The long-awaited approval of Edinburgh’s Local Development Plan (LDP) will not deliver the number of homes that the city needs, Homes for Scotland (HFS) has warned.
Approved by councillors yesterday, the LDP has scope for the provision of thousands of new homes but the industry body HFS believes the ‘planning by appeal’ process, which has dogged the city for months, shows no signs of being resolved under the Plan.
Tammy Adams, head of planning at Homes for Scotland, said: “Whilst (yesterday’s) meeting represents six difficult years of plan-making for our capital city, the unfortunate fact remains that the sites that have been allocated will not deliver the number of new homes that are needed quickly enough. This has obvious social and economic implications for our capital city and suggests a continuation of the ‘planning by appeal’ that has caused unrest in recent months.”
Earlier this year, the Scottish Government said the LDP should not be modified to include further housing land release at a strategic level and should be reviewed to ensure a continuing five year housing supply is achievable.
Ms Adams added: “With the council now having an additional year to produce improved statutory guidance on infrastructure, we are concerned that this could lead to a further vacuum during which any new sites are refused as a matter of principle – rather than being welcomed as a way of better meeting housing need.
“Critically, however, with a national planning review underway, there are important lessons to be learnt from Edinburgh’s experience – not least the need to identify and resolve major problems, such as the failure to fully plan for new homes and infrastructure, much earlier in the process. Otherwise it is not entirely unreasonable for people to ask ‘why plan at all?’.”