Changes are coming to the way pre-application consultation with local communities takes place.
All applications for national or major development must comply with the Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) process. Where pre-application consultation is required, applicants must submit a Proposal of Application Notice (PAN) at least 12 weeks prior to the submission of the planning application.
At the second event the application will provide feedback on comments received regarding the proposed development. Both of these exhibition/events must be press advertised.
The changes also introduce a time limit of 18 months within which an application must be submitted.
Notices submitted prior to 1 October will not be required to hold two events but will be subject to the 18 month time limit, starting from 1 October.
Since the first outbreak of Covid in March 2020, all events have been taking place online. For notices received after 1 October, all events must now be in person. It is still good practice however to provide online information for those not able to attend in person.
The Edinburgh Development Concordat promotes collaborative working between the developer, community councils and the Council. It is recommended that an engagement strategy is prepared which sets out how community feedback will be sought. This could include the use of:
Meetings with community councils
Exhibitions with developer staff on hand to answer questions
Social media to promote events
Bespoke websites for the development
Surveys – both online and in person
Posters in local libraries and other public places
Leaflets distributed to properties in the local area
Consultation should be a meaningful engagement with the community and should offer the opportunity to mitigate negative impacts and misunderstandings and deal with community issues that can be addressed.
We have published our new Development Concordat which sets out how developers, community organisations and the Council can work together to achieve good placemaking.
The Concordat seeks to help the city’s economic recovery by promoting collaboration. It builds on the values and principles of the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision which provides clear aspirations for what the city is looking to achieve.
The Concordat recognises the need for agility, flexibility and collaborative engagement between Council services, the development and business communities and community organisations. We all need to work together to address the City’s recovery.
Community Organisations are encouraged to promote the vital role in representing the views of the wider community when new developments are proposed and to work collaboratively with developers from pre-application through to post planning decision.
The Council will promote the ways that developers and representative community organisations can engage with each other and will promote a “whole Council approach” as an enabler of development to facilitate a more continuous “end to end” approach taking in all of the development functions of the Council throughout the whole development process.
Cllr Neil Gardiner, Convener of the Planning Committee, said
“Edinburgh attracts a wide range of major investments and developments and more minor applications which can be complex. It’s important that the process is as smooth as possible for applicants and that we give quality, consistent and timely advice at all times.
The Concordat highlights the need for early community engagement in the planning process.
Good collaboration is even more important at the moment and the Concordat will help us all work together to address the city’s recovery. This Concordat is about adding value and helping to create good places.”
The Concordat was approved by the Council’s Policy and Sustainability Committee and replaces the Edinburgh Planning Concordat which has existed in various forms since 2009.
Read the full Edinburgh Development Concordat here.