City Plan 2030 – Timetable Update

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As we mentioned in our last post of 2018, we’re now looking at revising the City Plan 2030 project timetable.  We’re making these changes as we don’t want to ask for your view on the choices for City Plan until we know what is in another plan – the second Strategic Development Plan for South East Scotland.

The Strategic Development Plan is currently with Scottish Ministers.  It hasn’t been approved yet, so we’re changing the project timetable.  This means:

  • We will not report the Choices for City Plan 2030 (the main issues report) in January 2019.
  • We won’t be carrying out the main consultation from February to April 2019.
  • The events set out in our current Development Plan Scheme (from September 2018) will be moved to later in 2019.
  • The timing of the next stages in the City Plan 2030 project will be affected.

We still hope to carry out the main consultation in the first half of 2019 and will announce the dates of the new consultation period in the next couple of months (e.g. February or March).  We will publish a new Development Plan Scheme with rescheduled consultation dates and events then too.

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:

Working as an Assistant Planner

The Role

I began work as an Assistant Planner at the City of Edinburgh Council in August 2016.  Over the two year programme I gained experience working on planning policy, planning applications and enforcement.  The two year programme gives newly qualified planners the opportunity to learn different aspects of planning and gain a broad range of experience to gain chartered membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).  This could include working on masterplans, urban design projects and using the Place Standard.

Place Standard

The Job

Whilst working on planning policy I worked on updates to planning guidance, undertook research into Short Stay Commercial Visitor Accommodation and wrote Planning Committee reports.  I also helped to designate Restalrig as Edinburgh’s 50th conservation area, working with community groups and members of the public on drafting the Character Appraisal, preparing consultation materials, and meeting community groups.

In my second year I moved to development management and enforcement. I gained experience of processing local planning applications, listed building consents and investigating breaches of planning control.  I also provided planning advice at the help desk.  The work is varied and interesting and gives you the opportunity to influence development in the capital city.

Planning Helpdesk

Learning, Development & Mentoring

Regular training on a variety of topics is provided to support learning and development.  Assistant Planner’s are also given a place at the RTPI Young Planner’s Conference.  As well as training, I was supported through the RTPI Assessment of Professional Competence process by a mentor.  We met on a monthly basis to monitor my progress with my logbook and ensure I was receiving sufficient experience. My mentor hugely supporting me in my submission and I secured chartered membership of the RTPI last year.

Opportunities

Since completing the two year programme as an Assistant Planner I was successful in obtaining a permanent position as a Planning Officer within the Householder and Enforcement team.  I have subsequently been given the opportunity to work in the City Centre Major Developments team.  There are regular opportunities to work in different areas and get varied work experience, making the Edinburgh planning service a great place to start your career in planning!

The posts for four Assistant Planning Officers are now being advertised. Closing date 18 January 2019.

City Plan 2030 – Past Plans 1965

As part of our display in the Central Library on George IV Bridge (running until the end of the month!) we’ve shown parts of old plans and brochures for Edinburgh since the 1940’s. We would like to share some more of our planning past on this blog, to see what City Plan 2030 will follow on from.

The first item we’ve shared is the proposed Development Plan Review from 1965, an update of our very first 1957 City of Edinburgh Development Plan!

This was a early type of consultation document, written to show the main issues faced at the time, and what the planners of the day wanted to do about them, in an accessible brochure. It refers to a number of similar issues to those we are trying to tackle today, such as how growth affects the character of the city, where to direct new growth, and concerns around increased traffic.

Looking at the contents of this Review, they took a very different approach to dealing with these issues than we would today but had a lasting impact and in large part led to the shape of the city as we know it.

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Diagram of the city structure as it existed in 1965
1965 city structure proposed
Diagram of the city structure as proposed in this Review

City region and population

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Growth strategy diagram

In 1965 around 476,400 people lived in the city. (mid-2017 estimate – 513,210) The Review set a target to limit this number going over 491,600 by 1985.

Early on, a Regional Plan is proposed to direct at least some growth outside of Edinburgh and keep the population within this limit.

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City Region diagram

This early hint toward a Regional Plan would eventually lead to today’s SESplan for South-East Scotland, with Edinburgh at its centre. It also sets targets for housing numbers and a plan for where growth should be allowed without pushing people and jobs away from the city.

Mobility

1965 ring road
Proposed ring road diagram

Major new roads are proposed to reduce traffic jams linked to more people owning cars and cuts to train services. The most radical ideas of the time were plans for an inner ring road, two new radial roads going into the city and a new city bypass.

Of these, only the city bypass was built and part of one radial road – the West Approach Road, but thankfully it’s not the long road link to the M8 that was hoped for. The inner ring road was later cancelled after a campaign from local groups including the Cockburn Association due to the impact it would have had on the historic city and on local housing.

Traffic and congestion is still a challenge, but public transport, active travel and better use of public space is now seen as the way to handle it. The ongoing City Centre Transformation Project and City Mobility Plan will soon share our actions which City Plan 2030 will help to deliver.

Urban renewal and housing

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Housing photographs

The number of houses required between 1965 and 1985 was estimated at 169,350. At this time there was a focus on new housing in clearance areas which were perceived as having outdated or slum housing.

1965 comp area overview
Comprehensive development area overview

Clearing and renewing areas of unfit housing was seen as a public responsibility. Comprehensive development areas were drawn up to re-plan entire districts.

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St James’ Square/Picardy Place model

One such district is St James Square, which was cleared for the St James Centre, which itself has recently been demolished for replacement by a new centre. St James was always to include new shopping and office space. These plans also made space for the ring road and a modern replacement for St Mary’s Cathedral, which did not go ahead.

In later years there has been regret over the loss of many older districts, but this was driven by a great push for social progress at the time. Today, St James is within the New Town Conservation Area and the World Heritage Site, which goes some way to protecting the special value of our places.

Download

Click on the titles below to download the full brochure for more than what we have covered in this blog post, and the 1974 proposals map for the plan which was approved with some changes since the 1965 Review, such as removal of the New Town ring road section.

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1965 Development Plan Review full download (PDF)
1965 proposal map
1974 proposal map download (PDF)

The 1965 Review shows how development plans can have a lasting impact on the city for decades to come. As we prepare City Plan 2030 we will be thinking about the impact that planning has and how important it is to involve as many people as possible in helping to shape the final plan.

With more engagement events planned around the city in the coming year, you can sign up for the mailing list by emailing the City Plan team at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk.

We’d like this to be the first of a series of Past Plans blog posts, so if there are any particular plans or planning documents you’d like to see us cover please comment below and we can search the archives to see if we can include it in a future post.

City Plan 2030 – A Look Back at 2018

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Looking back

As we approach the end of 2018, we took the chance to reflect on what we’ve done so far and found that over the year we’d held 31 engagement events across the city. This included:

At the events we’ve been asking people “what makes a great place and what should be in our Choices document to be published as part of our main consultation in 2019”. We’ll share much more on this in the new year – so subscribe to the blog for updates straight to your inbox!

Looking forward

The main consultation for City Plan 2030 will take place in 2019 and will set out the main choices that we need to make as we prepare the next plan. We’re keen for people to get involved and you can keep up to date with the project by:

We are currently looking at revising the project timetable and will make an announcement on that in January.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas from all of us in the City Plan team!

City Plan 2030 – Visitor Accommodation Seminar

As City Plan 2030 moves forward, we are holding more events on key subjects such as the Housing Seminar we shared just over a week ago. The events are attended by people who work in these areas and are a way of sharing and gaining knowledge in specific topics.

Our most recent event was on the subject of visitor accommodation, (such as hotels, short-term lets, hostels and guest houses) dealing with the growth of tourism and the impact on the property market.

We invited those involved in building or running visitor accommodation, or with a stake in this activity. With over 60 people signed up to attend, we heard from a range of perspectives.

The first speaker was Jim Galloway,  our Head of Enterprise and Innovation at the Council, who covered the trends in tourist numbers over the last few years, why they have changed, and what issues may affect these numbers in the future.

Visitor Accom Seminar3

The next speakers were Dr Mark Robertson of Ryden, Andrew Renouf of GVA and Ian Derrick of GVA who discussed the current state of the property market for this sector.

Visitor Accom Seminar6

This was followed by a discussion session with input from both industry and community representatives, on the topic of how to address the growth of visitor numbers in City Plan 2030, with a range of views given and discussed.

The final speaker was Keith Miller from our City Plan team who gave an outline of City Plan 2030 and how we will be involving more people in the discussion in the future.

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The event was closed by Councillor Lezley Cameron who rounded off the event and addressed a few key points and issues which came up.

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Next year we intend to hold a further event on the subject of the retail and leisure sector. Watch this space! If you’d like to give us your own views on this subject, let us know in the comments, or email us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk