Have your say on your city's future

View of Edinburgh
View of Edinburgh

Our Planning Convener Cllr Neil Gardiner writes in today's Evening News encouraging you to have your say on 'Choices for City Plan 2030'.

As citizens of Edinburgh the legacy we have inherited is truly outstanding. As a councillor my route to the City Chambers takes me along the whole vista of Princes Street with views to the Castle and Old Town, to the corner with Waverley Bridge where I see the City Chambers soaring above Cockburn Street.

Before standing for election like many other citizens I occasionally wondered if the city could and should do things differently? If you have ever felt that way, then now is your chance to contribute and let us hear you views.

Possibly you’ve heard the terms ‘LDP’ or even ‘Local Development Plan’, which sounds a bit abstract. The new City Plan is our next LDP and will run for ten years. That’s why we’re consulting on ‘Choices for City Plan 2030’. Your views will influence what goes into the proposed plan which will be written later this year.

Over the last six weeks there has been over 30 consultation events across the city, highlighting choices about how our city might grow and change over the next ten years. If you missed one and want to have your say, then please take part in our online consultation. The deadline is 31st March, so you have a couple of weeks to respond to the Choices document, and a linked consultation we are running on the draft mobility plan. Together these will form our vision to help Edinburgh become a carbon neutral city by 2030.

As a city we all need to work together to tackle the climate emergency. Becoming carbon neutral needs to be a citywide effort. Your support, ideas and involvement can help.

To enable carbon neutral new development, we need to consider building higher density neighbourhoods - where you can walk to local shops, community facilities and work places. These neighbourhoods will need good public transport and active travel connections. 

We’re committed to building over 20,000 affordable and low-cost homes by 2027, with more social homes than anywhere else in this country. We need more housing that is affordable, in the consultation we provide you choices how we can deliver this.

This consultation sets out bold choices to manage future growth for you to think about and comment on. It sets out how we could make best use of land for future development. Our preferred option is to maximise reuse of ‘brownfield’ land for housing, in mixed-use neighbourhoods. We also have to consider and consult on other options, which all need to contribute to achieving our city’s ambitious 2030 carbon neutrality target.

We also ask about managing the growth of student housing, and whether new buildings and conversions should meet the highest zero carbon standards. We ask you about how we could tackle short term lets through new planning policies, in addition to new regulatory powers announced last year by Scottish Government following the City’s campaign for legislation.

We’ve been hearing from young people in our schools. It was good to see the visions drawn up by our primary school children. This is their future. It is all our futures.

We hold the good things about Edinburgh dear. Some things could work better though: like avoiding congestion, finding an affordable place to stay and local facilities within walking distance. When getting about our fantastic city please find some time over the next couple of weeks to let us know how you think we can meet these challenges of the next 10 years. As citizens our legacy can be a stepping stone for Edinburgh’s future.

Published: March 16th 2020