Extraordinary meeting on amended proposals for the Royal Bank of Scotland site

On 8 January it was standing room only as over 100 local residents and community councillors crammed into the Drummond Room at Broughton St Marys Church to discuss the amended proposals for the Royal Bank of Scotland site bordering Fettes Row and  Dundas St. The overwhelming consensus was that the height of the proposed blocks, although cut down from 8 to 4 stories opposite Royal Crescent, would still cause unacceptable loss of amenity  to neighbouring residents and George V Park users alike, and still exceeded the massing guidelines set by  Historic Environment Scotland (HES) in their response   to the initial proposals for development in the New Town Conservation  area and  adjacent to the Edinburgh World Heritage site. NTBCC are aware that HES and the developer’s architects have had several discussions on this and that HES will make further comments on the latest proposal.

Several argued that they were disappointed that RBS had not done enough to find an alternative use for  some or all of the existing office buildings, some which may have potential to be converted  into a hotel or apartments. Many also objected to the application for change of use to up to 100% residential , arguing that  up to 400  new residential units would overwhelm the already stretched local schools and doctors surgeries - whereas a mixed use, retaining a requirement for a minimum of office use  could  create high quality jobs to support  the local economy.  A general concern was that demolition of the existing office buildings was sought despite the RBS only seeking change of use and outline planning permission. Fears were expressed that if demolition were granted on this basis before a detailed and properly funded scheme was brought forward residents could be left living next to a building site for years.

The NTBCC planning convener concurred with many of these points and assured the meeting that the Community Council would make a representation  reflecting the mood of the meeting. The deadline for lodging comments or objections is 15 January and residents were reminded that objections would only be considered  if they were founded on material considerations – such as loss of amenity or being contrary to policies in the Edinburgh Local Development Plan .  The amendments can be viewed on the Edinburgh planning portal under the original application 16/05454/PPP. The NTBCC  representation will be posted on this site in due course.

 

RBS Re-development – Summary of Proposed Changes

As discussed at recent NTBCC meeting, amended proposals have been lodged on the Edinburgh Planning portal mainly covering changes to the proposed new buildings fronting Fettes Row and Royal Crescent.

These amendments can be viewed on the planning portal (under the original application 16/05454/PPP). There are 35 new documents including 22 new drawings as well as updates to the original Design & Access Statement & the Environmental Impact Assessment.

Following NTBCC’s request, the final date for comments to be lodged has been extended by 10 days until Monday 15 January 2018 to reflect the Xmas holiday. It has also been confirmed that comments made on the previous application in November 2016 WILL BE taken into account when the Planning officer determines this amended application.

Broadly, the amended application proposes a small retail element (at street level fronting Dundas Street / Eyre Place) with maximum of 400 flats (if development is 100% residential) or some office / business use and/or an hotel and/or a care home with a reduced number of residential apartments.

The 8 January NTBCC Business meeting will be preceded by an open discussion (starting at 7:00pm) on these amended plans to allow the community to express their views and for everyone to better understand what is now proposed.

NTBCC also agreed to provide some guidance as to the key documents that have been either been added or amended to try to help understand the information contained therein.

Continue reading

NTBCC minutes – Monday 13 November

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 13 November 2017 at 7.30pm

Actions and decisions are RED ITALIC UNDERLINED. Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision. Continue reading

Update : Amended Plans Now Submitted for RBS Site Redevelopment

As discussed at recent NTBCC meetings and consistent with the recent presentation by representatives from GVA and Michael Laird Architects, amended proposals have now been lodged on the Edinburgh Planning portal covering changes to the proposed new buildings fronting Fettes Row and Royal Crescent.

These amendments can be viewed on the planning portal (under the original application 16/05454/PPP. The 35 additional documents include 22 new drawings as well as the expected updates to the original Design & Access Statement & the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Currently, given updates to the EIA, the final date for comments to be lodged is 5 January 2018. We have requested that this should be extended given that the consultation spans the festive period. Edinburgh Council have now confirmed an extension for all comments to Monday 15 January 2018.

From initial inspection, the proposals would seem to be consistent with the October NTBCC presentation – reducing the height of the 4 blocks on Fettes Row to 7 storeys (from 8) and more importantly, halving the height of the blocks fronting Royal Crescent in response to the concerns expressed by Historic Environment Scotland. This results in a 20% reduction in the total floor area and a reduction in the maximum number of residential units from 400 to an expected 300 (assuming a minimum-acceptable Class 4 (Office) use).

Whilst we welcome these changes, we will look more closely at the detail followed by a discussion at the next NTBCC meeting on 11 December.

 

Question Time – Edinburgh Council Budget

(adapted from an email from Edinburgh Council)

Edinburgh Council says

Question Time event
7.15pm to 8.45pm, Monday 27 November
City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh

Thank you to everyone who has given us their views on our budget proposals and who has registered to come along to our Question Time event.

There is still plenty of time to register if you want to want to quiz our panel of senior councillors on changes to council services.

If you would like to put a question to the panel, or just come along and be part of the audience, please leave your details here by Wednesday 22 November.

You can give us your views on our budget proposals at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/playyourpart

Thank you.

NTBCC minutes – Monday 9 October 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 09 October 2017 at 7.30pm

Actions and decisions are red italic underlined. Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision. Continue reading

NTBCC minutes – Monday 11 September 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 11 September 2017 at 7.30pm

Actions and decisions are red italic underlined. Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.

This minute is in the agenda order, but the chair re-ordered the meeting due to late arrivals from the Cockburn Association AGM. Continue reading