Councillor Neil Gardiner has been appointed as the new Convener of the Council’s Planning Committee.

As an architect Cllr Gardiner has some credentials in this area. He was elected to the council in May,  has 25 years of experience in architecture, urban design and project management in the international construction industry.

He has worked in Edinburgh, London, Berlin, São Paulo and Sydney, where he was involved in the construction of the award-winning Olympic Tennis Centre.

His appointment was ratified at today’s meeting and he will now convene the planning committee which decides on individual planning applications and related issues.

He will also chair the Development Management Sub-Committee.

He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as Planning Convener. I want to develop a holistic approach and improve the planning process for all stakeholders, based on a clear plan, delivering sustainable development across the city.  I will bring a passion for quality design that works for people.

“As a major European Capital, Edinburgh fulfils many roles as a centre for tourism, a key area of economic growth and, of course, home to more than half a million people. As Planning Convener, it is my job to help balance the needs of the people who visit, work and live in the city, and I look forward to taking on this responsibility.

“We have an ambitious programme, which includes building 20,000 homes over the next decade. These must be in the right places with sufficient infrastructure and planning has a vital role to play in that.”

Councillor Gardiner is an active member of the community having also served on a housing association board and a park friends group. He is keen to promote participation in the planning process, including through the school Curriculum for Excellence, encouraging young people to become involved in architecture, urban design and their local built environment.