City Centre Shopping and Leisure Supplementary Guidance

Closed 20 Sep 2019

Opened 9 Aug 2019


The Council is revising its existing City Centre Retail Core Supplementary Guidance and we are seeking your views on the proposed changes.

Supplementary Guidance has been prepared for each town centre in Edinburgh including the city centre retail core. The guidance is tailored to suit each centre’s individual circumstances in order to guide planning applications for changes of use of retail units within the defined shopping frontages.

Why your views matter

The draft revised guidance sets out the planning policies that apply to the city centre retail core.  It identifies core frontages, which are the blocks along Princes Street, and a series of primary frontages which relate to various sections of streets throughout the retail core. There are a number of streets which do not have specific frontages identified and for policy purposes these are simply identified as within the city centre retail core.  Three separate policies cover the area identified.

There have been various changes in circumstance since the original supplementary guidance was adopted that are expected to have an impact on the city centre, such as the new City Centre Transformation strategy, changes in retail trends and changes of use of existing units. The guidance has been revised to allow significantly more flexibility when considering proposals for non-retail use within the city centre but without compromising the importance of retaining a strong retail function within the retail core.

An additional issue sometimes related to food and drink uses is the installation of freestanding outdoor awnings and fixtures, independent of existing frontages, which can be considered development and therefore requires planning permission.  In the past there has been a presumption against such development, due to its potential visual impact on the streetscape and built heritage designations, and its effect on use of public space. However, there may be merit in introducing policy within guidance for considering the use of temporary planning permissions for well designed, high quality fixtures in suitable locations. This would allow trials without risking irreversible adverse change in order to assess the effect of these proposals on a particular area.

If you have any comments on the proposed changes to the supplementary guidance whether in support or suggested changes, or have any views on guidance being prepared for freestanding awnings and fixtures please email using the adjacent contact email address.


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