As the recent Save Leith Walk campaign showed to stunning effect, organised locals can make a difference.
But rather than starting from scratch each time a prospective new development comes along, local activists are now getting on the front foot with a longer-term approach.
They’re preparing to draw up principles which could guide how Leith (a description loosely used to describe an area from the Forth to London Road) preserves and progresses in ways which reflect residents’ own aspirations.
Leith Creative, Leith Central and Leith Links Community Councils are holding two master-planning and design workshops this month (21 and 28 September). All locals can attend these free events, but are requested to book ahead HERE.
The results will be submitted in response to the City of Edinburgh Council’s consultation in December on its Local Development Plan ('City Plan 2030'). That broad document will eventually inform planning across the capital for the next ten years.
Up for discussion
A PAN presentation earlier this week, outlining proposals for 48–50 Iona Street (19/03802/PAN), was a good example of how well-intentioned developers can find themselves completely at odds with well-intentioned locals.
Topics which generated strong opinions included:
- the need to prioritise genuinely affordable housing
- controlling/reversing the loss of residential properties to AirBnB-style operations
- preserving and expanding green spaces
- building with appropriate materials, e.g. stone not brick
- building heights that don’t dwarf or overshadow neighbours
- overpopulating areas without adequate investment in additional educational, health, and social services
- disproportionate concentrations of students (and the flawed metrics used to measure their numbers)
- the kind of lets students are offered, and how this can prevent short-term holiday lets out of term time
- the questionable wisdom of siting students miles from their campuses
- the need for City of Edinburgh Council to develop a coherent strategy in respect of ever-increasing higher education.
These and other subjects could usefully be discussed in the two Making Places events outlined above. To find out more, go HERE.
The events will be held on:
Saturday 21 September in McDonald Road Library, 11am–3pm
Saturday 28 September in venue TBC, 11am–3pm.