Approval being sought for plan mapping Edinburgh’s near future

EDINBURGH councillors are to be asked to approve a plan setting out the direction of travel for the city into the future.

Uppermost in the City Plan 2030 is tackling carbon emissions and the ambition to be ‘carbon net-zero’ by the beginning of the next decade.

And among the instruments to achieve that aim is supporting the concept of the ’20-minute neighbourhood’, being advocated by the Scottish Government – where most of life’s essentials are within a 20-minute walk.

Says a council announcement (here): “This proposed plan for the next ten years sets out how areas of the city will be linked together, building on existing transport networks as well as making full use of education and healthcare facilities already embedded in communities across the capital.

“Resetting the direction of development to bring about a joined-up city rather than spreading outwards also provides a positive and sustainable step for future decades to come.”

There is mention too of affordable housing, and parts of the city ‘designated for new development’: Seafield, Redford Barracks, Astley Ainslie, Edinburgh BioQuarter, Liberton Hospital, Bonnington and Fettes.

The convener of the council’s planning committee, Cllr Neil Gardiner, is quoted in the announcement, saying the intention is to confine housebuilding to within the city boundaries, rather than encroach on the Green Belt that rings the city.

He is quoted, as saying: “Rather than growing forever outwards, the proposed plan focuses on developing new communities on ‘brownfield’ land which mix living, working and leisure uses.

“These locations utilise and add to already existing infrastructure. This plan is about us, as a city, collectively making the right decisions now so that our residents can make reasonable and informed choices about how and where they live and how they get around in the future.”

In response, representatives of the housebuilding sector are quoted in the media, expressing disappointment with the seeming curtailment in their activities.

Members of the planning committee will be considering the City Plan 2030 this coming Wednesday, September 29.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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