Next NTBCC meeting

The next New Town and Broughton Community Council meeting will be on Monday 9 October at 7.30pm, at the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent.

Local residents are very welcome to attend. Enter by ramp at right side of church, which is suitable for wheelchairs. If you have an issue you wish to raise at the meeting please use the contact email form to let us know the details before the meeting.

Have your say! Protection and maintenance of Edinburgh’s setted streets

(adapted from an email from Edinburgh Council)

The City of Edinburgh Council is working in partnership with Edinburgh World Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland to develop a strategy for the protection and maintenance of setted streets.

Stone setts add significant historic and cultural value to the streets of Edinburgh and are an important feature of our cityscape.

We have a duty to protect the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site, Conservation Areas and other historic parts of the city. This protection includes the setting of Edinburgh’s many listed buildings, where setted streets are an integral part of their identity and authenticity.

However, when setted streets are not properly maintained, they can have implications for walking, cycling and driving. Damaged setts are often replaced with alternative materials like tarmac as a temporary solution. This can result in an unsightly and uncared for appearance.

Have your say

To help inform the strategy we’d like to know what you think about setted streets and their value to the city. We are also interested to know what impediments, if any, you think setted streets can have on our movement.

You can give us your views until Wednesday 11 October 2017 on our Consultation Hub.

Leith Street – Notice of Pedestrian Bridge Removal

We have been informed that the pedestrian bridge over Leith Street which connects the Q-Park with the former St James Shopping centre will be removed over the weekend 16 / 17 September.

As many will be aware, the Leith Street road closure is in place for vehicles, but Leith Street is still open for pedestrians and cyclists.  Given that safety of the public, as well as construction workers, is of the upmost priority, it has been agreed that it would be unsafe to allow pedestrian and cyclists to pass under the bridge during the removal process. However, the impact on residents will be minimised by removing the bridge during the night and early hours which should (weather and wind permitting) allow Leith Street to re-open to pedestrians and cyclists for usual daytime activities.

Therefore a section of Leith Street will be closed for all activities (pedestrians / cyclists)  from 01:00am to 08:00am on Saturday 16 September.

Further details on the planned works can be seen here.

 

September meeting round up

At NTBCC's September 11th  meeting we welcomed the unanimous decision of the City Council's Development Management sub committee to refuse the application to turn the old Royal High School Building into a hotel, although we were dismayed to learn that the developer intends to appeal. It is likely  that this appeal will be  heard along with their appeal against the 2015  refusal of the first hotel plan,  which is currently on hold. Unfortunately, whilst planning consent has been granted to the much more sympathetic plans to reutilise the old RHS  as the new home for  the St Marys Music School, the City Council will not be in a position to lease the site to the school until these appeal are either withdrawn or determined.

We also discussed the benefits of a street or group of streets of being part of a residents' association. A residents' association like the Drummond Civic Association or the Fettes Row and Royal Crescent Association will usually have more clout with the City Council or developers than a group of residents- and several either have representatives on the Community Council or send representatives to our meeting on an ad hoc basis , which we much appreciate.  The Regent, Royal and Calton Terraces Association was given a slot to present objections at the recent Royal High School hearing, as were NTBCC.  We are keen to encourage more streets to form associations, (its not difficult or that time consuming)  and can offer assistance to anyone interested in getting an association going.   If you would like assistance, or have formed an association,  and wish to establish contact with the Community  Council, please email our  Chair,  Ian Mowat at chair@ntbcc.org.uk .

Public Information Session on Changes for Picardy Place

We have been involved in various forums over the past 2 -3 years on plans for Picardy Place. It is a key element linking the new St James Centre development, the ongoing Leith Walk Improvements and the agreed Leith Street works.

We have continually called for a joined-up and transparent presentation on the “behind the scenes” plans BEFORE elements of the work are agreed and consented.

We made comments on the original proposals for creating a hotel site on the council-owned land which currently houses the Picardy Place roundabout. Our concerns are that Edinburgh Council’s desire to create a marketable space on the land fronting St Mary’s Cathedral (driven by the desire to maximise profit from this site) could result in a scheme which does not provide the best outcome for the residents of Edinburgh.

“Together Edinburgh” – a partnership formed by the Edinburgh St James developers, Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Futures Trust (essentially a Scottish Government agency) – have announced a public information session titled “Picardy Place is Changing” – their flyer can be seen here.

This public information session is at the Valvona & Crolla VinCaffe on Multrees Walk on Saturday 23 September between 10:00am and 4:00pm.

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NTBCC minutes – Monday 11 August 2017

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 14 August 2017 at 7.30pm Continue reading

Royal High School – New Appeal to the Scottish Reporter

We reported on September 3 that NTBCC was relieved (but not surprised) that the latest planning application to redevelop the former RHS as a hotel by Duddingston House Properties and the Urbanist Hotel group had been unanimously rejected by Edinburgh Council.

We had urged the Development Management Sub-committee to unanimously reject the latest application – reflecting both the significant and detrimental impact on the Edinburgh World heritage site and Conservation area but also to acknowledge the unprecedented public opposition to the proposal. A unanimous rejection would send a clear message that further appeals would not be in the public interest.

Our submission to the DMC on 31 August can be viewed here.

We commended the Council officers’ on their thorough, comprehensive and well-reasoned report recommending refusal of the latest application and their view was strongly supported by Historic Environment Scotland, the Cockburn Association, Edinburgh World Heritage Trust, the AHSS and the three Ward Councillors amongst others as well as ourselves  and the adjacent Residents Association.

 

The persistent theme raised by many objectors focussed on the unique importance of this building and its setting, and the inappropriateness of the height and scale of the design, ‘too much, for too little site’ irrespective of the economic benefit that tourism to the hotel would bring.

However, we were of the opinion that it was extremely unlikely that this would be an end to the matter; and that the Royal High School would be being entirely safe from inappropriate development.

The first hotel proposal is still at the Inquiry stage with Scottish Government Reporters and was on hold (“ sisted”) until 8th September.

The developers have now given notice that they intend to appeal this latest unanimous decision and, as far as we understand, restart the appeal for the narrowly rejected original decision.

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