Playfair Scotland will help you frame the debate
Housing Need Brings a Need for Housing
You have to feel for politicians. In my experience they’re mostly good, well intentioned people who want to do their very best for their communities. Sadly, too often they’re just dismissed as a ‘bunch of liars’ or worse. In Edinburgh we have more reason than most to be grateful to politicians. Edinburgh is a model of historical and modern planning which delivers a standard and quality of life that is the envy of the world. That’s not all down to politicians of course but they’ve more than played their part in shaping and creating Edinburgh’s unquestionable success. But success brings ‘growing pains’.
This week politicians of every hue across east central Scotland have been given a huge challenge. Officials (Reporters) working on behalf of the Scottish Government have thrown out the proposed housing figures for the area. The figures thrown out were shaped by controversies around development in communities which at times, understandably, feel that change is coming too fast and is too radical.
However, despite all the controversies the homes being built now and proposed by the Reporters are unquestionably needed. Edinburgh’s housing market is overheating, and house price inflation has been rising. We all know how that ended last time.
Young people of all incomes and none are struggling to find or afford a home to call their own, and many people find themselves unable to get the house they need for their changing family circumstances.
There are brilliant plans to deliver new homes in Edinburgh with the council developing great and innovative new models to deliver 20,000 affordable homes in the next few years, but they need sites. SESplan 2 is about delivering them.
This is about our city region planning its future properly. Edinburgh’s been here before when it built the New Town and expanded from the 1930s to the 1950s.
There can be no doubt that population growth brings challenges – those ‘growing pains’, but it brings huge benefits too. The 10% increase in population in Edinburgh over the last decade has benefitted almost every shop, restaurant, business and person in the city.
These new figures should be supported. SESplan can now tackle both the housing need and the need for housing, giving families the chance to upsize or downsize in homes and communities specially created for them. Most of all it gives our young people a better chance, a much better chance to rent or own a home of their own.