City Plan 2030 – Strategic Development Plan Update

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We wrote earlier about the need to change the City Plan project timetable as we were waiting for a decision on the second Strategic Development Plan for South East Scotland. It has now been confirmed that the Scottish Ministers have decided to reject the plan, and the letter which sets out the reasons for this can be read here.

We will work with the Scottish Government, national agencies and our regional partners as we progress City Plan 2030. We will still publish our new Development Plan Scheme in August 2019 which will include the new timetable and dates for consultation.

You can keep up to date with the project by:

Subscribe to the newsletter by emailing us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk

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Help us Celebrate World Heritage Day 2019 in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

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Image © HES: World Heritage Day 2018, Kelvingrove Museum and Gallery, Glasgow

If you are passing by the Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile on Thursday 18 April, come in and explore the Our World Heritage exhibition which gives visitors an insight into what makes Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site, and each of Scotland’s other World Heritage Sites so special and why they are internationally recognised.

After you have visited the exhibition why not stay on for a variety of fun and interesting activities on offer on World Heritage Day:

  • Discover more about real people who lived in Old and New Towns of Edinburgh in the 18th century through our Auld Reekie handling box
  • Try out brass rubbing
  • Make your very own mini 18th century replica sedan chair
  • Visit our World Heritage stall to learn about all of Scotland’s World Heritage Sites
  • To further celebrate World Heritage Day, Edinburgh World Heritage will host their annual World Heritage Day lecture. This year the pre-eminent historian Professor Sir Tom Devine, will deliver ‘Victorian Edinburgh Powerhouse of the Empire?’ For further details please visit the EWH website

Councillor Neil Gardiner, Planning Convener, said: “We’re really proud of our World Heritage Sites in Edinburgh. I would encourage residents and visitors alike to pop in to the Tron Kirk and learn more about our city’s rich heritage. There’s lots of activities planned for all ages and its events like this that help encourage us all to make sure we look after these historic sites for generations to come.”

Friendly and knowledgeable staff from Historic Environment Scotland and City of Edinburgh Council will be on hand to have a chat or answer any questions.

Drop-in from 10am to 4pm on 18 April to enjoy the above activities.

The exhibition is open during the Tron Kirk’s normal opening times.

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City Plan 2030 – March Timetable Update

cpupdateimage2As we mentioned in our City Plan Timetable Update, we’re revising the City Plan 2030 project timetable.  We’re making these changes as we don’t want to ask for your views on the choices for City Plan until we know what is in another plan – the second Strategic Development Plan for South East Scotland.

We had hoped to carry out the main consultation for City Plan 2030 in the first half of 2019. However, this is now not possible. The main consultation for City Plan 2030 is now expected to take place in the latter half of 2019. We will publish a new Development Plan Scheme in August 2019 which will include the new timetable.

Until then, we will use this time to gather and build on our evidence and studies for Choices for City Plan and hold further engagement events in local places around the city. In the meantime, watch this space and keep up to date with the project by:

Subscribe to the newsletter by emailing us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk

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Chief Planner for the Day

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David Leslie, Lisa Proudfoot, Convener of Planning Councillor Neil Gardiner

This blog is written by Lisa Proudfoot, MRTPI

Stepping into the shoes of the Chief Planner for a day has been a great experience. Led by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland expressed an interest in hosting a young planner for a day as part of a work-shadowing scheme. The aim was to give young planners the chance to learn from the best – those who hold leadership roles in LPAs – to see what it’s like to be ‘at the top table’, the challenges and opportunities they face, and to see first-hand how decisions are made at top level.

I joined David Leslie, Chief Planner at the City of Edinburgh Council for a busy day of learning and observation. From the outset I hoped to see more of the spatial effects of decision making and how different fields and services can work well with each other – be that housing, transport and environment, or more broadly, with the public and private sector. I believe good leadership is important for collaborative working.

In my day to day job, as a Planner with Montagu Evans, I often work with planners within the LPA but my contact with senior management and leaders is often limited. Stepping into the shoes of the Chief Planner for the day has given me the chance to gain an insight into the qualities that make good leaders, an important element in progressing my own planning career.

My day started with an introduction to the service, joined by all service managers, to run through the Council structure – the who’s who. It was then time to head up to the City Chambers for a weekly meeting with the Planning Convenor where we discussed recent workshops held on a number of subjects.  Later I met the current year out students working within the Council who are responsible for arranging the annual Committee site tour. This involved picking out recent developments around a range of topics including sustainability, use of materials and affordable housing.

Later, I was involved in a pre-application project workshop with other services of the Council including case officers and internal consultees. This was a great opportunity to see the challenges faced but also to offer my own thoughts on my experience of using the Service as a customer. I was then involved in a discussion on the Planning Performance Framework, a document to be prepared once a year showing a number of benchmarks and statistics set by the Scottish Government.

Soon enough it was time to head back up to the City Chambers for a briefing, to prepare for the next Development Management Sub-Committee meeting, where we then finished off our day speaking with the planner who acts as Service and Policy Advisor to discuss how officers work with the planning committee.

…a busy day indeed!

I would highly recommend this scheme to other young planners – it is great to see the RTPI and LPAs working to push for good leaders in planning and to provide Chief Planners of the future with these opportunities.

Our recent Scottish Young Planners Conference included a session on “Chief Planners of the Future” where a number of young planners took to the stage to speak about their thoughts on leadership, priorities, deliverability and the future of planning. I think it is important that we keep this moving.

Lisa Proudfoot MRTPI

Planner

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Building Standards: Six top tips for your building warrant applications

Tip 1: give us your and your clients’ email addresses

We’ll e-mail you any correspondence to speed up the process. Please make sure the e-mail address you provide is current, legible and spelled correctly.

Tip 2: how to get a 10% discount

If you provide a certificate of design, the fee will be reduced by around 10%. Please make sure you submit the correct fee.

Tip 3: how to get another 3% discount

If you tell us on your application form that you will submit a certificate of construction, you’ll get around a 3% reduction on your fees. You must submit the correct certificate on completion. If you don’t, we won’t accept your submission until we receive the full fee (without the 3% reduction).

Tip 4: stick to the nine month deadline

If you do not provide all the information we need to approve your warrant within nine months of the first technical response, we may refuse it.

Tip 5: completion certification

Make sure you supply all the documents and certificates which we outlined on the guidance when we issued your building warrant.

Tip 6: completion certificates for approved building warrants

Don’t send us completion certificates if your building warrant is not approved – we won’t process them.

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Building Standards: Improving our services – what you can do to help

We’re making marked progress with our service improvements – so far, this quarter, our team has issued first reports within 20 working days for 98% of building warrant applications. 70% of building warrants are being granted within 10 days of satisfactory revised information being submitted. Across the city, we’ve also approved £206 million of construction work since the start of 2019.

We’re committed to reducing response and processing times further. But we need your help – here are some simple things that agents and applicants don’t always do – this slows down the time it takes us to process your applications:

Paper plans still needed for approved works?

Following on from your feedback, we will no longer ask you to provide paper plans prior to us granting your electronic building warrant.

However, until we have fully developed our mobile solution, we do still need you to make available paper copies of the approved floor plans, elevations and specification for site inspections. Please make sure you have them ready for our surveyors when they come on site – they may not be able to inspect your works if you don’t.

Three simple things to help us process revised drawings more quickly

We can speed up your revised application if you:

  • provide a covering letter which clarifies your answer to each of the comments raised on the building warrant report
  • and highlight and state on the drawings and specification where you have made the amendments
  • when submitting plans online, make sure your drawings/support documents are correctly labelled and uploaded in correct orientation.

CCNP and notifications

We issue construction compliance and notification plans (CCNPs) with all building warrants. These specify stages of construction when you need to notify us to undertake an inspection. Please ensure these are made available to the contractor.

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Building Standards – New futures

We’re committed to investing in people as is key to developing the building standards services which serves our great city. You might have noticed a few changes in our team in recent months.

In our recruitment drive, we promoted Daniel Henderson to team manager for the south-east team and welcomed three new assistant building surveyors – Audrey Vass, Daniel Peart and Stuart Young.

Our apprentices recently visited a site with Senior Surveyor Douglas Collins, who has now retired, where they met Steven McGuire from CALA Homes.

We’re also proud that, for the first time ever, we’ve given three young people the opportunity to start a great career as building standards surveyors through our new apprentice posts. Working in partnership with Heriot Watt University, Jessica Morris, Rebekah Mack and Daniel O’Hara will develop core skills at university while working on building warrant applications with our team as well as playing a key part in our service improvements.

Councillor Neil Gardiner, convener of the Council’s planning committee and development sub-committee, explained: “Investing in careers and development of our team underpins our commitment to becoming one of the top performing building standards verification services in Scotland.

“It also demonstrates our commitment to facilitating Edinburgh’s successful economic and infrastructure growth.”

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