Approval Given for Proposed Approach to Planning Enforcement for Temporary Structures for Hospitality

Last Wednesday at Planning Committee proposals were approved for a proposed approach to planning enforcement for temporary structures.

Since March 2020, the Scottish Government has encouraged a relaxation of planning control where doing so can help business and services to diversify and continue to operate during the pandemic. In November 2021, the Scottish Government’s Chief Planner stated its advice on enforcement relaxation will continue to the end of September 2022.

Planning Committee has agreed that a relaxed approach to planning control will continue in respect of seating structures and it is intended that this approach will remain in place until 7 October 2022. This will allow structures to operate over the spring and summer of 2022 and allow a week after the Chief Planner’s 30 September 2022 date for the end of enforcement relaxation.

Where structures are in place on the street and planning permission has been refused or not likely to be supported, the general approach to be taken is that the structures will be allowed to remain until 7 October 2022. Any structures remaining beyond that period would be removed by the Roads Authority.

Notwithstanding the above, some structures may need to be removed in advance of 7 October 2022. This may be because the street space is required for festival purposes or there is an urgent road maintenance issue which would require their removal. In these circumstances, the Roads Authority would remove the structure under section 59 of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 – Control of Obstructions on the Road.

Where structures are on private land and have been refused planning permission or where an application is not likely to be supported, the planning service will issue an enforcement notice requiring removal by 7 October 2022.

If new structures come forward in the meantime, (and it is understood that there is interest from businesses for new structures in the New Town between April and September),  subject to an installation not impacting on disabled persons’ parking spaces, taxi ranks or causing what the road’s authority consider an obstruction, additional structures can be put in place subject to their removal in advance of 7 October 2022

Where businesses seek advice on outdoor seating, they should be advised of the above criteria and about whether there may be a way of having outdoor seating without breaching planning control.

The report can be found here.

Approval given to proceed with proposal to designate Edinburgh as Short-term Let Control Area

On Wednesday at Planning Committee, proposals were approved to designate the City of Edinburgh Council area as a short-term let (STL) control area.

The proposal follows a consultation with the public as well as industry bodies. 

The majority of respondents to the consultation were in favour of a control area, with 88% supporting the principle of it, and 85% supporting the entire City of Edinburgh Council area to be included.

A report of the consultation forms part of our Report to Planning Committee. 

The designation cannot come to effect without the approval of Scottish Government. A request will be submitted to the Scottish Government requesting that the new powers are implemented in the whole of the Edinburgh area.

If the government agree with this approach, and the new legislation is implemented in the city, it will require residential property owners wholly letting a property which is not their principle home as an STL in the local authority area, to apply for planning permission for a ‘change of use’ to a short-term let.

Short-term lets of private rooms or shared rooms where the property is the only or principal home of the host will not be affected by the control area requirement. This allows for house swaps at holidays and also for the host to let out the entire property when on holiday or working away, provided the property remains their only or principal home.

If approval is given by the Scottish Government, the designation will be publicised in advance of coming into effect. 

The introduction of powers to make a control area follows the Council calling for new legislation to tighten up the control of short-term lets to help manage high concentrations of secondary letting where it affects the availability of residential housing and character of a neighbourhood.

Also, it will help to restrict or prevent short-term lets in places or types of buildings where they are not appropriate as well as making sure homes are used to best effect.

Complementary to the control area legislation, the Scottish Parliament has approved legislation which will introduce a new licensing scheme requiring short-term lets to be licensed from July 2024.  It will address the issues of safety, anti-social behaviour and noise.

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Housing Land Audit and Completions Programme 2021

Map showing land supply in terms of effective and constrained sites.

Our annual Housing Land Audit and Completions Programme (HLACP) 2021 is now available to view in full on our website or as a layer on the Council Atlas.

The Programme is used to assess the supply of land for housing and the delivery of new homes within the City of Edinburgh Council area. It records the amount of land available for house building, identifies any constraints affecting development, and assesses the land supply in the area.

Sites included in the HLACP are housing sites under construction, sites with planning consent, sites in adopted or finalised Local Plans and, as appropriate, other buildings and land with agreed potential for housing development. The audit does not include new proposals from the proposed City Plan 2030.

As predicted last year, the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown during the second quarter of 2020 has resulted in the number of completions over the year to April 2021 being lower than recent years. Housebuilding activity is now back to the pre-pandemic level with expected completions over the next five years averaging 2,600 per year.

To view the data as a layer on the CEC Atlas, click ‘Planning’ and choose Housing Land Audit Schedules & Completions

The Programme demonstrates that there is more than enough unconstrained housing land to meet the remaining housing land requirement in full and that the five-year completions programme is above target.

This short video below gives an overview of the Programme:

For a housing site to be considered ‘effective’, it must be free of all constraints that would prevent development. Sites are considered against a range of criteria set out in Planning Advice Note 2/2010 “Affordable Housing and Housing Land Audits”. These include ownership, physical (e.g. slope, aspect, stability, flood risk, access), contamination, deficit funding, marketability, infrastructure and land use.

As at 31 March 2021, there was enough land free of planning constraints and available for development for 22,411 houses.

New Housing at Broomhills, Edinburgh

The effective land supply is varied in type, size and location. It is spread over a range of locations and includes brownfield (54%) and greenfield (46%) sites as shown on the above map.

The next annual Housing Land Audit and Completions Programme will be carried out in Spring 2022 and reported to Planning Committee in Autumn 2022.

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2021 Edinburgh Architectural Association (EAA) Awards for Architecture

This year’s EAA awards were held on 28th October. According to their website, the awards are ‘designed to create a showcase for the Architectural profession to demonstrate its contribution to the environment and the economy’.

Last November there was a number of Edinburgh schemes among the winners at the 2020 awards.

Here is a quick look at the developments in Edinburgh which were among this year’s winners.

If you want to take a deeper look into the details, the Planning Portal  provides all the plans, drawings and related reports.

Old Schoolhouse, Morningside Rd (Planning Reference 18/01829/FUL)

Small Project Award

(Credit: EAA)

This category B-listed single storey church is located on the north-west corner of Morningside Road and Cuddy Lane and is in the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area. It was originally built as a schoolhouse in 1823 with 20th century extensions to north and south elevations.  An application for Planning Permission was submitted in April 2018 for the demolition and replacement of the existing south extension and the removal of the internal and external alterations to the north extension’s east and west elevations.

View all the drawing, plans & details on the Planning Portal .

Queensferry High School (Planning Reference 17/04262/FUL)

eaa-edinburgh-architectural-association-awards-2021-queensferry-hs-1.jpg
(Credit: EAA)

Large Project Award

An application in September 2017 was submitted for a new build replacement secondary school with associated playing fields, external spaces, car parking and landscaping. The existing school was demolished following completion of the development.

View all the drawing, plans & details on the Planning Portal

Meadowbank Masterplan (Planning Reference 20/00618/AMC)

Masterplanning Award

(Credit: Collective Architecture)

The redevelopment of Meadowbank is a major Council led regeneration project which will deliver a modern sports centre with new homes and community facilities on the surrounding site. This strategic place-making project is expected to bring significant opportunities to the area. 

View all the drawing, plans & details on the Planning Portal.

Other nominated Edinburgh schemes included:

Small Project

69/3 East Claremont Street

1/5 Gordon St

Stockbridge Ghost Extension

CommendationTreen

Residential

Commendation– Gayfield Square (Planning Application Reference 21/02889/CLP)

Large Project

Commendation– St Peter’s Church Hall (Link Phase) (Planning Application Reference 21/03913/LBC)

Masterplannning

Granton Waterfront (Granton Waterfront Development Framework)

Regeneration/Conservation

6 Circus Lane (Planning Application Reference 19/03220/LBC)

Blackhall St Columbia’s Church (Planning Application Reference 18/07853/FUL)

Congratulations to all winners and finalists!

Consultation on the Merchiston & Greenhill Conservation Area Character Appraisal Revision

In 2018, the Planning Committee approved an updated programme of review of the existing conservation area character appraisals.

As part of this ongoing process, the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area Character Appraisal has now been revised and we are seeking your views on the draft text.

The Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area was originally designated in May 1986 and the first character appraisal for the area was approved in April 2003.

The revised draft character appraisal amends the text of the original appraisal for its final publication as a digital document that will include images, photographs and interactive maps.

No boundary changes to the conservation area are proposed.

We are seeking views on the following aspects of the revised Conservation Area Character Appraisal:

  • How clearly does the appraisal set out the issues within the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area
  • To what extent you agree or disagree with the proposed revised appraisal of the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area

The consultation is available now, should take less than 10 minutes to complete and is open until 11 Feb 2022