Planning Policy & Guidance
The planning application will be assessed against relevant planning policy and guidance, including the Edinburgh Local Development Plan (ELDP), adopted in 2016, and the Edinburgh Design Guidance (EDG), which was updated in 2020.
Edinburgh Local Development Plan & Edinburgh Design Guidance
Policies Hou1 to Hou10 of the ELDP set out the policy for housing development. Policy Hou1 – Housing prioritises the delivery of housing on suitable sites in the urban area, provided proposals are compatible with other policies in the plan. The site is within the urban area and therefore residential development is acceptable in principle, subject to meeting other plan policies.
Policy Hou 4 requires an appropriate density having regard to the characteristics of the area, the need to create an attractive residential environment, safeguard living conditions, accessibility to public transport and the need to encourage and support local facilities. Higher densities are supported in the city centre and in areas with good levels of public transport. The site is outside the city centre but within the urban area and has good access to public transport therefore a higher density should be considered acceptable at this location, in accordance with Policy Hou 4 of the ELDP.
Policy Hou 6 requires 25% affordable housing for all proposals over 12 units, with a stated preference for on-site affordable housing for proposals of 20 or more units. Based on the 44 units proposed a total of 11 would be required to be affordable. The Applicant Team is engaging in pre-application discussions with CEC Affordable Housing and appropriate provision will be agreed in accordance with Policy Hou 6 of the ELDP.
Policy Env 1 of the ELDP relates to the Edinburgh World Heritage Site (WHS) and prohibits development which would harm the outstanding universal qualities of the World Heritage Site (WHS) or would have a detrimental impact on its setting. Due to the location of the site adjacent to the WHS, the Applicant Team has engaged with Historic Environment Scotland and the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust during pre-application discussions to bring forward development which is appropriate to the location and will not harm the WHS.
As the proposal involves the demolition of the existing building, which is within a conservation area, Policy Env 5 of the ELDP applies. This policy states that the demolition of buildings which make a positive contribution to the character of the conservation area will not be supported. The existing building makes a negative contribution to the character of the area and its demolition should be supported in accordance with Policy Env 5 of the ELDP. This position has been agreed with CEC, Historic Environment Scotland and the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust.
The proposed development will utilise the existing car parking at the site and both the car and cycle parking will be provided in accordance with the EDG. Open space and landscaping will be provided to the rear and the Applicant is seeking to exceed the requirements of the EDG in this regard. There will be acceptable levels of daylight, sunlight and privacy to future occupants and neighbours and the proposals will improve local safety by increasing activity and natural surveillance in the area. The proposals will therefore be in accordance with the EDG and the ELDP.