Consultation begins on future growth in Edinburgh and South East Scotland
Residents and interest groups living in Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland are being asked for their views on the challenges of future population growth including the need for more housing, infrastructure and protecting the environment.
Over the next 20 years the predicted population growth in the region is 18 per cent with the number of households growing by 25 per cent. This is expected to raise some challenging debates including on any effect on green belts and countryside in the area.
The consultation on SESplan’s Main Issues Report, which runs from Tuesday, 21 July to Wednesday, 30 September, is the first stage in the preparation of the region’s second Strategic Development Plan, which will aim to accommodate future need and demand in a manner that will support the economy and investment.
Cllr Ian Perry, Chair of the SESplan Committee, said: “The Main Issues Report sets out the most important challenges Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland is facing such as population growth, housing shortages and protecting the environment. It is a consultation document and gives the opportunity for scrutiny, and feedback, on how best to plan for the future. We need to question preconceived ideas, explore new ones and investigate imaginative solutions to the challenges posed by the region’s success.
“I would encourage everyone interested in shaping the future of the region to take the opportunity to tell us which option you think will best plan for future growth. It is crucial that we hear views from across all the local authority areas in South East Scotland to ensure that the Strategic Development Plan has been scrutinised and informed by the as wide an audience as possible.”
The same SESplan partner local authorities are also aiming to secure £1 billion to support growth, under ambitious plans announced in April. The authorities will work together to develop a deal with the Scottish and UK governments which could go some way to meeting the challenges faced. A proposition is being developed which seeks to use investment in infrastructure to improve productivity and growth as well as to reduce inequality.
The purpose of SESplan is to create a Strategic Development Plan, a planning document covering the whole of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland region. It is an important planning document as it is used to inform the Local Development Plan for each local authority area. It focuses on long-term strategic level planning matters which cross local authority boundaries such as housing, economic growth, green networks and infrastructure.
The Main Issues Report is available is available at www.sesplan.gov.uk and in local authority planning offices and libraries. An easy to read guide has also been produced and the public and interested groups are being encouraged to attend the events being held throughout the region.