Extra 8000 Edinburgh homes set to go on green belt

Housing is required to meet Holyrood targets. Picture: Getty
Housing is required to meet Holyrood targets. Picture: Getty
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ALL of the almost 8000 extra homes which have to be built in Edinburgh under new government targets are likely to end up on green-belt land, the city council has conceded.

The local authority is consigned to going back to the drawing board to find fresh sites for housing, with the latest requirement to build about 30,000 homes in the Capital by 2024.

The council had been due to submit its Local Development Plan [LDP], which had already set aside large chunks of green-belt land in west and south-east Edinburgh for residential development, to government ministers in December.

However, city planning convener Councillor Ian Perry said a new request for Edinburgh to provide thousands more homes to meet the overall target of 107,500 new-builds for south-east Scotland had set the council’s plans back by a year.

Strict guidelines require the authority to look for sites in the city’s west and south-eastern suburbs first for housing development before allowing building to occur anywhere else. Cllr Perry said that while all brownfield sites would be reconsidered, it was likely that green-belt land would need to be carved up to deliver the entire shortfall in homes.

Asked whether he expected the extra homes to end up on the green belt, Cllr Perry said: “Yes. We don’t know how many brownfield sites we can find. We need to consult with local communities to see if we can get agreement on where to develop.”

Homes needed to meet the government’s ambitious targets were meant to have been built from as early as 2009.

Cllr Perry pointed his finger at the government’s handling of the process, saying delays caused by the revised targets had left the council with even less time to deliver the housing required.

He said: “From the local authority’s point of view, this is clearly not helpful. The planning process is not functioning properly.”

The potential new green-belt sites to be reclassified for development will not be known until June next year at the ­earliest.

Fresh locations will be on top of undeveloped land at Maybury and Cammo in Edinburgh’s west, near the airport, where up to 2000 homes are expected to be built.

The council has already faced strong opposition to those plans. More than 2200 submissions have been made in response to the original LDP.