George Street – Preliminary Design – Next Steps

NTBCC have been involved in discussions regarding the potential improvements and redesign of George Street for several years. We have been an active participant in the Steering group and attended the public consultations in 2015 and were involved in setting the Design Principles for George Street.

The following has been adapted from an email from Anna Herriman (Edinburgh Council's City Centre Programme Manager, South East Locality) that provides stakeholders and interested parties with an update on the beginning of the next phase of the development of a design for George Street. (Sections in quotation marks are reproduced verbatim).

A report updating Edinburgh Council's Transport & Environment committee on this preliminary design project is available on the Council website, and will be considered by the  committee on 5 October 2017. In summary though, key elements include:

  • Project scope
  • Appointment of consultants
  • The role of engagement and stakeholder input in the preliminary design stage
  • Timescales for the project

We have extended an invitation to Anna Herriman to come to the November NTBCC meeting to discuss this further.

Project Scope

This design stage of the project follows the adoption of design principles for George Street by the Council last year; it will build on these agreed design principles.

“The preliminary design will provide a blue print for any future development along George Street, as well as the First New Town Streets that it is connected to. The way that the street does, and could, operate, is fully interdependent on the way intersecting streets operate. This broader approach at this stage ensures that other planned public realm works in adjacent streets in the New Town are also fully accounted for in a coherent design, including the Council’s City Centre West East Cycle Link project.”

“The First New Town Streets include Castle, Frederick and Hanover Streets, and the junctions with Charlotte and St Andrew Squares.“

“George Street has a premier role within the New Town area, as a place and destination that sustains and supports a wide range of activities that bring life into the city.”

“The development of the George Street and First New Town (GNT) preliminary design also sits within the wider context of the development of a vision for Edinburgh’s city centre.”

Appointment of Consultants

“WYG Environmental Planning Transport Ltd (WYG) has been appointed to develop the preliminary design, working in partnership with LDA Design Consulting Ltd. WYG has assembled a multi-disciplinary team and will utilise a ‘placemaking’ approach to develop the design for GNT, recognising the high profile of the area. “

This preliminary design activity is funded by the Council including a contribution from Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links Plus programme.

Engagement and input

We are encouraged by the philosophy that wide stakeholder input will be central the development of the design, with an engagement plan being developed in early October. 

”Local representatives who were closely involved in the earlier stage of work, for George Street will continue to play a key role in this design stage of the project, alongside further and wider stakeholder involvement. The precise details of opportunities for further involvement and engagement will be shared widely.”

Timescales

A draft preliminary design is expected by the end of March 2018. A period of wide engagement will then take place, to help refine the design, with a final design expected to be delivered by the end of June 2018.