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Who Loves Edinburgh

A touch of Spring in the air?

Posted on 10 Mar 2016 by Marion

A touch of Spring in the air? The honey bees were buzzing at the Secret Herb Garden this morning so let’s hope so.


Here is an update on some of the work we are involved in at the moment…. remember to check our facebook page and twitter to keep up to date.

  • Planning matters
  • Dates for the Diary



Edinburgh’s Green Belt

We have had two students working with us from a new social enterprise People Know How, Emma and Vilma. They are concerned by the lack of truly affordable housing in Edinburgh and they ask if Edinburgh is to grow how and where do the residents of the city and its neighbours want this to happen?

Please take their survey  It should take no longer than 10 minutes, data will be used anonymously and there is a £50 draw prize to be won by one lucky participant.



Setts and the City

The Transport & Environment Committee decided at its meeting in January to replace the setts on Brighton Place with asphalt. Local residents are appalled by the decision and invite you to sign their petition to have the decision revoked.

 If you prefer not to sign online petitions then please email us with you name and postcode and we will add you to the list.

A report going to the Transport & Environment Committee next week, Tuesday 15 March, ‘Setted Streets’ suggests the following actions should be pursued:


  • raise awareness of the cultural and economic value of the setted street asset;
  • prepare and compile an up to date survey of the condition of setted streets and review the traffic use on setted streets to assess where changes would help the long term management;
  • establish a range of specifications for the repair and maintenance of setted streets, including laying of setts, jointing and re-using or re-facing setts to improve the walking surface, for example;
  • improve in-house maintenance skills, drawing on EWH and Capital Skills programmes, to enable repairs to be tackled at an early stage and avoid significant comprehensive repairs;
  • review current budgets and funding and work with partners to build up additional funding and resource for maintenance; and
  • review the Framework contracts to ensure that a consistent specification is used for repairs and consider increasing the maintenance liability period to ensure better quality results.


Edinburgh Local Development Plan (LDP)

The LDP and unresolved representations to it are still in examination. The Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) issued an update at the end of February stating that the majority of the report has been drafted but a few outstanding matters remain. This means a potential delay and a revised programme will be issued.


Planning Delivery Advice Note - The Scottish Government has produced draft planning advice on housing and infrastructure delivery. Following a period of consultation it will replace current advice on housing land audits and may be a material consideration in determining planning applications and appeals. The main purpose of the advice is to assist in the preparation of development plans. Key messages include achieving delivery through joint working and engagement. The advice also provides greater clarity on housing and infrastructure requirements within development plans and Action Programmes. One issue of note in relation to housing land supply projections is that, unlike the current PAN, the draft advice has removed marketability as a necessary criteria in assessing housing land as effective.


 Planning Guidance on Student Housing

The Planning Committee have approved the finalised revised planning guidance on student housing.

The revised guidance will continue to inform the use of ECLP Policy Hou 10 Student Housing and LDP Policy Hou 8. These policies state:

Planning permission will be granted for purpose-built student accommodation where: a) the location is appropriate in terms of access to public transport and university and college facilities; and b) the proposal will not result in an excessive concentration of student accommodation in any one locality.


The key changes are

- the finalised guidance continues to propose an approach which focuses new student housing developments in or bounding main university campuses. The word ‘adjacent', however, has been replaced with sites ‘sharing a boundary with' to improve clarity of interpretation. These locations have concentrations of academic facilities and for that reason offer sustainable locations for further development.

- the guidance recognises the existing wide ranging locations of students and other elements of the transient population as well as the good level of access to sustainable transport which exist across the whole city. This approach will encourage further development while avoiding potentially harmful large-scale mono land use. In assessing development impact on the character of an area it will be appropriate to take account of any cumulative impact from student developments.

- on larger sites, the requirement to provide housing will balance the need for housing and student accommodation while protecting the character of the area and contribute to promoting good placemaking. The requirement to provide general housing as part of a mix on sites greater than 0.25ha will rebalance the mix of land uses and help maintain sustainable communities. Development should provide a 50/50 split between student accommodation and housing. While student accommodation will not be prohibited, this requirement will ensure larger developments contribute to the essential delivery of housing.

 The report and new guidance can be viewed here


George Street

The final draft of the Ironside Farrar report will be taken to the Transport & Environment Committee in June with recommendations for the Design Principles for George Street. The report has been developed, with key city stakeholders and public input, to set key design principles to inform the future investment in public realm, its operation and management. This represents the first stage in developing design proposals that will support major public realm investment.


Edinburgh Civic Forum

The Edinburgh Civic Forum was established in 1988 in agreement between the local authority and the Cockburn Association to enable Amenity Associations to act together in matters of common interest and hence achieve their objectives more effectively. In 1998 the wording was revised to include Community Councils. At our meeting last week we revised the purpose of the Forum a little to further to include working collaboratively and productively with the planning authority to achieve joint aims to improve the quality of the environment. All community councils, amenity and resident associations can send a representative to the meetings, held every 3 months in the City Chambers. Further information is on our Edinburgh Civic Forum page. 




This year’s AGM will be held on Saturday, 11 June, 2pm – 5pm at the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church, Nicolson Square. We hope our members will attend what will be Lord Brodie’s final meeting.


Edinburgh Doors Open Day will be held on the last weekend of September, 24/25th with a week of talks from Monday 19th September. The brochure is available to our members by mid-August and released 1st September. We are grateful to have sponsorship from City & Country again this year.