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.

1965 city structure existing
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

1965 growth
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.

1965 regional
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

1965 housing eg
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.

1965 comp area st james
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.

1965 cover
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.

Visitor Accom Seminar9

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

City Plan 2030 – Housing Seminar

We want to include the views of people involved in housing in Edinburgh as we prepare City Plan 2030, so as part of our consultation we held a housing seminar last Friday and invited a range of people representing groups with a stake in building and providing housing.

We invited Councillors, colleagues and representatives from Homes for Scotland, Shelter Scotland and ESPC to present on a number of topics.

The event was kicked off by Councillor Neil Gardiner, Convener of the Planning Committee and Kate Campbell, Convener of the Housing and Economy Committee:

 

Speakers then talked about how to deliver the housing the city needs:

 

…and about the challenges and opportunities for housing:

 

After this a discussion was held amongst the groups of guests. All groups were asked “What makes a good place?”

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Themes which came up:

  • People and communities are key.
  • Early engagement in the planning process.
  • The importance of connectivity and infrastructure such as transport and schools.
  • Direct approach to bringing forward housing sites.
  • The right mix of tenures and housing types needs to be found to tackle high prices.
  • More certainty through long-term planning.

We enjoyed hosting this event and think the guests did too. We also found it very useful and look forward to having more of these discussions as work on City Plan 2030 proceeds.

We hope to post guest blogs in the future on the subject about what makes a good place to live. Watch this space!

Planning and Building Standards portal – now back online

We're back

You may have already noticed that the planning and building standards portal is now back online.

The upgrade has resulted in a number of improvements for us in-house in how we handle planning and building warrant applications. The upgrade has also resulted in a number of improvements to the public portal, including:

  • Documents can be bulk downloaded
  • Draft comments will be retained after a time out
  • Comments can be spellchecked
  • Social media integration means you can easily share comments and applications via email or Twitter
  • Email addresses are checked to ensure they are valid before registering for the portal
  • Uncommon email domains are now supported – for example, .house
  • You will be able to track notifications of map searches
  • New links to ePlanning and eBuildingStandards are included for the submission of applications

In terms of how customers submit planning and building warrants, improvements include:

  • A ‘Client to Pay’ option for ePlanning and eBuildingstandards means agents can submit the application form without payment, and their client will receive an email with the eDevelopment reference number and telephone details for them to make the payment
  • For Building Standards, drawing numbers, revision numbers and document descriptions will be uploaded into our system as input by the agent/customer

Planning applications effected by the downtime will have additional time added to allow for public comments. For users who wish to check the expiry date for public comments on an application, this can be viewed in the “Important Dates” tab.

Whilst much of the upgrade was about providing greater stability in our systems and improving how we manage planning and building standards applications, we hope that you find the ‘user experience’ has been greatly improved in the process.