NTBCC minutes – Monday 11 January 2021

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held via Zoom, on Monday 11 January 2021 at 7pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. ND (‘no dissent’) means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.

Edinburgh Council has stated that ‘CCs can approve minutes, and take other decisions, remotely’, as so long as they ensure that ‘remote meetings are as accessible to members of the public and (as) well-advertised as possible’.

Technology check

The meeting opened online at 6:45 pm to enable all attendees to connect before the start of business.

1 Attendance/apologies for absence, membership update, précis of meeting

1.a Attendance

Mike Birch NTBCC, RRCTMA Sheila Warnock NTBCC, Great King St RA
David Clarke NTBCC Peter Williamson NTBCC, Picardy Residents Association
Susan Duff NTBCC Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary
Jonathan Finn NTBCC Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle
Laura Graham NTBCC Cllr Jo Mowat City Centre ward
Stephen Hajducki NTBCC Cllr Hal Osler Inverleith ward
Deirdre Henderson NTBCC Ken Lochrie Drummond Civic Association
Simon Holledge NTBCC Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North and Leith
Jack Hugh NTBCC Alec Orr Orbit Communications
Carol Nimmo NTBCC Jonathan Lonie Silvermills
Jenni Inglis NTBCC, FRRCA Andrew Craig Stone Acre
Nicholas Reid NTBCC, India St Association Guy Morgan Morgan McDonnell – architects
Richard Price NTBCC ~20 residents/visitors~

1.b Apologies for absence

Susanna Beaumont NTBCC Stuart McAllister NTBCC

1.c Membership update

  • K Lochrie was welcomed as Drummond Civic Association’s representative. For now, he will be an associate (non voting) member (proposed C Nimmo, seconded L Graham)
  • J Finn retired from NTBCC as of the end of this meeting. He was thanked for all his work for NTBCC.

1.d Précis of this meeting for NTBCC website

M Birch agreed to do this

2 Minutes of 14 December 2020 meeting (via Zoom) and matters arising

Accepted as-is (proposed P Williamson, seconded D Clarke, ND)

2.a Matters arising

  • Item 4c: M Birch has contacted Leith Central CC – LCCC supports writing to CEC about Leopold Place, and will raise this at the next trams meeting
  • Item 8a: R Price; this police box is not listed. (Others are.) This box’s owner has met with CEC, and is now ‘happy’.

3 Police Report

See police report in Appendix 1. It was noted that the report has a lot of welcome detail.

  • There was concern about lack of detail on policy around, and breaches of, Covid regulations. Action: C Nimmo to enquire
    • It was noted that the St Vincent bar was severely reprimanded by CEC over Covid breaches associated with it, but that the cold weather has discouraged outdoor drinking. See also item 8b below.

4 Presentation on hotel proposals for 12-14 Picardy Place and Q&A
(Jonathan Lonie, Proprietor and Alec Orr of Orbit Communications)

See also screenshots of slides. (The content is presumably © Morgan McDonnell so is reproduced for information only.)

C Nimmo thanked the presenters for being ‘well ahead’ with their communications about this proposal.

A Orr noted that Orbit is the consultant for this project, that Silvermills are the developers. Stone Acre is the project’s agent. Morgan McDonnell is the project architect. The developers previously met with NTBCC (27 October), and have met with CEC councilors, and have written to neighbours.

A Craig outlined the background to the proposal:

  • The buildings have had a variety of tenants, including a night-club/bar/restaurant, a small hotel. #14 is currently a short-term crazy golf outlet. #12 is currently a vacant 10-bed hotel.
  • The developers now seek a long-term viable use of the buildings. They find that the only viable use that enables restoration of the buildings is the proposed 67-bedroom hotel.
  • Slide 1 shows the existing façade on Picardy Place: it’s rather run-down due to lease conditions over the last 20 years.
  • While current conditions limit the hotel market, it is anticipated that it will recover in 2023-2024. This hotel would be open in 2023 at the earliest.
  • If this proposal is not successful, the owners would seek other uses, e.g. live music/night-club in #14

G Morgan explained design proposals:

  • These include replacement of buildings on what would have been ‘garden ground’ (slides 5-6), retaining #14’s Broughton St Lane façade (slide 2), and adding a lightweight ETFE roof over #12’s courtyard (slides 9-11).
  • Hotel rooms would be in both the new building and both existing town-houses (slide 7). This would involve a lot of restoration work, particularly in #14, and introduction of a new ‘lift-core’ between this town-house and the new building to meet disability legislation requirements.
  • Plant would be laid out as in slide 8, including kitchens and a refuse store so that bins etc do not infest the lane.
  • The proposed bar and courtyard are visualised in slides 9-11. The red Portobello brick references the nearby existing Hertz building. There would be use of dark zinc.

4.a Q&A

  • D Brock MP: how old is the Hertz building?
    • ~1920. There is also red brick on the current extension to #14.
  • D Clarke: Is the entrance to the bar from Broughton St Lane?
    • Currently yes. Because this would be a hotel bar, ‘traffic’ would come from Picardy Place, via the courtyard.
  • K Lochrie: what sustainable features would be incorporated/created?
    • The main one is retaining most of the existing buildings.. The development also must meet various sustainability requirements. Heating would be from air source heat pumps.
  • M Birch: how would the hotel be serviced?
    • Via Broughton St Lane, as at present. Also, a loading bay on Picardy Place would be used for some servicing. Recycling bins etc would be kept in the proposed internal refuse-store. This would minimize noise from handling glass refuse, and help keep the lane clean.
  • P Williamson: would the proposed ventilation/refrigeration flow system on the roof be noisy? Would it have implications on listed building status?
    • We have done a full consultation with CEC environmental health: this plant will meet requirements, and is not likely to cause noise-problems. Because most of this plant will be on the new-build, it will not be visible from the front so should not affect listed status. The Holiday Inn Express next door has ‘substantial’ plant on its roof. Such legacy plant may not meet requirements but this development’s plant will.
  • A Broughton St resident: Broughton St is very narrow, especially at the east end. The lane’s setts are currently very uneven and in need of repair. So will large construction vehicles need to access the lane? What if the lane is damaged during construction?
    • Each end of the lane has a pend (arch), limiting the size of vehicles that can access it. So all large deliveries would be via Picardy Place. Construction is inevitably noisy and dusty – we are aware of such impacts, but in the long term, the project would be beneficial.
  • K Lochrie: the new build has a wall towards the Holiday Inn car-park. Will that wall be completely blank?
    • The project would adhere to the outline of the former mews. So it would have stone at the bottom, and brick above, as in slide 9.The Holiday Inn side currently has a rendered wall.
  • J Finn: some years ago, there were noise-problems from the rear bar. Will the glass roof prevent such problems.
    • It would have more noise attenuation than an open courtyard. Various features should bounce sound back into the courtyard, and triple glazing should help. The development will meet CEC environmental health noise requirements.
  • C Nimmo: will construction of this hotel class clash with tram-stop construction on Picardy Place?
    • We will need to liaise about this question.

5 Planning

See also full report in Appendix 2.

5.a New Town North revised application

  • R Price noted
    • This application was lodged just before the winter break, and comments are due by 14 January.
    • The revisions include moving the office block further away from Fettes Row, and increasing the amount of natural stone veneer. While they are ‘good’, they are ‘relatively insignificant’, and do not answer concerns about the original application.
    • Because this is a revised application, the ~150 comments on the original application will still be considered, along with the further ~50 comments on the revision. People who have already commented on the original application can also comments on the revised plans.
    • NTBCC will stress that the revisions fundamentally do not address existing major concerns.
  • J Inglis: I concur. Movement is ‘infinitesimal’. The developers have also submitted new ‘accurate’ visual representations. However, I question their accuracy. (For example, the proposed office block is shown as lower than the existing pavilion, but drawings show it’s higher.) They do portray some significant negative impact on townscape, park, heritage.
  • K Lochrie: I concur. A large tree in the southwest corner of the park has recently been cut down, exposing the existing bank building. This will enable people to appreciate the effect of what is proposed.
  • R Price: I concur with K Lochrie. 5 trees in the southwest corner are due to be removed to give access to the park here. The one that has been removed (which was ‘fairly dead’ at the top) opens up this view.
    • I can supply copies of the new visuals to anyone interested. They show ‘before’ and ‘after’, and are very revealing.
    • I have looked at the design and access statements summarising the key proposals. I can also supply copies of these, so people do not need to review the huge amounts of documents also showing detail of revisions.
    • B Ryan: if desired, I can put relevant materials on NTBCC’s website.
  • J Inglis: It is pleasing to see some attention to green/open space. This implies the developers have listened to some concerns. However, this is not enough, and the ‘green space’ would actually be a thoroughfare and mostly hard landscaping.
    • Currently views up Dundas St give sight of the end-pavilions on the entry to the new town. These plans, along with the proposals for the other side of Dundas St would remove such views.
  • M Birch: is it known whether Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh World Heritage etc have made further submissions?
    • R Price: these organisations have not yet responded to me.[Post meeting note : Both HES and EWHT submitted further comments but did not object]
  • M Birch: please confirm that NTBCC’s position is to maintain objections, but note some improvements to in the current proposals, although these do not ‘cure’ NTBCC’s concerns about the original proposal, especially about heights.
    • R Price: broadly, yes. The revisions (probably made due to HES’s concerns) do not go far enough, and there are still major concerns on proposed bulk and mass, and changes to the park. Hence NTBCC’s objections still stand.
    • There was no dissent from this by NTBCC members attending this meeting.

5.b Update on 108-116 & 118 Dundas Street

  • R Price: the proposal is to demolish Centrum House and Bupa House on the west side of Dundas St, then rebuild such that the building line comes forward to be level with the front of recently constructed 120 Dundas St. Trees on this side would also be removed due to the bringing forward of the proposed new building..
    • Comments can be submitted up to 29 January.
    • The developers presented to NTBCC in November 2020 but have made effectively no changes to plans in response to strong concerns from residents and NTBCC. I propose objecting to this proposal, on behalf of NTBCC residents.
    • A resident has reviewed planning matters around building these ‘Houses’ in the 1980s. The desire at that time to move building lines forward was contrary to the Canonmills/Silvermills master-plan. NTBCC should aim to prevent this movement of building lines.
  • C Nimmo: I am concerned about creation of a monolith that would significantly alter Dundas St.
  • A McIntosh: NTBCC should contact John Knight about changes related to the master-plan.
    • Mr Knight did offer to provide relevant documents, but more work is needed on this matter.
  • D Clarke: did the developers attempt to contact local residents?
    • R Price: they left it to me/NTBCC to organise this. The developers’ pre-application report showed no effort to respond to concerns raised in NTBCC’s November meeting.
  • J Inglis: set-back of buildings behind railings, ideally with sunken basements, is part of the New Town’s character, so removal of set-back is not the only problem with this proposal.
    • A resident: I have reviewed relevant documents from around 2005. At this time, a planning officer stated that trees would improve the area. The current fashion is to remove trees.
  • Another resident: moving the building-line forward would block the views of residents in 120 Dundas St. The application for this building included the previous building on that site – it was pretty ugly.
    • Fettes Row apartments, Centrum House, Sutherland house and Bupa house were separate developments. Fettes Row Association and the Cockburn Association recommended considering these together, but this did not happen. The previous-mentioned master-plan recommended that building-lines are 68’ from the centre of Dundas St. The tree-canopy is an after thought. BUPA thought that cutting a corner off its building would not be future-proof.
  • C Nimmo: should NTBCC summarise grounds for objections, to support residents who wish to object?
    • D Clarke: I support this idea, to minimise risk of accusations of NIMBYism.
    • Another resident: all residents of 120 will comment. These residents are liaising with others to net more objections. This may help with creating valid objections.
    • R Price: the relevant planning officer welcomes good community input.

6 Summary: Edinburgh Civic Forum ‘Princes Street & Waverley Valley Strategy’ meeting

  • S Holledge
    • The Cockburn Association held a special meeting on the Waverley Valley Project (Princes Street and Waverley Valley Strategy) on 15 December, with Will Garrett, Andrew Smith and Lesley Porteous of CEC. Carol Nimmo and I attended. The Waverley Valley – meaning the area of Princes Street Gardens, the Mound, Waverley Station and Princes Street – has been the subject of a series of individual projects and plans during the past 3 years, and it’s been suggested that we need to look at the area as a whole, hence the new strategy. The aim is make sure that the individual projects complement each other as a coherent whole, and in relation to the World Heritage Site.
    • One key question is the future identity of Princes Street, possibly with hotels and restaurants, fewer shops and possibly luxury apartments.
    • There will be a follow-up meeting in March.
  • C Nimmo: I was surprised that the Quaich project is still on the table. The relevant areas/plans include Waverley Station as well as the other areas mentioned by S Holledge. There are many facets and implications, so NTBCC must be involved.
  • R Price: I concur that this matter covers a big area. Some planning applications for Princes St are currently open.
  • C Nimmo: it appears likely that infrastructure work for the Ross bandstand will be rolled into this strategy-plan.
  • S Holledge: we have frequently requested news of the Quaich project, to zero avail. I suspect it no longer functions.

7 Public Space Management Plan

C Nimmo: this covers events in the (green) spaces in NTBCC’s area [among other areas], including Princes St Gardens and Calton Hill. It appears there would be a pre-ordained list of requirements for use of public space, thus disabling NTBCC’s voice on events in public spaces. Consultation with stakeholders on the PSMP is ongoing: CEC is looking for suggestions, so NTBCC should make the most of this opportunity.

  • S Holledge: NTBCC has 9 more days to input. So far I have made ~12 entries on the consultation website, which supports input of very significant content. However this work is very demanding. NTBCC should soon meet to decide how it will submit its input.
  • S Holledge: it is noteworthy that CEC designed this consultation to help create a guide to event-management. The Cockburn Association suggested that instead there should be a plan for managing public spaces, not just events.

8 Other items

8.a Transport

See also report in Appendix 3.

  • M Birch: there are 2 continuing issues:
    • As noted earlier, I will liaise with Leith Central on a joint approach to Leopold Place
    • NTBCC’s transport committee will cover Broughton St when it meets on Monday 18 January.
    • There has been no substantive response from CEC officers to my questions about Broughton St.
  • S Warnock: a gritting box has been removed from Great King St. Have any others been removed?
    • Cllr Mowat: I’ve not heard of any other cases. I have reported this incident, and will feed back when I can.
    • M Birch: I understand that CEC snow-ploughs are pushing snow into the new segregated cycle-lanes.
    • Cllr Mowat: this was raised at the last full CEC meeting. We were told that cycle-lanes would be ploughed. We will continue to pursue safety of pavements and cycle-lanes.

8.b Licensing

J Finn:

  • There are two applications for provisional licenses for restaurants at 21 West Register St and 6 Queensferry St (the Johnny Walker Experience). Neither are concerning.
  • The St Vincent bar was before the last licensing board, after concerns were raised by Police Scotland.
    • Cllr Mowat: Currently bars can only do off-sales. There has been disturbance related to this bar, and issues with its stairs. It was decided not remove the license at this time, but recurrence of problems may well lead to removal.
    • A McIntosh: I understand but pavements on Broughton Rd are blocked during another outlet’s off-sales times.
    • S Warnock: the problem is not just people congregating but public urination and noise. Police seem unable to act.
    • Cllr Mowat: it is problematic because pubs are only responsible for what happens on premises, and it is hard to catch people in the act of urinating in public.

8.c Environment

P Williamson: NTBCC environment committee will meet soon, and report to the next full NTBCC meeting.

8.d Engagement and Communications

S Holledge: notices of 2021 meetings will soon be distributed. It is important to remove notices of 2020 meetings.

9 Local Residents Associations/Local Interest Groups

9.a Northumberland and Nelson St Association (including Abercromby Place)

It was noted that this association is now becoming more active.

9.b Picardy Residents Association

P Williamson: I recently met with Mark Lazarowicz of Better Broughton, to discussion possible PRA/BB collaboration. However, he appeared not to support this, and the purpose of BB did not become clear.

10 Any other business

10.a Short-term lets

D Henderson:

  • There is a proposal to turn 39 London St (3 storeys, currently derelict) into STLs. The objection period closes 29 January.
  • Consultation on STL legislation proposals closes on 22 January. PLACE Edinburgh is concerned that the requirement to apply for STL licenses has been pushed back to 2023, and that there is no requirement for planning permission to operate STLs. PLACE Edinburgh welcomes input on its draft consultation submission.

10.b Community council complains process

  • M Birch: most of the proposed changes are tidying the existing documentation. There have only been 3 cases since the process was created in 2019. Concerns are around
    • the requirement for CCs to report back to the next CC meeting – this may not allow enough time.
    • Confidentiality when reporting back to the CC, without having dedicated meetings for this purpose.
  • S Holledge: EACC will discuss this soon – thanks to MB for a good job reviewing the new proposals.
  • R Price: I concur. It’s difficult for CC members to investigate one of their peers, so it’s good to have the other mechanism. The CEC governance officer will decide whether the CC of the officer handles any complaint. I suggest CCs should be able to refuse to handle them. Apart from these, NTBCC should broadly support the complaints process.
  • M Birch: it’s not currently clear how decisions on CC or governance officer will be made, or how complainees will be informed. Matters handled under this process would be breaches of the code of conduct.
  • L Graham: this process would not work in unfair situations. Perhaps each CC should have a complaints officer, but should only handle complaints about members of other CCs – never his/her own CC’s members.
    • M Birch: This is what happens in Glasgow, instead of Glasgow councilors investigating.
    • Cllr Osler: I have been on a complaint panel covering a number of serious breaches. It would have been difficult for the CC to handle this. Complaints are handled by 3 CEC councilors who do not represent the ward of the relevant CC. Complainees are given full opportunities to state their cases. The process was brought in to protect CCllrs.

11 Appendix 1:police report

Dear members, Happy New Year to you all.

Please see below figures for the period of 9th December 2020 to 10h January 2021 for your area.

In addition to these figures we continue to attend reports of persons breaching Covid regulations whereby Fixed Penalty Tickets have been issued.

11.a Domestic Housebreakings

There were no reported Domestic Housebreakings.

11.b Business Housebreakings (4)

  • 09/12/20 @ 03:30 hours – £1230 worth of power tools stolen from an office in George Street from workmen whilst carrying out work on the premises. A glass door was forced by bodily pressure to gain entry. Unsolved.
  • 25/12/20 between 21:15-21:40 hours – £486 worth of clothing was stolen from Trespass, 27-29 Frederick Street. The main door was kicked and pulled to force the lock and gain entry. Unsolved.
  • 26/12/20 between 04:15-04:25 hours – a pair of glasses were stolen from Eyes Optician, 63 Thistle Street. A brick was thrown through the window and the glasses were stolen from the display. Solved.
  • 26/12/20 between 04:15-04:25 hours – clothing from Helly Hansen, 55 George Street. A brick was thrown through the window and clothing stolen from within. Solved.

11.c Vandalisms (5)

  • 10/12/20 between 22:45-22:50 hours – a male entered and smashed 2 bottles of juice on the shop floor at Tesco, 8 Picardy Place. Solved.
  • 12/12/20 @ 00:13 hours – 2 x ## were written on the wall in marker pen at the Freemasons Hall, 96 George Street. Unsolved.
  • 24/12/20 between 19:00-19:24 hours – glass panel damaged by unknown means within the common stair at 31 Jamaica Mews. Unsolved.
  • 25/12/20 between 04:30-05:00 hours – Plastic boards within St Andrew Square were damaged by being written on. Solved.
  • 26/12/20 @ 20:00 hours – A security camera was damaged by unknown means at 7 Castle Street. Unsolved.

11.d Assaults (3)

  • 18/12/20 @ 21:40 hours – A member of staff within Burger King, 89 Princes Street was assaulted after a person pushed a plastic protective screen onto them. Unsolved.
  • 20/12/20 @ 17:52 hours – A female was punched to the face by a male. Solved.
  • 21/12/20 between 18:00-20:30 hours – A female was punched to the thighs, stomach and face within the Albany Hotel, 39-43 Albany Street.

11.e Other initiatives

For the month of December we have carried out high visibility anti-social behaviour patrols in the City Centre to disperse large groups of youths congregating.

The Festive Road Safety Campaign was conducted throughout the City.

High visibility patrols at the University campuses have been carried out to assist staff with any Covid related issues.

There have been regular Anti Lockdown protests occurring in the City Centre in addition to other smaller protests around the city for a variety of causes.

We have assisted our Road Policing colleagues with high visibility mobile patrols of the major arterial routes.

And finally Operation Watchnight for Hogmanay proved to be the quietest one in my 15 years service with empty streets and a very obvious reduction in calls.

12 Appendix 2: Planning Report January 2021

12.a Major Applications – Current

12.a.i ‘New Town Quarter (NTN)’

Initial application submitted at the end of August for redevelopment of the former RBS site on Dundas Street – incl. 144 ’Build to Rent’ (BTR) residential units, 117 private residential units and 88 Mid-Market Rent (MMR) = 349 residential units in total. The 88 MMR units meet the 25% ‘affordable units’ requirement on site – in addition, incl. with office space, retail / leisure space & a 116 room hotel.

Main application was 20/03034/FUL accompanied by an application for ‘Complete Demolition in a Conservation Area’ (20/03661/CON).

A 3rd application specifically covered the access from the development into King George V Park (20/03655/FUL) – ‘Formation of Path & Associated Landscaping’. Proposed removing 5 trees (3 defined as viable) to allow a wide split entrance into the park in the south-west corner, for pedestrians (steps) & cyclists / ‘wheelers’ by a ramp.

NTBCC representations submitted for 20/03655/FUL ( Access into the Park) – neutral stance but reflecting many concerns received from the Friends of the Park etc. & an objection to the main application (20/03034/FUL) and a further representation to 20/03661/CON – questioning if the case had been adequately made for full demolition of all buildings on site.

A further application is expected at some point (labelled ‘NTN1’) on part of the New Town Quarter site (designated as ‘Plot 1’, covering the northern-most section on Dundas Street – from the proposed new accessway from Dundas St. to KGV Park to Eyre Place (the proposed location for the hotel in the initial scheme – but omitting the hotel & replacing it with a further 79 residential units. This scheme is subject to a separate Pre-Application consultation (20/03825/PAN). This application is expected to be brought forwards once the developers are comfortable that issues with base application had been resolved – now expected in Spring ’21.

However, in mid-December, revisions were lodged to the initial application & these were determined as material, meaning that there is a further period of consultation until 14 January 2021. It is normal in this situation that previous comments submitted would still be considered as part of the overall determination (& this was confirmed by the Planning officer). Comments on the proposed changes can be made including, if appropriate, restatement of concerns raised initially but not covered and / or addressed in the revised proposal.

NTBCC’s initial view is that most of the changes are an improvement & perhaps some should have been included in the original submission BUT overall, do not address many of the original concerns raised by NTBCC & others.

NTBCC were offered & accepted a discussion with the developers to better understand the revised proposals. Essentially they are included in the Design & Access Statement (Parts 1 – 6) which were lodged on 14 December. NTBCC suggested an extension to the consultation period given the festive period which only resulted in an extension from 10 January to 14 January.

On a separate but related note, there has been a word order raised by the Council’s Forestry Dept. for removal of 61 trees from the neighbouring KGV Park (& replanting 40 trees and 25 shrubs). This appears to be unrelated to the above applications and the Friends of the Park are fully involved.

A full summary of the proposal is on the NTBCC website www.ntbcc.org.uk/king-george-v-park-update-to-tree-removal-replanting-proposal/

12.a.ii 109/111 Princes Street & frontage on Rose Street (Debenhams) – 20/02952/PAN etc.

Details of this previously circulated to NTBCC & the Pre-application online consultation was hosted on the project website www.111princesstreet.co.uk in September.

The application has now been formally lodged (20/05444/FUL & 20/05442/LBC) – with period for comments open until – now Tuesday 12 January – NTBCC have requested a short extension.

20/05444/FUL Proposed redevelopment and change of use of existing premises to form Hotel with rooftop bar / restaurant, active uses at lower floors including restaurant / bar / retail / flexible meeting / event / venue space, health suite / gym, together with ancillary uses, associated works / alterations / demolitions (Use Classes 1/2/3/4/7/11 and Sui Generis) at 109,110,111 Princes St., 112 Princes St. and 144-150 Rose St. 109, 110 And 111 Princes Street, 112 Princes Street And 144-150 Rose Street (Debenhams)

From an initial look at the application – the proposal as lodged seems consistent with CEC’s evolving position for Princes Street.

12.a.iii 108 – 116 & 118 Dundas Street

Following presentation at November’s NTBCC meeting by Scott Hobbs Planning & Morgan McDonnell Architecture, draft PAC report received and also an update on their website on the feedback received from the consultation www.108-116dundasstreet.co.uk/your-feedback/

Key issues covered:

  • Affordable Housing (based on the 44 units proposed a total of 11 would be required to be affordable);
  • Proposed Building Uses (currently proposing around 44 flats, with a mix of different types and sizes and 3 commercial units which would contain office/ retail/ restaurant-café uses);
  • Proposed Building Line, Height & Massing (has been developed following initial pre-application consultation with Edinburgh Council, Historic Environment Scotland, and Edinburgh World Heritage. The initial proposals have also been developed following an appraisal of the site and surrounding context, including the proposals opposite the site at the former RBS offices);
  • Impact on Neighbouring Buildings (the planning application will include a Design & Access Statement and daylight & sunlight assessment to demonstrate there will be no unacceptable impacts on neighbouring properties resulting from the proposed development. Regarding insulation/sound proofing, the proposed development will comply with the relevant building standards);
  • Parking and Traffic (108 cycle spaces & 33 car parking spaces, 2 designed to be accessible & 6 with EV charging points the lowest level of the development. This is in accordance with the current Edinburgh Design Guidance for the number of flats proposed) .It is anticipated that most of the car parking demand can be accommodated by these spaces. It also mentions that allocation of any on-street permit parking will be agreed with Edinburgh Council (but my understanding is that they would not be eligible under current policy);
  • Loss of Trees (proposing to remove the existing trees around the building. Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh Council Planning have been consulted and do not oppose this loss of trees);
  • Building Reuse (fully considered but “there were various factors which have led to this not being progressed”).
  • Overall – these responses are slightly disappointing & the PAC does not cover the significant concerns raised by local residents wrt the chosen building line.

Comments invited on this application (20/5645/FUL) – as well as the demolition consent (20/05646/CON) until 29 January. NTBCC request to be considered as a Statutory consultee submitted.

NTBCC’s current view is to object to this application (20/05645/FUL).

12.a.iv 12 – 14 Picardy Place Pre-consultation

Presentation on this at January’s NTBCC meeting. Reports of resident’ concerns but precise details not known at the moment.

Planning application now lodged (20/05729/FUL & 20/05728/LBC) – final date for comments 5 February 2021. To date – no comments lodged.

Previously, NTBCC members and a local resident took part in a pre-consultation meeting with the developers for this site fronting Picardy Place & backing onto Broughton Street Lane (The Outhouse bar). Proposal is refurbish and retain the listed buildings on Picardy Place but to demolish existing outshoots to the rear & rebuild more extensively.

The owners’ website states “ Working with the Silvermills Estates & Land, Stone Acre are leading this project to turn a tired pair of town houses into a new 70 bed hotel with restaurant and bar space….. this complicated development involves the transformation of a former 10 bedroom hotel with restaurant and bar space, into a much larger and modern hotel. A new large extension is envisaged to increase the room numbers, and a modern lightweight roofing system is planned to create an exciting bar and restaurant space on a former external courtyard area”.

NTBCC’s initial summary is that the thrust of the developers is to about the necessary scale of the redevelopment (& the minimum number of hotel rooms) to ensure viability. NTBCC’s general view was that although it’s directly adjacent to the Holiday Inn, another hotel in that location isn’t an issue, as it’s not an ideal location for long term residential use and the location does benefit from close proximity to good transport links (new Picardy Place tram-stop) and close to the Playhouse and other attractions. It would however add to the 2 existing hotel offerings as well as the recently-consented STL block on Greenside Place.

Opening up a through route from northern side of Picardy Place via the proposed glazed courtyard to a bar at the rear (the current Outhouse bar) has both advantages & attractions. It should improve the general look & amenity of the mews lane.

12.a.v Proposed Filmhouse Development

Although slightly outwith NTBCC’s area, following a pre-consultation, a planning application for a proposed new home for the Filmhouse cinema and the EIFF in Festival Square has been submitted.

The proposal has been reduced in height by two storeys to bring it into line with a neighbouring office block in response to comments submitted during the pre-consultation.

Fair to say – it has divided opinion…..but with 16 objections & 36 in Support (as at 10 January)

Now lodged on the planning portal (20/05527/FUL) – final date for comments 21 January 2021

More here www.scotsman.com/whats-on/arts-and-entertainment/revealed-new-plan-temple-film-edinburgh-city-centre-3066411

Richard Price, 10 January 2021

13 Appendix 3: NTBCC Transport Committee Update – January 2021

13.a Spaces for People

13.a.i London Road

The initial work required to create a segregated cycle lane along London Road between Easter Road and Leith Walk has been completed with the removal of the parking bays and the addition of new road markings. Further work will be required to put the temporary bollards in place and provide new signage. Following the discussion at the last Community Council meeting I have written to Leith Central Community Council seeking their support for improvements to the Leopold Place pedestrian crossing.

13.a.ii Broughton Street

Together with Jenni Inglis, I met with David Hunter from Living Streets for a walkabout around our area and Broughton Street in particular. We highlighted some of our concerns about pedestrian access and it was agreed that we would arrange a formal street audit in January. No date has yet been set. Better Broughton made a presentation at our December meeting and have submitted their proposals for changes to Broughton Street to the Spaces for People team; some of which are aligned with our own thoughts. It is important that we develop our own more detailed proposals based on our previous submission to the Council. We have received no further contact from the Spaces for People team regarding the suggested pre-proposal discussion.

13.b Tram Works

Regular monthly meetings of the affected Community Councils with the Trams Team will resume at the end of this month with both the draft Traffic Regulation Orders (still not issued for public consultation) and follow up to the Traffic Modelling data review on the agenda. Tram works that were shutdown over the Christmas and New Year period resumed on 5 January.

Prepared by Mike Birch, January 2021