Comment: ‘Needs to be compromises on housebuilding’

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ANOTHER week and another major new planning application for Edinburgh. This time we
 have news of 1500 new homes for Riccarton along with new shops and a school.

The community, as you might expect, has not welcomed the plan with open arms; top of the concerns being how the roads and local services are going to cope.

It is a story which will be played out in communities across the Capital as housebuilders rush to meet Edinburgh’s demand for more than 30,000 new homes in the next 10 years.

And whatever happens, it is clear that someone is not going to be happy.

It is why it is all important for the city council to manage development and ensure the city 
expands in a controlled way which takes account of the needs of those who already live here as well as those who are desperate to move in.

There are no guarantees the Riccarton scheme will progress – it relies on the Local Development Plan being changed before it is submitted to the Scottish Government for a start.

But whether it is in Riccarton, Cammo or elsewhere in the city, major housebuilding is going to happen and soon.

This is a good thing.

We want Edinburgh to grow and we want the chronic shortage of affordable housing to be tackled to enable people who already work here to live here too.

However it is absolutely crucial that we get this right.

There will need to be compromises and it must be done sympathetically and in full consultation with the views of long established communities.

The decisions which councillors take over the next few years will shape the Capital for generations for better or worse.

Don’t expect this plan to be the last. The city’s planning department have a very busy time ahead of them.