Members of the public will have a say in how the central island is developed in Picardy Place, writes Peter Williamson, chair of the Picardy Residents’ Association (PRA).
The Council’s Transport & Environment Committee received a Progress Update on Edinburgh St James works on 5 December.
Included in the report was the position on Picardy Place, with a proposal for ‘further public engagement on the public realm enhancement opportunities on the Central Island’ to commence in the New Year.
Positive discussions later took place between the Council and PRA on the engagement process. From that meeting there was agreement in principle that various local stakeholders should produce a list of broad options for the central island.
Those stakeholders have yet to be decided, but are likely to include: the New Town & Broughton Community Council, Leith Central Community Council, PRA, Edinburgh World Heritage, the Cockburn Association, and Living Streets. Public input will also be invited via the Spurtle.
Options – all of which the Council would pre-agree could go forward – would then be put to a voting process to ascertain which one had greatest public support. It is hoped that the public’s choice would then be adopted.
At the moment, the main options suggested are:
- a coffee facility
- a pavilion
- leaving the island as an open space for people to traverse with or without pathways/cycleways marked
- events space.
Consideration will need to be given to the ‘aesthetic-fit’ of the options. No timetable has yet been set for gathering suggestions or voting on them.
Final work on the island will not happen, according to current timetables, until Spring 2021 when work on the tram stop comes to a close.