Edinburgh's City Plan 2030 is inadequate for affordable housing, business development and jobs – John McLellan

Only on the basis that saying something often enough will persuade people it’s true does the repeated assertion from senior Edinburgh Council figures that their blueprint for the city’s future “addresses affordable housing needs, sustainability, jobs, and infrastructure” make any sense.

Thursday, 24th February 2022, 12:30 pm
SNP planning convener Neil Gardiner believes City Plan 2030 'meets the needs of our Capital’s growing population' (Picture: Lloyd Smith)
SNP planning convener Neil Gardiner believes City Plan 2030 'meets the needs of our Capital’s growing population' (Picture: Lloyd Smith)

And the only way to balance what might politely be described as wildly optimistic, or alternatively wilful deception, is to repeat just as often that the City Plan 2030 might acknowledge issues, but far from solving them will only add to the city’s problems.

Maybe SNP planning convener Neil Gardiner genuinely believes his plan “meets the needs of our Capital’s growing population” as he claimed in these pages this week, but that suggests he hasn’t read the technical notes which admit “it is not realistic to set a target which provides in full for the need for affordable housing”.

And it must be presumed he hasn’t seen objections already submitted which point out the plan involves uprooting some 400 active businesses and reducing capacity for new business development to make way for such housing as the plan proposes.

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It is true there have been “detailed discussions, and input from lots of you”, as Cllr Gardiner wrote, but he fails to mention professional advice has been ignored to paint a false picture of an Edinburgh meeting every demand without much difficulty.

Inadequate for affordable and market housing, inadequate for business development and jobs, City Plan 2030 is at best an exercise in self-delusion and at worst an enormous confidence trick on the Edinburgh public.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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