Edinburgh Council claims it's 'on track' to build 20,000 homes by 2027. Aye right – John McLellan

At a conference on the council’s development plans this week, house builders and planning consultants were treated to a presentation about how everything was moving along smoothly.

Thursday, 31st March 2022, 12:30 pm

Smoothly, that is, if you like high-rise flats and higher prices, because that is the clear implication of what the conference was told, due to the inability of the council to allocate enough land to meet demand.

Delegates were told everyone in Edinburgh is used to living in flats, so if it’s an affordable family home you’re after, then it’s Winchburgh or Blindwells for you. Whisper it… you’ll need a car.

And the council was at it again last week, putting out an overtly political press release despite restrictions before an election, claiming the authority was “on track” to deliver 20,000 affordable homes by 2027 when it is nowhere near.

Its own Strategic Housing Investment Plan published just four months ago clearly said that 5,790 homes had been completed since 2017 and there was “potential” for a further 10,124 in the next five years. So even optimistically that’s 4,000 short.

And it was there again in black and white in a capital programme update to last week’s housing committee which said: “One of the key risks to the delivery of 20,000 affordable homes is failure to secure suitable land for development.” But the officers couldn’t or wouldn’t estimate the chances of hitting the target.

The local SNP leadership is becoming accustomed to dismissing criticism as “lies”, but there is no bigger porky than the authority is “well on the way” to achieving its housing goal.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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