Balerno Community Council believe that the Covid19 outbreak is likely to have very significant implications for development planning in Edinburgh and elsewhere, and that it is unlikely that we will be able to assess those for some time to come. Ideally we would have preferred that the Choices and City Mobility Plan consultations could have been deferred but we understand that it was thought necessary to proceed with the consultations because of the necessity to have Development Plans in place by next year.
We have also noted that the Sottish Ministers issued a decision on 30 April on the Garden District, the same day as the period for comments on the consultations, closed. Ministers decision supports development of 1350 houses in a first phase of what may be a much larger development in the area bounded by the City Bypass, the the A8 and the Edinburgh Glasgow rail line. Eventually 6000 homes could be built over the next twenty years on the site. The first phase is said to include also a new primary school, shops and a 40 acre community park.
It is unfortunate that the decision on the Garden District application was issued immediately prior to the close of the Choices and City Mobility Plan consultations allowing no time fo comment as its effect. The original application for permission was lodged in 2015 and was an issue during the preparation of the still current 2016 Local Development Plan. It might have been hoped that Scottish Ministers might have considered that preparation of responses to the Choices and City Mobility Plan might have benefitted by prior knowledge of Ministers intentions.
The impact of the Garden District decision on development planning in both West and South West Edinburgh will be very significant, and again that decision would argue for a delay in the CityPlan2030 and City Mobility Plan processes.
The BCC responses can be read below.