Edinburgh Council recently consulted on its draft supplementary guidance on ‘Developer Contributions and Infrastructure Delivery’. Here is Leith Central CC’s response:
Developers contribution and infrastructure delivery
Comments by Leith Central Community Council
Whilst the consensus view of the Community Council is that this a welcome document in that it more clearly defines contributions developers are required to make under Section 75, there are a number of aspects which we consider to be disadvantageous to the central Leith area.
These concern provision of health care, educational requirements and contributions to the extension of the tramline along Leith Walk.
Heathcare and education
Over the last decade we have seen a major population expansion in the Leith Central Area with many of the industrial sites being turned over to residential use and brownfield sites being developed for housing. This will no doubt be reflected in the 2021 census.
This has had a consequential effect of creating severe pressure on health care facilities with reported difficulty of new residents getting into medical practices. The report on the other hand emphasizes the requirements for Leith Waterfront and Granton areas where new practices are envisaged – Leith Waterfront (£4.5m) and Granton (£4.5m).
We think this is an imbalance in the immediate future due to the current large residential developments that have already taken place in Leith Central (eg Shrubhill, John Lewis site and other Bonnington sites).
A similar argument concerns school place provision where there is already over-crowding at primary schools in the Leith Central area. The report suggest only a minimal expansion of two primary classrooms for the Broughton, Abbeyhill and Leith Walk Primary School catchment area. We feel that this is totally insufficient.
The report identifies developers of even smaller properties to make subtantial contributions to the cost of the tramline in Leith Walk. We feel that this will be a discouragement to small developments which are part of the rich cultural mix in this area.
We therefore feel that small developments up to say 500sq m in Zone 1, and corresponding larger developments in Zone 2 should be exempt from this charge. We also feel that Zone 3 at 750 meters from the tramline is too far for the effects to be felt by the trams as there will only be three stops in Leith Walk (McDonald road, Balfour Street and the Foot of the Walk).
We also feel that contributions envisaged for larger developments are too low. For example students residences in Leith Walk are highly profitable enterprises and this should be reflected in tram contributions.
Leith Central Community Council 27th Feb 2018