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Edinburgh council issues heritage management plan

Words: Laura Edgar
Edinburgh / Shutterstock_216865126

The City of Edinburgh Council has published its management plan to protect the city’s World Heritage Site, including ensuring that protection is at the fore of the planning process.

The council, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh World Heritage, manages the heritage site.

The plan follows a consultation into the running of the World Heritage Site, which suggested that more could be done for the general state of repair and continuing care and maintenance of historic buildings. It seeks to address this issue through a number of initiatives, such as a new voluntary Edinburgh Shared Repairs Service.

Ian Perry, convener of the council’s planning committee, said: “The plan highlights actions under six themes to ensure that the site continues to be a thriving built environment balancing the needs of developers, the site’s heritage and the people living in it.”

To safeguard the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the site, the plan will be used as a tool for influencing the development process in order to ensure that its setting is understood, protected and sustained. The plan notes that both large-scale developments and small changes may affect the OUV, therefore the “cumulative impact of development must be managed in such a way that the significance of the site remains understood”.

The plan states that a planning protocol has been agreed by the partners to enable a collaborative response to the impact of development on the World Heritage Site early in the planning process.

The partners will, in the long term, clarify the qualities that make the World Heritage Site of OUV and produce guidance on their use in the planning process.

Adam Wilkinson, director of Edinburgh World Heritage, said: “Through a very open process of consultation and partnership we have identified a series of new programmes that we believe will make a real difference to the better conservation, management and promotion of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh. We’d love as many people as possible to read the summary of the plan and let us know what they think.”

Councillors will consider the management plan on 30 March, and a consultation on it will run from 3 April to 5 June.

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