100 Years of Planning in Edinburgh

To mark the centenary of the Royal Town Planning Institute, Councillor Ian Perry today launched the 100 Years of Planning in Edinburgh exhibition.  The exhibition has been prepared by the Council’s Planning and Building Standards Service and was launched in the Urban Room at Waverley Court.

The exhibition will be touring the city and you can view it at the following locations/dates:

100 Years of Planning in Edinburgh exhibition launch

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Town Planning

The term ‘Town Planning’ and its statutory practice go back as far as the Housing, Town Planning, etc Act 1909, which was the first Act of its kind that allowed councils to prepare plans for new development.

In July 1913, a provisional organising committee was established in London and an invitation was sent to potential members to join a ‘Town Planning Institute’.  A first meeting was held in November 1913 and was chaired by Thomas Adams who on the 13th March 1914 became the first elected president of the Institute.  Today, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has 22,000 members nationally.

Planning in Edinburgh

The exhibition traces the history of town planning in Edinburgh over the last 100 years and highlights the landmark issues that faced planning through the decades.  Edinburgh was of course, at the forefront of town planning many years before the establishment of the Royal Town Planning Institute.  The New Town of Edinburgh, built between 1765 and 1850, is considered to be a masterpiece of city planning and, along with the Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A personality who made a significant contribution in each decade is highlighted in the exhibition and includes:

• 1920s Sir Patrick Geddes – Edinburgh is fortunate to be so closely associated with Geddes, the father of modern town planning

• 1950s Cllr Pat Rogan – Chair of the city’s housing committee and a prominent campaigner for improving slum housing

The exhibition provides an insight into the changes in the city over the last hundred years and presents the opportunity to learn lessons from the past.  As Edinburgh adapts to the changing social and economic conditions of the future, Sir Patrick Geddes’ concept of ‘Conservative Surgery’, keeping the best from the past whilst improving the environment of the city for the future, will remain an important consideration for planning.

Forth Bridge short story competition

A short story writing competition for Queensferry and Inverkeithing High Schools is one of the projects that stemmed from the Forth Bridge world heritage site bid.  As part of getting people involved in the bid, schoolchildren were asked to write a short story featuring the bridge.  A shortlist from both schools was judged by writers Ed Hollis and Keith Gray.

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Last Monday the winners were announced during an event at the Edinburgh Book Festival where the children and their families listened to a discussion between the judges chaired by Sam Kelly from Napier University’s Creative Writing School.  Among the prizes for the winners is a boat trip around the bridges, signed books from the judges and Network Rail, and participation in a two day creative writing workshop run by Napier University.

Have a read of the winning stories.

Unstably Stable

The Two Groups Bridge Story

The Brigger

The Bridge

Story of a Survivor

She Kept Going

If Bridges Could Talk

Ghost Brother

Crazed

The bridge

Community Council Training on Planning in Edinburgh

On Saturday 7 June we held community council training at the City Chambers.  This gave community councils an opportunity to hear more about the work we do and how they can get more involved in planning in Edinburgh.  We held a similar event on 27 May.

The event was well attended with 53 participants from 23 community councils.  Following the welcome by Councillor Ian Perry (Convener of the Planning Committee) and an introduction by David Leslie (Acting Head of Planning and Building Standards) there were presentations about the Local Development Plan, major planning applications, how planning decisions are made and how we deal with enforcement issues.  All the talks had a question and answer session and the community councils had a number of detailed questions which gave us the chance to explain things in more detail.

Workshop groups discussed how to get involved in the Local Development Plan process, commenting on planning applications and our use of enforcement powers.  The groups had a healthy debate with various issues raised.

The comments we received will help inform how we communicate with community councils and how they can influence planning in their area.  Feedback from the event has been positive and we intend to hold future events with ward members later in the year looking at other aspects of planning in Edinburgh.  The advice notes, presentations and additional guidance covered at the event are all available on the Council’s website.

May 2014 Planning Committee

At our meeting on 15 May, the Planning Committee agreed to name a new street close to Easter Road stadium Lawrie Reilly Place. There was huge public support for the name and the Committee was delighted to be able to take the opportunity to recognise Lawrie Reilly’s sporting achievements for Edinburgh and Scotland.

Southfield, Edinburgh
Southfield, Edinburgh

The Committee also agreed to consult on whether the Southfield Estate in Drumbrae could become a conservation area. The estate was designed and built in the 1960s and is an example of Modernist architecture with an arrangement of buildings that was innovative at the time. It is particularly notable for its central communal garden. The architect was Roland Wedgwood. If designated, it would become the second post-war conservation area in Edinburgh and Scotland, the other being the Thistle Foundation Village, and the most recently built development in Scotland to achieve conservation area status. The consultation will start soon and we will be interested to hear your views.

You can read all the Planning Committee reports in full online.

Councillor Ian Perry

Convener of the Planning Committee