The Spokes website has successfully given birth to a new page (two, in fact) ! …
Perhaps less exciting than you might hope – we are talking Planning Applications and their big brother, Proposal of Application Notices, PANs! [they are explained better on the new web page].
Of course PAs and PANs themselves, too, go through a period of gestation, often later giving birth to new developments – residential developments, supermarkets, hospitals and so on, which should in theory be up to the best sustainability standards, but all too often fall sadly short.
Opportunities to create good cycle accesses or to connect existing routes can be missed, bike storage designs or management rules are often inadequate, parking for visitors can be forgotten or badly located, and so on. Some proposals are actively detrimental to cycling conditions – for example a new mini-supermarket if car parking is allowed for it on a busy street, or a huge car park generating yet more traffic in the city or boosting out-of-town development.
New development gradually changes the face of a town or city and gives the opportunity to build towards a more cycle-friendly environment – or to go the other way.
Spokes does its best during the gestation period of development proposals, but with huge numbers of applications, and as a voluntary organsation, it can be impossible to give full consideration to everything that might affect cycle usage, whether positively or negatively. It is incredibly helpful if individuals check for proposals in the areas they live or travel in, and submit their own comments to the council.
For example, right now a current planning application [references 13/04232/FUL and 13/04292/PPP] for the Royal Edinburgh Hospital is proposing a new offroad cycleroute from Myreside to Morningside – a wonderful opportunity. But if the proposal is not changed it may be many years till the whole route is open, even though the first section could be built soon, effectively a cycling cul-de-sac! And the route at Morningside end needs much better connections to the minor roads south and north. Meanwhile proposals in Granton Harbour area [13/4320/AMC] are far too sketchy and badly need to include an east-west pedestrian/cycle route along the north side of West Harbour Rd.
Spokes is now trialling a new system where we will list all current Edinburgh PAs and PANs which we feel may have a cycling relevance. We hope to update this roughly weekly, as far as volunteer effort permits. At present we don’t have the capacity to include relevant applications from the Lothians Councils, although we may include any we hear of that are particularly significant.
Part of the idea of the new page is to assist members of our Planning Group have quick access to current proposals, but we urge interested readers [that is you if you have read this far!] to also check the listing every week or two and submit comments on anything of concern. For reasons of time, we can only give very brief details of each proposal, but through the postcodes you should be able to locate those in your area(s) of interest. Our page tells you how to look up the applications on Edinburgh Council Planning website.
You can also find the page via the documents : local issues tab above.
Council Consultations – policy, traffic orders, etc, etc
We also have a new page giving you the web addresses to look up current consultations on policies and some other topics in all 4 local councils. Please check this every so often for your own area – though things will change much more slowly here than with planning proposals.