RTPI President visit to Edinburgh

Last week we had the pleasure of a visit from Cath Ranson RTPI President to Edinburgh.  Cath joined us at the Edinburgh Urban Design Panel followed by a visit to the Royal Mile to find out about the Royal Mile Project and new development in the area.  ImageWe completed the afternoon with a meeting in the Urban Room where Cath took in a number of projects including our evolving 100 years of Planning Edinburgh exhibition and found out more about the work we have been doing on the Planning Concordat and processing agreements.  The visit was part of the RTPI Centenary Year which includes a number of RTPI Scotland events.

February 2014 Planning Committee

Princes Street

At our meeting on 27 February, the Planning Committee agreed to relax planning policy for Princes Street to allow cafes and restaurants to open up alongside the shops to make it more of a destination.  A more flexible approach to Shandwick Place, Castle Street, and Queensferry Street has also been agreed.  Shopping will always be one of the main reasonsPrinces Street why people want to be in the city centre but by allowing more cafes and restaurants in certain areas it will encourage more people to spend time enjoying the spectacular views and unique atmosphere.  Along with new shops opening, the tram set to run, and large parts of George Street being given to pedestrians, it is an exciting time for our city centre and the recent launch of the ‘This is Edinburgh’ promotional campaign will help increase footfall in the area.

Edinburgh Street Design Guidance

An attractive environment also helps to make a successful place and the Council is committed to providing high quality streets, pavements and public spaces.  The Planning The ShoreCommittee agreed that consultation should soon start on our new Edinburgh Street Design Guidance.  The draft guidance is clear that people should be put before cars when new streets are designed or existing streets are changed. Edinburgh has been at the forefront of street design since the 1990s and it will be interesting to hear your views on our latest proposals.

The Forth Bridge

The Forth Bridgeprogress of the nomination to make The Forth Bridge a world heritage site was also reported to the Committee.  It will not be until the summer of 2015 that we find out if the bid has been successful but it was encouraging to see how far it has already come.

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

Councillor Ian Perry.  Convener of the Planning Committee

Royal Mile Community Drop In Day 8 February

On Saturday 8th February, we’ll be hosting a Royal Mile Community Drop In Day at the Tron Kirk, where you can:

  • Catch up with the Royal Mile Project Team and find out how the project is developing
  • Find out about and get involved in the wonderful range of other projects, activities and attractions on and around the street
  • Find out about community grantsRoyal Mile view - courtesy of duncan harris
  • Watch the painting of a giant mural depicting a Tron Kirk Hogmanay
  • Have the opportunity to be one of the faces painted into the mural
  • Get involved in community mapping
  • Listen to stories about the Royal Mile
  • Enjoy the kids corner with traditional toys, colouring competition and more
  • Find out about future plans for the Tron Kirk and other fascinating local buildings

The kirk will be open from 10am to 4pm and all are welcome.

Royal Mile drop in day flyer (image courtesy of Duncan Harris) 

Party flats update

It’s now almost a year since the Council set out how we would deal with ‘party flats’. Party flats being property or properties occupied by a number of unrelated people on holiday for ‘stag’ or ‘hen’ parties or where properties are used for groups attending large sporting/entertainment events. In that time, we have served a number of enforcement notices instructing landlords to remove these unauthorised uses and we are currently investigating other cases. Whilst they may be well intended, these flats can cause a nuisance to neighbours and result in serious safety issues.

You can get more advice in our Guidance for Businesses document with party flats (or ‘short stay commercial leisure apartments’) covered on page 6. If you are considering letting out a property for this purpose, or are concerned about whether an unauthorised party flat is operating in your area, then please read the guidance and contact us at planning@edinburgh.gov.uk for further advice.