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

Pitz/Tumbles Community-Led Design Weekend

Posted on: February 4th, 2018


All residents of Portobello and the wider area are invited to take part in an open, drop-in event focused on shaping the future of the Pitz/Tumbles site at Westbank Street, Portobello.

Where: Portobello Town Hall
When: Saturday 3rd March (10am – 5.30pm) and Sunday 4th March (10am – 1pm)

The Design Weekend will focus on exploring the needs of the local community and the competing demands for housing, leisure, commercial and social space. Led by a team of experienced designers and facilitators who live locally (and have good knowledge of the area), we will work together over the course of the weekend to create a design for the site that meets the community’s needs and aspirations.

The weekend will be timetabled to include a mix of participatory design sessions, public discussions and information sessions. You are welcome to attend one or all of these sessions, or just drop in to receive more information. We would encourage everybody with an opinion about how this site should be developed to come along and make their voice heard. Design skills or knowledge of planning are not required!

A detailed timetable for the weekend will be added here soon.

Background Information:

The City of Edinburgh Council is selling the Pitz/Tumbles site by Westbank Street in Portobello. The starting point for planning any redevelopment of this site should be the needs and aspirations of the local community and not the profit-driven inclinations of a commercial house builder.

The Westbank Street site occupies a key gateway location between the Promenade and the High Street, and with over 700 new houses under construction across the road at Baileyfield, this area of West Portobello is already rapidly changing.

We believe there is a pressing need to delay the sale of the site and take stock of the site specific and local issues. We seek to explore the needs of the community and the competing demands for housing, leisure, commercial and social space. We believe the community has the answers and should play an active role in informing the future of this important site.

Our approach has the support of the Scottish Government. In December 2017 Action Porty was awarded a ‘Making Places’ government grant. Making Places is a Scotland-wide initiative that seeks to encourage communities to positively and actively contribute to the development of their local places, with a view to tackling inequality and disadvantage for the benefit of everyone..

Broad consultation on the Council’s plans to sell the site to a private developer has already taken place (revealing strong local opposition to the proposed sale. We will utilise the resulting data from both Portobello Community Council and City of Edinburgh Council’s recent surveys relating to the site (see links below), with the ultimate aim of producing a workable site development brief. We believe this approach is a once only chance to plan properly for the site and establish long term benefits for the Portobello and wider Edinburgh community.

It is our aim that the Council accepts the development brief that our project produces, and puts this back out to tender for developers to deliver. We have the support of key people within the council as well as within government, and we are confident that there is time yet to turn this around and achieve a win win for the Portobello community and for Edinburgh as a whole. Please come along to the Design Weekend and help us make this a reality!

Portobello Community Council Survey Results:

City Of Edinburgh Council Survey Results: