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Edinburgh’s next plan seeks to deliver more than 20,000 affordable homes

Words: Laura Edgar
Edinburgh / iStock_000013471580

The City of Edinburgh Council has published its new local development plan, which seeks to deliver 20,800 affordable homes and 22,600 market homes across the plan period.

Choices for City Plan 2030 outlines that the council wishes to increase the provision of affordable housing requirement to 35 per cent, as well as improve housing density and deliver housing on all sites coming forward for development.

It also sets out options for the overall spatial strategy for the city’s development up to 2030. These include the potential release of land from Edinburgh’s green belt for use in housing-led urban extensions.

The council’s planning committee will discuss the new local development plan on Wednesday 22 January.

Choices for City Plan 2030 comprises a number of policy changes set out across 16 choices, which are grouped under four themes. The changes include:

  • City Wide Green Network: Introduce a new policy on connected green environment to connect places, parks and green spaces together as part of a multifunctional, local, citywide, regional, and national green network.
  • Climate adaption: New development would be required, through a design and access statement, to demonstrate how its design will incorporate measures to tackle and adapt to climate change.
  • Maximise development around existing infrastructure: Direct new development to where there infrastructure capacity does exist, or where new infrastructure can be provided.
  • Support local place plans: The plan identifies how local place plans can help the council to achieve great places and support community ambitions.
  • Short-term lets: A new policy on the loss of homes to alternative uses. It would be used when planning permission is required for a change of use of residential flats and houses to short-term lets or other uses.

Choices for City Plan 2030 is closely linked to the council’s draft City Mobility Plan, which has been designed to improve sustainable transport over the next decade.

Neil Gardiner, convener of the council’s planning committee, noted that Edinburgh is a “vibrant city, with a great quality of life”, but “like many cities, we have increasing levels of poverty and health inequalities in our communities, rising housing costs and in some areas, traffic congestion and poor air quality”.

“We need to have an open conversation with our residents, businesses and other stakeholders about how our city grows and changes to meet future needs where this growth takes place. … City Plan 2030 is about us making the right choices 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.

“We’re embarking on one of the most significant periods of transformation in a generation and we need to rethink the way we expand to accommodate our growing population. We’re already committed to building 20,000 affordable and low-cost homes by 2027, but the city needs more housing, with particular emphasis on affordable homes.

“The plan we finally publish will affect us all to some degree and it’s important that we hear from residents on this journey to accommodate future needs.”

If approved by the planning committee, the plan will go out for public consultation.

Choices for City Plan 2030 can be found on the council website (pdf). 

Image credit | iStock