NTBCC minutes – Monday 8 June 2015

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 8 June 2015 at 7.30pm

1 Attendance and apologies for absence

1.1 Present

Susanna Beaumont NTBCC Christine Ross NTBCC
Audrey Cavaye NTBCC Alan Welsh NTBCC
Richard Corrall NTBCC Bruce Ryan minutes secretary
Jonathan Finn NTBCC PC Derek Barbour Police Scotland
Lynn Henni NTBCC Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle
Ian Mowat NTBCC Patrick Hadfield resident
Carol Nimmo NTBCC Caroline Roussot resident
Lewis Press NTBCC Elaine O’Donnell resident
Richard Price NTBCC Jenny Clark resident/Save Heriot Hill

1.2 Apologies

Judy Conn NTBCC Cllr Nick Gardner Leith Walk ward
Iain McGill NTBCC Cllr Joanna Mowat City Centre ward
Alan Alstead Lord Moray’s Feuars Cllr Alasdair Rankin City Centre ward

2 Minutes of Meetings of 11 May 2015

2.1 Approval

Approved subject to noting that Deidre Brock is still a Cllr and that Alan Alstead represented Lord Moray’s Feuars (proposed C Nimmo, seconded I Mowat, nem con)

2.2 Matters arising

2.2.1 Transport (item 7 in May minutes)

Cllr Mowat attended the Lord Moray’s Feuars’ AGM, where she reported that the issue at Frederick Street is now being looked into – and will be fixed this year.

3 Police report

I Mowat reported that NTBCCCC had received an email from a resident regarding indigent persons loitering and drinking at the top of Broughton St. This appeared to have spilled over from the Cathedral area, where market traders had reported similar last autumn. PC Barbour said that Police was aware of the problem, and that market traders are being supported following their request last year. In response to an NTBCC member stating that she had phoned 101 twice about such issues to no avail, he explained such messages are handled according to Police Scotland (PS) priorities.

He explained that beat officers had not yet returned to the City Centre area. (In May he had reported that there were to be two beat officers per ward, with an extra 8 for the city centre, funded in part by Edinburgh Council.) When NTBCCCC members expressed concern about this he suggested that the CC should write to the relevant commanding officer, CI Rob Paris, and Edinburgh City Councillors.

He also explained that there is a lack of support staff just now, so Police officer are having to take on more support roles than usual. (It was noted that there is a commitment to maintain police numbers, so cuts have fallen inter alia on support staff.)

The Safer Neighbourhoods scheme (which was run jointly by the Police and Edinburgh City Council), through which local residents can nominate policing priorities, seems not to be happening just now.

PC Barbour provided the following statistics:

CE22 stats 01/05/2015 to 31/05/2015
· Solved Unsolved
Attempt theft housebreaking (dwelling) 0 1
Theft housebreaking (dwelling) 0 3
Attempt theft housbreaking (business) 0 1
Theft housebreaking (business) 1 2
Attempt theft MV 0 3
Serious assault 1 1
Common assault 27 17

A resident spoke on behalf of The Roamin’ Nose café on Eyre Place, which has been broken into twice recently – as have other nearby premises. Police have not visited to spread awareness or teach safety tactics, nor have beat bobbies patrolled the area. PC Barbour stated that people witnessing suspicious activities should call 999.

L Press reported that residents in the Claremont Court area have received ‘terrible’ service from the Police. He asked what NTBCC should do to make views known. It was suggested that NTBCC has sufficient evidence to make a representation now, but that it could also get more via its website, the Spurtle and the Saturday market.

A McIntosh suggested using FOISA to obtain accurate data from PS. R Corrall suggested asking people to tell of their experiences in person to NTBBC at a ‘community safety’ event. B Ryan concurred with such tactics but suggested care over statistical bias in such data-gathering. It was suggested that NTBCC’s environment committee takes on such work. L Henni’s experience elsewhere supports a dedicated group to look at crime.

Action: It was agreed that the Chair would write to CI Rob Paris expressing his concerns re the lack of the promised beat officers and the other reported issues - and would copy in Edinburgh City Councillors. The sending of this letter would be reported on the website . Members would consider further how to take matters forward.

A Welsh reported a potential scam spread via postcards.

4 Presentation from Roddy Smith, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh

Mr Smith made the following points, with in his presentation or in response to questions

  • EE is a Business Improvement District (BID) covering central Edinburgh (Princes St, George St, St James Centre) and hence 630 businesses. These businesses fund EE via a 1% levy of their ratable value (if this is above £25,000). This income stream (around £1·2 million) reaches EE via CEC but otherwise EE is independent of CEC.
  • EE’s remit is to keep the city centre attractive, to stimulate business activity for its levy payers (e.g. by running events). These are mostly retail and leisure (bars and restaurants) but around 1/3 are offices.
  • On EE’s agenda are
  • George Street
  • Trial ending in September. The last trading day in trial is 6 September for GS marquees – thereafter they must be removed within 3 weeks. A lot of them have concrete bases. Individual businesses are responsible for this, but EE is co-ordinating removal. The wood will go to local community groups.
  • The experimental traffic order lasts until October but CEC is keep to reinstate GS as it was asap
  • There is a consultation-related meeting organised by Iain MacPhail on Monday 15th (10am–12noon) (Presentations for this meeting are on the website at http://www.ntbcc.org.uk/george-street-trials-presentations). RS urged NTBCC to attend this meeting so that all voices are heard.
  • IMP has appointed a designer for GS. EE will facilitate a series of small-group meetings so that every voice is heard in these consultations over the next 3-4 months. Thereafter the designer will put together options to be placed before CEC.
  • EE will try to find a consensus of its businesses’ opinions to feed into this process, by early Autumn.
  • EE has been involved in this trial, and accepts that some aspects went well (e.g. for bars and restaurants in the summer, but not the winter; cycling lobby and visitors were generally supportive of changes) but others were seen as less successful (e.g. footfall tailed off to the west of GS)

NTBCC members suggested that GS has become empty/dead but it used to be thriving. RS replied that many shops in the west of GS are destination shops, not footfall shops, so that footfall isn’t a primary target. Footfall varies strongly with time of day and day of week.

A resident suggested that GS has been much nicer with the current reduced traffic arrangements. Another resident suggested that disabled parking bays should be put by the ramp at near Hannover St. Just now, wheelchairs can’t easily get on the pavement.

  • St Andrew’s Square (SAS) and Princes St Gardens
  • The summer activity footprint for this year will be the same as that of last year, but will last a bit longer (early July to end of festival [end of August]). The winter footprint will be exactly the same as last years’. EE’s lease on SAS lasts until 2018.
  • EE is working on a lighting project for Jan-Feb, so torn-up grass will be less noticeable.
  • Some artistic activity is planned outside Freemasons’ hall (on GS) but this has not yet received licensing approval. EE disagrees with the current proposals for this.
  • Some EE events are free. The events generate revenue for retailers, hence boosting Edinburgh’s economy but EE understands that it has reached the limit on SAS activities – it is trying to minimise activities/damage and to find a balance between SAS being open and hosting events. Such events have contributed around £6m towards upkeep of the city centre.
  • There is no direct relationship between EE and Neighbourhood Partnerships. EE is not involved with Princes Street gardens. However EE does work with Underbelly in PS Gardens – they have contracted with CEC about this area. EE subcontracts SAS to Underbelly, which organises the Xmas event. This contract has 2 years to run, with an option to continue subject to CEC approval. The accountability for SAS lies with EE – it can control what Underbelly does in the winter festival at SAS – the remit of this festival is raising footfall to aid retailers (hotels, bars and restaurants).
  • Footfall on SAS is controlled by the weather, not EE’s activities. EE is very conscious about returning SAS to its proper state asap after festival – recovery is faster in the summer.

CC members suggested that SAS is a historic garden and that EE’s activity there is contrary to this, e.g. covering over the Melville Monument.

  • Castle St
  • CEC is due to undertake another usage experiment here over the next 8-9 months. EE has tried to take over running of CS but CEC is against this. EE believes that the investment in CS is not being used appropriately. EE wishes to be involved so that this work would the West End, and take pressure off St Andrew’s Square.
  • West End BID creation
  • This is due to be balloted on (25 June). EE wishes to work with this BID, which would be centred on Shandwick Place. This BID would do the same job as EE.
  • St James area
  • Demolition will happen in mid-January. EE will sit on the relevant board, ensuring appropriate signage and minimising disruption.
  • Xmas lights
  • Last year EE made a big investment in GS trees, and wishes to do the same this year. There is an issue with power just now. EE is looking for a solution that doesn’t involve digging up the street just now, because this is due to happen soon to install fibre broadband cables. (See http://www.cityfibre.com/news.)

A Welsh suggested that EE is taking over public streets (e.g. George Street, potentially Castle St) and is not working for the owners of SAS (mostly financial institutions and banks) and public streets (all Edinburgh citizens), but for businesses’ private profit. RS replied that EE has a lease for SAS enabling it to hold ‘wide-ranging’ events, but that it needs to apply for licenses as normal but that if SAS owners dislike any EE activity, they can stop it.

RS suggested that some destination shops will eventually move to St James area and so EE needs a flexible approach catering for different users because GS is evolving and unpredictable. GS does not need huge footfall. The busy footfall counters are at Jenners’, the next corner up, at FCUK.

EE will put its forthcoming activities and events on its website: http://www.essentialedinburgh.co.uk. A feed from this website to NTBCC’s website was requested.

5 Neighbourhood Partnership

L Henni had attended the City Centre NP board meeting that considered grants. Action: L Henni to circulate minutes of this meeting. I Mowat noted the need to engage with NPs.

6 Transport

No items

7 Environment

  • There are ongoing issues about trade (and other) waste in Rose St. Environmental wardens do not report these. (See also Environment section in May minutes at http://www.ntbcc.org.uk/ntbcc-minutes-monday-11-may-2015-2) Action: C Ross/NTBCC to get a relevant CEC official to speak to this after the summer break
  • A resident stated that buses are causing damage in East London St, and that exhaust fumes are causing nano-particle pollution. Residents have written to Lothian Buses, who reportedly replied that East London St would not be a major bus route once trams were running. But buses apparently remain ‘bumper to bumper’ on this street as they come off duty. It was noted that the UK is being sued because it has failed EU pollution regulation.
  • R Price noted that some areas in Edinburgh fail EU regulations – and hence more monitoring is needed.
  • IM suggested writing to CEC councillors, MSPs and MPs.
  • A Welsh recommended asking for an air quality action plan.

 

 

8 Licensing

A Welsh attended the most recent CEC licensing meeting. He reported that

  • There will be a site visit to investigate the application for an off-license at 24 Royal Terrace.
  • The application about a shop at 25A Dundas St will also be subject to a site visit.
  • Alcohol sales at 113 George Street have been restricted to ceasing at 1am, following standard conditions.
  • Tesco in Picardy Place will not be selling alcohol.

9 Planning

9.1 Heriot Hill

This is between Broughton Road and Claremont Crescent/Claremont Grove. Jenny Clarke, a resident of this area, gave a presentation (on NTBCC website at http://www.ntbcc.org.uk/here2/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/SHH-2015-Presentation.pdf) about

  • how developers have already damaged trees and property (boundary fences) in this area, without permission or an engineering report. (The developers have only reimbursed 50% of the cost of some damages.) CEC Enforcement officers were involved to limit this activity.
  • that on 20 May, the developers applied for permission to build 8 large townhouses on the hill, along with a road on top of a wall that would significantly over-shadow and overlook existing tenements’ gardens, hence very negatively impacting light and general amenity.
  • that plans as submitted do not show the full impact of this wall – plans are not to scale, minimising the size and effect of the wall, while there are no studies on daylight loss effects, no landscape plan, no elevations etc.
  • that the developers have submitted a separate application for listed building consent covering the boundary walls to the rear of Claremont Crescent (listed buildings) – this did not require neighbour notification. This application mentioned that the land is unstable but there is need to take in heavy machinery.
  • that there have been recurring applications to build in this area (same architect but different owners). This ‘cat-and-mouse’ approach is likely to eventually break down objectors.

RP responded NTBCC are involved directly with the Save Heriot Hill campaign group and that that it was likely that CEC would examine this proposal very carefully and that submitted applications are not necessarily built. It was also suggested that obtaining an independent stability report on this land may be useful. A Welsh, a former engineer, suggested that the land is unstable, and that objectors should contact the Geological Survey of Scotland to obtain confirmation of this.

R Price stated that CEC is likely to reject the current incomplete application. Action: NTBCC will also object on amenity issues and possibly, access, stability grounds and due to the developer’s track record, and have encouraged other impacted to object. He suggested two ‘future-proofing’ tactics: either someone buys the land, or it is designated green space – the latter seems unlikely. J Finn suggested that the price of the land would fall if this application is rejected – this would be the opportune moment to buy the land.

RP noted that the use of tree preservation orders are is no longer applicablebecause the trees have already gone. He also suggested writing to CEC councillors and MSPs, and noted that the application is too small in terms of residential units to require a PAN.

9.2 Other planning matters

  • NTBCC planning members attended the exhibition covering the planning application for the redevelopment of the City Observatory by the Collective Gallery. A representation has been submitted which is very supportive of the planned use and opening up this inaccessible space on Calton Hill to the general public. NTBCC did have some concerns over the some of the detail of the café/salon and entrance kiosk. A copy of the representation as submitted will be put on the website
  • A representation on the St James hotel based on the input from NTBCC in May has been made – this will be put on the website soon.
  • The Local Development Plan has now gone to the reporter. This includes CEC Planning responses to the significant number of comments received during the public consultation. (NTBCC’s objections were rejected).
  • The Strategic development Plan (SESplan) 5 year cycle has started. The plan covers Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and Scottish Borders (see http://www.sesplan.gov.uk) is planned to replace the previous plan (approved in 2013) in 2018. RP stated that this is where NTBCC could make strategic input and he would return to the key issues at the August meeting.
  • Royal College of Physicians is adding a lift from its basement to its main entrance level. It will not be visible and gives wheelchair access. NTBCC did not have concerns with this application.

10 Edinburgh Association of Community Councils

L Press attended the EACC office-bearer election. Unfortunately the newly elected secretary resigned a few days later. EACC is due to issue a plan later this month.

11 Activities of Local Street or Amenity Associations

12 Any other business

B Ryan noted that Community Shares Scotland (http://communitysharesscotland.org.uk) may be a way for raising funds for CC projects or, possibly, for community buy-outs as suggested above for Heriot Hill.

B Ryan also reported that there is a Commission on Local Tax Reform (http://localtaxcommission.scot). He is preparing a submission asking that CCs are not forgotten and suggesting that CCs need better funding. He will circulate a draft of this to NTBCC for comment/input soon.

A Welsh sent the last NTBCC minutes to Adam Wilkinson at World Heritage, asking for sight of their submissions on issues around Edinburgh and asking how NTBCC could become a ‘friend of WH’.

Stephen Hajduki was co-opted onto NTBCC (proposed R Price, seconded I Mowat, nem con).

 

 

13 Planning Committee Report May 2015

 

13.1 Planning Sub-Committee

No formal F2F Planning Sub-committee held in May but informal meeting at the Edinburgh Civic Forum

13.2 Pre-Application Notifications & Associated Applications with Major Developments

13.2.1 14/03550/PAN 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, serviced apartments (or a hotel), and Class 1 (Retail), Class 2 (Professional offices), Class 3 (Restaurant/café).
NTBCC representation supported the developer’s aspirations but objected to the demolition (or gutting & retaining the façade) of listed buildings on West Register Street & also did not support the proposed 42 St Andrews Square roof top extension. NTBCC was supportive of the vision to create a more vibrant entrance to the proposed St James Quarter development with various food / drink establishments fronting Register Lane & the ground floor of 42 St Andrews Square and the restoration of the banking hall. Transport comments covered recommendation to minimize vehicle access, manage trade waste more appropriately and unclear if provision for cycle route along West Register Street is necessary, preferring the approach taken in Rose Street (cycle access but shared space). NTBCC understand that a full planning application will be lodged in the next month or so.

13.3 Edinburgh St James

13.3.1 14/05263/AMC Approval of matters specified in condition 23 (i), (iii), (vii), (ix), (x), (xi), (xvi) and (xvii) of Planning Permission 08/03361/OUT relating to number of residential/commercial/business units, design of external features and materials, pedestrian and cycle access arrangements, treatment to adopted roads or footways, car parking venting, servicing, surface water and drainage, and hard and soft landscaping details St James Centre Edinburgh EH2 3S

NTBCC Planning Committee attended the Cockburn Case Study meeting on the above and had sight of the Cockburn representation.

 

Summary of NTBCC representation (copy on website) :

  • Desirable to further improve vitality of Leith Street
  • No objection to removal of Greenside link
  • Concerns over public realm and proposed use of Little King Street (exclusive vehicle access for residential apartments) & future impact of relocated Picardy Place tram stop on pedestrian flows through LKS.
  • Regret absence of offices in latest plans.
  • Support Cockburn Association proposal for sustainable development – design should accommodate change of use of retail to offices or other.
  • Concerns over impact of construction and amount of spoil to remove to Leith Docks. (4 levels of car parking proposed with final level requiring significant excavation into bedrock).

13.3.2 14/02070/AMC Application for approval of matters specified in condition 23 (ii) of planning permission 08/03361/OUT for the precise location and extent of individual uses. St James Centre Edinburgh EH2 3SS

Application lodged in 2014 detailing the precise areas allocated to each Class use/ NTBCC did not make a representation but application now superceded by 15/02054/AMC. Expect that the 14/02070 will be withdrawn but currently shows as ‘Consideration Pending’.

13.3.3 15/02054/AMC Application for approval of matters specified in Condition 23 of Outline Planning Permission 08/03361/OUT for 'the precise location and extent of individual uses'. St James Centre Edinburgh EH2 3SS

No major changes vs. 2014 AMC – marginally more Retail & Ancillary Services, less Parking, cinema, food & drink. Short representation submitted mainly regarding sustainability of the development and ability to amend uses dependent on retail take-up. Consideration pending.

13.3.4 15/01742/AMC Application for approval of matters specified in condition 23(iv), (v), (vi), (viii), (xii), (xiii), (xiv) and (xv) of Permission 08/03361/OUT relating to cycle parking facilities, showers/lockers, signing of pedestrian/cycle routes, car parking bays, external lighting, hours of deliveries/collections, waste management + hours of operation. St James Centre Edinburgh EH2 3SS

No formal representation submitted due to lack of detailed analysis being concluded by NTBCC.

13.3.5 15/01858/AMC Application for approval of matters specified in Condition 23 of Outline Planning Permission 08/03361/OUT relating to design of the central hotel building (Block C) and associated landscaping and external lighting. 1 - 3 St James Centre Edinburgh EH2 3SS 15/01858/AMC

See separate handout – representation reviewed by Planning Sub-committee based on discussions at May 2015 NTBCC. Copy will be posted on the NTBCC website.

13.3.6 14/05147/FUL Change of use from student accommodation to Class 1 (Shops), Class 2 (Financial, professional & other services) and/or Class 4 (Business) uses and residential apartments, proposed alterations and ancillary works.
27, 29, 31 James Craig Walk Edinburgh EH2 3BA

Proposal to redevelop from existing student accommodation (in use since 2002) to 6 ground/lower ground floor commercial units & 20 residential flats. Proposal includes significant restoration of the building exterior to its original form as well as managing the change in street level elevation from current (& historic) through new entrances. NTBCC representation made – broadly in support.10 comments. Approved at DMC.

13.3.7 14/05143/FUL Change of use to Class 3 (Food and Drink) and Class 4 (Business) uses, proposed alterations, erection of extension and ancillary works.
3 St James Place (aka St Andrews House) Edinburgh EH2 3JH

Extension to existing listed building towards JL to form significant contemporary extension & associated public realm improvements to Little King Street. No NTBCC representation made. 2 comments lodged including The Cockburn Association who opposed the contemporary extension. Approved.

13.3.8 15/00223/PAN 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 and gatehouse, new build development, new/improved pedestrian and vehicle access, landscaping, parking and public realm works to create a world class hotel of international standing. New Parliament House 5 - 7 Regent Road Edinburgh EH7 5BL

Development proposal is generating significant community interest including an AHSS-sponsored discussion on 23rd February. Public Exhibitions (4 days) now finished.

The Public Exhibition on 5th/6th March had more developed plans. The ‘do nothing’ option is unacceptable and there is an urgent need to ensure that the buildings do not deteriorate further but on balance, this scheme cannot be supported and a strong representation made to the developers emphasising the over-development of the site & the unviability of the proposal for a luxury/prestige hotel. Copy on website.

We await future developments with interest…

13.3.9 15/02381/PAN Conservation and adaption of former Royal High School building designed by Thomas Hamilton to form new premises for St Mary's Music School and adaption and demolition of later ancillary buildings essential to form new residential and practice facilities for the school. New Parliament House 5 - 7 Regent Road Edinburgh EH7 5BL

Further competing PAN lodged for the Old Royal High School. Public Exhibition on June 18th (5:00pm – 8:00pm) at the Canongate Kirk.

NTBCC members are encouraged to attend; representation will be submitted in early July.

13.4 Planning Applications / Representations

13.4.1 15/01828/FUL Proposal to fully refurbish existing Grade-A listed City Observatory, Transit House, Playfair Monument and boundary walls. Create new gallery/office, restaurant + entrance kiosk. Proposals also include: demolition of existing Crawford and Cox domes, WC block + aerial house and removal of collapsed Tweedie Dome. Proposals also include new hard + soft landscaping to coherently link the various elements of the scheme. City Observatory 38 Calton Hill Edinburgh EH7 5AA

Representation submitted - NTBCC very supportive of this application – both in terms of the repair and restoration being proposed for these listed building and the relevant future use for this site. NTBCC also believe that this proposal, by allowing free public access to this compound which has been inaccessible and forgotten for many years, will add significantly to the vitality and sense of place in the wider context of Calton Hill. In addition, the proposal for this group of architecturally and culturally significant buildings on Calton Hill will remove these from the ‘Buildings at Risk’ register.

Representation also requested consideration to continue to limit access to Calton Hill, to consider whether the proposed terrace could be amended to ensure that it does not detract from the overall setting, consideration to retain some of the tree screen to the south-east and revisit the design of the entrance kiosk.

 

13.4.2 15/02335/FUL Development of 8 townhouses with associated access improvements and ground condition survey. Land Adjacent To 62 Broughton Road Edinburgh

NTBCC engaged with the residents group. Initial response formulated.

In summary, it is clear that, while the impact on Claremont Grove appears to be less than with the previous scheme (as the townhouse height is lower than before), it will be severe on the tenements in Broughton Road in terms of amenity, overshadowing, privacy etc. because of the level differences and the destruction of current remaining screening vegetation. However, we believe that the application is deficient in terms of relevant background supplementary information and as such, it is not possible at this stage to fully assess the degree of detriment.

In this case, to make a proper assessment, in the opinion of NTBCC, the planners should have asked (or should ask) as a minimum for:

  • cross sections of the site right from Claremont Grove through to Broughton Street showing the proposed and existing buildings, with accurate levels throughout
  • studies to assess the impact on daylight to the tenements and sunlight to the back greens in line with the Council's own guidance
  • a landscape plan showing all remaining trees etc. and how they are going to be safeguarded and maintained during and after construction; and replacement planting to maintain screening
  • elevations from the Broughton Street tenements including the scale and finishes of the retaining walls together with all proposed planting etc. to attempt to minimise the impact.

Without this additional information, it is the view of NTBCC that neither the planning officer should be able to make an informed judgement on the case and the residents' impacted will also find it difficult to assess the impact.

We have therefore recommended that the residents continue to send in their objections including as many of the aspects mentioned earlier this week that they wish but also pointing out the need for this additional material."

NTBCC's position at this stage will be to strongly suggest that the Planning officer requests that the applicant withdraws the current application.

We also do not believe that the proposed access road is fit for purpose & may result in refuse trucks etc. having to reverse out onto Broughton Road which is far from ideal.

13.5 Update on Previous Planning Applications / Representations

13.5.1 ENA-230-2093 Batleys Cash And Carry, 30 McDonald Place, Edinburgh, EH7 4NH

Applicant appeal to DPEA regarding refusal for Sunday trading was unsuccessful.

13.5.2 14/02786/FUL 1-6 Canonmills Bridge (currently Earthy’s)

Change of use from class 3 to retail, erection 6 flats and 3 town houses and minor alterations to elevations

Original representation submitted by NTBCC against the 2009 application but subsequently granted in May 2013. NTBCC proposed refurbishment of existing premises rather than demolition & redevelopment (which has now happened). Subsequent application to vary elevation details in 2014. In December DMC recommended refusal of current application (“detrimental to the character of the conservation area”).

13.5.3 15/01786/CON Complete Demolition in a Conservation Area. 1 Canonmills Bridge Edinburgh EH4 5LF

New application to demolish the existing premises located at 1-6 Canonmills. NTBCC unclear as to the legal status, representing the views of the wider community, do not support proposal to demolish as the existing premises are held in high regard. Over 100 comments logged, decision pending.

13.5.4 14/01419/FUL Garage at rear of 8 Bellevue Crescent & 14/00049/REVREF;
15/00147/FUL (January 2015)

NTBCC has not yet objected (retrospectively) to the Enforcement Officer’s decision regarding the original application despite clear guidance from DPEA & the Local Review Board.

Further application in January (which is essentially a duplicate of the previous) has been judged as ‘decline to determine’.

13.5.5 15/00700/FUL Proposed change of use of domestic lock up garage to form studio office accommodation. Garage 32 Metres Southwest Of 8 Bellevue Crescent Edinburgh (March3015)

Further application lodged – similar to previous refused applications. NTBC has made a strong representation against the proposal. Decision pending.

13.5.6 14/04840/FUL Proposed extension at rear of coffee pavilion in St Andrew Square Gardens. 43 St Andrew Square Edinburgh EH3 2AD

NTBCC representation submitted. In summary, ‘NTBCC fully supports opening St Andrew Square gardens to the general public and believes this forms a valuable additional public space in the city, which will become even more important when the adjacent, already consented, developments are completed. However, NTBCC believe that the gardens should be maintained as far as possible as an oasis of “tranquillity at the heart of the city”. We believe that this application is contrary to this.’ 4 comments received – decision remains pending.

13.5.7 09/00715/FUL 16- 22 Picardy Place

Concerns raised by the process adopted for this application which was ‘minded to grant’ subject to a legal agreement being put in place for a Tram Contribution to CEC. Normally, permission lapses after 3 years if no development is started – in this case, the Legal agreement has taken over 5 years and has now been approved. Outstanding question via Councillor Mowat to Head of Planning as to proposed changes to process to prevent this occurring in the future. Further follow-up planned but no progress currently.

13.6 George Street proposals

NTBCC Planning Sub-committee met to consider what we would propose for George Street public realm improvements given the position regarding the current CEC trial and are now developing a position for input into the latest proposals. There has been much internal discussion to gain concensus and we will table our thoughts in the next month or so.

The final quarterly stakeholder meeting confirmed as 15 June 2015 10:00-12:00 at the Assembly Rooms, Drawing Room. We believe that all are welcome, including members of the public, and anyone with an interest in the future of George Street.

As previously discussed, NTBCC Planning Committee also want to engage more closely with Essential Edinburgh to better understand their aspirations etc. both with George Street, St Andrews Square gardens and possibly Charlotte Square gardens. This process has started at the June NTBCC meeting (Roddy Smith from Essential Edinburgh presenting).

13.7 Second LDP Consultation

Representations to the delayed Second Local Development Plan have been considered. NTBCC made four, relatively minor, representations to the LDP (submitted for Policy CC1,Ret 1 (x2) & Ret 8). The representations made by NTBCC have been responded to by CEC (but no material changes proposed to the Second LDP as a result). All CEC responses will be considered by the Scottish Reporter.

The main concern is being voiced by CC’s outside of the City Centre – mainly due to the plans to release more greenfield sites for housing development to meet the Scottish Government targets. We will communicate further once the updated plan has been further reviewed.

13.8 SESPlan Consultation

A joint initiative between CEC, East, Mid & West Lothian, the Borders and South Fife. Request for consultation with all key stakeholders including Community Councils. An Engagement Plan is being developed.

The Main Issues Report for SESplan2 was agreed by the SESplan Joint Committee on 29 May 2015 and will be considered / approved / ratified by Edinburgh’s Planning Committee on Monday 15 June.

The Main Issues Report and its supporting documents are available on the SESplan website Joint Committee folder (http://www.sesplan.gov.uk/joint-committee).

Once approved and ratified, the consultation on the Main Issues Report will run from 21 July to 15 September 2015. During this time consultation events will be held across the SESplan area.

More information on events and your opportunity to comment will be available on the SESplan website shortly. Everyone is encouraged to register on the SESplan Consultation Portal to get updates, submit responses (after 21 July) and see other responses (http://sesplan-consult.objective.co.uk/common/register.jsp).

Planning Sub-committee will key discussion points at the July meeting

Richard Price

June 2015