Place Brief: National Collections Facility at Granton Waterfront

On 19 May 2016 the Planning Committee approved a ‘place brief’ for the National Collections Facility (NCF) site at Granton.  The brief provides non-statutory planning guidance to help deliver a visitor destination at this important site near the city’s waterfront.

The brief responds to the responses from a survey which was completed by local people from two community drop-in sessions  and a community workshop held in early March.  Around 90 people took part in these events.  The survey was also completed online by 139 respondents.  The questions were based on the place standard tool as launched by Scottish Government in December 2015 to support the delivery of high quality places.

The brief incorporates a set of high level development principles for the site.  It will be used by the successfully appointed design team to work up detailed proposals for the site forming the basis of a formal planning application from the National Galleries of Scotland in due course.

Landowners, National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) and Historic Environmental Scotland (HES) ultimately intend to deliver a building which will:

  • create a new facility that is the primary means of caring for their art collections.
  • provide sufficient quality space and security to centralise HES archives and house all NGS collections.
  • contribute to the regeneration of Granton, through the provision of social amenities, employment opportunities, cultural activities and economic stimulus.
  • work with Edinburgh College and the Council to develop a range of youth engagement, apprenticeship and internship opportunities in a variety of occupations, and
  • provide a gateway to the working of museums, galleries and archives for the Granton community.

If you have any queries about the brief get in touch with us at

Brunstane Area Placemaking exercise

The Place Standard events scheduled for Saturday 19th March and Tuesday 22nd March in Edinburgh College have been postponed.

This is being done to give us more time to align the event to cross boundary development issues in the Brunstane – Newcraighall – Musselburgh area. We will now be able to better coordinate with similar events being undertaken by East Lothian Council.

It is still the Council’s intention to undertake a Place Standard exercise in the area and information will be provided on this in due course.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Brunstane new community 3How good is your place?

The Council in partnership with Portobello Community Council and Craigmillar Community Council are holding a public event to get your views on how well your area works as a place to live.

This will be in the form of a placemaking exercise, using the Place Standard tool.

What is placemaking?

Places that work well for the community have a significant positive influence on the health and wellbeing of individuals. The opposite is also true – places that do not work well have a negative impact on health and wellbeing. The aim of placemaking is to create successful places.

We can measure the success of a place through use of a tool called the Place Standard . This consists of a series of indicators that allow the community to assess things like access to greenspace, general maintenance of an area and perception of safety. This tells us where a place is succeeding and where it can be improved.

How to get involved

This is a unique opportunity for you to get involved. This is the second time the Council has used this process. This approach was also used in a well attend series of events in Queensferry.

We’d like as many of the community as possible to get involve to help make the process work.

People will work in groups and a facilitator will ask you and other people in your group a series of questions. As a group you will have to agree on an answer to the question. There will be someone taking a note of what people are discussing. At the end of the questions a compass diagram will be drawn to show the output of the answers (like the one below).

Place standard compass
Place standard compass


PLEASE NOTE: This exercise does not replace the formal consultation process associated with any of the new housing developments in the area.

What next?

We are also working with East Lothian Council and Musselburgh and Inveresk Community Council who are arranging separate Place Standard events for after Easter.

The outputs from all these discussions will help the Councils, the community and developers to better understand the needs of the community in light of future development.

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth McCarroll or Chloe Porter

Making use of the Place Standard in Queensferry

Place Standard launch and Queensferry Placemaking

On 10 December we attended the launch of the Place Standard.  The Place Standard has been developed by the Scottish Government, A&DS and NHS Scotland.  The launch was attended by a range of professionals and community representatives from across Scotland.  Speakers included Alex Neil, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioner’s Rights, Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health and our very own David Leslie, Senior Manager, Planning and Transport.

We’ve been using the Place Standard for the Queensferry Placemaking exercise and this project was mentioned a number of times at the launch as an example of how to link the community view with the planning process.  The Queensferry and District Community Council (QDCC) commented on the process saying,

“QDCC were delighted to be involved in trialling the Place Standard as we now have a ‘shared vision’ for the Town.  QDCC is grateful to all of the Council’s Planning team who supported and helped to organise the Placemaking Workshops and to the residents who participated.”

Queensferry Placemaking update

Since the last Placemaking exercise on the 27 October we’ve been making progress by:

  • Collating all the information from the events – summary results and compass diagrams;
  • Meeting with the Community Council and Queensferry Ambition to discuss the outcomes of the events; and
  • Holding a focus group with other Council services to find out more about the work they are doing in Queensferry and how the outcomes of the Place Standard exercise can be put in to action.
Queensferry placemaking results summary December 2015
Queensferry placemaking results summary December 2015

We’ll be continuing to work with other Council services to develop the details  and we are planning an additional Place Standard exercise with local businesses for 12 January 2016.

In the New Year we also intend to hold further focus groups with the community and developers.  We’ll keep you posted as this progresses.

Queensferry placemaking exercise

Queensferry Placemaking exercise update (October 2015)

Final dates 2We are holding a third and final community engagement event at Queensferry High School on Tuesday 27 October between 16:30 – 20:00. This event is for people who could not attend the initial events. Feedback on the initial events was very positive. 85% of participants that filled in a feedback form said they found the event was either ‘good’ or ‘really good’. 


Queensferry Placemaking exercise update (September 2015)

The two placemaking exercises have now been held and we’ve produced an Interim Report on the feedback so far.  We had a great response from approximately 100 people with lots of ideas and issues raised.  The local community have asked us to run another session for those couldn’t make it to these two sessions.  A date and venue for this are yet to be arranged, but if you’d like to attend please contact Lucy George and we’ll keep you posted.  We’ll also share the details on the blog and Twitter.

The Council, Queensferry and District Community Council and Queensferry Ambition will be holding a Placemaking exercise to get your views on what you think works and what doesn’t work so well in Queensferry.

What is placemaking?

Places that work well for the community have a significant influence on the health and wellbeing of individuals. The opposite is also true – places that do not work well have a negative impact on health and wellbeing. The aim of placemaking is to create successful places.

Poster for the Queensferry placemaking exercise
Poster for the Queensferry placemaking exercise (opens as a PDF)

We can measure the success of a place through use of a tool called the Place Standard which has been developed by A&DS, the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland. This consists of a series of indicators that allow the community to assess things like access to green space, general maintenance of an area and perception of safety.

The Scottish Government’s policy on Architecture and Place – Creating Places sets the context for how we can deliver great places.

How can you get involved? 

We will take groups of people through the exercise in facilitated sessions. We’d like as many people as possible to take part.  This is the first time we have used this process and it will provide a unique opportunity for the community to get involved. It will build on the work undertaken for the Town Centre charrette.


  • Thursday 6 August between 4:00PM and 8:00PM
  • Saturday 8 August between 09:00AM and 1:00PM


Queensferry High School

What will happen after the exercise?

This process will give us lots of information about Queensferry which we can use to inform what we do as a Council and how new development can support the qualities of Queensferry.

The outcomes will be shared with the developers of the new housing sites identified in Second Proposed Local Development Plan so they can shape their proposals to take account of the strengths and weaknesses identified by the community.