It’s your Edinburgh, so we need your help to plan for the future – Neil Gardiner

The Choices for City Plan 2030 consultation proposes major changes, so make sure your voice is heard, writes Cllr Neil Gardiner

Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 5:00 am
The ten-year City Plan which emerges from the consultation will be a stepping stone to the future

Today Edinburgh councillors will discuss “Choices for City Plan 2030” – one of most significant consultations this administration has brought forward to help us plan for major change. We need to respond successfully to the twin challenges of rising population and climate emergency. Planning where things go needs to be linked to how we get around.

The “Choices” consultation document ties closely to our draft City Mobility Plan, together setting out how Edinburgh could be.

By 2030 we want Edinburgh to be a sustainable city which supports your wellbeing, where you can live in a home you can afford. You won’t necessarily need to own a car to move around and we all will have the opportunity to share in this city’s success.

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Cllr Neil Gardiner is planning convener at Edinburgh City Council

The “Choices for City Plan 2030” consultation is your opportunity to get involved, helping shape future growth in your city. Once we have considered all feedback, the City Plan which we finally publish will affect us all, so it’s important that we hear from you on this journey, to accommodate your future needs.

We’re already committed to building 20,000 affordable and low-cost homes by 2027, and more social homes than anyone else in the country, but we need more housing, especially affordable homes. The consultation spells out bold choices for you to consider and comment on, about how we manage future growth. The administration’s preferred option is to maximise use 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 ambitious 2030 carbon neutrality target.

We also ask about managing the growth of student housing, and whether all new buildings and conversions should meet the highest zero carbon standards.

The consultation sets out how we could make best use of land for future development, supporting public transport and active travel as real options. It indicates how we could tackle short-term lets through new planning policies, in addition to new regulatory powers announced two weeks ago by Scottish Government following Edinburgh’s campaign to seek national legislation.

You will be able to comment during our eight-week consultation, from January 31. There will be numerous opportunities, whether you prefer to do that with help at one of our 17 public events, or to fill in our consultation online. It’s really important that we involve all interested groups and stakeholders across the city, so we’re also organising six themed events where they can find out more and get involved.

Afterwards the proposed City Plan 2030 will be published by us for representation before being formally examined by the Scottish Government before we can consider adopting it.

Edinburgh is a wonderful city which has adapted and evolved. The ten-year City Plan which emerges from the consultation is a stepping stone to the future. I would urge everyone to please have your say. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we need your input if we are to make these major positive changes for our city!

Councillor Neil Gardiner is planning convener at Edinburgh City Council