Help us to help you

The Planning service is as busy as ever with large number of planning applications and enforcement queries coming through the door. Key projects are continuing to progress including City Plan 2030 and the Low Emissions Zone. At the same time, we have a continuous programme of improvement to address changes such as the new planning fees and to ensure our processes are as efficient and robust as possible.

We are pleased that a number of new assistant planners have been recruited and they will be joining us over the next few months. We are also recruiting for a new planning officer.

Whilst there is much positive news, we do recognise that planning applications are taking longer to assess and determine than we would like, and we are not always meeting our statutory timescales. We know we need to do better. We are looking at a number of measures to address the backlog.

If you have recently submitted or about to submit an application, please pay particular attention to your acknowledgement letter at this time.

Photographs & relevant contextual plans

It would help significantly if you could provide the following information at the time of application submission or upload as additional information post submission:

  • Photographs showing the location of the work and the wider context (including interiors for listed building consent applications)
  • Dimensions on the plans
  • Contextual information i.e. neighbouring windows/ extensions (if relevant)
  • 45 degree daylighting calculations (if relevant)

Please be patient and understanding – we will get there but it is going to take a little longer.

Scottish Planning Fees Change 1 April 2022

Fees for planning applications set by the Scottish Government change today for almost all application types.

This means everything submitted to us from today onwards is affected, including:

  • ‘full’ planning permission
  • planning permission in principle
  • certificates of lawfulness
  • advertisement consent

Amongst the changes, standard ‘householder’ fees increase from £202 to £300, whilst the standard fee for construction of a new dwelling increases from £401 to £600.

Details of the changes are set out by The Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications) (Scotland) Regulations 2022.

Using the ePlanning.scot Fee Calculator is the easiest way to calculate a fee, and can be used without having to log in or to submit an application.

Once you know your correct fee, paying is also easy, and can be done whilst submitting your application on ePlanning.scot.

For those applicants or agents who need to make an additional payment, or for applicants who may wish to pay after their agent has submitted, you can also pay for your planning application online using this link (for a quick guide to using this payment system, have a look at this blog post from November 2020.)

In addition, fees for pre-application advice are changing on 1 April – details can be found here.

Some other fees related to Planning & Building Standards change today, including;

Housing Land Audit and Completions Programme 2021

Map showing land supply in terms of effective and constrained sites.

Our annual Housing Land Audit and Completions Programme (HLACP) 2021 is now available to view in full on our website or as a layer on the Council Atlas.

The Programme is used to assess the supply of land for housing and the delivery of new homes within the City of Edinburgh Council area. It records the amount of land available for house building, identifies any constraints affecting development, and assesses the land supply in the area.

Sites included in the HLACP are housing sites under construction, sites with planning consent, sites in adopted or finalised Local Plans and, as appropriate, other buildings and land with agreed potential for housing development. The audit does not include new proposals from the proposed City Plan 2030.

As predicted last year, the Covid-19 pandemic and the national lockdown during the second quarter of 2020 has resulted in the number of completions over the year to April 2021 being lower than recent years. Housebuilding activity is now back to the pre-pandemic level with expected completions over the next five years averaging 2,600 per year.

To view the data as a layer on the CEC Atlas, click ‘Planning’ and choose Housing Land Audit Schedules & Completions

The Programme demonstrates that there is more than enough unconstrained housing land to meet the remaining housing land requirement in full and that the five-year completions programme is above target.

This short video below gives an overview of the Programme:

For a housing site to be considered ‘effective’, it must be free of all constraints that would prevent development. Sites are considered against a range of criteria set out in Planning Advice Note 2/2010 “Affordable Housing and Housing Land Audits”. These include ownership, physical (e.g. slope, aspect, stability, flood risk, access), contamination, deficit funding, marketability, infrastructure and land use.

As at 31 March 2021, there was enough land free of planning constraints and available for development for 22,411 houses.

New Housing at Broomhills, Edinburgh

The effective land supply is varied in type, size and location. It is spread over a range of locations and includes brownfield (54%) and greenfield (46%) sites as shown on the above map.

The next annual Housing Land Audit and Completions Programme will be carried out in Spring 2022 and reported to Planning Committee in Autumn 2022.

Keep up to date with Planning in Edinburgh by:

  • Subscribing to this blog
  • following us on twitter at @planningedin
  • joining in the conversation by using the #cityplan2030 hashtag.

We’re hiring!

We’re recruiting four Assistant Planners to work with us in the Edinburgh planning service. So, if you’re looking for an opportunity to get involved in a range of planning projects and processes, develop your knowledge and skills, and of course, work with a great bunch of people, then you can apply here. Closing date is 10 December 2021.

In this short video some of the team share what it’s like to work here.

In an earlier post, one of our previous assistant planners blogged about their experience of the job and how it helped them to achieve chartered membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

City Plan 2030 Update

Yesterday saw the proposed City Plan 2030 approved by the Council’s Planning Committee.

The proposed plan will now go on to its next stage and be published to allow for representations to be made. Details of the representation period and the engagement programme are to follow.

You can view the full report 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