City Planning Functions and Covid
March 27, 2020
Today the Cockburn has written the Convenor of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Planning Committee, Councillor Neil Gardiner, highlighting issues as to how the statutory planning system will function during this period of unprecedented civic crisis.
The Cockburn has strongly recommended flexibility in accepting comments for the City Plan 2030 “Choices for the City” consultation paper, and also the City Mobility Plan 2030, both of which have deadlines of 31 March 2020.
The Cockburn has also suggested that decisions on major planning applications be postponed until such time as the Council’s Development Management Sub-Committee reconvenes.
The letter states, “We believe that short-cut executive processes aimed, properly, at keeping crucial services operating should not be used for important planning decisions. The suspension of Council’s Planning Committee and Development Management Sub-Committee to the end of April should also mean the suspension of decision-taking on applications, with perhaps the exception of minor householder applications. Determining a planning application is not a critical public health or strategic economic decision. Whilst ensure a degree of continuity in the planning service is important, we ask you to ensure that civic and public regard is placed above any short-term administrative processes that might result from the current public health crisis.”