More than a year ago we highlighted moves by council planners to bring some semblance of consistency to the planning status given to Edinburgh’s unique colony housing schemes throughout the city.
Since then, with the help of architecture students, each of the colony developments in the city have been caredully studied, and a draft character appraisal has been produced for each one.
The council have also produced the short film above, which shares the views of some colony residents from around the city. All of the people in the film are pretty supportive of the plan to set up a specific Edinburgh wide Colony Conservation Area.
What would it mean for the colonies in and around Leith? Well, the Pilrig Colonies are the only ones that have any special planning protection at the moment, so the Abbeyhill, Leith Links, North Fort, and Lochend Colonies would all be better protected from development if the proposals go through. That’s quite a considerable number of households who could be affected.
The council have sumarised what Conservation Area status could mean for the colonies which currently have no special protection:
- The permitted development right which allows any improvement or alteration to the external appearance of a flatted dwelling that is not an enlargement is removed.
- Special attention must be paid to the character and appearance of the conservation area when planning controls are being exercised. Most applications for planning permission for alterations will, therefore, be advertised for public comment and any views expressed must be taken into account when making a decision on the application.
- Within conservation areas the demolition of unlisted buildings requires conservation area consent.
- Alterations to windows are controlled in terms of the Council’s policy.
- Trees within conservation areas are covered by the Town and Country Planning (Scotland ) Act 1997. The Act applies to the uprooting, felling or lopping of trees having a diameter exceeding 75mm at a point 1.5m above ground level, and concerns the lopping of trees as much as removal. The planning authority must be given six week’s notice of the intention to uproot, fell or lop trees. Failure to give notice renders the person liable to the same penalties as for contravention of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).
If you’d like to find out more about the proposals you can speak to planners directly at these local consultation sessions:
McDonald Road Library
Exhibition from Wednesday 3 October to Tuesday 9 October.
Planning Staff will be in the Library on: Monday 8 October from 3pm-7.30pm
Exhibition from Thursday 11 October to Friday 19 October.
Planning Staff will be in the Library on: Wednesday 17 October from 3pm-8pm
Lastly, there’s also a photo competition on the theme of the colonies. To enter all you need to do is email the council your low resolution photo.
Here’s one of a rainbow over the colonies we took earlier.