City Plan 2030 – Edinburgh’s Future Office Market

Meeting the needs of the office sector will be a key issue for City Plan 2030. With an estimated 1.85 million square metres of office floor space in Edinburgh, supporting an estimated 123,000 jobs, the office sector is crucial to Edinburgh’s economy.

Our Office Commercial Needs Study shows that although Edinburgh city centre is prominent, there is significant office based economic activity outwith the central area.

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In addition to high profile headquarters the city has a deep pool of businesses across the size ranges leaning towards smaller organisations. The average office is around 20 years old, mid-urban, comparatively affordable, and is let to a mix of small to medium sized enterprises.

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Between 2013 and 2018 a total of 88,943 square metres of floorspace was completed. Almost 70% was within the city centre. Office Space 5.jpg

Despite the development of new offices there has been a net loss of office floorspace as stock lost to alternative uses has exceeded new development. However the stock has improved, as new purpose-built offices replace older buildings.

Demand is high, particularly in the city centre. There is 538,000 square metres of office development with planning permission but only 10% of this is in the city centre.

Edinburgh’s new-build offices tend to be small, expensive co-working spaces, or large, expensive headquarters. However, most the city’s office market is ‘mid-market’ in terms of location, quality, size and cost. The continuing loss of traditional offices further reduces the supply available to that mid-market.

It is projected that over the period 2019 to 2030 Edinburgh will need between 17,000 and 30,000 square metres of net office space annually to meet demand. This could imply a land area similar to a major business park.

The study points towards the need to identify city centre locations for development or redevelopment, capture the potential of off-centre office locations and meet the needs and demands of the city’s large mid-market.

For the City Plan 2030, we have also been looking at shopping and leisure, visitor accommodation and business and industry. All the City Plan 2030 commercial needs studies are available to view here.

And in addition to these studies we annually monitor several development types across Edinburgh including, office, industry, retail, hotels, leisure, and student accommodation. Reports on each of these areas are available here.

The timetable for preparing City Plan 2030 and details on how you can get involved is set out in the development plan scheme.

Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk

City Plan 2030 – Commercial Needs Industry Study

Having a healthy stock of land and spaces for a range of businesses to grow is a key concern in planning for a growing city. We commissioned a study on the supply and demand of business and industrial land in Edinburgh which found that there is 1.08 million square metres of industrial space in Edinburgh across 1,214 units which support an estimated 30,000 jobs.

The study shows the spatial pattern of all business and industry spaces, not just industrial estates that we designate for planning purposes. You can see from the map below the pattern of industrial space follows the historic siting of industry along the Water of Leith, where the river powered early industrial processes before coal or electricity was widely used.

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Industrial properties in Edinburgh

One of the main findings is that the industrial stock is ageing, as can be seen in the bar chart below, and this is reflected in the industry rating of the quality of the space. It shows that most of our industrial space is at least 40 years old as 57% was built during the 1980s or earlier, and 93% of Edinburgh’s industrial space is of a very basic standard.

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Industrial property in Edinburgh by decade built

But rising rent and low vacancy rates tell us that demand for space is strong. However, speculative development of new units has been slow and industrial land has the potential to redevelop for other uses, especially to new homes in inner city areas such as Bonnington. Speculative development has been targeted to the west of the city, with good access to the trunk road network.

The study signals that more flexible floorspace will need to be built and/or refurbished to current standards to replace the older units and meet demand. We expect planning for modern industrial floorspace will be a key issue for City Plan 2030 and we will be reflecting on what delivering replacement premises means for the city’s spatial strategy.

We have also been looking at topics such as shopping and leisure and visitor accommodation and will be looking to share similar posts in future covering these. The commercial needs studies are available to view here.

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!

City Plan 2030 – Community Workshops Video

Watch this short video on how we have been engaging local communities in Edinburgh.

More updates on how City Plan 2030 moves forward will be posted here on the Planning Edinburgh blog.

We are holding an additional community workshop at Currie Library, 210 Lanark Road West on Monday 3 December from 6pm – 7.30pm. To book a place or to join the mailing list you can email the City Plan team at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk.

City Plan 2030 – autumn community workshops

We have started to prepare a new local development plan for Edinburgh – City Plan 2030. Following on from meetings with Community Councils in March this year we are now holding a series of community engagement events across the city. At the workshops we will be asking for ideas for the new plan, including suggestions  for new planning policies and where brownfield sites could be developed.

The events will be held in these locations and times;

Area Date Venue
SW Saturday 15 September 2018 St Brides Centre, 10 Orwell Terrace, Edinburgh, EH11 2DZ.

Event: 10.30am – 12.30pm,

registration and light refreshments from 10.15am

 NW Monday 17 September 2018 Rosebery Hall, High Street, South Queensferry, EH30 9LL.

Event: 5.30pm – 7pm,

registration and light refreshments from 5.15pm

NE Saturday 22 September 2018 Out of the Blue, 36 Dalmeny St, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG

Event: 10.30am – 12.30pm,

registration and light refreshments from 10.15am

Monday 24 September 2018 Northfield and Willowbrae Community Centre, 10 Northfield road, Edinburgh, EH8 7PP.

Event: 5.30pm – 7pm,

registration and light refreshments from 5.15pm.

SE Thursday 27 September 2018 Edinburgh Council office, Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG

Event: 5.45pm – 7.15pm,

registration and light refreshments from 5.30pm

If you would like to take part in an event, please book your place by emailing the City Plan team at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk.