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

Picardy Place and Royal Bank of Scotland site lead packed agenda for Monday 9 October meeting

Not only do we have GVA coming to outline their revised plans for the Royal Bank of Scotland in Dundas Street, but the City of Edinburgh Council’s Executive Director of Place, Paul Lawrence has accepted our  invitation to  address us on the Council's  latest plans to replace the Picardy Place roundabout with a 3 lane traffic "gyratory".

Like many local residents and other stakeholders, Community Council members were shocked by the short timescales indicated in the September public engagement exercise. In  a letter to the City Council's Transport and Environment Committee we called for genuine consultation about the redevelopment of the Picardy Place roundabout site .-as reported in the Broughton Spurtle  here.  http://www.broughtonspurtle.org.uk/news/picardy-place-reactions

We welcome  the Committee response committing  to further public engagement on the plans this autumn, but are concerned at reports from last Thursday's meeting that the gyratory plans are now  ‘embedded’ into the £60m+  Growth Accelerator Model (GAM) contracts the Council  signed with St James Quarter developer TH Real Estate and the Scottish Government in June 2016- see Broughton Spurtle report here http://www.broughtonspurtle.org.uk/news/no-major-rethink-picardy-place . We will be exploring with Paul Lawrence   what opportunities for amendment and improvement there are, and will, as far as time  permits, allow residents who attend to put questions to him.

George Street – Preliminary Design – Next Steps

NTBCC have been involved in discussions regarding the potential improvements and redesign of George Street for several years. We have been an active participant in the Steering group and attended the public consultations in 2015 and were involved in setting the Design Principles for George Street.

The following has been adapted from an email from Anna Herriman (Edinburgh Council's City Centre Programme Manager, South East Locality) that provides stakeholders and interested parties with an update on the beginning of the next phase of the development of a design for George Street. (Sections in quotation marks are reproduced verbatim).

A report updating Edinburgh Council's Transport & Environment committee on this preliminary design project is available on the Council website, and will be considered by the  committee on 5 October 2017. In summary though, key elements include:

  • Project scope
  • Appointment of consultants
  • The role of engagement and stakeholder input in the preliminary design stage
  • Timescales for the project

We have extended an invitation to Anna Herriman to come to the November NTBCC meeting to discuss this further.

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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.

 

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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