Council, involve a mix of direct observation methodologies, user interviews and more focussed sub studies such as facade, land use and activity studies.  In-depth analysis of this data identifies trends in the way people currently use the street environment. This has informed suggested opportunities for improvement.

The assessments supplement the Council’s existing knowledge about how these town centres function and build on existing thinking and work to date, including the Local Development Plan, Town Centre Toolkit and Edinburgh Street Design Guidance.

The studies provide valuable information for all parties with an interest in maximising public life within Edinburgh’s town centres.  They have already informed the preparation of Supplementary Guidance for each of the town centres, draft Locality Improvement Plans and a design and an improved public space trial project within Stockbridge.

Update – using the studies

One of the studies has already informed input to a Locality Improvement Plan (LIP) – the South West LIP includes reference to the Gorgie/Dalry Town Centre which was informed by the relevant study. More detailed work will be under taken to develop to a delivery plan with associated timescales.

The Supplementary Guidance, which are about to be adopted, will be used to determine relevant planning applications.

The studies will also be used as an input to the LDP Action Programme, due to be updated early 2018.  We’ll share the Action Programme here on the blog and on Twitter when it’s out too.

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The Edinburgh Local Development Plan Turns One!

We officially started using our current Local Development Plan (LDP) on the 24th of November 2016. This means that this time last week, our LDP turned one!

In celebration, we thought we would write a brief blog post to share with you five things we have achieved in the first year of our LDP.its my birthday

  1. The LDP allocated almost 700 hectares of additional land for housing. This land could accommodate up to 10,000 new homes, meaning that we’ve now identified enough land in the city for over 31,000 houses.
  2. Of the newly allocated land, sites that could provide over 3,000 homes are already under construction and an additional 1,000 units have received planning consent.
  3. We adopted five Supplementary Guidance documents covering the City Centre Retail Core and the Tollcross, Corstorphine, Leith and Bruntsfield & Morningside Town Centres.
  4. We updated two planning guidelines – the Edinburgh Design Guidance and Development in the Countryside and Green Belt.
  5. We carried out our first feedback survey that asked you how effectively you’d been involved in the creation of the LDP. We look forward to engaging with you more as we move towards our next LDP, LDP 2.

Sign up to our blog mailing list for more exciting LDP updates!

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