Contextual Plans

Due to the current Covid restrictions, planning officers are unable to undertake site visits.

However, it is important for everybody that we keep assessing and determining planning applications.

If you are submitting a planning application, it would be extremely helpful to us if you could provide photographs and relevant contextual plans as part of your submission. This information will be requested but it would help the assessment process go faster if they are provided at the start. Photographs do not need to be made publicly available.  

As always, we have a wide range of planning guidance available on our website.

For more information about how the current restrictions are affecting our service, see the Planning and Building Standards coronavirus update.

Revised City Centre Retail and Leisure Supplementary Guidance Consultation

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Click here to view and comment on the proposed guidance.

The Council prepares guidance for the City Centre under the Planning (Scotland) Act.  The guidance is a requirement of Policy Ret 9, Alternative Use of Shop Units in Defined Centres, of our Local Development Plan. We do this to guide shops and non-shop uses in town centres including the city centre.

The current supplementary guidance for the city centre was adopted in February 2017.  The guidance sets out the policies that apply to the city centre retail core, the boundary of which is defined on the LDP proposals map. The guidance sets out the circumstances where a planning application for a change of use from a shop to a non-shop use will be supported.

Since the original guidance was adopted there has been changes in circumstances 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.

A stakeholder workshop was held on 29 May 2019 for interested stakeholders to raise concerns about the city centre, changes in circumstance and discuss options for amending the guidance to address this changes. As a result we have now prepared draft revised guidance for consultation.

The key changes to the guidance are as follows:

  • Altering existing policy covering Princes Street to provide significantly more flexibility.
  • Creating a new separate policy for Castle Street, Frederick Street and Hanover Street which is much more flexible that other named streets.
  • Altering the existing policy covering the frontages of other named streets in the retail core to be more flexible.
  • Altering the existing policy covering elsewhere in the city centre retail core, by determining changes of use based on streets rather than units in a row.

In addition, an issue related to food and drink uses is the use of outdoor awnings and fixtures which can be considered development and therefore requires planning permission. In the past we would not support such development due to its visual impact on streets and conservation areas and its effect on the use of public space.

However, we may use guidance to introduce policy for considering temporary planning permission for high quality fixtures in the right places. This will allow us to trial and assess the effect of these proposals in certain places.

The Council is now seeking comments on the revised guidance as well as views on the use of outdoor awnings and fixtures. The consultation exercise will last from 9 August to 20 September 2019 and we encourage all interested stakeholders to submit comments on the guidance via the Council’s consultation hub.

Following the consultation we will collate and consider the comments we receive before preparing the final version of the guidance for adoption.

Do you have a problem with a neighbour’s high hedge?

We might be able to help. If you’ve been unable to resolve the problem with a neighbour’s high hedge you can apply for a High Hedge Notice.

Read our guidance here, and once you have followed the required steps in the guidance, check out this video which shows you how to make a High Hedge application online.

Development in the Countryside and Green Belt Non-Statutory Guidance

Living in Edinburgh, we’re surrounded by a band of countryside and green belt. We want to make sure that this natural heritage of ours is protected and enhanced, so, we control what kind of development is allowed in these areas.

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The Edinburgh Local Development Plan (LDP) replaced the Edinburgh City Local Plan and the Rural West Edinburgh Local Plan in 2016. From the LDP we now have one single Policy across our boundary, Env 10, that deals with ‘Development in the Countryside and Green Belt’.dev in C and GB cover

We first published supporting guidance for this Policy in 2007. Recently, we’ve updated this to make sure it reflects our current practice.

You can have a read of our refresh here. The revised guidance should help all users of the LDP understand Policy Env 10.

Some key changes following our redraft include:

  • a new layout;
  • clarification as to when new buildings will be allowed in the countryside and green belt;
  • additional criteria to be met when replacing low quality buildings;
  • further information about ancillary uses and energy development; and
  • guidance about materials and high quality design, taken from the updated Edinburgh Design Guidance.

Consultation on Draft Supplementary Guidance for Developer Contributions and Infrastructure Delivery

Hello All,

Following the Edinburgh Local Development Plan adoption, we were quick to publish an Action Programme which sets out how the Plan will be delivered. This is especially important to put the new policies in to place.

One of the new sections in the Plan outlines policies for when developers need to contribute money towards schools, roads, streets and parks as a result of the impact their development will have on the local community.

To support the new policies and how they will be delivered in the Action Programme, supplementary guidance on Developer Contributions and Infrastructure Delivery will be finalised in the New Year. You can comment on the draft guidance until 3 February 2017. Your views will be used to inform the final content of the guidance.

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The Draft Supplementary Guidance

Thank you,

George.