Consultation on the Merchiston & Greenhill Conservation Area Character Appraisal Revision

In 2018, the Planning Committee approved an updated programme of review of the existing conservation area character appraisals.

As part of this ongoing process, the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area Character Appraisal has now been revised and we are seeking your views on the draft text.

The Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area was originally designated in May 1986 and the first character appraisal for the area was approved in April 2003.

The revised draft character appraisal amends the text of the original appraisal for its final publication as a digital document that will include images, photographs and interactive maps.

No boundary changes to the conservation area are proposed.

We are seeking views on the following aspects of the revised Conservation Area Character Appraisal:

  • How clearly does the appraisal set out the issues within the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area
  • To what extent you agree or disagree with the proposed revised appraisal of the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area

The consultation is available now, should take less than 10 minutes to complete and is open until 11 Feb 2022

Colinton Conservation Area Character Appraisal

The revised Colinton Conservation Area Character Appraisal is now online. Conservation Area Character Appraisals are intended to help manage change. They provide an agreed basis of understanding of what makes an area special.

This understanding informs and provides the context in which decisions can be made on proposals which may affect that character.

An enhanced level of understanding, combined with appropriate management tools, ensures that change and development sustains and respects the qualities and special characteristics of the area.

The richness of Colinton’s built heritage is considerable. It is this complexity and diversity which make it attractive yet make these qualities hard to define.

These are qualities and conflicts that must be resolved if the character of Colinton is to be sensitively interpreted and enhanced.

You can download the full Conservation Area Character Appraisal here

Review of the Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield Conservation Area Character Appraisal

Marchmont tenements

We’re reviewing our Character Appraisal for the Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield Conservation Area. Originally designated in 1987, the Character Appraisal was last reviewed in 2007.

What is a conservation area and why do we designate them?

Conservation areas are defined ‘as areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance’.  Edinburgh has designated 50 conservation areas over the last 50 years with many of them designated in the early 1970s. They cover historic land, public parks, designed landscapes or railways but most contain groups of buildings extending over areas of the city. It is a statutory requirement for local authorities to review conservation areas and consider whether new conservation area designations are needed.

Trees in the Meadows

What are the effects of conservation area status?

Conservation area status does not place a ban upon all new development within its boundaries. It does however, mean that new development will normally only be granted planning permission if it can be demonstrated that it will not harm the special character or appearance of the area. Conservation area status also brings a number of special controls including:

  • The demolition of unlisted buildings requires Conservation Area Consent;
  • Some permitted development rights are removed;
  • Alterations to windows are also controlled in conservation areas in terms of the Council’s guidelines; and
  • Works to trees are controlled.

Guidance used to set out what we expect from development in Conservation Areas can be found here.

What is the purpose of Character Appraisals?

Character appraisals are produced to help manage change. These set out what makes the conservation area special and helps to make decisions on proposals that may affect the character of an area. All new development should preserve or enhance the conservation area. Change should be based on an understanding of the historic and urban design context.

Map of the Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield Conservation Area

What are the changes?

The reviewed character appraisal updates the text for its publication as a digital document which will include images, photographs and interactive maps. The review includes an update on some of the area’s larger public buildings and includes a new management section that sets out the relevant legislation policies and guidance used in assessing development proposals in the Conservation Area.  This section also identifies particular development pressures within the Conservation Area.

Bruntsfield houses

Have your say

You can give us your views on the revised Marchmont, Meadows and Bruntsfield Conservation Area Character Appraisal until the 16 December.

World Heritage at the Meadows Festival: 2-3 June 2018

It’s almost the Meadows Festival and for the third year, the World Heritage Team will have a stall to promote the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

At previous Meadows Festivals we spoke to people about the Management Plan for the Site, so this is a chance to see how this feedback has been turned into actions for the next five years….

World Heritage at the Meadows 2017

We’ll have information about the Site and activities for our younger visitors.  We’re celebrating the Year of Young People with a specially designed game – ‘Auld Reekie Through the Ages’ – a big box of 18th and 19th Century objects which help tell the stories of characters and places that shaped the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh.

Auld Reekie Through the Ages. Image © Historic Environment Scotland

We hope to see you there and fingers crossed for some sunshine!

Strategy for Setted Streets

Stone setts add significant historic and cultural value to the streets of Edinburgh and are an important feature of our cityscape.

The City of Edinburgh Council has a duty to protect the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site, Conservation Areas and other historic parts of the city. This protection includes the setting of Edinburgh’s many listed buildings, where setted streets are an integral part of their identity and authenticity.

When they are not properly maintained, setted streets can have implications for walking, cycling and driving. Damaged setts are often replaced with alternative materials like tarmac as a temporary solution. This can result in an unsightly and uncared for appearance.

We are working in partnership with Edinburgh World Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland to develop a strategy for the protection and maintenance of setted streets.

Have your say

To help inform the strategy we’d like to know what you think about setted streets and their value to the city. We are also interested to know what issues you think setted streets can have on our movement.

You can give us your views until Wednesday 11 October 2017.