NTBCC minutes – Monday 8 April 2019

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s meeting, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 8 April 2019 at 7.30pm

Actions and decisions are in red italicnem con means no-one spoke or voted against that item.

1 Attendance and apologies for absence

Susanna Beaumont NTBCC Fran Wasoff NTBCC
Jonathan Finn NTBCC treasurer, licensing convenor Alan Welsh NTBCC
Stephen Hajducki NTBCC Bruce Ryan NTBCC minutes secretary
Jack Hugh NTBCC PC Lynsay Claxton Police Scotland
Allan Jack NTBCC transport convenor Irene Gibb Laing O’Rourke
Susan MacInnes NTBCC Tim Kelly Laing O’Rourke
Carol Nimmo NTBCC chair David Wylie Laing O’Rourke
Lewis Press NTBCC environment convenor Alan Macintosh Broughton Spurtle
Richard Price NTBCC planning convenor Cllr Max Mitchell Inverleith ward
Chrissie Ross NTBCC 8 residents/visitors

1.1 Apologies for absence

Margaret Duffy NTBCC Cllr Clare Miller City Centre ward
Simon Holledge NTBCC communications convenor Cllr Hal Osler Inverleith ward
Stuart McAllister NTBCC Cllr Alasdair Rankin City Centre ward
Deirdre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith

2 Minutes of meeting of 11 March

These were approved as-is (proposed A Welsh, seconded J Hugh, nem con)

2.1 Matters arising

It was noted that since C Collins had resigned from NTBCC, the Drummond Civic Association no longer is represented on NTBCC. Formerly, DCA was represented for many years by Gaby Holden. Action: NTBCC to send good wishes to Ms Holden, and suggest to DCA that they nominate another representative

3 Police report

PC Claxton reported

3.1 Totals

3.1.1 Housebreaking

(HB= housebreaking, HBWI = housebreaking with intent)

3 x Business HB; 1 x HBWI Business; 1 x Attempt HBWI Business; 1x HBWI Residential; 1 x Attempt HBWI Residential

3.1.2 Vandalism

14 crimes of vandalism recorded in total however only 2 involving members of the publics. Others relate to businesses having had things damaged by customers or youths.

3.1.3 Assaults and sexual crimes

  • 8 x serious assaults recorded. All night-time economy related.
  • 1x CR for Sexual Exposure (05/03/2019 @ 1800hrs @ London Road bus stop): Male masturbating at bus stop.
  • 1 x Sexual Assault (24/03/2019 @ 1300 @ Princes St > Newhaven) Stranger slapped backside on board a bus.

3.2 Some detail

Date Time Locus Crime Stolen
04/03/19 Early hrs morn Business on Broughton St Business HB £30 from till
07/03/19 Early hrs morn Bar on West Register St Business HB £750 of alcohol
16/03/19 Early hrs morn Bar on Northumberland Place Business HB £550 cash +alcohol (£50). Alcohol recovered outside locus. £500 outstanding
04/04/19 solved Early hrs morn 7 Young Street HBWI Residential Nothing stolen. £500 damage to garage door
10/03/19 Early hrs morn Café on George St HBWI business Nothing stolen
19/03/19 solved 1800hrs Glenfinlas Street Attempt HBWI Residential Trying to force door
19/03/19
solved
1800hrs Charlotte Square Attempt HBWI Business Trying to force door
30/03/19 0005hrs Calton Hill Vandalism Throwing small stone at window and smashing a window-pane. Coincides with a recent trend of youths attending the area on weekends. Confirmed by other incidents in area.
30/03/19 0430hrs Calton Hill Vandalism Hosepipe shoved placed through letterbox and soaked the interior of the property.

3.3 Actions

  • There has been a problem with around 40 youths committing anti-social behaviour at Waverley Mall. Nightly targeted patrols and Increased presence on a weekend led to a reduction of the problem at Waverley Mall this weekend. Arrests are due to good CCTV coverage at the mall. However, last weekend saw an increased presence of youths at Calton Hill. Hence police are increasing patrols there
  • The speed gun has been used regularly in NTBCC’s area. Drivers go slower when they can see police, but speed up again when police are absent. However, one vehicle stopped today was found to contain a large amount of drugs.
  • It was noted that buses and trams have CCTV, and that tram inspectors have body cameras that also record audio.

4 Waverley ‘masterplan' presentation

  • This item was unfortunately postponed. However, although marginally outside NTBCC’s area, NTBCC decided it wished to comment.
  • It was noted that Network Rail are happy to report to NTBCC either at a full meeting, at a meeting with a group of NTBCC representatives, or at a special open meeting
  • It was suggested that NTBCC should work with Old Town CC, because Waverley station is in that area.
  • It was noted that the consultation is open until 25 April and that Network Rail could extend that deadline for NTBCC.
  • A Welsh expressed strong concern that the area of the masterplan is getting larger and larger, to include the CEC offices in Waverley Court, North Bridge (which is currently being renovated) and effectively fill the Waverley valley. Hence he favoured a big open meeting.
  • Action: R Price to liaise with Old Town CC to further this work, including ideally a public meeting before the end of April.

5 Work on Leith St

Ms Gibb and Mr Wylie reported

  • They have recently met with cllrs MacInnes and Doran to propose a further closure of Leith St: from 7pm on Sunday 5 May to 7am on Saturday 25 May. This totals 18 days.
    • The closure is between a car rally on Waterloo Place and the Edinburgh marathon.
    • It is to lift long lengths of steel (40 tonnes) into the building site. The cranes currently on site cannot handle this.
    • Laing O’Rourke ‘always knew’ there would be some further short closures of Leith St, but this long closure is due to the size of steel needed for the building being larger than originally envisaged.
    • This does not mean that the building will be larger than originally planned, but that original measurements were inaccurate. There are no design changes necessitating the increase in the size of steel.
    • This steel requires a 1200 tonne crane, of which there are only 2 in the UK. Such cranes take about 3 days each to install and remove. (Smaller cranes take only a few hours to install and remove.)
    • The crane will be sited across Leith St from its junction with Calton Road, hence covering all four lanes of Leith St.
    • There will be a covered walkway for pedestrians.
    • Cyclists will need to dismount to go around the crane.
    • There will not be a repetition of the gyratory system via Easter Road and Abbeyhill used during the last closure, because that takes about 3 weeks each to implement and remove. However, there will be similar diversions for buses and cars.
    • Also, the signals for the left turn from Easter Rd to London Rd, and from Easter Rd into London Rd will be altered to maximise traffic flow.
    • Other changes to mitigate traffic flow impacts are being discussed with CEC.
    • There will be publicity about this matter via the local press, radio etc, starting next week.
    • There will be further closures over weekends, e.g. towards end of June, to remove other cranes.
  • Ms Gibb and Mr Wylie offered to attend future NTBCC meetings to keep the CC informed, due to much building in York Place, Picardy Place, etc.
    • It was suggested that they could submit reports if there is nothing controversial to report.

5.1 Questions and comments

  • C Ross noted that traffic is not able to turn from Queen St (York Place) to Broughton St. This closure is likely to increase traffic going through the New Town. CR also suggested that Broughton St shops would suffer.
  • A Welsh asked whether the Leith St closure would be just from Waterloo Place to the Black Bull.
    • The closure will be from Waterloo Place to just south of the junction with Greenside Row, so that traffic can still emerge onto the north end of Leith St
  • A Welsh suggested that opening the east side of St Andrews Square would make a suitable diversion.
    • Action: The Laing O’Rourke representatives will take this suggestion to their colleagues.
  • It was noted that the closure will impede access to Waverley station, so that rail-users will need to be informed.
    • Communications will be undertaken by Laing O’Rourke and CEC.
  • It was asked whether this closure will need a new TRO.
    • A suitable one is already in place.
  • It was asked whether the large crane will damage the newly installed pavements.
    • The larger crane has less weight per axle than smaller cranes, hence exerting less pressure on the ground. Also, the crane will be sited on the road. It will not affect the listed Black Bull etc.
  • It was suggested that Laing O’Rourke representatives also inform Leith Central CC at their meeting next Monday.
    • Action: B Ryan to supply appropriate contact details to Laing O’Rourke representatives.

6 Communication

R Price reported

  • the communications committee is considering new logos and poster for advertising NTBCC.
  • He has started tweeting from the NTBCC account about planning and other matters.
    • B Ryan noted that the communications committee would like NTBCC convenors to tweet about their topics. R Price added convenors would only send out information, not opinions, and that such tweets would be from @NTBCC.
    • All convenors present said they would be more or less happy to try tweeting on behalf of NTBCC.
  • It was noted that the comms committee does not currently have the resources to maintain a Facebook presence

7 Planning

See also report (appendix 1). R Price reported

7.1 IMPACT centre (a proposed public performance building behind Dundas House)

  • The planning application was lodged last year.
  • It received more support than objections. (Objections were from tenements on James Craig Walk, Edinburgh St James and one from the Gleneagles group.)
  • An amended application was about getting larger vehicles into the covered pend for large visiting orchestras. This would happen only a few times each year.
  • NTBCC needs to be clear on the following
    • This building will be tall and dominant. NTBCC’s position so far has been that CEC must be seen to apply its daylight and privacy etc policies to minimise impact on residents.
    • NTBCC expects that residents will be heard by CEC at its DMC meeting on 24 April.
  • Cllr Mitchell noted that cllrs have been offered a further site visit.
    • A Welsh suggested that balloons should be used to show how high the building would be at such visits.
    • Cllr Mitchell stated that cllrs attending an earlier visit were able to judge this, and proximity to James Craig Walk.
  • Sample façade panels are on public display. They are made with concrete and natural stone from all around the area, to get a speckled appearance. The developers aim for a balance between blending and statement.
    • R Price suggested they need more blend, and hoped that CEC would ask for more work on this. He suggested that Historic Environment Scotland would be a deciding voice here.
    • A Welsh suggested that a glass curtain wall would make the building look smaller.
    • R Price responded that many windows have been removed from the rear to respect James Craig residents’ privacy.

7.2 Omni centre extension

  • Application approved. RP suggested that DMC discussions seemed to accept that this site had been an unused space, so it was proposed to build a bar there. As the space wasn’t used, it’s OK to stick a bar there. The DMC voted 6:5 in favour. Cllr Mitchell noted that the DMC can only vote on proposals it sees.
  • Cllr Mitchell also mentioned that the Omni discussion has also raised the issue of a bridge that was to be built at the same time as the Omni (from its back to Calton Hill), but was not actually built. This was despite the bridge being a condition of the Omni’s planning permission.

7.3 Powderhall

  • RP reminded the meeting that the big Powderhall waste transfer station has been out of service for 18 months.
  • He said that CEC has done great consultation about this piece of land. Now there is pressure to build on the site. This includes a B-listed stable block and former bowling greens (formerly managed by Edinburgh Leisure).
  • For the bowling green site, the intent is to build a 190-place nursery, along with intergenerational living (that is, sheltered housing) but retaining some green space but unclear as to the extent..
    • There is pressure from the Scottish Government to provide facilities for an increase numbers of nursery places.
  • A Welsh queried why there was still a sign suggesting the land was open.
    • RP responded that it was not clear on the commitment given to Broughton Primary School on the use of this land – temporary or dedicated in perpetuity.
    • A member of the Broughton Parents (?) Association stated that the school has a letter stating that the land has been given to them. RP added that some land is still available to the school.
  • RP noted that one more consultation is due, then expect a planning application will be submitted. This is an opportunity for NTBCC to comment.
  • A Welsh asked about Network Rail’s attitude – it still owns the railtrack.
    • RP responded that it makes sense for this to become cycle-path, as an extension to existing cycle-paths, and that CEC is pursuing this idea.

7.4 RBS

  • RP reported that he has heard nothing more about this site after meeting with a potential developer.
    • A resident stated that she had been phoned by this developer, who said that there were still legal matters to work through. The developer has undertaken some test-drills to inform the development of the car-park area.

7.5 Royal Crescent

  • A resident thanked RP for his help with various issues. In particular, an absentee owner of a top flat wishing to split it into two double-storey flats, hence removing structural features. It was suggested that the Tenants’ Act is relevant here, and that structural walls may not be removed. RP noted he was aware of issues elsewhere for such removals leading to significant issues, but unfortunately these are not considered as material concerns for planning. Instead they are the subject of building warrants. There has been lack of owner notification, according to the resident.
  • Cllr Mitchell suggested that removal of structural walls and the question of who has control of the under-roof space was a legal matter.

7.6 Dublin St Mews

S Hajducki reported

  • The Dublin colonies were built about 20 years ago by Richard Murphy. At that time, SH worked for CEC planning. It was in favour of this development’s modern versions of traditional Scottish features such as outside stairs.
  • The current plan is to fill in a ‘notch’ in the entrance of the site. Richard Murphy objects to changes to his design that involves modelling to create design and interest.
  • SH is concerned that the ‘architectural designers’ are not capable of altering she scheme with appropriate finesse, that the designers are not registered architects, and that drawings are inaccurate and do not show enough detail or quality.
  • A resident added that the development has received many awards and visitors due to its architectural qualities, and that the designers are likely to destroy the architectural detail and quality of the original buildings.
  • The deadline for comments and objections is 19thApril
  • A resident suggested that there would be about 20 objections.
  • Cllr Mitchell stated that residents could contact their CEC cllrs to ask them to propose a presentation to the DMC. Also, for NTBCC to be a statutory consultee, it needs to request this within a week of the application being lodged.
  • It was noted that while there are two planning numbers associated with this proposal, any person can object to both in the same communication to CEC.
  • Action: RP/SH to liaise with residents, to find relevant policy-breaking to find material objections

7.7 7-8 Baxter’s Place

  • R Price noted the history of this site, including many applications being refused, and enforcement of refusals by CEC.
  • There are now three more applications:
    • One is for a certificate of lawful use to rent out one flat short term to families.
    • The other applications (a FUL and a listed building consent) are to remove kitchens in the six flats, install more bedrooms, and hence create a boutique hotel. This would include a self-service breakfast room on the ground floor. There would be 24-hour onsite management presence.
  • RP suggested it is hard to ascertain the owner’s true intentions, but that a well-run hotel would be hard to object to.
  • A Welsh added that the building is A-listed, and that this plan would turn the building into a public space. Hence access rules apply. For example, there is no room for a fire-escape at the back of the building, and no disabled access.

8 Environment

  • L Press reported there has been no response from waste services to LP’s emails. Action: Cllr Mitchell to chase this.
  • J Hugh noted that continuing problems with waste in Nelson St: non-collection leading to rubbish lying around.
  • It was noted that in Great King St recycling boxes are not being collected unless they are on pavements. However, this means that boxes are often blown away.

9 Licensing

See also report (appendix 2)

9.1 Rose St

NTBCC will object to the removal of the inaudibility condition.

9.2 Crown Plaza Royal Terrace

  • A resident noted that the plans include increased capacity, extension of licenced hours both during festive periods and at other times, use of the rear outdoor terrace.
  • She owns a flat adjoining the building so that they are very aware of the terrace. It has made their rear rooms ‘uninhabitable’ due to noise, privacy violations and smoking. There are problems from things being thrown over the wall, broken bottles and rubbish being left on footpaths, and lack of compliance with current licensing permission.
  • She noted that the application includes requests for additional activities, including gaming, music, live bans, movies, televised sport during and outwith core licensed hours. Residents’ reactions range from concern to complete outrage.
  • J Finn responded that
    • NTBCC will submit an objection
    • Residents should register noise complaints with CEC. CEC might then side with the residents.
    • CEC licensing may well insist on finishing outside drinking after 10pm.
    • The hotel has 99 bedrooms, and its bar currently accommodates 560 people. The hotel now requests 615 people.
    • Hence NTBCC should object to post-10pm outside drinking and the increase in permitted capacity.
  • A resident added that the hotel has applied for extension to 3 am during festive periods.
    • JF responded that during festive periods, all bars can apply to be open 2 hours later than normal. However, this is only for indoor areas.
  • The resident asked about the additional activities and the possibility of drinking in an outdoor smoking shelter.
    • J Finn replied that not much can be done about these unless it can be proven that they are badly run.
    • JF also pointed out that if the shelter was ‘indoors’, smoking would be illegal there. If it was ‘outdoors’, drinking would not be allowed there after 10pm.

10 Transport

See also report (appendix 3). A Jack reported

  • CEC is beginning to roll out its parking action plan. A TRO about shared-use parking places will soon be issued
    • There will also be an exhibition in May. Comments have been requested before then.
    • Hence AJ suggested that NTBCC reiterates that there should be no reduction in dedicated residents’ parking spaces.
    • Also, he suggested that NTBCC asks for no increase in the total number of parking spaces in its area. After all, if CEC is trying to reduce vehicle emissions, why create many more spaces for cars?
  • Cllr Mitchell added that CEC’s intention is for the many residents-only spaces that are vacant during the day to be available to others. However, plans are not yet finished for many streets.
  • S Hajducki added that in his area, the current shared-use system works well, but he would object to reducing the number of resident spaces. L Press suggested that more spaces should be resident-only, to discourage others bringing cars into the city centre.
  • Action: A Jack to draft NTBCC’s response this week

11 Localities, local residents’ associations

No items

12 Any other business

12.1 King George Vth Park – reduced bin numbers

A Macintosh reported that local residents are concerned about a reduction in the number of bins in the park. He has been told that this is a CEC policy. He suggested that this may cause problems over the summer when the parks are used more.

13 Appendix 1: planning report

13.1 Pre-Planning

13.1.1 RBS site (Dundas St/Fettes Row) :

We believe that following the offer of the whole site for sale (& the creation of the ‘New Town North’ website), that the sale of the site is in the process of concluding/has concluded.

However, from a brief discussion at the March 2019 NTBCC meeting, we understood that the successful bidder had been in discussion with a local councillor and that it was suggested that the potential buyer would be contacting NTBCC in the coming weeks but as yet, we have no further updates on this.

We are also aware that a team of surveyors has been on the site in the last month.

At this stage – it’s unclear as to the intentions of the successful bidder for the site but we would expect further news (including further public consultation) in the next few weeks / months.

13.1.2 Powderhall Development – Bowling Green area - Nursery/Inter-Generational Living

NTBCC has attended numerous public consultations on the wider site over the previous 9 months & submitted its initial thoughts earlier in 2018.

NTBCC attended a presentation by the Powderhall team (Collective Architecture & CEC Planning/Housing/Education) at the Powderhall Village Owners Association AGM. Although the presentation covered the wider proposal, it also focussed on the early development of the (ex) Bowling Green (BG) site closest to Powderhall Village.

Given CEC’s need to provide a significant increase in early year’s nursery places before Aug ’21 (preferably by Aug ’20), the intent is to bring forward planning proposals which may include a 192 pupil nursery (2 – 5 year old) at ground level coupled with 20 – 25 units for sheltered housing (on 1st/2nd? floor) on the BG site. The site will still retain a dedicated outside space for nursery use together with further green space for wider use – perhaps including Broughton Primary? The existing nursery within Broughton Primary will relocate to the Powderhall site, allowing the existing nursery buildings to be incorporated into Broughton Primary.

CEC also reported that the request for Scottish Government funding for the stable block conversion (to arts studios / community space / office space / café) had been unsuccessful and they are currently looking at other options to fund the conversion of the building as originally intended.

Issues raised by the development team with PVOA were their views on linking east/west access across the site to Dunedin St / Powderhall Road via steps or zig-zag path. In turn, PVOA residents raised their continued concerns regarding parking provision in the new Powderhall Waste Transfer development given their experience with the recently-approved 13 Warriston Road & the possible impact on parking within Powderhall Brae / Brig (where the underground parking provision was limited by CEC below the maximum permitted but other current policies allow residents to apply for a Residents’ Parking Permit in the wider area).

We expect a further (final) consultation on this proposal (including an outline masterplan for the whole site) in the next 2 -3 months – followed by a planning application later in the summer (consistent with having an operational nursery before Aug 2021 at the latest.

Meanwhile – demolition of almost all above ground structures on the waste transfer site (including the tank) is now nearing completion.

13.2 Current Applications Under Assessment

13.2.1 7 - 8 Baxter's Place

Following the withdrawal of the DPEA appeal against CEC’s refusal for Change of Use to Class 7 (Hostels etc.), Cornerstone Properties (the applicant) had then appealed the CEC Enforcement Notice served after CEC refused change of use. NTBCC and local residents attended the Reporter’s site visit & the Reporter has dismissed the appeal as well as the request by the applicant for an award of expenses (against CEC) and finally, did not agree to an extension for compliance with the Enforcement Notice.

Based on this – we expect the unlawful use of these premises as Short Term Commercial Visitor’s Accommodation (SSCVA) to cease in late April (unless in the unlikely event, Cornerstone opts to pursue a judicial appeal).

However, there are now 2 further applications:

  • Firstly, a certificate for lawful use (CLP) for one of the 7 flats (8 f1) in the tenement building (19/00932/CLP for use of an existing residential property for short stay commercial visitor letting, by people living together as a family. Helpfully (!), this appeared on the planning portal on or beyond the date for final comments being lodged; accompanied by a quasi-legal Supporting Statement referencing various cases (mostly within England).
  • Subsequent to this – 2 further applications lodged for conversion of the current premises (including 8 f1) to a 16 rooms hotel (or 13 rooms if the above CLP application is approved and acted upon) complete with a breakfasting area and 24 hour ‘on-site management service’ located in a small back office. Final date for comments is 26 April.

NTBCC’s initial view is that the reduced intensity of use is welcomed (but some concerns remain regarding the real intent of the current owner which will be further explored with local residents).

13.2.2 (Ex) Public Convenience at Canonmills (by the Water of Leith)

As reported previously, an application was submitted (19/00430/FUL) to re-develop the (small) building a ‘craft pizzeria’. Proposal is to retain the street level (brick) but remove the existing pitched slate roof & replace with a light-weight contemporary (zinc-clad) 2nd storey to existing building with stairs to upper floor & DDA-compliant access via the existing ramp to the ground floor; with extensive glazing fronting Brandon Street & overlooking Water of Leith.

NTBCC broadly supportive of proposed change of use but with some reservations as to the style/form of the proposed building, but did not submit a representation. 2 comments lodged : 1 objection & a neutral position by AHSS.

Currently being assessed with discussions on flood prevention compliance (existing ground level is below the latest SEPA specified height for development) & impact on trees surrounding the existing building.

13.2.3 IMPACT Centre, St Andrew Square

NTBCC contacted by the CEC Planning office regarding resubmission of amended plans in response to comments received. NTBCC were (& remain) broadly supportive of the proposal but with reservations regarding the impact on local residents directly to the north. The amended proposals include revisions to:

  • the landscaping surrounding the new building,
  • further details on the servicing arrangements (access to the site by large articulated
    SCO vehicles) – some from St Andrew Square.
  • a comprehensive update to the Daylighting / Sunlighting analysis and privacy
    concerns
  • removal of some windows on the rear (east) façade due to privacy concerns
  • changes to surface treatment of the composite façade material to delineate the
    “layers” of the building.

NTBCC attended a recent visit by the Council Development Management Committee and saw first- hand the large sample panels and roof detail that is proposed. NTBCC submitted a further brief representation (viewable on the Council planning portal) - a summary of NTBCC’s original submission is available on the NTBCC website & CEC planning portal.

The DMC hearing for these applications is scheduled for 24 April. NTBCC understand that the residents to the rear who have voiced objections will be offered the opportunity to present their concerns directly.

13.2.4 OMNI Centre

Large bar extension adjacent to the south-west edge (leading to Greenside Row) - again as covered by the Spurtle - raised both planning issues and (later) licensing issues. NTBCC did not submit a representation but 63 comments lodged (including 62 objections) but surprisingly, application approved albeit narrowly by the DMC (6 – 5).

13.2.5 Johnnie Walker Experience (146 Princes St.)

NTBCC had previously attended a pre-application event (= information session) on the proposed Johnnie Walker Experience in the (ex) House of Fraser’s on Princes Street. Application submitted – (19/00574/FUL) - proposal is to develop all 7 floors – with retail (merchandise etc.) on ground floor, several floors for a ‘Visitor Experience’ and new roof-top terraces.

This proposal actually resides just within West End CC’s boundary (due to an inexplicable deviation in the NTBCC boundary along Princes Street at this point).

NTBCC broadly in support of the proposal and NTBCC understood that West End CC were broadly in favour and may make a representation so NTBCC did not submit a view. However, only 8 comments lodged (with 7 in support including the West End BID); but with no community council view expressed. EWH & HES consulted but neither raised any concerns. Currently being assessed.

13.3 Current Applications Open for Comments

13.3.1 7 – 8 Baxter’s Place

See item 13.2.1

13.3.2 New Proposal for development in (Ex) Rear Garden Ground 13 Claremont Crescent

Erection of six one-bed apartments with associated pedestrian access, hard and soft landscaping, bicycle and bin storage

New proposal for the disused car park; an earlier effort to erect 10 studio apartments was refused planning consent in late 2017.

The current proposal is for a ‘two-storey building multi volume building with pitched roofs connected by a lower flat roofed section between them’.

NTBCC were contacted by adjacent residents for help and advice on this proposal. NTBCC have also requested to be a Statutory Consultee given the wider community concerns that this application may spawn further inappropriate and disparate development eastwards along Broughton Road.

The architect’s argue the proposal has reduced massing vs. the previous scheme and respects the setting of nearby listed buildings. NTBNCC will finalise their representation before 10 April.

13.3.3 Botanic Gardens Biome Project

As communicated previously to NTBCC members.

Although the site is well outside the NTBCC area - many NTBCC residents will be visitors/users of the Botanics. The proposals under the planning application are extensive and long term (£70M and 7 years) & whilst they will undoubtedly improve the experience for residents and visitors alike, there clearly is a significant commercial aspect to the proposals.

These wider proposals also require significant tree removal (48 trees, 2/3rds of which are Cat A, B & C) as well as relocation of a further 17 trees. However, all tree works will be managed by RGBE & they will also plant 50 new trees of a species / in a location determined by RGBE.

S&ICC as well as the Inverleith Society have objected to various aspects of the proposal along with many adjacent residents but The Cockburn has supported.

13.3.4 CEC Consultation on Pre-Application Process

New consultation (now closed) by the council Planning Dept. on the Pre-Application process (essentially a free service currently offered to allow discussions with Planning officers on the proposal prior to submitting a formal planning application).

Having looked at the consultation, it appears to be focussed primarily on those who may be considering submitting a planning application but NTBCC will submit a response.

The City of Edinburgh Council as the planning authority for Edinburgh is looking to reform its pre- application advice service, including the introduction of service charges. Pre-application advice is considered to be an important part of the planning service to ensure the submissions of quality applications and to reduce the time spent on processing them. However, to meet the ongoing budget challenges, the way the pre-application advice service operates needs to change.

A consultation paper on the reform of the pre-application advice service has been published and we are seeking your views on the scope to improve and enhance the pre-application service.’

As this consultation was primarily aimed at potential applicants, NTBCC did not submit a representation. The consultation ended on 3rd April and the results will inform a report to the Planning Committee in May 2019.

One of the proposals included raised significant concerns at the recent Edinburgh Civic Forum regarding the suggestion that as well as advice on the proposal being given, the Planning officer would also provide an initial opinion on whether permission would be granted.

13.4 Decisions Issued

13.4.1 OMNI Centre

Large bar extension adjacent to the south-west edge (leading to Greenside Row) - again as covered by the Spurtle - raised both planning issues and (later) licensing issues. NTBCC did not submit a representation but 63 comments lodged (including 62 objections) but surprisingly, application passed narrowly by the DMC (6 – 5).

13.4.2 Delegated Planning – Approved Changes by CEC

Proposal to amend the Planning Scheme of Delegation (used to determine planning applications) approved by Full Council on 7thFebruary.

Previously, more than 6 objections resulted in the application being referred to the DMC. The new approved Scheme of Delegation (with effect from 8 February), is broadly to increase the threshold to require more than 20 objections for most small (Householder) planning applications and Listed Building Consent applications. However, these powers will not apply if NTBCC has requested to be a Statutory Consultee and has outstanding concerns.

More details in the Planning Edinburgh summary: https://planningedinburgh.com/2019/02/19/updating-our-scheme-of-delegation/

NTBCC has now tested the new process by requesting Statutory Consultee status on the amended proposals for developing land at the rear of 13 Claremont Crescent (19/00451/FUL).

13.5 Other News (Householder)

13.5.1 NTBCC supported local residents in submitting a representation to a proposed rear extension in Fettes Row.

13.5.2 Bellevue Crescent (Garage off East Scotland Street Lane) for Change of Use to Class 4 (Office) – to which NTBCC objected (with 6 other local residents), has been refused. It is likely that the final chapter in this saga may well be a final appeal to DPEA. We are also aware of an unsubstantiated report that there may be someone interested in purchasing the building & using it as intended (as a garage)!

13.5.3 Proposed Extension / Alterations in Dublin Colonies – NTBCC were contacted regarding a recent application, requesting help / advice & the Planning Committee are looking at the details of the proposal. The architect of the original scheme (Richard Murphy) has submitted an objection.

Richard Price 8 April 2019

14 Appendix 2: licensing report

There are two licence variations this month we should object to.

14.1 167 Rose Street

This was the pub called 1780, almost opposite the Charlotte Baptist Chapel. The new owners want the inaudibility condition removed. As there are flats immediately above, this seems to be inappropriate.

14.2 17-22 Royal Terrace – Crowne Plaza Hotel

This is a significant variation, and several local residents have already expressed concern. Their proposal is to increase capacity from 563 to 615, to increase hours and to make the garden available around the clock. I certainly think we should object to the outdoor area being available after 10pm. The Board should do this automatically anyway.

I am also surprised at the capacity, and don’t believe there is justification for a further increase. Local residents have pointed out that there are existing problems in London Road with anti-social behaviour and that the hotel is not currently doing a good job of keeping the street clean, or of encouraging smokers to be less of a nuisance when they leave the building. I am not keen on objecting to the additional activities or additional hours, as these should not be a nuisance to residents who have the right of inaudibility in their homes and residents should complain to the Council if they are disturbed. I am not aware of a history of complaints made by residents, but if there is, then I would hope the Licensing Board would take those into consideration when they consider the application.

Jonathan Finn 5 April 2019

15 Appendix 3: transport report

  • Further representation submitted by NTBCC in March on the recent George Street & First New Town (GNT) consultation.
  • A copy will be posted on the NTBCC website in the next few days