Doing work to trees

It’s the time of year those with gardens may be considering some work to their trees.

As many of the trees in the city are protected by either being within a conservation area or by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) permission is required to do work to these trees.

Our online map of conservation areas and TPOs makes it easy for you to find out if trees are protected.

We also have guidance on looking after these protected trees and how to apply for permission.

As we get large numbers of applications for works to trees, please make sure you include:

  • The correct address i.e. where the tree is located
  • A location plan if the site does not have a postal address
  • A site plan clearly showing the location of the tree(s) and any other useful information
  • Photographs of the tree(s) and the surrounding context

Our Quick Guide to applying for work to trees sets all this out in a bit more detail.

Our webpage also contains information about trees on Council land, reporting overhanging foliage and issues with high hedges.

Proposed Development and Trees: tree survey

If you are undertaking development which requires planning permission, you need to look at what trees there are in your site and also next door to it. Proposals should not have a damaging impact on someone else’s trees.

Your planning application should include a tree survey of the trees within your site and those adjacent to it. The information required with applications is explained in the Edinburgh Design Guidance and Guidance for Householders  

The tree survey will help us assess the quality of the tree(s) and their suitability for retention as part of the proposals. If we don’t get this information at the start, then it may delay the assessment of your planning application.

Tree, stone wall and historic building.
Sycamore tree – historically known in Scotland as ‘Plane’, ‘Great Plane’ and ‘Scot’s Plane’.

 

 

Short Term Lets: Drop-in session on proposed changes to our Guidance for Businesses

Row of Edinburgh tenements with some trees in the foreground.

We will be holding a drop-in session on proposed changes to our Guidance for Businesses and specifically the expanded section on short term lets.

  • When:  1.00pm – 4.30pm on Wednesday 9 November
  • Where: Planning and Building Standards front counter area at Waverley Court (4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG)

Members of the planning team will be on hand to explain the proposed, answer any questions and get your feedback.

In 2021, Scottish Government legislation allowed councils to have a short-term let control area. In a control area, this means if that if a flat or a house, which is not the home you live in, is used for a short-term let, you will need planning permission.

Edinburgh’s short-term let control area has now been in place since 5 September 2022.

Come along if you

  • live in an area where properties are let out for short breaks
  • offer flats or houses for holiday lets in Edinburgh
  • are an interested member of the public

Complete the online consultation here by 22 December 2022.

Proposed changes to Guidance for Businesses – Short Term Lets

View of Edinburgh tenements with trees in the foreground.

We want your views on the proposed changes to the Guidance for Businesses and specifically the expanded section on short term lets (STLs).

In 2021, Scottish Government legislation allowed councils to have a short-term let control area. In a control area, this means if that if a flat or a house, which is not the home you live in, is used for a short-term let, you will need planning permission.

Edinburgh was the first council in Scotland to apply for a short-term control area, which has now been in place since 5 September 2022 and covers the whole of the Council’s area.

The amount of STL accommodation has grown significantly in the last ten years and Edinburgh is recognised as an area that has greater pressures than other parts of the country.

The current Guidance for Businesses has a section on short-term commercial visitor accommodation and we are proposing changes which were presented to the Planning Committee on 31 August 2022.

Planning applications for STLs be assessed against the Local Development Plan along with the updated guidance and any other relevant material considerations.

Your responses will shape the final version of the guidance which we aim to have in place in early 2023. 

Complete the online consultation here by 22 December 2022.

Updated Guidance for Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

Front Cover of Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas (October 2022). Nice view of row of townhouses in New Town.

We’ve updated our Non-Statutory Guidance for Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas, with changes to the guidance on roof terraces, ensuite bathrooms and how listed building consent applications are assessed.

Windows

We also provide more detail in the guidance on windows in Listed Buildings and what is now called ‘narrow profile glazing’, previously known as ‘slim profile glazing’.

Where it is proposed to install narrow profile glazing in listed buildings, the guidance still advises that the 6mm cavity gap between two 4mm panes is the maximum we will usually accept. Larger cavity gaps may be accepted in certain circumstances and the guidance sets out what these would be.

Listed building consent applications for narrow profile glazing in existing windows must be accompanied by cross section drawings detailing the depth of the cavity gap and glazing panes. Without this information we are unable to assess the application and it will not be progressed. Full details are included in the guidance.

Our full range of non-statutory guidance is available at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/planningguidelines

Changes to pre-application consultation with local communities

View of Princes Street from the Castle looking North on a sunny day.

Changes are coming to the way pre-application consultation with local communities takes place.

All applications for national or major development must comply with the Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) process. Where pre-application consultation is required, applicants must submit a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) at least 12 weeks prior to the submission of the planning application.

Previously, a minimum of one event was required to take place, however for notices submitted after 1 October, there will now need to be two events, in accordance with The Town and Country Planning (Pre-Application Consultation) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 .

At the second event the application will provide feedback on comments received regarding the proposed development. Both of these exhibition/events must be press advertised.

The changes also introduce a time limit of 18 months within which an application must be submitted.

Notices submitted prior to 1 October will not be required to hold two events but will be subject to the 18 month time limit, starting from 1 October. 

Since the first outbreak of Covid in March 2020, all events have been taking place online. For notices received after 1 October, all events must now be in person. It is still good practice however to provide online information for those not able to attend in person.

The Edinburgh Development Concordat promotes collaborative working between the developer, community councils and the Council. It is recommended that an engagement strategy is prepared which sets out how community feedback will be sought. This could include the use of:

  • Public meetings
  • Meetings with community councils
  • Exhibitions with developer staff on hand to answer questions
  • Social media to promote events
  • Bespoke websites for the development
  • Surveys – both online and in person
  • Posters in local libraries and other public places
  • Leaflets distributed to properties in the local area

Consultation should be a meaningful engagement with the community and should offer the opportunity to mitigate negative impacts and misunderstandings and deal with community issues that can be addressed.