On Saturday 7 June we held community council training at the City Chambers. This gave community councils an opportunity to hear more about the work we do and how they can get more involved in planning in Edinburgh. We held a similar event on 27 May.
The event was well attended with 53 participants from 23 community councils. Following the welcome by Councillor Ian Perry (Convener of the Planning Committee) and an introduction by David Leslie (Acting Head of Planning and Building Standards) there were presentations about the Local Development Plan, major planning applications, how planning decisions are made and how we deal with enforcement issues. All the talks had a question and answer session and the community councils had a number of detailed questions which gave us the chance to explain things in more detail.
Workshop groups discussed how to get involved in the Local Development Plan process, commenting on planning applications and our use of enforcement powers. The groups had a healthy debate with various issues raised.
The comments we received will help inform how we communicate with community councils and how they can influence planning in their area. Feedback from the event has been positive and we intend to hold future events with ward members later in the year looking at other aspects of planning in Edinburgh. The advice notes, presentations and additional guidance covered at the event are all available on the Council’s website.
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.
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