This Thursday (22 Dec) our consultation on the proposed changes to the Guidance for Businesses is closing. We want to hear your views on the proposed changes and specifically the expanded section on short term lets (STLs).
In 2021, Scottish Government legislation allowed councils to have a short-term let control area. In a control area, this means that if a flat or a house, which is not the home you live in, is used for a short-term let, you will need planning permission.
Edinburgh was the first council in Scotland to apply for a short-term control area, which has now been in place since 5 September 2022 and covers the whole of the Council’s area.
The amount of STL accommodation has grown significantly in the last ten years and Edinburgh is recognised as an area that has greater pressures than other parts of the country.
This is our latest update to the continuing changes to the planning service as we adapt to the restrictions needed during the COVID -19 outbreak.
Development Management Sub-Committee
This week saw our first ‘virtual’ meeting of the Development Management Sub-Committee. The meeting was webcast live and went pretty smoothly thanks to a lot of preparation by all concerned.
We’ve learned that it takes a lot more resource than traditional meetings in the City Chambers. Behind-the-screens work included having back-up planners on stand-by in case of IT issues, and partners/children/pets being banished from the house, or at least the wi-fi router.
The meeting allowed several important cases to be discussed by the elected members in the sub-committee. These include some key sites in the current Local Development Plan reaching significant milestones.
We intend to hold virtual sub-committees on a regular basis from here on, which will allow us to make and issue decisions to support economic renewal and a positive future for the city.
Extended duration of Listed Building and Conservation Area Consents
The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill has passed through the parliament and will soon become an Act. The Bill makes changes to some of the duties of public bodies. These changes will allow essential public services to continue to be delivered and support businesses and individuals in Scotland.
The Act will extend the duration of a listed building consent or a conservation area consent that would otherwise lapse during the emergency period because the works have not begun. The emergency period is the period beginning with the Act coming into force and ending on 6 October 2020.
Consents to which this applies will instead lapse at the end of an extended period which ends on 6 April 2021 unless works have begun before the end of the extended period.
Despite the restrictions around Coronavirus, work is still progressing on the implementation of the work programme for the Planning (Scotland) Act, which seeks to make changes to the Scottish planning system as part of a wider review of the system.
Two new provisions of the Planning (Scotland) Act are now in place. The first introduces a statutory requirement for certain types of development to include accessible toilet facilities which meet specific technical standards. Details of the standards and type of development this applies to can be found here, and this will now apply to these types of developments in Edinburgh as well as across Scotland.
The second introduces a power for planning authorities to designate parts of their council areas as short-term let control areas, as a further means of controlling where short-term lets may be permitted. There will need to further Council-wide discussions before we consider the use of this power. Details can be found here.
A short story writing competition for Queensferry and Inverkeithing High Schools is one of the projects that stemmed from the Forth Bridge world heritage site bid. As part of getting people involved in the bid, schoolchildren were asked to write a short story featuring the bridge. A shortlist from both schools was judged by writers Ed Hollis and Keith Gray.
Last Monday the winners were announced during an event at the Edinburgh Book Festival where the children and their families listened to a discussion between the judges chaired by Sam Kelly from Napier University’s Creative Writing School. Among the prizes for the winners is a boat trip around the bridges, signed books from the judges and Network Rail, and participation in a two day creative writing workshop run by Napier University.
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