2021 Edinburgh Architectural Association (EAA) Awards for Architecture

This year’s EAA awards were held on 28th October. According to their website, the awards are ‘designed to create a showcase for the Architectural profession to demonstrate its contribution to the environment and the economy’.

Last November there was a number of Edinburgh schemes among the winners at the 2020 awards.

Here is a quick look at the developments in Edinburgh which were among this 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.

Old Schoolhouse, Morningside Rd (Planning Reference 18/01829/FUL)

Small Project Award

(Credit: EAA)

This category B-listed single storey church is located on the north-west corner of Morningside Road and Cuddy Lane and is in the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area. It was originally built as a schoolhouse in 1823 with 20th century extensions to north and south elevations.  An application for Planning Permission was submitted in April 2018 for the demolition and replacement of the existing south extension and the removal of the internal and external alterations to the north extension’s east and west elevations.

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

Queensferry High School (Planning Reference 17/04262/FUL)

(Credit: EAA)

Large Project Award

An application in September 2017 was submitted for a new build replacement secondary school with associated playing fields, external spaces, car parking and landscaping. The existing school was demolished following completion of the development.

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

Meadowbank Masterplan (Planning Reference 20/00618/AMC)

Masterplanning Award

(Credit: Collective Architecture)

The redevelopment of Meadowbank is a major Council led regeneration project which will deliver a modern sports centre with new homes and community facilities on the surrounding site. This strategic place-making project is expected to bring significant opportunities to the area. 

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

Other nominated Edinburgh schemes included:

Small Project

69/3 East Claremont Street

1/5 Gordon St

Stockbridge Ghost Extension



Commendation– Gayfield Square (Planning Application Reference 21/02889/CLP)

Large Project

Commendation– St Peter’s Church Hall (Link Phase) (Planning Application Reference 21/03913/LBC)


Granton Waterfront (Granton Waterfront Development Framework)


6 Circus Lane (Planning Application Reference 19/03220/LBC)

Blackhall St Columbia’s Church (Planning Application Reference 18/07853/FUL)

Congratulations to all winners and finalists!

Consultation on the Merchiston & Greenhill Conservation Area Character Appraisal Revision

In 2018, the Planning Committee approved an updated programme of review of the existing conservation area character appraisals.

As part of this ongoing process, the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area Character Appraisal has now been revised and we are seeking your views on the draft text.

The Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area was originally designated in May 1986 and the first character appraisal for the area was approved in April 2003.

The revised draft character appraisal amends the text of the original appraisal for its final publication as a digital document that will include images, photographs and interactive maps.

No boundary changes to the conservation area are proposed.

We are seeking views on the following aspects of the revised Conservation Area Character Appraisal:

  • How clearly does the appraisal set out the issues within the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area
  • To what extent you agree or disagree with the proposed revised appraisal of the Merchiston and Greenhill Conservation Area

The consultation is available now, should take less than 10 minutes to complete and is open until 11 Feb 2022

City Plan 2030 is published for comments

City Plan 2030 is a new local development plan for the City of Edinburgh Council area. When agreed, it will replace the existing Local Development Plan that came into force in November 2016.

We’ve published our proposed plan for the ‘period of representations’, which is the final opportunity for you to give us your comments.

The proposed plan sets out locations for new homes and businesses, where new infrastructure and facilities are required and how we will protect places of value. It also includes policies which will be used to determine future planning applications and will shape the city over the next 10 years and beyond.

Check out the interactive proposals map along with the accompanying Environmental Report and a range of background documents used to inform the plan.

The proposed plan, agreed by the Planning Committee on 29 September 2021, was prepared following careful consideration of the responses to the earlier ‘Choices’ consultation, assessment of national, regional and local policy and a range of background studies and appraisals.

Representations can be in support of or object to any aspect of the proposed plan, and should set out any changes you wish to see. Comments can also be made on the Environmental Report and background documents.

You can make representations on the proposed City Plan 2030 until 5pm on 20 December 2021.

Find out more

Visit the City Plan 2030 webpage for details of online public briefing sessions or you can keep up to date with the City Plan project by:

  • subscribing to our blog
  • following us on twitter at @planningedin
  • joining in the conversation by using the #CityPlan2030 hashtag

Proposed Extension to the Leith Conservation Area

Plan showing proposed extension to Leith Conservation Area

The Leith Conservation Area was designated in February 1998. It comprises the former Madeira and Old Leith Conservation areas with extensions at Leith Walk, Kirkgate, Albert Dock and the Citadel. The Old Leith Conservation Area was designated in 1977, with a number of subsequent amendments and the Madeira Conservation Area was designated in 1975. The Conservation Area boundary was amended on 30 August 2013 to transfer part of Leith Walk and Pilrig Street to the Pilrig Conservation Area.

Conservation areas are designated under the Planning Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas (Scotland) Act 1997. Conservation areas are areas which have special architectural or historic interest that are considered worthy of protection.

In April 2020, an enquiry was submitted requesting that consideration be given to an extension of the Leith Conservation Area to include areas to the east and west of Leith Walk, on Manderston Street and Jane Street. The buildings comprise the railway arches associated with the former Leith Walk West Goods Yard and the abutment of the former railway bridge over Leith Walk (see plan above). It was considered that this would assist in securing the long-term future of Stead’s Place and protect the railway heritage of Leith.

The former Leith Walk West Goods Yard was on the Caledonian Railway’s Leith New Lines from Newhaven to Leith Docks. The goods yard occupied a large area to the south of Jane Street. Built because of intense rivalry with the North British Railway, it was opened for goods traffic in 1903. Stations were partly built at Newhaven, Ferry Road and Leith Walk but by then street tramway competition had removed the chance of passenger services being viable and they were never completed. By 1917 the line had been single-tracked and became in effect a long and underused goods siding.

Threading through a mainly built-up area involved expensive heavy engineering. The buildings fronting Leith Walk formed the abutments of one of the three massive lattice girder bridges on the line. The bridge was removed in 1980. Considerable demolition was also involved; in this case, the row of tenements which fronted 106–154 Leith Walk and the entire south side of Manderston Street.

The arches are now occupied by a variety of uses.  The present bingo hall at 24 Manderston Street was formerly the Leith Capitol Theatre and Cinema. It was the largest cinema in Edinburgh, seating 2,300, when it was opened in September 1928 by Gaumont British Theatres/General Theatre Corporation. The architects were J.M. Johnston and J.A. Ross.  The entrance is through one of the railway arches, which leads to the auditorium. The cinema closed and reopened as a bingo hall in July 1961.  It was then converted to a Top Rank Bingo Club and is a now a Mecca Bingo Hall. The building retains elements of the original interior Art Deco decoration.                                                                       

The buildings reflect Leith’s railway history and are considered to be of sufficient architectural and historic character to merit designation as an extension to the Leith Conservation Area.

We would welcome your views via the consultation hub .

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Edinburgh’s Proposed Designation of a Short-Term Let Control Area: Consultation Closing Soon

There are less than two weeks left to take part in our consultation on Edinburgh’s Proposed Designation of a Short-Term Let Control Area. which closes on the 5th November 2021.

Legislation introduced in April 2021 allows a local authority, subject to the approval of Scottish Government, to designate all or part of their area as a short-term let control area. 

It is proposed that the entire Council area is designated as a Short-Term Let Control Area.  

In the absence of a Control Area use of a dwelling for short-term let only requires planning permission if on assessment of the material circumstances it is considered a change of use has occurred.  Therefore, currently the use of many dwellings as short-term lets falls out with planning control.

A control area for Edinburgh, that establishes the need for planning permission for short-terms lets, would help manage high concentrations of short-term letting, control short-term letting in types of buildings where it is not appropriate and help ensure homes are used to best effect. 

For more information and details of the proposed designation take a look at our Planning Web page.   

To explore the designation in more detail focus groups will be held via Microsoft Teams:

Friday 29th October 11am-12:30pm – Visitors/Guests of STLs

Monday 1st November 3:30-5pm – Community Organisations and Individuals

Should you wish to attend we would be grateful if you could advise of attendance by e-mail to STLcontrolarea@edinburgh.gov.uk

To keep up to date with the Short-Term Lets Control Area;