Council urged to scrap £200 planning fee for Edinburgh bike sheds

More Edinburgh residents would travel by bike if council chiefs dropped a £200 application fee when they want to build a shed to store them, it has been claimed.

By Joseph Anderson, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 26th November 2020, 4:45 pm
Bike sheds plea: Councillor Chas Booth
Bike sheds plea: Councillor Chas Booth

A Green Party councillor is calling on Edinburgh City Council to back his plans to support cycling in the capital - through a relaxation of planning laws.

Leith councillor Chas Booth is calling on the council to lobby the Scottish Government and allow people to build modest bike sheds in their gardens without first acquiring planning permission.

The campaign is also being backed by Lothian cycle campaign Spokes, which says the £200+ cost of obtaining planning permission could deter people from using cycling as a sustainable and environmentally-friendly means of transport.

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Ahead of the council’s planning committee on Wednesday December 2, councillor Booth has submitted a motion to support extending permitted planning development rights to sheds.

Councillor Booth, who represents Edinburgh Greens on planning matters, said: “Tackling the climate crisis means making it easier to choose the least polluting option, and that applies especially to transport.

“We know that cycling and walking for short trips instead of taking the car can slash greenhouse gas emissions, but people need somewhere secure and convenient to store their bikes.

“Installing a modest bike shed in your front garden currently needs planning permission, with the associated cost, uncertainty and delay that comes with it.

“It's common sense to scrap the need for planning consent for most small sheds, so people can install them quickly and easily.

“The council should be encouraging cycle storage, not putting barriers in the way of those choosing less polluting transport."

Dave du Feu, of Spokes, added: “Families living in terraces and tenements often find it difficult or impossible to own and use bikes for their everyday journeys.

“For years we have urged the Scottish government to scrap some of the red tape and costs making it difficult to install a bike shed or container of modest size, so we are delighted they now plan to do so.

“We urge the council to support this move.”

Joseph Anderson, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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