19 June 2014 Planning Committee: second proposed Local Development Plan

Edinburgh is a successful, growing city but this brings a huge demand for places where people can live.  At our meeting on 19 June 2014, the Planning Committee approved the Second Proposed Local Development Plan which has a clear aim of supporting the growth of the city economy and increasing the number of new homes being built.  There will be an opportunity for people to formally comment on the Plan in August and I will ensure that this process is made as easy as possible.

74% of the homes in the Proposed Plan is expected to be built on brownfield land and the Committee has agreed to explore ways to bring these development sites forward and maximise the contribution they make to our housing supply.  However, there is not enough brownfield land to meet the city’s housing need and the Plan does propose that some Green Belt land is released for development.  There has been considerable objection to these proposals and the concerns of local communities were clearly in the mind of Committee members when coming to the decision.  In particular, the potential impact on road junctions and congestion, as well as promoting the use of sustainable transport modes, are issues that we must take into account when moving forward.

Approving the Proposed Plan at the meeting gives the Council the best chance of preventing ad hoc green field developments in locations where we have no control.  However, the Committee has asked that further analysis of a potential housing site to the west of Edinburgh Park is also undertaken.

All the Planning Committee reports, including the Capital Coalition motion, are available online.

Councillor Ian Perry

Convener of the Planning Committee

May 2014 Planning Committee

At our meeting on 15 May, the Planning Committee agreed to name a new street close to Easter Road stadium Lawrie Reilly Place. There was huge public support for the name and the Committee was delighted to be able to take the opportunity to recognise Lawrie Reilly’s sporting achievements for Edinburgh and Scotland.

Southfield, Edinburgh
Southfield, Edinburgh

The Committee also agreed to consult on whether the Southfield Estate in Drumbrae could become a conservation area. The estate was designed and built in the 1960s and is an example of Modernist architecture with an arrangement of buildings that was innovative at the time. It is particularly notable for its central communal garden. The architect was Roland Wedgwood. If designated, it would become the second post-war conservation area in Edinburgh and Scotland, the other being the Thistle Foundation Village, and the most recently built development in Scotland to achieve conservation area status. The consultation will start soon and we will be interested to hear your views.

You can read all the Planning Committee reports in full online.

Councillor Ian Perry

Convener of the Planning Committee

February 2014 Planning Committee

Princes Street

At our meeting on 27 February, the Planning Committee agreed to relax planning policy for Princes Street to allow cafes and restaurants to open up alongside the shops to make it more of a destination.  A more flexible approach to Shandwick Place, Castle Street, and Queensferry Street has also been agreed.  Shopping will always be one of the main reasonsPrinces Street why people want to be in the city centre but by allowing more cafes and restaurants in certain areas it will encourage more people to spend time enjoying the spectacular views and unique atmosphere.  Along with new shops opening, the tram set to run, and large parts of George Street being given to pedestrians, it is an exciting time for our city centre and the recent launch of the ‘This is Edinburgh’ promotional campaign will help increase footfall in the area.

Edinburgh Street Design Guidance

An attractive environment also helps to make a successful place and the Council is committed to providing high quality streets, pavements and public spaces.  The Planning The ShoreCommittee agreed that consultation should soon start on our new Edinburgh Street Design Guidance.  The draft guidance is clear that people should be put before cars when new streets are designed or existing streets are changed. Edinburgh has been at the forefront of street design since the 1990s and it will be interesting to hear your views on our latest proposals.

The Forth Bridge

The Forth Bridgeprogress of the nomination to make The Forth Bridge a world heritage site was also reported to the Committee.  It will not be until the summer of 2015 that we find out if the bid has been successful but it was encouraging to see how far it has already come.

You can read the all the Planning Committee reports in full online.

Councillor Ian Perry.  Convener of the Planning Committee

December 2013 Planning Committee

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Tollcross

At our meeting on 5 December, the Planning Committee agreed new guidance for Tollcross which will guide the type of uses that will be supported in the main shopping area.  As well as shops, we will support other complementary uses such as estate agents, cafes or restaurants in most parts of the town centre. Although we still want a strong retail offer, by being open to other uses that attract people to the area we hope to enhance the vitality and vibrancy of Tollcross.

The Council is committed to ensuring that our town centres serve those who live, work, visit and shop and will continue to thrive in the future. We now plan to look closely at all the other town centres in a similar way over the next couple of years.

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The Edinburgh BioQuarter area

Guidance to support the development of ‘The Edinburgh Bioquarter’ on land next to the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary was also agreed by the Committee.  The aim is that the area will become a top 10 global centre of excellence for life sciences with the potential to create a significant number of jobs.  The guidance sets out an exciting vision for the creation of a mixed use, urban quarter which protects and enhances the landscape setting of the city. Consultation on the detailed draft masterplan for the area will take place over the coming months.

The Committee also agreed revised guidance on adverts including the use of digital advertising. This is an emerging issue with media companies keen to make adverts time specific and able to be frequently changed and managed remotely. However, it is important that digital advertising does not have an adverse impact on public safety or the amenity of nearby residents or special places such as the World Heritage Site.  You can read the all the Planning Committee reports in full online.