New guidance issued on Edinburgh ‘placemaking’

NEW ‘placemaking’ guidance – advising how developers, community organisations and representatives, the city council and others might work more collaboratively and flexibly together in shaping building projects in Edinburgh – has been issued.

The Edinburgh Development Concordat, describes itself as a “working document which sets out how developers and businesses, representative community organisations and the council’s development functions can work together to achieve good placemaking”.

The rationale for the guidance is described, thus: “Edinburgh remains a city of growth but, now, in the wake of the (COVID-19) pandemic, faces even greater challenges to provide homes and jobs for our communities.

“Protecting Edinburgh’s heritage assets and retuning its economic profile to that of previous levels is a key priority for years to come.

“In doing so, the plan-led system in Scotland is used to make decisions about the future developments of our areas and is used to balance different interests to make sure that land is used and developed in a manner that creates high quality, sustainable and inclusive places to live, play and work.

“It is recognised that not everyone wants change/developments in their own area and tensionscan rise. However, before change is proposed, experience has shown thatwhen developers, communities and the local authority work constructivelytogether, better places can be created. Getting the balance right is difficult but important.”

A city council announcement adds: “The Concordat seeks to help the city’s economic recovery by promoting collaboration. It builds on the values and principles of the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision, which provides clear aspirations for what the city is looking to achieve.”

In more detail, it adds: “Developers are encouraged to promote the value of early and meaningful engagement, including post-planning decision engagement with Community Councils in shaping and realising development proposals.

“Within this context, the changes to pre-application consultation proposed by the Scottish Government: consultation should be recognised.

“Community organisations are encouraged to promote the vital role in representing the views of the wider community when new developments are proposed and to work collaboratively with developers from pre-application through to post-planning decision.

“The council will promote the ways that developers and representative community organisations can engage with each other and will promote a ‘whole council approach’ as an enabler of development to facilitate a more continuous ‘end to end’ approach taking in all of the development functions of the council throughout the whole development process.”

Read the concordat, here.

Edinburgh St James picture credit: PlaceDesignScotland