The Council prepares guidance for the City Centre under the Planning (Scotland) Act. The guidance is a requirement of Policy Ret 9, Alternative Use of Shop Units in Defined Centres, of our Local Development Plan. We do this to guide shops and non-shop uses in town centres including the city centre.
The current supplementary guidance for the city centre was adopted in February 2017. The guidance sets out the policies that apply to the city centre retail core, the boundary of which is defined on the LDP proposals map. The guidance sets out the circumstances where a planning application for a change of use from a shop to a non-shop use will be supported.
Since the original guidance was adopted there has been changes in circumstances that are likely to have an impact on the city centre such as; wider changes to shopping trends, the publication of our City Centre Transformation strategy, the publication of a retail and leisure study, the future opening of the new Edinburgh St James and many changes of use in the centre.
A stakeholder workshop was held on 29 May 2019 for interested stakeholders to raise concerns about the city centre, changes in circumstance and discuss options for amending the guidance to address this changes. As a result we have now prepared draft revised guidance for consultation.
The key changes to the guidance are as follows:
Altering existing policy covering Princes Street to provide significantly more flexibility.
Creating a new separate policy for Castle Street, Frederick Street and Hanover Street which is much more flexible that other named streets.
Altering the existing policy covering the frontages of other named streets in the retail core to be more flexible.
Altering the existing policy covering elsewhere in the city centre retail core, by determining changes of use based on streets rather than units in a row.
In addition, an issue related to food and drink uses is the use of outdoor awnings and fixtures which can be considered development and therefore requires planning permission. In the past we would not support such development due to its visual impact on streets and conservation areas and its effect on the use of public space.
However, we may use guidance to introduce policy for considering temporary planning permission for high quality fixtures in the right places. This will allow us to trial and assess the effect of these proposals in certain places.
The Council is now seeking comments on the revised guidance as well as views on the use of outdoor awnings and fixtures. The consultation exercise will last from 9 August to 20 September 2019 and we encourage all interested stakeholders to submit comments on the guidance via the Council’s consultation hub.
Following the consultation we will collate and consider the comments we receive before preparing the final version of the guidance for adoption.
Last week we hosted the first two of three consultation events to allow the public, local interest groups and stakeholders to express their ideas about the future of Redford Barracks and its redevelopment. Thank you to everyone who attended the events at Colinton Bowling club and Boroughmuir Rugby Club. Around 90 people came long to speak to officers about future plans for the site and many more have made comments online.
The Ministry of Defence is proposing to dispose of the Redford Barracks in 2025 creating an opportunity to knit this large site back into the fabric of the surrounding area. In order to make the most of this opportunity, City of Edinburgh Planning Service will prepare a Place Brief setting out agreed uses and design parameters to guide the future development of the site. As part of this work we are asking local people and groups to give us their views on the site and surrounding area; taking into account elements such as:
Housing including affordable and mixed tenure housing
Routes through the site for pedestrians, cycles and vehicles
The preservation of listed buildings and how they might be enhanced
Green spaces and trees and opportunities to create, enhance and improve them
What other uses might be appropriate for the site
The online consultation – open to anyone – is available here.
Are there any features of the site you want to see retained? Is there any part of the surrounding area you would like to bring to our attention? What uses would you like to see provided on the site?
Please fill out the online consultation and come along to our next event at Oxgangs Library on Tuesday 18 June from 2pm to 7pm.
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.
Setted surface looking West along Dean Park Crescent
Setted Comely Bank Avenue looking South
Setted surface looking East along St. Bernard’s Crescent
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.
Tarmacked corner of Learmonth Place and Comely Bank Grove
Setted surface looking West up Dean Park Crescent
Tarmacked surface looking West towards Edinburgh Castle on Market Street
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.
This is your opportunity to have your say on how the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site should be managed.
The consultation opened on Friday 1 July and will run until 1 August 2016.
We’ve had over 230 responses since Friday and the results are starting to take shape…
So far, this is what the respondents have scored high:
Facilities and amenities
Identity and belonging
Themes that are not scoring so well include:
Control and Guidance
Contribution of new developments to city centre
Care and maintenance of buildings and streets
Influence and sense of control
Public consultations are only as effective as the input from those who participate, so if you haven’t done so yet, please take a moment to share your thoughts, ideas and suggestions using our online survey.