City Plan 2030 Update

Yesterday saw the proposed City Plan 2030 approved by the Council’s Planning Committee.

The proposed plan will now go on to its next stage and be published to allow for representations to be made. Details of the representation period and the engagement programme are to follow.

You can view the full report here: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cityplan2030

Individual documents, including the plan’s written statement, can be viewed here: City Plan 2030 – background documents – The City of Edinburgh Council

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

Planning Customer Forum Virtual Sessions

We will be holding another series of Customer Forum virtual sessions this October & November and so thought we’d share some of discussions we had and feedback we received back in March. 

The sessions in March were our first ever Customer Forum sessions held online as they were previously held in person.

We have all had to adapt to new ways of working since Covid and so the sessions were an opportunity for customers and Council officers to come together to share how we have all adapted to the challenges and to discuss how we can change how we work together in the future.

Back in March of this year we discussed matters like:

COMMUNITY GROUPS

  • How community groups find digital engagement
  • How a largely digital-based approach to Planning engagement could be developed
  • Our webpages and how they could be improved
  • How community groups use social media

HOUSEHOLDER APPLICANTS & AGENTS

  • Application submission matters and our validation guidance
  • How site visits were being affected by Covid and the need for additional information to fully assess applications
  • Certificate’s of Lawfulness vs Planning Permission
  • Permitted development rights and associated guidance
  • How Covid has affected the way we communicate

MAJOR/ LARGE APPLICANTS, AGENTS, SOLICITORS & ARCHITECTS

Come along to one of the October or November sessions via Microsoft Teams and tell us what you think:

Tuesday 12 October 1500-1630 – Community groups

Thursday 28 October 1500-1630 – Householder and small-scale local development applicants and agents

Tuesday 9 November 1500-1630 – Legal agreements, with solicitors and major/larger local applicants and agents

If you or a colleague/ group member would like to attend a forum session, please email planning.servicedelivery@edinburgh.gov.uk with your details.

Please state what company/organisation you will be representing & which session you would like to attend, and we’ll contact attendees with joining instructions for the online meeting closer to the time.

We hope you can join us and help improve the Planning service for the benefit of its customers and the city.

Reminder: Non-Material Variation Service

Back in April, we launched our new Non-Material Variation Service. This is part of our wider efforts to improve customer service and consistency across planning.

A Non-Material Variation (NMV) application is a proposal to change an approved development that will not significantly alter what was granted planning permission.

We have introduced a new and streamlined way to apply for NMVs, and a new formalised Application Form and Customer Guidance for applying.

We have received almost 90 NMV applications since April & with this new service have been able to process them in a more efficient way.

NMV applications can also be paid for easily at any time using our secure online payment form on our website.

Please do not contact individual case officers with regards to NMVs as all queries and requests are being managed through the new process.

For further details, see this section of the planning web pages:

www.edinburgh.gov.uk/nonmaterialvariations

City Plan 2030 Update

We are preparing a new local development plan for Edinburgh called City Plan 2030.

In line with our Development Plan Scheme, the Proposed City Plan 2030 will be reported to Planning Committee on 29 September for elected members to decide on officer recommendations for the strategy, proposals and polices for future development in the City of Edinburgh Council area.

If approved the Proposed Plan will then go on to its next statutory stage and be published to allow representations to be made. Details of the representation period and the engagement programme for it will be published with the Committee papers in advance of the meeting.  

You can find more information on the project, including the ‘Choices for City Plan’ public consultation, at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cityplan2030.

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.

A New Year – 2021 Lockdown

As we enter into a new year with a vaccine gone into distribution, we would like to offer our best wishes to everyone for a better year ahead.

Whilst we look forward with optimism for a glimpse of normality, we would like to highlight the current circumstances of the service amid current lockdown restrictions.

Whilst a spring/summer lockdown of 2020 was challenging, the longer sunny days and warmth made the daily tasks of home working and home schooling seem bearable. Like many of you, we face these same tasks in the winter months, confined to our homes due to a dark, damp and cold climate, the challenges and strains have been intensified.

As a service, whilst continuing to offer the best customer experience that we can, current restrictions requires the continued closure of our offices and maintained remote working. Managers have recognised the extended challenges of this lockdown on all staff within the service from family life, care of vulnerable family and friends, childcare and home-schooling to those living alone, all in need of support. Consequently, the well-being and mental health of our staff within the service will continue to be prioritised. Approximately 40% of our staff have young children and dependants therefore, we expect elements of the service to experience delays as parents fulfil their daily duties however, we continue to do the best we can to minimise the disruption to the service.

Key elements of the service still continue and these include receiving, processing and assessing planning applications; City Plan 2030; planning enforcement; neighbour notifications; Planning helpdesk; DM sub-committee; and, the Local Review Body. Elements of the service that have been suspended include site visits, and site notices will be available online only. A small plea: if you are submitting an application, any contextual information including photos would be very helpful.

As a planning authority, we rely heavily on the input from colleagues within other services, agents/architects, consultants, stakeholders and communities. We recognise these same challenges will be faced by everyone. We offer our sincere understanding and continued willingness to work with you, optimising new forms of communication and alternative working arrangements.

We will continue to deliver the best possible planning service for our city however, given these challenging times and restrictive working environments, we ask for your continued patience and understanding for our staff.

Thank you.