Hello everyone, Katie and I have been out exploring the New Town, taking photographs of some new developments within the conservation area to help raise awareness of the consultation for the New Town Character Appraisal. This overlaps with the consultation on the World Heritage Site Management Plan and is another way to get feedback on new buildings.
A character appraisal is a document which helps to manage change in conservation areas. It sets out what makes an area special and worthy of conservation. This provides the context for planning decisions on proposals affect the character and appearance of the conservation area. The character appraisal for the New Town Conservation Area is currently under review and this is an opportunity for people to have their say about some new buildings in the area.
The survey results will help with our understanding of how well the current character appraisal reflects the character and appearance of area as it is today. The results will also help us see how effective (or not) the character appraisal has been in managing change over the years.
It would be great if you would take 5 -10 minutes to give us your views using our online survey.
We’re bringing a quick update on the Old and New Towns World Heritage Site consultation. There’s only two more weeks to go until the end of the consultation…
We’ve had over 400 responses since the consultation began at the start of July. It’s interesting to see that even though the shape looks different a number of key themes continue to come through, such as:
Control and Guidance
Contribution of new developments to city centre
Care and maintenance of buildings and streets
Influence and sense of control
This feedback is key as it will play an important role in shaping the new management plan.
Katie and I took to the streets last week, asking members of the public for some feedback on Edinburgh city centre. Have a listen…
If you’ve not already filled in the online survey it might inspire you to do so!
This year we’ll have a stall at the Meadows Festival to kick-start consultation on both the Old Town and the New Town Conservation Area Character Appraisals. We’ll be there both days and will be keen to get your views on recent developments in these parts of the City.
We will keep you informed of progress and about opportunities to get involved in both the Old and New Towns World Heritage Site Management Plan and the Conservation Area Character Appraisal reviews on the blog and on Twitter @planningedin
Hopefully the sun will be shining and we see you there!
At our meeting on 4 December, the Planning Committee approved an Issues Paper on Student Housing. This will be subject to formal consultation and will inform the preparation of revised planning guidance. This will assist with the implementation of policies to manage the location of purpose-built student accommodation in the city.
In addition to this it was agreed that a review of Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO) would take the form of a joint consultation between Licensing and Planning. Following this agreement, I will be having discussions on how this will be done with the Convener and Vice Convener of the Regulatory Committee in the coming months.
At the same meeting, the committee agreed that, after consultation with the local community, it would not proceed with the designation of the Southfield Estate as a conservation area. While it was accepted that the estate is a good example of 1960s housing design, the accumulation of alterations coupled with a lack of local support for conservation area status meant that enhancement and improvement of the area would be very difficult to achieve. For those reasons the committee agreed not to support the proposal at this time.
We are about to start a review of our conservation area character appraisals. The appraisals help us, community and amenity groups, householders, developers and others understand what makes a conservation area special, and how change in the area can be managed sensitively.
With some of our current appraisals around 15 years old, changes over time, development pressures, and changing priorities have made a fresh look at the appraisals essential. Feedback has also shown that the format of the appraisals could be improved to make them more user-friendly and focus more on analysis rather than description – emphasising that understanding the area is important. We will be reviewing six conservation areas over the next two years, with the initial priorities being:
The first area to be reviewed will be The Grange. We are working in partnership with the Grange Association to understand the changes that have taken place in the area since the last appraisal and what we can learn from this. At the same time, Architectural Conservation MSc students from the University of Edinburgh are assessing the area’s character and development and will be sharing their results with us over the next few months.
Watch this space – we’ll be seeking views from the community and other stakeholders as the draft Grange appraisal and new format are developed. The more feedback we receive, the better and more fit-for-purpose the new appraisals will be.