Planning involvement inevitable?
As a house-owner or resident within Blacket Association's area of the ‘five streets’, involvement with the City’s planning procedures is, in time, almost inevitable, whether because proposed work on your property / garden may well require you to seek planning permission yourself or because work proposed by a neighbour might involve seeking your views/agreement. This website can only give pointers to some of the context and key issues arising from the City’s Planning & Building Standard policies. (These are policies which the Council has elected to apply within its area, in order to comply with national planning guidelines and policies set by Scottish Government. All policies - national and local - are adopted only after comprehensive consultation processes. Historic Scotland must be consulted by the Council on planning decisions involving “Listed Buildings” - see also below)
For authoritative guidance or information on the Council’s overall policy for: Conservation Areas; Planning policy generally; how to submit planning applications; how to access proposals under consideration by the Planning authority; and / or to comment upon / raise an objection to particular proposals, consult the City of Edinburgh Council’s website The Planning & Building Standards Portal deals with much of the specific planning and building control issues. However, the A-Z enquiry facility must be used to find other interesting information about Conservation Areas, the Blacket Conservation Area Appraisal, the Local Plan, and Development Quality Guidelines - the latter being listed under Advice Notes for Home Owners within Building Standards.
Planning and Building Control
The title of Planning & Building Standards within the all-embracing City Development Department emphasises that it combines the responsibilities of Building Control and Planning. The former deals with “safety-related” matters and applies universally throughout the City, to maintain consistent standards. Where Building Control approval is required, the relevant document is a Building Warrant. In Planning terms, the relevant documents are Planning permission and - where the property is a Listed building - Listed Building Consent (LBC). There is also a category of Planning Permission referred to as Conservation Area Consent (CON) for matters requiring approval specifically because the “development activity” is proposed within a Conservation Area, where stricter constraints apply.
Note you can find out whether your property or adjacent properties have been formally Listed, via the Historic Scotland website. The Historic Scotland website also provides a useful Memorandum of Guidance on Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas and refers to other useful publications concerned with the repair and maintenance of buildings, etc
Any house or flat holder within the Conservation Area is likely to have to seek permission for most works to a building or structure. Listed Properties (Grade A, B,C) may be more circumscribed in this regard. For summary guidance to features / developments within a Conservation Area which may or may not need planning permission or other consent, consult our Brief Guide to Planning Permission.
Outdoor areas included
Remember also that local regulations for a Conservation Area may generally affect gardens and outdoors areas as well as residential and other buildings (there are, for example, requirements to secure agreement from the relevant Council officer before any significant cutting back or removal of trees within your garden).
Letting people know
If you are proposing to undertake material work on your property which is likely to involve planning or building warrant application and permission, we suggest you alert the Blacket Association; also that you informally advise your neighbours of your intentions, as this may avoid un-necessary misunderstandings or delays later on.
There is a requirement for formal neighbour notification where a planning application is necessary but it is, in any case, good practice to make neighbours aware of any proposals prior to that stage.