Edinburgh’s Proposed Low Emission Zone Consultation

Last week we opened a consultation on Edinburgh’s Proposed Low Emission Zone.

Low Emission Zones (LEZs) aim to reduce air pollution, since it presents a significant threat to public health. It is especially harmful to young children, the elderly and those suffering from pre-existing conditions, including heart and lung diseases.

We last updated you on the proposed LEZ on the Planning Edinburgh Blog back in December 2020.

They are being introduced across Scotland’s four largest cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee in response to dangerous levels of air pollution generated by road traffic.

LEZs improve public health by discouraging the most polluting vehicles from entering an area. Benefits of this Zone will extend beyond the city centre by improving air quality, encouraging more sustainable travel and supporting the reduction of greenhouse gases across the city.

You can use the national vehicle checker to see if your vehicle is likely to meet the minimum emission standards.

The LEZ is planned to start the LEZ on 31st May 2022, however enforcement would not begin until 1st June 2024 – a ‘grace period’ of 2 years, which aims to help individuals and organisations to get ready.

Some exemptions will apply to the LEZ rules for example, disabled persons (including blue badge holders), historic vehicles and emergency vehicles as well as others outlined in the ‘Proposal to Make a LEZ’ consultation document.

The Council also has the powers to consider local ‘time-limited’ exemptions in exemptional and unique circumstances.

All details of the proposed LEZ are outlined in full in the ‘Proposal to Make a LEZ’ consultation document. This contains the following information:

  • Edinburgh’s LEZ Objectives and why we think the LEZ is required and appropriate
  • The proposed LEZ start date, operation times and grace period
  • The scope of vehicle types that will be included in the LEZ
  • Exemptions
  • Penalties
  • Map and a list of roads included in the LEZ

The Proposed LEZ will align with the Councils;

Why we are consulting

We are seeking views on the following proposed aspects of the Edinburgh LEZ:

  • city centre zone boundary
  • 2 -year grace period
  • local exemptions and considerations for impacted groups

We are also seeking to understand knowledge of LEZs and LEZ related support funds and those available for other sustainable transport options. The consultation period is running for 12 weeks, from the 28th June 2021 and closing on 20th September 2021.

Responses, comments or feedback can also be emailed to: low.emission.zone@edinburgh.gov.uk,

or posted to: Low Emission Zone, Waverley Court G3, East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG

Depending on the volume of feedback received, it is hoped that a final LEZ scheme can be formally published towards the end of 2021 and agreed by the Council and Scottish Ministers early in 2022 before it is implemented in May 2022.

Scottish Design Awards

This year’s Scottish Design Awards is to be held on the 15 July. Open to all architects, engineers, graphic, interior and digital designers, the awards seek to serve as a champion of best practice, sustainability and innovation.

Last September there were a lot of Edinburgh schemes among the winners at the 2020 Awards.

Here is a quick look back at some of the developments in Edinburgh which were among last year’s winners.

If you want to take a deeper look into the details, the Planning Portal provides all the plans, drawings and related reports.

Edinburgh Printmakers (Planning Reference 15/03129/FUL)

Award Winner (Architecture – Building Re-Use)

This category C listed 19th century building was once home to the famous North British Rubber Company and McEwan’s Fountain Brewery until its closure in 2005 after which the site lay vacant for over a decade. An application for Planning Permission was submitted in July 2015 to convert the C Listed former offices into a creative hub for the Edinburgh Printmakers.

The site, within the Fountainbridge Development Brief was identified as being part of a wider strategy to re-establish a community with mixed uses and with the intention of safeguarding and reusing the few remaining heritage assets.

View all the drawing, plans & details on the Planning Portal

Bridgend Community Farmhouse (Planning Reference 15/00235/FUL)

Award (Architecture – Regeneration)

This project was led by a small voluntary community organisation which came together to work towards the renovation of the farmhouse for community ownership. The conversion was from a vacant farmhouse into a cafe and kitchen with a teaching area on the ground floor. On the first floor an exhibition area and meeting space was formed. 

The land to the rear of the farmhouse was split into two areas. Firstly the garden area was retained providing space for a kitchen garden and outdoor workshops. Secondly the rear courtyard area was hard landscaped with a paved terrace next to the farmhouse and a paved walkway along the front of the workshops.

View all the drawing, plans & details on the Planning Portal

Greendykes Phase G (Planning Reference 16/04427/AMC)

Commendation (Architecture – Affordable Housing)

A phase of 75 new homes for social and mid-market rent in Craigmillar. The masterplan was previously approved (Reference 05/01358/OUT)

The site is located on the east side of Greendykes Avenue (part of which was renamed Tudsbery Avenue) and is bounded by Greendykes Terrace (part of which was renamed Matthew Street) to the north, Greendykes Loan to the south and Greendykes Drive to the east. The site was previously housing which had been demolished.

View all the drawing, plans & details on the Planning Portal

Market Street Hotel (Planning Reference 14/04962/FUL)

Award (Commercial/Office/Hotel Building or Project)

Part of an important façade where Old Town meets New Town, the hotel sits right in the centre of Edinburgh at an entrance to Waverley Station. The restricted site had been undeveloped for over 50 years.

View all the drawing, plans & details on the Planning Portal

Global Research Innovation and Discovery (GRID) (Heriot Watt University)  (Planning Reference 17/03367/FUL)

Commendation (Architecture – Education Building or Project)

The Global Research Innovation and Discovery (GRID) teaching facility was designed specifically to promote collaboration between departments, and to create cohesion between academic disciplines, industry partners and the global community. It is focussed on subjects such as Engineering and Computer Science.

The building is the first in the Heriot Watt campus to engage its Lochside setting and offers access to the water’s edge via ramped terraces. Student well-being was designed into the project from the outset, influencing colours, materials & design.

View all the drawing, plans & details on the Planning Portal

Other nominated Edinburgh schemes included:

Kings Stables Road (Planning Reference 15/05715/FUL)

The Registers (Planning Reference 15/02788/FUL)

Buchan House  (Planning Reference 17/03375/FUL)

Code Pod Hostel – The Court (Planning Reference 18/01505/FUL)

Calton Hill City Observatory (Planning Reference 15/01828/FUL)

Granton WaterfrontDevelopment Framework Report

Clean Air Day

Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.  Poor air quality causes heart and lung disease and is linked to low birth weight and children’s lung development.

Thursday 17 June is Clean Air Day – the UK’s largest air pollution campaign that aims to bring people together to build awareness of the actions we can all do to tackle it.

Planning has an important role to play in this. Here in Edinburgh, we are setting out actions in strategies and plans to help tackle this, for example in our; 

The Clean Air Day campaign website has a wealth of ideas and ready-made materials to make it easy to get involved.

Leith Walk/Halmyre Street Place Brief

The Leith Walk/Halmyre Street Place Brief is now online. The approved place brief provides guidance for a co-ordinated approach to a housing-led, mixed use development on a site east of Leith Walk and west of Halmyre Street.

The place brief has been prepared by the Council’s planning service in collaboration with other Council services. It has involved extensive engagement with the local community and other stakeholders through a series of community engagement events held in January this year, covered in this blog back in May.

Future planning applications for any part of the site will be required to address the principles within the place brief to ensure that development helps to create a good place.

The place brief has the status of non-statutory planning guidance and will be a material consideration in the determination of relevant planning applications.

You can download the full place brief here.

Redford Barracks Place Brief – Consultation Event

redford workshop

Last week we hosted the first two of three consultation events to allow the public, local interest groups and stakeholders to express their ideas about the future of Redford Barracks and its redevelopment. Thank you to everyone who attended the events at Colinton Bowling club and Boroughmuir Rugby Club. Around 90 people came long to speak to officers about future plans for the site and many more have made comments online.

The Ministry of Defence is proposing to dispose of the Redford Barracks in 2025 creating an opportunity to knit this large site back into the fabric of the surrounding area. In order to make the most of this opportunity, City of Edinburgh Planning Service will prepare a Place Brief setting out agreed uses and design parameters to guide the future development of the site. As part of this work we are asking local people and groups to give us their views on the site and surrounding area; taking into account elements such as:

  • Housing  including affordable and mixed tenure housing
  • Routes through the site for pedestrians, cycles and vehicles
  • The preservation of listed buildings and how they might be enhanced
  • Green spaces and trees and opportunities to create, enhance and improve them
  • What other uses might be appropriate for the site

The online consultation – open to anyone – is available here.

Are there any features of the site you want to see retained? Is there any part of the surrounding area you would like to bring to our attention? What uses would you like to see provided on the site?

Please fill out the online consultation and come along to our next event at Oxgangs Library on Tuesday 18 June from 2pm to 7pm.