There is a new requirement for Local Planning Authorities to prepare and maintain a list of anyone interested in acquiring land for self-build housing across the authority’s area. Self-build housing is where a person commissions or is personally involved in the design and construction of a dwelling intended to be their main home.
Registering interest will help us find out more about the demand for self-build across Edinburgh. While registration does not form an obligation for the Council to find or offer land for such purposes, we will use the information from the register to inform future planning policy and guidance.
If you are interested in self-build, you can join our register.
This year’s Scottish Design Awards is to be held on the 15 July. Open to all architects, engineers, graphic, interior and digital designers, the awards seek to serve as a champion of best practice, sustainability and innovation.
Last September there were a lot of Edinburgh schemes among the winners at the 2020 Awards.
Here is a quick look back at some of the developments in Edinburgh which were among last year’s winners.
If you want to take a deeper look into the details, the Planning Portal provides all the plans, drawings and related reports.
This category C listed 19th century building was once home to the famous North British Rubber Company and McEwan’s Fountain Brewery until its closure in 2005 after which the site lay vacant for over a decade. An application for Planning Permission was submitted in July 2015 to convert the C Listed former offices into a creative hub for the Edinburgh Printmakers.
The site, within the Fountainbridge Development Brief was identified as being part of a wider strategy to re-establish a community with mixed uses and with the intention of safeguarding and reusing the few remaining heritage assets.
This project was led by a small voluntary community organisation which came together to work towards the renovation of the farmhouse for community ownership. The conversion was from a vacant farmhouse into a cafe and kitchen with a teaching area on the ground floor. On the first floor an exhibition area and meeting space was formed.
The land to the rear of the farmhouse was split into two areas. Firstly the garden area was retained providing space for a kitchen garden and outdoor workshops. Secondly the rear courtyard area was hard landscaped with a paved terrace next to the farmhouse and a paved walkway along the front of the workshops.
A phase of 75 new homes for social and mid-market rent in Craigmillar. The masterplan was previously approved (Reference 05/01358/OUT)
The site is located on the east side of Greendykes Avenue (part of which was renamed Tudsbery Avenue) and is bounded by Greendykes Terrace (part of which was renamed Matthew Street) to the north, Greendykes Loan to the south and Greendykes Drive to the east. The site was previously housing which had been demolished.
Part of an important façade where Old Town meets New Town, the hotel sits right in the centre of Edinburgh at an entrance to Waverley Station. The restricted site had been undeveloped for over 50 years.
The Global Research Innovation and Discovery (GRID) teaching facility was designed specifically to promote collaboration between departments, and to create cohesion between academic disciplines, industry partners and the global community. It is focussed on subjects such as Engineering and Computer Science.
The building is the first in the Heriot Watt campus to engage its Lochside setting and offers access to the water’s edge via ramped terraces. Student well-being was designed into the project from the outset, influencing colours, materials & design.
The Leith Walk/Halmyre Street Place Brief is now online. The approved place brief provides guidance for a co-ordinated approach to a housing-led, mixed use development on a site east of Leith Walk and west of Halmyre Street.
The place brief has been prepared by the Council’s planning service in collaboration with other Council services. It has involved extensive engagement with the local community and other stakeholders through a series of community engagement events held in January this year, covered in this blog back in May.
Future planning applications for any part of the site will be required to address the principles within the place brief to ensure that development helps to create a good place.
The place brief has the status of non-statutory planning guidance and will be a material consideration in the determination of relevant planning applications.
We’ve recently updated two important planning guidance documents to better shape development in the city, for design and for land use in the city centre. These guidance documents are used by applicants when designing and submitting applications, and by planners when assessing these applications. They are good examples of the sources we use to judge proposals that come to us and to make clear what we expect of new development.
The main changes to the guidance are covered below, with a link to the documents.
City Centre Shopping and Leisure Supplementary Guidance Changes
The Council prepares planning guidance for the City Centre under the Planning (Scotland) Act. The guidance is a statutory requirement of our Local Development Plan policy on shops to guide how and where shops and non-shop uses in town centres including the city centre are allowed.
This guidance sets out the change of use policies that apply to the city centre retail core, the boundary of which can be seen on the LDP proposals map and sets out where a planning application for a change of use from a shop to a non-shop use will be supported.
Since the guidance was first written there have been changes 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. The key changes respond to these and cover:
Altering existing guidance covering Princes Street to provide significantly more flexibility for non-shop uses.
Creating new guidance for Castle Street, Frederick Street and Hanover Street which is much more flexible than the other named streets.
Altering the existing guidance covering the frontages of the other named streets in the retail core to be more flexible.
Altering the existing guidance covering parts of the city centre retail core outside of these streets by determining changes of use based on whole streets rather than units in a row.
The guidance was written with the involvement of people working in retail in Edinburgh through workshops and was opened to public consultation before being approved by the Planning Committee on 29 January 2020. You can view the updated guidance here.
Edinburgh Design Guidance Changes
The non-statutory Edinburgh Design Guidance sets out the Council’s expectations for the design of new development in Edinburgh. It seeks to raise standards of design in the city by providing guidance on how to respond to specific design issues, from analysing a site, to masterplanning, building design, materials and streets and public spaces. The changes to the Edinburgh design Guidance were also approved at Planning Committee on 29 January 2020.
Following a workshop with elected members and working with our planning colleagues, a number of changes were identified to clarify and update the guidance. The key changes are:
A methodology for calculating density to ensure a consistent approach across the city to calculating built density. (p38)
Approved council guidance on public art is now included in the Edinburgh Design Guidance document. (p48)
Revisions to the parking standards to make their use easier and highlight where it is appropriate to differ from these standards. (p79)
Clarification of daylighting and key view assessment processes. (p99)
Guidance on designing for people with disabilities (p108) and on single aspect dwellings. (p110)
Since November, a citywide ban on ‘A’ boards and other temporary adverts has been in force. This is primarily to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility on our streets. It is part of wider efforts to help create a more welcoming, clutter-free city for everyone.
Environmental Wardens are working closely with businesses and are reporting good results across the city. Businesses have adapted to the ban in a variety of ways, including by incorporating advertising into barriers around tables and chairs (for which they have a licence) or putting a sign on their walls or windows (if allowed).
There are lots of places to go for businesses looking for more information on advertising or guidance to help them through this ongoing change;
As you can see from our photo gallery above, removing A-Boards can help make a huge difference for people with mobility issues getting around Edinburgh. By removing barriers on our pavements, it is hoped that people can move more freely across the city and businesses will feel the benefit from shoppers attracted by better pavements.
If you wish to report any A-Boards which you feel should be looked at by an Environmental Warden, please email us at email@example.com.
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