Changes to pre-application consultation with local communities

View of Princes Street from the Castle looking North on a sunny day.

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.

Previously, a minimum of one event was required to take place, however for notices submitted after 1 October, there will now need to be two events, in accordance with The Town and Country Planning (Pre-Application Consultation) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 .

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:

  • Public meetings
  • 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.

Edinburgh’s Proposed Low Emission Zone takes another step forward

Last week Edinburgh’s proposed Low Emission Zone (LEZ) took another step forward, as sign-off was given by the Council’s Transport & Environment Committee last Thursday for of the official objection period.

The LEZ aims to reduce air pollution, since it presents a significant threat to public health. It is especially harmful to young children, the elderly and those suffering from pre-existing conditions, including heart and lung diseases.

LEZs are being introduced across Scotland’s four largest cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee in response to dangerous levels of air pollution generated by road traffic. The LEZ will improve public health by discouraging the most polluting vehicles from entering an area.

Last year we ran a consultation between June & September 2021 which received over 5,000 responses.

Following the consultation, an objection period ran from 1 February to 1 March 2022. During this time we received 26 objections and 1 letter of support. Objections were from a mixture of individuals, businesses and organisations including some Community Councils.

The most common objections were about;

  • the LEZ boundary should be wider or smaller
  • the process for assessing local exemptions
  • the modelling/evidence base & how robust it was

The next step for the LEZ is to submit the proposal to Scottish Ministers for approval. Assuming approval is granted by Ministers, the LEZ will be introduced on 31 May 2022. There will be a two year ‘grace period’, meaning it won’t be enforced until June 2024.

There are various LEZ related support funds for businesses and households available for other sustainable transport options

The Proposed LEZ will align with the Councils;

Approval given to proceed with proposal to designate Edinburgh as Short-term Let Control Area

On Wednesday at Planning Committee, proposals were approved to designate the City of Edinburgh Council area as a short-term let (STL) control area.

The proposal follows a consultation with the public as well as industry bodies. 

The majority of respondents to the consultation were in favour of a control area, with 88% supporting the principle of it, and 85% supporting the entire City of Edinburgh Council area to be included.

A report of the consultation forms part of our Report to Planning Committee. 

The designation cannot come to effect without the approval of Scottish Government. A request will be submitted to the Scottish Government requesting that the new powers are implemented in the whole of the Edinburgh area.

If the government agree with this approach, and the new legislation is implemented in the city, it will require residential property owners wholly letting a property which is not their principle home as an STL in the local authority area, to apply for planning permission for a ‘change of use’ to a short-term let.

Short-term lets of private rooms or shared rooms where the property is the only or principal home of the host will not be affected by the control area requirement. This allows for house swaps at holidays and also for the host to let out the entire property when on holiday or working away, provided the property remains their only or principal home.

If approval is given by the Scottish Government, the designation will be publicised in advance of coming into effect. 

The introduction of powers to make a control area follows the Council calling for new legislation to tighten up the control of short-term lets to help manage high concentrations of secondary letting where it affects the availability of residential housing and character of a neighbourhood.

Also, it will help to restrict or prevent short-term lets in places or types of buildings where they are not appropriate as well as making sure homes are used to best effect.

Complementary to the control area legislation, the Scottish Parliament has approved legislation which will introduce a new licensing scheme requiring short-term lets to be licensed from July 2024.  It will address the issues of safety, anti-social behaviour and noise.

To keep up to date with the Short-term Lets Control Area;

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City Plan 2030: Consultation Closed

The 20th of December saw the end of the consultation period for submitting formal representations to the proposed City Plan 2030. 

The Council will now carefully consider the representations received.  Once the Council has completed its deliberations the proposed plan, along with its representations, will be submitted to Scottish Ministers for formal examination.  The indicative time scale for that stage of the plan process is set out in the approved Development Plan Scheme.  

You can find out further information about the City Plan 2030 here: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cityplan2030

Individual documents, including the plan’s written statement, can be viewed here: City Plan 2030 – background documents – The City of Edinburgh Council

You can keep up to date with the City Plan project by:

  • subscribing to our blog
  • following us on twitter at @planningedin
  • joining in the conversation by using the #cityplan2030 hashtag

City Plan 2030: Consultation Closing Soon

There is less than a week left to make representations on our Proposed Local Development Plan: City Plan 2030 which closes on 20th December 2021.

Representations can be in support of or object to any aspect of the proposed plan and should set out any changes you wish to see. Comments can also be made on the Environmental Report and background documents.

The consultation hub contains the plan in full and you can comment on each section in turn or simply navigate to the part you wish to comment on.

We have prepared a Quick Guide to City Plan 2030 This gives an overview of each section of the plan and what it contains plus more information on the plan and the process. We have also prepared a quick guide to assist you in submitting a representation on the consultation hub.

The proposed plan sets out locations for new homes and businesses, where new infrastructure and facilities are required and how we will protect places of value. It also includes policies which will be used to determine future planning applications and will shape the city over the next 10 years and beyond, while also developing our city for a net-zero future.

Find out more

Visit the City Plan 2030 webpage for details of online public briefing sessions or you can keep up to date with the City Plan project by:

  • subscribing to our blog
  • following us on twitter at @planningedin
  • joining in the conversation by using the #CityPlan2030 hashtag