At our meeting on 15 May, the Planning Committee agreed to name a new street close to Easter Road stadium Lawrie Reilly Place. There was huge public support for the name and the Committee was delighted to be able to take the opportunity to recognise Lawrie Reilly’s sporting achievements for Edinburgh and Scotland.
The Committee also agreed to consult on whether the Southfield Estate in Drumbrae could become a conservation area. The estate was designed and built in the 1960s and is an example of Modernist architecture with an arrangement of buildings that was innovative at the time. It is particularly notable for its central communal garden. The architect was Roland Wedgwood. If designated, it would become the second post-war conservation area in Edinburgh and Scotland, the other being the Thistle Foundation Village, and the most recently built development in Scotland to achieve conservation area status. The consultation will start soon and we will be interested to hear your views.
You can read all the Planning Committee reports in full online.
Did you know that Edinburgh has eight town centres? These are Brunstfield/Morningside, Corstorphine, Gorgie/Dalry, Leith/Leith Walk, Nicolson Street/Clerk Street, Portobello, Stockbridge and Tollcross.
Recently we’ve been asking people about shop uses in their area and what else they would like to see such as cafes, offices or community uses. As part of this, pupils fromCorstorphine Primary and Dalry Primaryschools drew what they’d like in their area. Thanks to the pupils for their great ideas, which you can view below.
At the moment we are consulting onCorstorphine and Gorgie/Dalrytown centres. We’re holding a a drop-in session on Saturday 10 May 11am to 3pm atFountainbridge Libraryif you’d like to speak to us about Gorgie/Dalry or ask us about any of the town centres.
Last week we received our 10,000 on-line application. Whilst this gave us cause for great celebration (we opened a packet of chocolate biscuits – as only planners would) it is a significant milestone. The submission of applications electronically is something we have been encouraging for a number of years as this benefits both us and our customers in how we handle their application.
Last year, the Scottish Government set out the savings people make by submitting on-line. In general applicants save £200 on average with planning authorities saving £50 on average per application. This not only means savings to us and our customers but it is also good for the environment by reducing the amount of printing, copying and packaging.
Submitting applications on-line is one part of ensuring our customers have greater access to planning information. This includes allowing you to view and comment on applications on-line and read key documents such as the Local Development Plan and planning guidance. This is all supported by increased access to the internet through computers and free wi fi in Council buildings, libraries and neighbourhood offices. In time, we will see the regular Development Management Sub-Committees and Planning Committees webcast when you can watch all the action from the comfort of your armchair or on the bus.
At our meeting on 27 February, the Planning Committee agreed to relax planning policy for Princes Street to allow cafes and restaurants to open up alongside the shops to make it more of a destination. A more flexible approach to Shandwick Place, Castle Street, and Queensferry Street has also been agreed. Shopping will always be one of the main reasons why people want to be in the city centre but by allowing more cafes and restaurants in certain areas it will encourage more people to spend time enjoying the spectacular views and unique atmosphere. Along with new shops opening, the tram set to run, and large parts of George Street being given to pedestrians, it is an exciting time for our city centre and the recent launch of the ‘This is Edinburgh’ promotional campaign will help increase footfall in the area.
Edinburgh Street Design Guidance
An attractive environment also helps to make a successful place and the Council is committed to providing high quality streets, pavements and public spaces. The Planning Committee agreed that consultation should soon start on our new Edinburgh Street Design Guidance. The draft guidance is clear that people should be put before cars when new streets are designed or existing streets are changed. Edinburgh has been at the forefront of street design since the 1990s and it will be interesting to hear your views on our latest proposals.
The Forth Bridge
The progress of the nomination to make The Forth Bridge a world heritage site was also reported to the Committee. It will not be until the summer of 2015 that we find out if the bid has been successful but it was encouraging to see how far it has already come.