Edinburgh’s Local Development Plan moves to next stage



Edinburgh aerialThe City of Edinburgh Council has agreed that its Local Development Plan should be moved on to be examined by the Reporter appointed by the Scottish Government, before the final plan is agreed.

The long-awaited plan allocates land around the city for the next 10 years, and has been driven by Scottish Government projections that more than 100,000 new homes are needed across South-east Scotland. It earmarks areas such as Brunstane, Cammo and Newmills for development.

To help the Reporter to understand where there are opportunities to change to plan, the planning committee also agreed a motion which details where it sees merit in the representations made.

Cllr Ian Perry, convener of the planning committee, said: “The council needs to allocate land to allow much needed housing to be delivered for the city. While we are keen to ensure that brownfield land is developed first, it is necessary to identify some new greenfield sites in a growing city.

“It is therefore very important that the Local Development Plan is now moved to the next stage to allow the council to guide developers on future land use. This has been a difficult decision but it is important that we move towards providing certainty for local communities and developers.”

Homes for Scotland welcomed the motion as a step forward in addressing city’s housing shortage though the Scottish Green Party described the development as a “missed opportunity”.

Earlier this week, director of planning, Nicola Barclay, urged Edinburgh councillors to stop procrastinating and start addressing the city’s housing shortage and avoid further delays.

Following yesterday’s decision, Ms Barclay said: “Whilst we still have major concerns with the draft plan, after such lengthy delay we are relieved that further setback has been avoided and that Edinburgh has taken a positive step forward to delivering the housing our capital city needs.”

Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian slammed the decision, saying the council was obsessed with suburban sprawl rather than building affordable homes.

Ms Johnstone said: “It’s frustrating to see this plan being passed without addressing the real concerns of communities around Edinburgh where unnecessary developments are earmarked. Our city has thousands of empty homes, plenty of brownfield sites and land that has been banked by developers. That is where the focus should be.

“The city urgently needs more affordable homes – homes which are built in compact communities with easy access to services and transport. Much of the LDP debate has sadly been about swapping suburban sprawl in one location for sprawl in another, without fundamentally addressing the need for a spreading the city at all.

“It is a missed opportunity to develop a sustainable city region.”

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