Fife and Edinburgh’s future up for discussion as population rises

Fife Council is encouraging residents to have their say on the region’s future.
The appeal comes as the South East Scotland Strategic Planning Authority’s (SESplan) consultation on the challenges of future population growth reaches the half-way stage.
Fifers, as well as residents and interest groups across Edinburgh and the south east of Scotland, are being asked for their views on a range of planning issues, including the need for more housing, transport infrastructure and protecting the environment.
The consultation, which is the first stage in the preparation of the region’s second Strategic Development Plan (SDP), was launched last month (July) and will run until September 30.
The SDP will set out how south east Scotland’s local authorities will accommodate future needs and demands to support the economy and investment.
It’s predicted that, over the next 20 years, the area’s population will rise by 18%, with the number of households increasing by 25%.
According to Fife Council, exactly how this will impact the region’s countryside, infrastructure and communities will be explored in the SESplan Main Issues Report.
It says that the addition of 220,000 more people by 2037 (in the second largest population increase in Scotland) will have significant implications for the south east.
Depute Fife Council leader councillor Lesley Laird, spokesperson for Economy and Planning, said:  “I encourage everyone interested in shaping the future of Fife and the wider region to take this opportunity to have their say on how we can best plan for future growth.
“Fife Council’s aim is to make Fife a great place to work, live and do business. This consultation provides local people with the opportunity to have their say on how the wider region plans for growth across business and industry, housing and transport.
“It is essential that views from across all the local authority areas in South East Scotland are voiced to ensure that the Strategic Development Plan is informed a wide audience.”
The SESplan is a partnership of six local authorities: Fife, Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian Councils, which are working together on strategic development planning.
According to Fife Council, its key role is to prepare and maintain an up-to-date SDP for the south east of Scotland.
As the consultation gathers pace, a series of events are taking place throughout the area, including in Fife.
They include a Community Event for community councils and groups at Fife House on September 2, and a number of Drop-in Events for members of the public at Dunfermline City Chambers and Inverkeithing Civic Centre on August 20 and September 14 respectively.
There are also three SESplan Seminar Theme Events to be held at Edinburgh’s Chartered Institute of Housing, Scottish Enterprise, and City Chambers on September 4, 8 and 14 respectively.
These are designed for the development industry, investors, house builders, social housing providers and those with interests in active travel, energy,  town centres or green infrastructure and will explore the wider challenges rather than the Report itself.
The details are:
Friday, September 4 – ‘A Place for Communities’ seminar at the Chartered Institute of Housing, Edinburgh 9.30am-1pm.
Featuring presentations on place making in a capital city region; looking beyond housing numbers; the future of town centres; green networks and the coordination of housing delivery with infrastructure provision. Speakers include Craig McLaren, Director RTPI Scotland; Malcolm Fraser, Director Malcolm Fraser Architects; Nicola Barclay, Director of Planning Homes for Scotland and Diarmuid Lawlor, Architecture+Design Scotland
Tuesday, September 8 – ‘A Place to do Business’ seminar at  Scottish Enterprise, Apex House, Edinburgh 1.30-5pm
Featuring presentations on developing the city deal; growth sectors; economic vision in the city region; the visitor economy and the future of renewables.  Speakers include Graham Birse, Edinburgh Napier University; Dr Andy Kerr, Executive Director, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI); Chris Greenwood, Head of Research, Visit Scotland; Martin Wight, Manager Strategy and Economics, Scottish Enterprise and Ian Johnson, Head of Communities and Economy, Midlothian Council.
Monday, September 14 – ‘A Better Connected Place’ seminar at  City Chambers, Edinburgh 9am-12pm
Featuring presentations on city deal, the challenges and plans for the regional transport network, delivering infrastructure and active travel. Speakers include Fiona Clandillon, Rydens; Neil Langhorn, Active and Sustainable Transport Team leader, Transport Scotland; Keith Winter, Executive Director, Enterprise and Environment, Fife Council; John Hamilton, Winchburgh Developments/Scottish Property Federation and Alex Macaulay, SEStran.
Formal responses to the Main Issues Report will be accepted until 5pm on Wednesday, September 30 on the consultation portal.
The above events need to be booked in advance.
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