• Portobello Community Council
  • c/o 14 Rosefield Avenue
  • Portobello
  • EH15 1AU

Portobello Town Centre ‘Vision’ Report and Recommendations

Posted on: February 25th, 2017


As part of efforts to create a ‘vision’ for Portobello Town Centre, City of Edinburgh Council Planners have published the attached report and recommendations.

The vision for Portobello is to create and promote:

  • a place with an active public street life with a quality public realm that is comfortable for all users and thereby would encourage people to stay longer;
  • streets and public realm that prioritises pedestrians and cyclist and thereby increases the ease of movement and increases footfall;
  • and a mix of shopping and other town centre services that supports the resident community and creates a destination for visitors.

The Supplementary Guidance goes some way to achieve the wider vision through the following ten principles, which should be
considered when submitting and assessing a planning application for a change of use within the Town Centre:

1. Supporting high quality shopfront design (see the Council’s Guidance for Businesses and Listed Buildings and Conservation
Area Guidance).

2. Ensuring active frontages to the street by permitting glazing which will allow for natural surveillance, create a visual interest
on the street and encourage street users to linger, whilst prohibiting the change of use from shop use to residential in ground
floor units.

3. Supporting outdoor seating where pavements are wider and micro-climate is favourable.

4. Supporting Class 3 food and drink uses on corner units where there is an opportunity to activate the public street life.

5. Maximising opportunities for formal and informal outdoor seating incorporating shelter or shop front awnings at key points
along the town centre.

6. Ensuring development makes a positive contribution to the public realm by meeting the Street Design Guidance and
Edinburgh Design Guidance.

7. Incorporating and enhancing natural and built features where they can contribute positively to the Town Centre, for example
the connections to the Promenade/beach.

8. Supporting additional cycle parking facilities at key points along the Town Centre.

9. Taking opportunities to remove street clutter and other redundant items identified in any relevant street audits prepared by
the Council or Living Streets.

10. Ensuring appropriate arrangements are in place for storage of waste, internally and externally.


A number of other programmes and plans have the potential to address some of the other issues raised in the Public Life Street


A bus shelter replacement programme has recently taken place, including replacement bus shelters with advertising panels
in the town centre. Future replacement programmes will present an opportunity to improve placement of shelters.

The recently reviewed Portobello Conservation Area Character Appraisals provides the context to manage change that
affects the conservations areas unique characteristics and set out opportunities for enhancement.

Road and footway investment – Capital Programme

The Council’s Wayfinding Project. This could improve navigation, wayfinding and appreciation of assets such as the

A locality based approach to service delivery operates in Edinburgh. The town centre is within the North East Locality.

Locality Improvement Plans are currently being prepared and are due to be in place by October 2017. These will set out the
future priorities for the area and consider opportunities to enhance the local sense of identity and belonging.

From March 2017 the 20mph programme will be introduced in the Portobello area. Reduced traffic speed will improve the
sense of security for pedestrians and cyclists.

Portobello has benefitted from the trade waste policy that only allows trade waste to be presented on the street/outside
premises for one-hour within set collection windows. This has significantly reduced pavement clutter and improved
pedestrian movement, especially at peak times of the day

Portobello Town Centre – Report and Recommendations