City Plan 2030 – Edinburgh’s Future Office Market

Meeting the needs of the office sector will be a key issue for City Plan 2030. With an estimated 1.85 million square metres of office floor space in Edinburgh, supporting an estimated 123,000 jobs, the office sector is crucial to Edinburgh’s economy.

Our Office Commercial Needs Study shows that although Edinburgh city centre is prominent, there is significant office based economic activity outwith the central area.

Office Space 1.jpg

In addition to high profile headquarters the city has a deep pool of businesses across the size ranges leaning towards smaller organisations. The average office is around 20 years old, mid-urban, comparatively affordable, and is let to a mix of small to medium sized enterprises.

Qmile.jpg

Between 2013 and 2018 a total of 88,943 square metres of floorspace was completed. Almost 70% was within the city centre. Office Space 5.jpg

Despite the development of new offices there has been a net loss of office floorspace as stock lost to alternative uses has exceeded new development. However the stock has improved, as new purpose-built offices replace older buildings.

Demand is high, particularly in the city centre. There is 538,000 square metres of office development with planning permission but only 10% of this is in the city centre.

Edinburgh’s new-build offices tend to be small, expensive co-working spaces, or large, expensive headquarters. However, most the city’s office market is ‘mid-market’ in terms of location, quality, size and cost. The continuing loss of traditional offices further reduces the supply available to that mid-market.

It is projected that over the period 2019 to 2030 Edinburgh will need between 17,000 and 30,000 square metres of net office space annually to meet demand. This could imply a land area similar to a major business park.

The study points towards the need to identify city centre locations for development or redevelopment, capture the potential of off-centre office locations and meet the needs and demands of the city’s large mid-market.

For the City Plan 2030, we have also been looking at shopping and leisure, visitor accommodation and business and industry. All the City Plan 2030 commercial needs studies are available to view here.

And in addition to these studies we annually monitor several development types across Edinburgh including, office, industry, retail, hotels, leisure, and student accommodation. Reports on each of these areas are available here.

The timetable for preparing City Plan 2030 and details on how you can get involved is set out in the development plan scheme.

Subscribe to our newsletter by emailing cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk

Revised City Centre Retail and Leisure Supplementary Guidance Consultation

Twitter image
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.

City Plan 2030 – Key Agencies Workshop

As covered previously, City Plan 2030 is moving forward ahead of a new timetable to be published in August this year. As part of a continued schedule of sessions to gather and build on our evidence needed for the plan we held a workshop to share our progress on City Plan 2030 to a number of people from key agencies and infrastructure providers who we are looking to involve in the project. By involving these organisations we can have proper regard for the provision of infrastructure in the plan.

invited2
List of key agencies and infrastructure providers involved

The discussions were based around the choices we will have to make on key issues facing the city for the next decade. These included:

  • Where growth is to be allowed and what impact this would have on transport, energy networks, water and drainage, public health, etc.
  • How to support and plan for different sectors of industry.
  • How to best deal with travel and connectivity in and across the city.
  • Changes to infrastructure coming from carbon neutral targets and technological change.
  • How the plan will impact future investment in infrastructure.

The workshop was a chance for these agencies to find out more about City Plan 2030, and for us to update them on our progress and next steps.

The event not only allowed us to discuss and take in the views of key specialist agencies and continue to involve them in the making of the plan, but it has also allowed us to take into account the work they are doing and keep them updated on how City Plan may affect their own work in the future, e.g. where better public transport or active travel routes may be needed in the future.

programes
City Plan 2030 in context with other plans and programmes

This collaborative working will allow us to bring together a wider range of considerations for a joined-up plan which is more efficient, effective and fair.

Keep track of how this work will progress, and any City Plan 2030 updates by:

  • Visiting the website at gov.uk/cityplan2030
  • Subscribing to this blog at https://planningedinburgh.com
  • Following us on twitter at @planningedin
  • Join in the conversation by using the #cityplan2030 hashtag

Subscribe to the newsletter by emailing us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk

City Plan 2030 – Strategic Development Plan Update

cpupdateimage2

We wrote earlier about the need to change the City Plan project timetable as we were waiting for a decision on the second Strategic Development Plan for South East Scotland. It has now been confirmed that the Scottish Ministers have decided to reject the plan, and the letter which sets out the reasons for this can be read here.

We will work with the Scottish Government, national agencies and our regional partners as we progress City Plan 2030. We will still publish our new Development Plan Scheme in August 2019 which will include the new timetable and dates for consultation.

You can keep up to date with the project by:

Subscribe to the newsletter by emailing us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk

City Plan 2030 – March Timetable Update

cpupdateimage2As we mentioned in our City Plan Timetable Update, we’re revising the City Plan 2030 project timetable.  We’re making these changes as we don’t want to ask for your views on the choices for City Plan until we know what is in another plan – the second Strategic Development Plan for South East Scotland.

We had hoped to carry out the main consultation for City Plan 2030 in the first half of 2019. However, this is now not possible. The main consultation for City Plan 2030 is now expected to take place in the latter half of 2019. We will publish a new Development Plan Scheme in August 2019 which will include the new timetable.

Until then, we will use this time to gather and build on our evidence and studies for Choices for City Plan and hold further engagement events in local places around the city. In the meantime, watch this space and keep up to date with the project by:

Subscribe to the newsletter by emailing us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk