Minutes of the ordinary meeting of New Town and Broughton Community Council, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 14 December 2015 at 7.30pm
1 Attendance and apologies for absence
|Judy Conn||NTBCC||Richard Price||NTBCC|
|Jonathan Finn||NTBCC||Alan Welsh||NTBCC|
|Stephen Hajducki||NTBCC||Bruce Ryan||Minutes secretary|
|Jack Hugh||NTBCC||Caroline Roussot||resident|
|Ian Mowat||NTBCC||Alan McIntosh||Broughton Spurtle|
|Carol Nimmo||NTBCC||PC Leo Baker||Police Scotland|
|Lewis Press||NTBCC||Cllr Joanna Mowat||City Centre ward|
|Susanna Beaumont||NTBCC||Christine Ross||NTBCC|
|Lynn Henni||NTBCC||Cllr Alasdair Rankin||City Centre ward|
|Allan Jack||NTBCC||Cllr Karen Doran||City Centre ward|
|Iain McGill||NTBCC||Deidre Brock MP|
2 Minutes of Meetings of 9 November 2015
Approved (proposed I Mowat, seconded A Welsh)
2.2 Matters arising
3 Presentation from Philip Noble of City of Edinburgh Council on the preliminary design of the Roseburn to Leith Walk Cycle Route
Maps and other information are on the Edinburgh Council (CEC) website at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20135/cycling_projects/1209/roseburn_to_leith_walk_cycle_route.
3.1 Mr Noble (PN) made the following points, either in his main presentation or in response to questions.
- CEC aims to provide ‘quiet routes’ for less road-confident cyclists, as part of its active travel action plan.
- The proposed route (purple line on map 1 in Appendix 1) would join existing north Edinburgh off-road cycle routes and others being developed in west Edinburgh, to provide a route through the city centre.
- There has been much growth in numbers of workers in Edinburgh, so space-efficient transport means (cycling and public transport) are greatly needed.
- The infrastructure would mostly be 2-way cycle paths separated from carriageways. (See photos in Appendix 1 and existing examples in Buccleugh St and St Leonards St.) These should avoid the issues associated with ‘advisory’ on-road routes, hence encouraging people who do not wish to cycle on roads. Segregation is mostly to keep cyclists away from motor-vehicles
- There would be a protected cyclepath along West Coates (map 2).
- The route then avoids Haymarket junction, going via Coates Gardens, Eglinton Crescent and Melville Street into the West End, thence to Charlotte Square and George Street.
- Detail of George Street paths/routes is dependent on final plans for that street.
- At the East end of GS, the route branches. A north branch goes via York Place to Picardy Place. A south branch goes via Princes Street to Waverley Station and Waterloo Place.
- Detail of the Picardy Place (PP) path/routes is dependent on the final plans for that area. Hence the detail of how to cycle north from Queen Street (e.g. into Broughton St and Leith Walk, where the planned route is on the south-east side) are not yet available.
- Many junctions will be ‘Copenhagen Style’. (e.g. Roseburn Terrace/Wester Coates Terrace – see https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/roseburntoleith/supporting_documents/Roseburn%20Terrace.pdf).
- Consultation has been extended, with a drop-in session on 18 January 2016, 4pm-8pm at Roseburn Primary School. There will then be a report to CEC’s transport & environment committee in mid-2016, followed by the necessary Road Traffic Orders.
- Proposals for Charlotte Square are as in the existing public realm scheme – see https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/roseburntoleith/supporting_documents/Melville%20Street%20to%20Charlotte%20Square.pdf, with paths around the edge of the square to then link to George St.
- At the east end of GS, the route crosses St David St, to follow the perimeter of St Andrews Square and then go to the south side of Queen St/York Place.
- Tram tracks on North St Andrews Street (NSAS) prevent widening of its narrow pavement, so it is undesirable for the route to go along the north of St Andrews Square (SAS) and NSAS, and so avoid the National Portrait Gallery. Also, cyclists heading west would have unfavourable interactions with tram tracks, while the proposed route would not reduce the motor-vehicle lanes on Queen Street. Sustrans may well be content to move the existing national cycle route along SAS/NSAS.
- In response to concern potential ‘overloading’ of the Queen Street/North St David St junction, then number of motor-vehicle lanes will not be reduced, and cyclists will be separated from motorised traffic.
- Bus-stops and narrow pavements prevent one-way routes on either side of Queen Street.
- Cobbled areas such as Randolph Place (between Queensferry St and Charlotte Square) will be treated by renovating existing cobbles.
3.2 NTBCC members and visitors were concerned over
- PP’s high use, and its potential tram-stop/tram extension to Leith Walk.
- While PN admitted that PP is a challenge, he was confident that there is space to for a cycle path. It was suggested that different levels/bridges are used to segregate pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles.
- the large number of cars and buses that will exit the renovated St James Quarter via Elder Street.
- The overall plan’s reliance on unknown plans for PP and George Street.
- Over-crowding of Princes St between Waverley Bridge and Waterloo Place
- PN agreed that this scheme could be used to improve this area.
- NTBCC members also suggested using West Register, to allow room for both pedestrians and cyclists.
- Cyclists travelling west along Queen Street who do not intent to turn into North St David’s Street but wish to carry on west along Queen Street.
- Whether Network Rail had been consulted over cyclists using the ramps into Waverley station.
- UK cyclists (and other road users) needing to adapt behaviour when mixing with pedestrians.
4 Police report
PC Baker reported
- The homeless/drinking situation at the big foot statue near the cathedral seems to be improving due to regular patrols/action by Police Scotland (PS). Winter temperatures may also be contributing here.
- Operation Greenland – PS’s festive season actions, including extra foot patrols on the central beat – has made a positive difference.
- Statistics for November show an improvement on early 2015
- 1 house-breaking on 13 November
- 1 attempted break-in to a business on 8 November. 3 people have been charged for this.
- Action: PC Baker to supply statistics on violent crimes
- Funded officers are working on the following priorities
- Antisoocial behaviour
- Acquisitive crime
- Night-time economy
- He concurs with NTBCC members’ concerns over CEC proposals to cease maintaining street lights in common stairs, and ensuing reduction in security. PS officers will report such security issues to CEC. Cllr Mowat reported that CEC is working this issue – this may involve CEC charging residents for this service. Action: PC Baker to raise this matter with his superiors, then report back to NTBCC.
A Jack (convenor) had sent in notice that setts in and near Royal Circus are being repaired – this is necessitating changes to bus and other traffic. Concerns were raised about the bus-stops being removed. Cllr Mowat is inquiring about this matter.
C Nimmo reported on a meeting with Anna Herriman of CEC – this was the first time NTBCC members had seen plans for phase 4 of Leith Walk (LW) repairs, i.e. Montgomery St to Annandale St and onwards to PP. It was acknowledged that the LW/London Road junction of L London Road will be difficult to design to accommodate all needs. Hence traffic will not be able to turn right from London Road onto LW. NTBCC members were concerned that this will lead to increased pressure on other roads and areas, e.g. traffic aiming for north-east Edinburgh from London Road will be forced to go via PP and Leith St and Queen St.
The alternative route from the east onto LW (Montgomery St) may also be closed – this junction is narrow and is to be on a planned cycle-path along Leith Walk.
Cllr Mowat suggested that the main north-south route across central Edinburgh is the Mound.
It was noted that the tram and Leith Walk programme had now been amalgamated.
Action: NTBCC to give feedback on these issues to Anna Herriman.
6.1 Convenor’s report
6.1.1 Liquor Licences
The Licensing Board meets on 14 December.
A new licence has been requested for Busaba Eathai at South St Andrews Square – to be one of 6 restaurants in redevelopment.
A variation has been requested for [a small café at] 36 Broughton Street, between the two hairdressers (Boombarbers and Alex). It used to be part of the Thai restaurant. Now to include off-sales, outside catering and activities outside core hours. There are flats above.
The variation for 14-16 North West Circus Place is in the Stockbridge Inverleith CC area: they might be putting in an objection.
6.1.2 Other – Licensing Forum 1 December 2015
Stephen Hajducki attended the forum as there was a proposal to remove the current condition on pubs/bars/clubs that ensures that neighbouring residents are not disturbed by noise in their property. The current condition requires inaudibility in residents’ homes; the proposal is that neighbouring residents must demonstrate that the audible music is a nuisance. This is a considerable reduction in residents’ rights and must be resisted.
Following the meeting, it has been agreed to include residents in the consultation starting next Spring. It looks as if, without our attendance at this forum, residents could have been excluded from this exercise, which is a worrying state of affairs.
- Cllr Mowat stated that this proposed change came from a report called Music is audible, which claimed that the Edinburgh music scene suffers due to the inaudibility condition. The change is being promoted to the licensing forum by CEC’s culture and sport committee. She and NTBCC members were concerned that while audibility can be objectively measured, nuisance is subjective, leading to potential issues with enforcement.
- There was also concern that NTBCC is not an accredited member of the Licensing Forum, and that CC representatives on the forum do not pass information (e.g. agendas, minutes, meeting dates) to other CCs.
- It was suggested that the Edinburgh Association of CCs should be represented on the Licensing Forum, and that Edinburgh’s music scene does not need this change in order to thrive.
- Action: Cllr Mowat to ascertain licensing forum remit and names of CC representatives
Action: J Finn to obtain Licensing Forum minutes etc
6.2 Brewdog application (item 6.2, point 2 in November minutes)
These premises, on Howe St, are now quiet.
6.3 January licensing notices
NTBCC had no concern over the applications for variations listed in Appendix 2.
J Finn reported a walk-about with an environmental warden, who claimed that labels missing from trade-waste bins are not an issue because the wardens know who they pertain to, and made other excuses about lack of enforcement. JF also reported that Essential Edinburgh believes that transgressions are insufficiently fined.
Invited warden to do walk around bins. He made lots of excuses – unmarked bins don’t have labels because we remember who they are. Action: J Finn to pursue this issue
L Press noted that the trial recycling scheme in the Bellevue area has not been assessed, yet a new trial is starting. It was suggested that NTBCC should meet with CEC’s new environment director, David Lyon, and Place Director Paul Laurence.
J Conn reported that the new recycling scheme has started but the timing of this start was poor.
See also planning report in Appendix 3.
R Price reported
- St James developers have not responded to requests for updates/meetings with NTBCC
- There is a raft of applications around St Andrews Square – these were approved by the Development Management Committee (DMC).
- The Royal High School will consider the latest version of the application to build a hotel on this site.
The application for the alternate proposal from St Mary’s Music School has been lodged.
- An application to convert the Charlotte Baptist Chapel into a restaurant (see September minutes) was lodged some time ago. There is now an alternative proposal to convert the chapel into a centre for dance and performing arts is welcomed by NTBCC.
- NTBCC is broadly supportive of current plans for RBS land bordering Eyre Place. (See map in appendix 3, showing ‘finger-blocks’.) More consultation is due in early 2016 before an application is submitted.
- NTBCC’s objection to the permanent installation of planters/barriers for the annual ‘Tables & Chairs’ permit at 71-73 York Place was over-ruled by CEC.
- NTBCC’s objection to a proposed contemporary extension to the rear of 21A Claremont Crescent was also over-ruled.
- NTBCC believes that, in principle, the conversion of the existing offices at ground floor level to residential accommodation at 4B Gayfield Place is acceptable but the proposals as presented are unacceptable.
- Outline plans for George Street are emerging from latest public consultation by Ironside Farrar.
- A further SG Reporter has refused retrospective permission for conversion of a garage to to offices at 8 Bellevue Terrace
- NTBCC has submitted a strong objection to the SG review of planning processes.
9 Neighbourhood Partnerships
L Henni will attend the next NP meeting.
10 Edinburgh Association of Community Councils
11 Activities of Local Street or Amenity Associations
The Northumberland & Nelson St Association constitution has now been created. The association will soon bee registered with CEC.
12 Any Other Business
12.1 Edinburgh Civic Forum
A Welsh reported that
- ECF had not received the latest quarterly planning update.
- Input into CEC’s budget process via CEC’s website was encouraged.
- At a discussion of the Edinburgh Planning Concordat, members the Edinburgh Development Forum were introduced – these turned out to be members of the development industry. Suggestions that the Edinburgh Association of CCs should be involved with remodelling the Concordat were unwelcome to CC representatives who are aware that EACC is currently not functioning.
12.2 NTBCC website
B Ryan appealed for NTBCC members who could take over his website and minute-secretary duties when he is away for around 6 months in 2016.
13 Date of next meeting
Monday 8 February 2016
14 Appendix 1 – Roseburn to Leith Walk cyclepath maps
14.1 Map 1 – wider network connections
14.2 Map 2 – Roseburn to West End
14.3 Map 3 –West End to Leith Walk
14.4 Photos of example model infrastructure
15 Appendix 2: January licensing variation applications
|No||Reference||Applicant||Agent Details||Premises||On Sale||Off Sale||On & Off Sale||Last Date for Objection||Remarks||Decision|
|1.||312982||Golden Dragon Restaurant Limited||Macdonald Licensing
21a Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2BB
|Bf, 21 Castle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3DN||No||No||Yes||4 January 2016||To amend on and off sale hours, add takeaways, deliveries and outside catering as activities and provide that children have access to premises until 23:00|
|2.||312746||Ms Sari Albertinelli||Macdonald Licensing
Bf, 21 Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2BB
|42-44 Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TH||No||No||Yes||4 January 2016||Transfer, increase off sale hours, add takeaways, deliveries, restaurant facilities and outside catering as activities, provide seating in premises for consumption of food, possibly with BYOB and change manager.|
|3.||314962||Ms Sari Albertinelli||Macdonald Licensing
Bf, 21 Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2BB
|42-44 Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TH||No||No||Yes||4 January 2016||Clarify off sale capacity of 6 metres Add On sales with a capacity of 15 people Add seasonal variations Add outdoor drinking Allow children Amend layout of premises|
|4.||314526||Kenneth West||Macdonald Licensing
21a Rutland Square, Edinburgh, EH1 2BB
|7B Randolph Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7TE||No||No||Yes||4 January 2016||Transfer; Include Bar meals; allow children and young person; amend layout; change of address for DPM|
|5.||314307||Mr Edward Murray||Mr Edward Murray
1f3, 16 Easter Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5RG
|1 Royal Terrace Gardens, London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5DX||No||No||Yes||4 January 2016||Small informal Restaurant Amend commencement hour for on sales to 11:00 hrs on Sundays|
16 Appendix 3: summary of planning matters – November update
There continues to be a high activity regarding significant or major developments across the city centre at various stages of the planning process – and although most of the larger developments have now been determined, there are still some key developments which are decision-pending.
In addition, there have been several Scottish Government or Edinburgh Council consultations closing in the past few weeks.
16.1 Edinburgh St James
£850 million project to redevelop the St James Shopping Centre, King James Hotel and New St Andrew’s House, delivering approximately 50,000m2 of retail space; 14,000m2 of food and drink space; 3,000m2 of leisure space; a 210-bedroom hotel; a 52-bedroom apart-hotel; 143 residential units; parking and ancillary elements.
16.1.1 Recent News
- The hearing/inquiry on compulsory purchase orders for the delivery of the development commenced in September/early October and is concluded in November. NTBCC understand that there is one issue remaining. The outcome is to be considered by the Scottish Government.
- An updated timeline from the developers, THRE reconfirm that the existing centre will close following the Christmas trading period with demolition of the existing centre beginning in spring 2016 and last ~ 18 months ( but John Lewis (JL) will continue trading)
- Construction of the new centre will begin in 2017 with a structural frame in place before the end of the year before the buildings are then cladded and fitted out. The centre will be operational in 2020.
- St Andrews House – the former Scottish Government building continues to be stripped out.
- The central barrier separating traffic lanes on Leith Street will be removed early in 2016.
- The ongoing discussions between the developers and John Lewis have now been concluded – resulting in a reconfiguration and expansion of its current store at St James into a larger flagship. The development will also enable JL to trade from a store with customer access on three levels rather than the current one level.
- A Q&A was held by the developers in late September (summarised in the Spurtle). A key outcome was the process the developers envisage to maintain a continued dialogue with the local community including NTBCC.
- The development team is now in place in Elder House.
- A further information session was held late in October with an animated timeline showing demolition and redevelopment of the site including supporting JL temporarily on stilts whilst the foundations for the new development are excavated.
- We are not aware of any official update to the plans for removal of demolition materials to 2 compounds in Leith Docks.
- The current plans also include relocation of the York Place tram stop and reconfiguring Picardy Place in line with the 2013 PAN proposal but there are currently no plans to build the hotel in the central area. However, it appears that the Eduardo Paolozzi sculptures will be relocated or even worse, homeless……..
- We have again offered the NTBCC meeting as a forum for regular face to face updates from the developers, from January 2015 onwards but have not received any further communication from the development team.
16.2 42 St Andrews Square, 19-23 South St Andrews Street, West Register Street & West Register Street Lane
South-east corner of St Andrews Square & Register Street / West Register Street, includes “Grade A” offices, either serviced apartments or a hotel (or residential), and Class 1 (Retail), Class 2 (Professional offices), Class 3 (Restaurant/café).
A series of application were lodged covering West Register Street & 42 St Andrews Square
West Register Street / South St Andrews Square (15/02788/FUL;, 15/02784/LBC ; 15/02783/CON) : application for “Demolition of office and retail buildings, erection of mixed use development comprising Class 1 (retail), and Class 2 (business) uses at ground floor, with Grade A offices (Class 4) above. Retention of facade of Venetian building and alterations at roof level ; car parking spaces and associated cycle parking and public realm upgrade. (Amended Scheme)
41- 42 St Andrews Square (15/02786/FUL ; 15/02784/LBC) : Mixed use development at 41-42 St Andrew Square, comprising change of use of former bank building to class 1, 2 , 3, 11 public house and hot food uses at ground floor and flats at first floor level and above; alterations of windows to doors on south elevation and additional accommodation at roof level.
16.2.1 Recent News
- Historic Scotland formally objected to the demolition of the listed building (1850’s Victorian tenement) stating that “if the authority is minded to grant consent our advice to Ministers, given that you will be required to notify them of that intention both for planning permission and listed building consent, is that the current approach does not meet Ministers requirement that the planning system should enable positive change in the historic environment, which is informed by a clear understanding of the importance of the heritage assets affected and ensure their future use.”
- Historic Scotland refuted the assertion by the developer’s agent that the building was listed as part of the wider area & not in its own right – and that as the building is category B listed, the proposal fails the SHEP test.
- Edinburgh World Heritage state that the proposed alteration and demolition of the listed fabric would result in a strongly negative impact on the outstanding universal value (OUV) of the World Heritage site.
- The Planning officer stated that “whilst grade A office space is desirable in the city centre, the applicants have not shown that this site is the only site where this kind of accommodation could be provided or that the proposal would contribute to economic growth on a national, or regional, scale.”
- However the Planning officer conclude that the benefits from the whole development to the city's economy and the associated public realm improvements that would result from the development associated with the demolition are of such significance as to outweigh the special regard that must be had to preserving the building. For this reason, demolition is acceptable and the applications were recommended that this application be Minded to Grant – Historic Scotland; and that Development Management Committee (DMC) should approve on that basis.
- DMC agreed…
16.3 Former Royal High School (1)
Following an OJEU competition process the Council entered into a conditional exclusive contract to grant Duddingston House Properties (DHP) a 125 year lease over the property to deliver a ‘hotel of international standing’. The contract is conditional on DHP making a full planning application by October 2015 (which has now been lodged) and securing planning and listed building consent within 18 months thereafter.
16.3.1 Brief history
- Proposal of application notice was submitted by DHP in January 2015 (15/00223/PAN); significant concerns raised by many bodies as to the quantum of development proposed and the impact of the setting of the Hamilton building and wider Calton Hill environs.
- A proposal of application notice was submitted by the Royal High School Preservation Trust (RHSPT) in May 2015 (15/02381/PAN) for an alternate scheme.
- PAN included an initial assessment of space required by a relocated music school vs. that available. The gymnasium & dining hall are proposed for demolition to be replaced by a purpose-built, contemporary accommodation block including music practice rooms.
- DHP& Gareth Hoskins Architects have now brought forward a full application (& associated Listed Building Consent) for a much-changed scheme in terms of the architectural style but retaining if not increasing the bulk and massing of the proposed development especially on the eastern terrace, but with more limited intervention on the front facade.
- Public opinion was initially divided but with the heritage groups (& notably Historic Scotland) coming out strongly against the proposed scheme ; there were over 2100 comments lodged on the Planning portal (although with duplicate comments removed and supporting comments removed, this resulted in ~1300 objections).
- NTBCC have submitted their representation (available on NTBCC website).
- A separate meeting of the Development Management Sub-Committee will consider the application for” Change of use, alterations to and restoration of principal former Royal High School building and pavilions (original Thomas Hamilton-designed school buildings), demolition of ancillary buildings including the former Gymnasium Block and Lodge, new build development, new/improved vehicular, service and pedestrian accesses, landscaping, parking, public realm and other works to create a world class hotel of international standing with associated uses (including publicly accessible bars (public house) and restaurants (Class 3) “ at 10 am Thursday 17 December 2015 in the Council Chamber
16.4 Former Royal High School (2)
The application for the alternate proposal from St Mary’s Music School has been lodged. NTBCC will make a representation in the next few weeks after the DMC Hearing on the hotel proposal.
16.5 Charlotte Baptist Chapel (1)
New scheme being proposed by Glendale (developers) – although no formal PAN is required, a public consultation was held on July 29th ; NTBCC Planning SC members attended.
Proposal to develop as restaurant on ground / lower levels with a bar (~62 person occupancy) on the lower ground floor – accessed via the restaurant. The main body of the chapel will be subdivided into 2 floors for a 22 room hotel (including the top floor) – 3 floors in the hotel in total.
NTBCC’s view is that this is a much-improved and imaginative use of the building and whilst we did not support the application, the proposal would safeguard the building in the longer term.
However, the building dates from 1912 and whilst its subdivision is regrettable from a conservation point of view, there are other interiors of similar buildings which are architecturally and historically more significant.
NTBCC considered the application further after having both the developers and local residents discuss their views at the September NTBCC meeting but ultimately declined to submit representation. Application currently pending – with 4 comments only to the /FUL application (Cockburn Association, West End CC, Neil Simspon + 1).
16.6 Charlotte Baptist Chapel (2)
NTBCC Planning Committee were invited to presentation by a new applicant (Mr Peter Schaufuss) & his agent to discuss an alternate proposal for this building. Note : the building is owned (as far as we are aware, without condition) by Glendola leisure.
This application (15/05261/FUL ; 15/05264/LBC) is for change of use of the Charlotte Baptist Chapel to a Centre for Dance and the Performing Arts, including theatre, exhibition area, museum, ballet school, dance studio and ancillary accommodation. This would include internal refurbishment including theatre, exhibition area, museum, ballet school, dance studio and ancillary accommodation.
NTBCC welcome the early engagement from the applicant to discuss the applicant’s aspirations for this building in terms of providing facilities to enable the building to be used as a “cultural hub” for dance, drama, music or other theatrical performances in a series of performance spaces within the existing building.
NTBCC believe that it is essential that the city centre maintains a mixed use character with a wide range of leisure uses, arts and cultural establishments as well as pubs and restaurants whilst taking account of the potential impacts of these local residents. We therefore encourage developments such as this and support this application from a community standpoint as it provides a different and innovative use for this listed building. NTBCC believe that this change of use would add to the vibrancy and most importantly diversity of Rose Street and the surrounding area.
We stated that although we had some concerns over the long term economic viability for a privately-funded arts centre such as this is unproven. But, given the minimal intervention proposed for the building, no irreversible changes would be required and therefore NTBCC would support this proposal from a listed building standpoint given the sympathetic treatment to the building exterior but more importantly, the minimal intervention proposed to the interior and the retention of all of the important internal features.
16.7 2nd Public Consultation Event - September 2015 RBS Development of Land in Fettes Row, Royal Crescent, Dundas Street and Eyre Terrace
The potential development of land owned by RBS in Fettes Row, Royal Crescent, Dundas Street and Eyre Place (the latter containing a smaller area already has planning consent granted for a mixed use development, subject to various conditions) has been further discussed by the NTBCC Planning Committee.
We had been broadly supportive of the PAN for the land bordering Eyre Place/ Eyre Terrace and subsequently the Planning Permission in Principle (14/01177/PPP) granted consent in February 2015 but with certain reservations regarding scale and height of the proposed development.
The site is within the New Town Conservation Area, therefore any development of the site must preserve or enhance the special character or appearance of the New Town Conservation Area.
The proposed site, given its size, central location and adjoining a precious open space within the New Town, offers a unique opportunity to add real value to the area whilst allowing the current owner to meet its business objectives.
A Pre Application Notification has been lodged for this former RBS site on Dundas Street / Fettes Row etc. with a 2nd Public Exhibition on Thursday 26th November. .
The NTBCC Planning Committee will submit comments to the developer / agent by 15th December.
- NTBCC are broadly in favour of the Preferred Development Option – which proposes a “finger block” concept forming a crescent mirroring the curve of Royal Crescent. This preserves some open aspects from key viewpoints from within the New Town. Regarding the proposed development on the currently-designated open space adjacent to Eyre Place & 113 Dundas Street, we accept that completion of the urban blocks in these areas does maintain some consistency with the New Town layout generally and given that permission in principle has already been granted for the Eyre Place open space but concerns remain as to the maximum height..
- We are in favour in principle with the increased permeability that the proposed development, provides in terms of additional accesses / exits from King George V Park (KGVP). The provision of the Urban Square and Entrance Square also helps to integrate this development with the surrounding area and provides some homogeneity with the existing open spaces of KGVP.
- We also acknowledge that the importance of the presence and form of the existing trees bordering Fettes Row / Royal Crescent appears to have been recognised.
- There will be a further Public Consultation to incorporate the feedback from 26th November early in 2016.
16.8 71-73 York Place - External alterations including painting of frontage, new lighting, external loose planters and loose barrier
NTBCC lodged an objection to the permanent installation of planters / barriers for the annual “Tables & Chairs” permit given the narrowness of the pavement and high pedestrian traffic at this location. However, the application was granted by a “fast track” decision.
16.9 21A Claremont Crescent
NTBCC lodged an objection along with local residents to a proposed contemporary extension to the rear. Proposal is broadly similar to a previous application refused in 2008. However, this application was approved at DMC in November without debate.
16.10 4B Gayfield Place
A new application (15/05009/FUL) had been lodged for change of use and conversion of offices to form 5 residential flats including re-instatement of existing windows and an associated Listed Building application (15/05010/LBC) for “Demolition works and alterations forming 5 proposed flats including creation of bedrooms, new kitchens, construction of new insulation floor and re-opening / creation of windows”.
NTBCC lodged an objection after being contacted by local residents to this scheme. There was a previous application in 2014 to change the use of these premises in a category A listed building from office use (Class 4) a Guesthouse / Bed & Breakfast establishment to which NTBCC also objected but it was granted nonetheless.
NTBCC believe that in principle, the conversion of the existing offices at ground floor level to residential accommodation is acceptable but the proposals as presented require an unacceptable level of intervention to the listed building and even with significant intervention, would be contrary to several policies in the current Edinburgh Local Development Plan due to over-development to the detriment of the resident’s and neighbour amenity.
16.11 George Street
Outline plans emerging from latest public consultation by Ironside Farrar.
Proposal to widen pavements, retain 2-way traffic flows on George Street but one lane only E-W & W-E with inclusion of segregated / dedicated cycle lane and some parking but a net reduction. Vehicular traffic flow would be 2 way in the centre of the street – some design details pending.
16.12 Other News
16.12.1 Applications with Scottish Reporter
There have been a number of decisions by the Scottish Reporter to appeals regarding applications with NTBCC’s boundary. Rather than cover all of these – the focus is on undetermined appeals only.
- 1 – 6 Canonmills
Glovart, the developer, has appealed the refusal for demolition of the existing building (Earthy’s) to the Scottish Reporter. NTBCC liaised with the Cockburn , Inverleith Conservation Society & Stockbridge & Inverleith CC on next steps and our response to the developer’s appeal statement.
A further representation has been submitted by NTBCC (along with Stockbridge & Inverleith CC, the Inverleith Society & the Save 1-6 Canonmills campaign group) & we await the Scottish Reporter’s decision with interest.
- 8 Bellevue Crescent
The latest application to legitimise an already-constructed office building cum studio flat within the curtilage of a listed building has again been refused by the Council and has been again appealed to the Scottish Reporter. The Reporter has already passed judgement on a previous application where he supported the Council’s position regarding refusal and recommended Enforcement.
Last week, the Scottish Government’s Reporter again refused planning permission for the ‘lock-up garage’ on East Scotland Street Lane to be used instead as an office. The decision to dismiss the appeal follows a site visit by the Reporter on 17 September. The Reporter stated that office use ‘would be inconsistent with the overall function of the lane and would not preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area or the setting of the World Heritage Site’.
The applicant had also claimed that the change of use from garage to office at a nearby location in the same lane (by the same applicant) had set a precedent for the proposed change here. NTBCC questioned this precedent in their submission and the Reporter agreed, saying that there were distinctions between the two properties in terms of permitted use and physical setting.
Again – we await future applications from the applicant with interest and also await Edinburgh Council’s response to the currently-unauthorised building at this location.
- Local Development Plan
Currently with the Scottish Reporter – further consultation on key issues expected.
- City of Edinburgh Council Consultations
Leith Town Centre Supplementary Planning Guidance (includes top of Leith Walk) – closed 19th October – NTBCC attended the Leith Central CC discussion as Leith CC covers the majority of the area but did not feel it necessary to make further comment. .
- Scottish Government Consultation
Review of Planning Processes – a comprehensive response was drafted by Stephen Hajducki including the need for limited rights for 3rd Party appeals and was submitted in early December.
A copy of this document will be added to the NTBCC website.
NTBCC Planning Convener December 2015