I want some users to have access to certain items under the 'edit' tab but hide others...
I know you can allow a role to 'edit' or not 'edit' a published node content type but that enables and disables the whole of the edit tab!
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As I understand your question, you need the Field Permissions module. From the project page:
The Field Permissions module allows site administrators to set field-level permissions to edit, view and create fields on any entity.
This will allow you to grant permission for editing certain fields to a specific user role.