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Committee to contemplate 10-year plan for Edinburgh

Words: Laura Edgar
Development map for proposed City Plan 2030 / Edinburgh City Council

City Plan 2030, which will set out how Edinburgh will be developed over the next 10 years, will be considered this week by the city council’s planning committee.

It seeks to meet the needs of Edinburgh’s growing population, achieve its ‘net-zero by 2030’ ambition, and address how people move around the capital.

It sets out the direction of development so the city is “joined up” rather than spreading outwards in an attempt to provide a positive and sustainable step for the future.

The draft plan supports the Scottish Government’s plans for 20-minute walkable neighbourhoods and maximising the use of brownfield land for development over greenfield land. A new mixed-use neighbourhood would be created in the west in an area previously designated largely for business development in the 2016 plan, which would be served by existing infrastructure, while new neighbourhoods on brownfield land at the Forth Waterfront also feature.

The draft plan also sets out how the council plans to make sure that there is enough land to meet the city’s housing needs over the next 10 years and secure a minimum contribution of 35 per cent affordable housing from any new development. Policies to help manage short-term lets are also included in the proposals. 

Neil Gardiner, planning convener at Edinburgh City Council, said the draft development plan “can recalibrate how development happens” across the city to shape how it grows and changes over the next 10 years.

“Rather than growing forever outwards, the proposed plan focuses on developing new communities on brownfield land which mix living, working and leisure uses. These locations utilise and add to already existing infrastructure. This plan is about us as a city collectively making the right decisions now so that our residents can make reasonable and informed choices about how and where they live and how they get around in the future.”

He added that the council needs to work with developers on challenges such as climate change and finite resources. “Developers need to think more carefully about location, using the land we have available effectively, with sustainable design.

“Developers will need to make sure that one-third of their houses in residential developments are affordable. We will also continue the city’s own programme to build affordable housing.

Maureen Child, planning vice-convener at Edinburgh City Council, said: “To meet our ambitious climate change target and become a carbon-neutral city by 2030, as the city continues to grow, we must develop differently in the future and our proposed plan sets out how all houses and other buildings will need to be much more energy efficient.

“We’re already committed to building 20,000 affordable and low-cost homes by 2027 but the city desperately needs more housing. That’s why our proposals put particular emphasis on land for housing and affordable homes. We’ll also make sure that we protect people’s homes by making sure appropriate flood defences are in place for all new developments as we’re fully aware of the risk of flooding and the other impacts of climate change."

The planning committee will consider the proposed City Plan 2030 on Wednesday 29 September. Final representations will then be sought and considered before the plan is submitted to the Scottish Government for examination. 

Image credit | Edinburgh City Council