Leith Central Community Council: views on the future of the Scottish Planning System

This was submitted by Harald Tobermann, LCCC Vice Char and spokesman on planning, in April 2017.

  1. There is widespread dissatisfaction about appeal decisions made by DPEA. Likely reasons are
    1. lack of DPEA visibility (perceived as ‘remote’);
    2. inadequate space for third parties during appeals. In addition, planning councillors are sometimes shying away from “political” decision because of exaggerated fear of an appeal.
      This can be remedied by better resourcing of the DPEA (for publicity and education) and under certain circumstances for third party participation in appeals.
  2. Planning fees are far too low to cover real costs of processing (incl defending appeals and enforcement). Fee caps for large applications are absurd: if there are demonstrably planning efficiencies of scale (where is the research?), fees could be tapered. But not capped. Arguments that this hinders development can be easily set aside: as long the fees go into resources, applications will also be processed at a speed more likely to encourage development. We would also suggest that fees should be set locally, not nationally.
  3. Much higher emphasis needs to be placed on design quality and build quality, as well as a systematic assessment of the infrastructure requirements associated with the development: each development – however small – should make a proportional contribution to education, health, transport and green infrastructure. The present system of hoping for rateable value increases is not delivering the required infrastructure. In addition, there needs to be a requirement to deliver most infrastructure up front or at least in parallel for all large developments.
  4. Planning authorities need to have statutory rules regarding the quality and robustness of their planning IT (recently very poor in Edinburgh); there also needs to be a statutory enforcement regime with teeth. The current system is not fit for purpose. Funding has to come from increased fees.
  5. Planning authorities should be required to reflect on and report annually on the quality of their decisions: not how many went to appeal, but by visiting completed developments shortly after completion and 2 years later.
  6. Planning permissions need to have to come with keener timelines: expiry between 18 months and 3 years (in exceptional and transparent circumstances); extensions only in the form of another application with full fees; abolition of ridiculous definitions of site start (recently, a dropped kerb qualified as site start).
  7. Planning authorities should be required to make annual/biannual capacity assessments of existing infrastructure (and in the immediate pipeline) for each neighbourhood.

 

Some funding opportunities

(based on information sent by Loraine Duckworth of Edinburgh Council)

OneCity Trust

The OneCity Trust is pleased to announce that its main grant programme is now open for applications. Registered charities and constituted groups based in Edinburgh and focussing their work in the city with an annual income of less than £200,000 are invited to apply for funding for social inclusion projects meeting one or more of the priorities of (1) community connectedness (2) cultural bridging (3) civic inclusion

For more information, go to www.onecity.org.uk, telephone Elaine McCafferty on 0131 469 3856 or email 1718applications@onecity.org.uk.

Edinburgh Trust Community Fund

This is a new fund which registered charities, constituted groups, non-constituted groups, and individuals are all eligible to apply to. The application closing date is fairly soon: 21 April 2017.

To apply, go to http://www.evoc.org.uk/updates/edinburgh-trust-community-programme

For help with applications contact Christina Hinds, Development Worker, Telephone: 0131 555 9103

 

Friends of Pilrig Park – Public Meeting

(adapted from an email from Friends of Pilrig Park)

The Friends of Pilrig Park will hold a public meeting on Monday, 24th April at the McDonald Road Library from 6.00-7.30pm. Please see below the draft minutes of the last meeting. The public meetings are a great opportunity to get more involved in making improvements to the park and to put forward your thoughts and ideas. We hope you can make it along!

Click to download: DRAFT 10 10 16 FoPP Public Meeting Minute

Continue reading

Leith Programme Stakeholder Update 95: Phase 4 (Pilrig Street to McDonald Road)

(adapted from an email from Michael Motion, of the Leith Programme)

Footpath and public realm works are continuing on both sides of Leith Walk, south of the Pilrig Street junction.  Footpath reinstatements at the shop fronts on Crighton Place will continue over the next week, as well as completion of the footpath reinstatement between Middlefield and the new People for Places development in front of Sainsbury’s, Starbucks and Liberty Living.

The junction at Albert Street will close on Monday 10th April for a period of 3 weeks to accommodate road and footway works. The Contractor will also be commencing work at the McDonald Road junction, outside the Library, on Monday 10th April. This work will not initially require any footpath or roadway closures but is anticipated that both this junction and the Brunswick Road junction will then close on 24th April for a period of up to 10 weeks, with local diversions to be put in place. These works will include the installation of a two stage right hand turn for cyclist using this junction.

Works are progressing well and we are still programmed to complete summer 2017.

In addition to the above and, as communicated previously, the City of Edinburgh Council will be installing a number of planters and trees to Leith Walk at various locations North of Pilrig Street.  The planters will be on site the mornings of 10th and 11th April, with the trees to be planted on the 12th and 13th April.

Edinburgh Tram to Newhaven

Ground sampling will commence next week in the Ocean Drive area as part of the Tram enabling works with disruption expected to be minimal. This is the final stage of the site investigation works and is expected to last from Monday 10th  – Friday 14th April.

For any responses and/or any queries in regards to the above, please direct these to leith.programme@edinburgh.gov.uk

Michael Motion

Leith Programme

Consultation on Edinburgh Airport airspace change programme

(adapted from an email from Gordon Robertson, Edinburgh Airport’s director of communications)

Edinburgh Airport is currently running its second consultation on their Airspace Change Programme. If you wish to respond to the consultation, feedback can be made via their website http://www.letsgofurther.com/ or response forms can be requested and submitted by writing to Freepost LETS GO FURTHER.

They say

We’ve worked hard to create the best solution for all – one that meets our regulatory requirements, accommodates our necessary growth and minimises the impact on the people who live in our neighbouring communities. Our consultation is being run in accordance with the Civil Aviation Authority’s CAP725 Airspace Change Guidance. To give you confidence, we have also commissioned a Quality Assurance of our consultation process by the Consultation Institute (consultationinstitute.org).

Since the consultation opened on 30 January we have been gathering feedback via our website and freepost address and have had over 2,000 responses. As we enter the final weeks of the consultation we are inviting all with an interest in our Airspace Change Programme and flight path options to give us their views on our proposals, whatever your views.

 

Campaign to save London Road church

(This is provided for information only – LCCC does not have a position on this campaign.)

There is a campaign to save London Road church. This church is no longer used for worship, and the campaigners suggest it could be repurposed as a community centre. If you’re interested in this campaign, there is a meeting at Abbeyhill Baptist Church Halls at 7.00pm for 7.30pm on Wednesday 26th April 2017.

The campaign is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Save-London-Road-Church-819859801504744/