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.

World of work – Firrhill High School and planning

Last week, pupils from Firrhill High School, spent two days with the planning service to experience the range of work we do and to give us their ideas on what the city could be like in the future.  The programme included:

  • Mapping how young people use the city
  • Sharing photos of their favourite places
  • Using the Place Standard to assess how the city works as a place for young people
  • A visit to the St James Centre redevelopment project
  • An exercise on what the issues will be for the next Local Development Plan and how best to engage young people

The feedback from the school was really positive, with the young people having the opportunity to learn more about the work of the planning service and the challenges for the city.  It certainly has given us lots to think about for the next local development plan.

We were also delighted to hear that the group of pupils who visited us, won first place as part of the school’s business placement exercise.

Engaging children and young people in Planning

The planning service has over the years undertaken various events, workshops and engagement exercises with children and young people to help share what we do and get their views on planning in the city.  This has included The Forth Bridge short story competition, Shops in Town Centres and the Junior road safety and air quality events.

In December last year, working with PAS, we delivered three workshops with Hermitage Park and Craigentinny primary schools and Leith Academy.  Together we explored the role of planning and how the young people would like to see Leith and the wider waterfront area change in the future.  The storyboard below is a summary of the workshops. The full report on the workshops is also available.

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Last week the Council’s Planning Committee agreed a report which sets out how we can better involve children and young people in how we plan the city.

We were delighted that pupils from Leith Academy took part in the committee discussions to present their view of the workshops, what they thought was important about their local area and how they’d like to see it change in the future.  The discussion can be viewed on the Council webcast (Item 3.1).

We will be encouraging developers to engage with children and young people in major development proposals to ensure they have their say on the future of their city.  Our guidance for applicants will be updated to reflect this ambition.

What next?

It is the Year of the Young People and we are committed to better involving children and young people in the planning system.  We will be working in collaboration with other Council services and the Young Edinburgh Action programme to ensure we deliver more meaningful engagement.

In April we will be holding a ‘co-design’ session with young people. We hope they will help us shape how to best engage all children and young people in the next Local Development Plan and other projects.

As this progresses we’ll provide more updates on the blog, with a full update going to planning committee next year.