NTBCC minutes – Monday 12 October 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 12 October 2015 at 7.30pm

The meeting was chaired by NTBCC vice-chair Lynn Henni

1 Attendance and apologies for absence

1.1 Present

Judy Conn NTBCC Allan Alstead Moray Feuars
Jonathan Finn NTBCC John Raven Great King Street Association
Stephen Hajducki NTBCC Ian Blackley Resident
Lynn Henni NTBCC Diane Chisholm Resident
Jack Hugh NTBCC Nadine Fabre Resident
Allan Jack NTBCC Andrew Haddow Resident
Iain McGill NTBCC Rhoddie Stewart Meiklejohn Resident
Ian Mowat NTBCC Caroline Roussot Resident
Carol Nimmo NTBCC Colin Smith Turley
Richard Price NTBCC Alison Maguire Turley
Christine Ross NTBCC Guy Cartwright Edinburgh Academy
Alan Welsh NTBCC PC Grant Saunders Police Scotland
Bruce Ryan minutes secretary PC Paul Dewar Police Scotland
Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle

1.2 Apologies

Susanna Beaumont NTBCC Cllr Lesley Hinds Inverleith ward
Audrey Cavaye NTBCC Cllr Karen Doran City Centre ward
Lewis Press NTBCC Cllr Joanna Mowat City Centre ward
Cllr Marion Donaldson Leith Walk ward Cllr Alasdair Rankin City Centre ward

2 Co-option of Jack Hugh to NTBCC

Jack Hugh was co-opted to NTBCC as representative of the Northumberland St Association (proposed I Mowat, seconded A Welsh, nem con)

3 Minutes of Meetings of 7 September 2015

3.1 Approval

Approved, subject to noting that Neil Simpson is a local resident, because he spoke in in that capacity (proposed L Henni, seconded A Welsh, nem con)

3.2 Matters arising

No items

4 Police report

PCs Grant Saunders is a funded ward officer (FWO). He reported that

  • CEC gives Police Scotland about £2·5 million to fund FWOs.
  • Their roles include liaison with CCs, but focus on the following in Edinburgh city centre
    • assaults and violent crimes in licensed premises
    • acquisitive crime
    • drinking and antisocial behaviour
    • drug abuse and dealing
  • Rough sleeping of itself is not a crime – Police Scotland (PS) has no power to move on rough sleepers (RSs). PS’s core value is public safety, so they must consider whether to ask RSs to move on or let them stay ‘safe’ where they are now. However, they must take into account antisocial behaviour (ASB), which is a crime.
  • Rough sleeping statistics are not recorded (CEC used to record numbers until about 6 years ago), but the PCs’ impression is that numbers are rising. There is hostel provision in winter only, so numbers rise in summers. (It was noted that Streetworks is trying to work with RSs in Bellevue. However, Streetworks’ budget has been severely cut due to loss of CEC funding.)
  • While the PCs do not have answers to the causes of rough sleeping, PS has to be seen to react to issues. Examples they might emulate include:
    • Rochdale, encouraging local businesses to allow the public to use their toilets (This costs £600 per toilet per year, which is cheaper than maintaining actual public toilets).
    • Vancouver, which converts city centre benches into sleeping shelters.
  • PS is aware of alcohol and ASB issues in Picardy Place (PP), and have methods to start to tackle this (also in the West End). PS is working with Edinburgh Council (CEC) licencing department, trying to educate vendors not to sell to customers who are already drunk. PS will deter drunken-ness and ASB.
  • CCTV coverage of PP currently is limited, so PS has asked CEC for more cameras, and to thin out trees. There are issues outside of Chalky’s nightclub. This is not covered by CCTV. PS is awaiting response from CEC.
  • There are joint patrols with CEC safety wardens, e.g. in the High Street.
  • At the West End, they have met with local businesses to tackle ASB (e.g. at West Register House, Charlotte Square). They are also working with CEC on this.
  • Crime statistics for April to August 2015
    • 15 reported break-ins to dwellings, 22 break-ins to other premises. This is a slight increase on previous years. Detection rate (i.e. offenders have been charged) = 70%
    • 22 reported vehicle crimes. Detection rate = 50%

There may be a large cut to CEC’s community policing budget. (See Evening News article: http://bit.ly/1LSinBz), Co-ordination with Leith Central CC was suggested. I Mowat or R Price will attend LCCC’s next meeting.

It was suggested that NTBCC forms a group around rough sleeping, public toilets etc. CEC has a community toilet scheme under which businesses are paid £500 annually to let the public use their toilets – see http://bit.ly/1QAHRBz. Decision: this group will consist of C Nimmo, I Mowat and A Jack.

The PCs were asked about arrangements for Hogmanay. It has been suggested the boundary for the official celebrations may be increased to include the Old Town/Royal Mile/St Giles.)

L Henni asked whether PS could take action on rogue cyclists, in particular whether they would consider running a high-profile week-long campaign. The PCs acknowledged that this is an issue. They challenge it when they encounter it. Cycling on the pavement is a crime, unless the pavement is dual-use. It was suggested that rogue cyclists are made to attend Bikeability courses. (There had been an awareness course for errant cyclists in 2014.) PS has school link officers, who might act on this issue.

5 Presentation of initial masterplan of redevelopment of Edinburgh Academy campus, 42 Henderson Row by Turley, Planning Consultants

Colin Smith (of Turley [planning consultants]) and Guy Cartright (Edinburgh Academy bursar) reported that

  • The masterplan (created by Richard Murphy Architects) is about supplying modern education while maintaining the school buildings’ architectural heritage. The masterplan is a series of individual projects – the masterplan explains why each is happening and the relationships between them. Projects include:
    • Accommodation for 6th Form in the building linking the two sites
    • Updating the now out-of-date gym
    • Replacement of prefabs with more classrooms – the latter reflecting heights of existing buildings.
  • The masterplan assumes that the school site is self-sufficient except for games fields. Hence the school will not be expanded much, retaining a capacity of around 600 pupils. The school consists of two sites – the original school (A-listed) and Donaldson’s school for the deaf (B-listed). These sites are next to each other but are not yet integrated. Most changes would be to the Donaldson’s site. The sites also fall into two CC areas – NTBCC and Stockbridge & Inverleith CC.
  • The masterplan is not an actual design – it’s an idea of how the projects may fit together. No actual planning applications are imminent, and no architect has been appointed for any project. The timescale depends on funding. It is likely that the science buildings would be tackled first (in the next 2 to 3 years), followed by updating the area behind the Donaldsons’ site (up to 6 years from now). This area contains the gym and other sports facilities.
  • The school owns the bank between it and Glenogle Road. The treescape thereon would be retained, but trees that reduce light-blocking on the colonies would be planted.
  • The school acknowledges that is will be working on its listed buildings, near to other listed buildings and close to residents, so it expects that there may be some disagreements.
  • In response to a comment that the school, which has pupils from many parts of Edinburgh, should look at links between itself and public transport, it was stated that the school runs a bus-service for its pupils, and that it is looking into links with Waverly station. It is aware of issues around parents driving their children to school, and around parking – it will have a transport strategy.
  • There will be on-going consultation with NTBCC and other CCs, including a community exhibition.
  • The masterplan envisages increased community use of the school, e.g. use of sports facilities. Current community use includes adult education and use of the junior school sports hall.
  • NTBCC agreed that although this development straddles community council boundaries, the main impact (if any) would be to premises within Stockbridge & Inverleith CC area and therefore NTBCC agreed to defer comments to Stockbridge & Inverleith primarily. Action: R Price to contact Planning rep on Stockbridge & Inverleith CC.

6 Treasurer’s Report

Following receipt of our grant of just under £1,000 from the Council in August, the current balance on our account is £1,756. This is sufficient to pay all of our expected bills for the current year.

7 Planning

See also planning report in Appendix 1 (section 0 below)

7.1 Fettes Row, Royal Crescent, Dundas Street and Eyre Terrace

R Price requested input on the draft submission circulated previously. This draft supports both the developers and CEC looking at a masterplan for the whole site – a point made by NTBCC on their submission to the now-consented smaller scheme bordering Eyre Place/Eyre Terrace. It notes that the developers have come to the community at early stage, and that NTBCC is open to a range of possible uses for the site. However, some replacement of the employment lost from this site is necessary to ensure that the local area retains and hopefully grows its sense of place. NTBCC also questions whether any of the buildings would be retained, or whether the entire site would be demolished and makes suggestions as to possible reuse of some of the existing buildings. The draft states that retention of the Dundas St frontages may be worthwhile, and that retention of the tree screen along Fettes Row and Royal Crescent is a strong desire. Underground parking (helped by the site’s topography) is supported for all of the proposed users – with no new residential permits being issued. The submission includes comments by the Friends of King George V Park & local residents associations.

A Welsh suggested that NTBCC should be concerned about the height of replacement buildings.

J Conn stated that social/affordable housing is vital.

7.2 St James development

RP reported that a recent Q&A session focused on the congregation of the St Mary’s Cathedral on Picardy Place (PP). The developers THRE (Henderson Real Estate) want on-going engagement with the local community. NTBCC intends to offer THRE (approximately) quarterly opportunities to inform NTBCC and the wider community of the major work planned for the next few months. The development will inevitably be very disruptive due to the large amount of materials being transported both off the site and onto the site over the next four years. Hence NTBCC is very interested in more detailed plans to transport this material to Leith Docks.

A Welsh suggested that there is an issue between John Lewis and the developers over access. RP suggested that JL had obtained the connectivity they wish, and that plans for a hotel PP roundabout had been shelved.

7.3 George Street

I Mowat reported that there was an exhibition about GS in the Assembly Rooms on 2 October. This exhibition set out design principles, including quality (e.g. better pavements and road surfaces), symmetry, respect for heritage, accessibility, flexibility (e.g. no permanent decking, wiring / other services in place for Xmas lights etc.), some parallel parking. Also, the N1 cycle route will go along GS. All of these can be incorporated if the existing central parking strip is removed. He noted that what works well in August will not work all year round, e.g. in summers cafés and restaurants might use some of the pavement. It is envisaged that a plan will go to CEC in December.

A Welsh requested that city centre users observe bus route changes. J Finn stated that the exhibition consider GS’ context, e.g. it didn’t acknowledge that traffic on GS depends on what is happening in other areas.
A resident stated that CEC should concentrate providing on high-quality basics.

A Welsh expressed concern that Essential Edinburgh would take over GS for commercial use, rather than it being a transport route. Other NTBCC members suggested that this not Iain MacPhail’s vision. I Mowat noted that information he had requested to share with NTBCC had not yet been supplied, and that data on traffic after the removal of decking in GS is still being collected and analysed.

8 Licensing

See also licensing report in Appendix 2 (section 15 below.)

J Finn reported that there are two new licence applications

  • Cote restaurant (51 Frederick St)
  • A mail order despatch office (26 Howe Street)

NTBCC agreed nem con that there was no need to object to these.

Concerning the now open Brew Dog shop on Dundas St, the issue is around ineffective internal soundproofing.

Action: B Ryan put link to tables and chairs application on the NTBCC website.

9 Transport

See also item 7.3 above.

A Jack (transport convenor) reported that residents’ associations had two major concerns about CEC’s draft parking action plan:

  • CEC should plan around parking street-by-street, based on numbers of residents and available space, as was done for refuse arrangements.
  • The idea of visitor permits (VPs) was also either welcomed or hated. RAs state that there are already too many permits – the streets are already full. If VPs are to be given out, there should be a trial of this scheme, and residents’ parking spaces should not be converted to shared use.

A resident, representing Broughton St Mary’s Church, spoke on the idea of extending parking controls to Sundays. She stated that many congregation members drive to the church because they live in other parts of Edinburgh. They attend for several hours and would face paying £2·20 per hour. Also, there are community activities (e.g. Brownies, music events) on Saturdays and week-day evenings. It was suggested that churches could be permitted ‘parking hotspots’.

R Price agreed that charging for weekend parking is undesirable, stating that there are not parking problems in many areas. Hence blanket charging for parking in the early evenings/weekends is about making money for CEC. Another member suggested that proposed parking charges would ‘kill’ the Stockbridge market.

It was suggested that such charges may be appropriate for central zones but not for peripheral zones such as this. C Nimmo suggested that charges would fix parking issues for Royal Terrace residents. Rezoning peripheral and city-centre areas was suggested as another possible improvement. It was suggested that visitors and residents will clash over parking spaces so long as they are scarce, and that this situation will endure so long as people are ‘in thrall to’ cars. Hence better alternate transport systems are needed. It was suggested that there should be no more permits than there are spaces.

It was noted that the NTBCC’s transport committee must make its submission by the end of October.

10 Environment

See also environment report in Appendix 3 (section 16 below.)

J Conn reported that NTBCC’s Environment committee needs to raise the issue of street cleaners.

J Finn reported that there had been a positive response from NTBCC’s statement on waste – see section 16.2. There was a separate meeting about domestic waste – it appears that the current machines are substandard, and that there are quality control issues. There will be new garbage trucks and bins in 2016. It was suggested that that QR codes on bins will be ineffective because bins ‘move’ from home to home.

It was noted that Edinburgh has only 30 environmental wardens, of which 5 work in the city centre, and that they must work in pairs. EWs also have arguably too many duties.

More feedback is planned, e.g. on the ‘horrendous’ system for phoning in issues. L Henni suggested that tweeting photos of overflowing bins to is effective.

11 Neighbourhood Partnerships

No reports

12 Activities of Local Street or Amenity Associations

J Finn reported that there is now a Rose St and Castle St traders’ association – he had attended their recent meeting. Essential Edinburgh were also at that meeting, facing resentment that GS gets EE money, Rose St does not, even though Rose St traders pay EE levies.

J Hugh reported that Northumberland and Nelson St association is now being constituted.

A Welsh suggested that street associations should send their contact details to the World Heritage organisation.

I Mowat reported that the Barony St garden association open doors event was successful. There will be Halloween party on 31 October.

13 Any Other Business

It was suggested that an NTBCC mailing list was set up. Action: B Ryan to investigate

A Welsh noted that CEC is obliged to light public stairs, but that this duty isn’t being undertaken everywhere.



14 Appendix 1 – Summary of planning matters (September update)

There continues to be a high activity regarding significant or major developments across the city centre at various stages of the planning process.

14.1 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.

  • Planning permission was granted at the Development Management Committee (DMC) for the ‘Ribbon’ Hotel against the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse and most if not all of the Heritage bodies.
  • NTBCC submitted a further representation supporting the Planning Officer’s recommendation. We had been generally supportive of the development, seeing the developing plans as vastly superior to the present St James Centre, and offering a chance to revitalise the East End. We welcomed the initial outline plans for the central hotel, and saw the potential of this landmark modern development being ‘topped’ off by a feature that could be a positive addition to the skyline.
  • However we believed that the final design did not live up to its initial promise. Overall, whilst slightly taken aback by its bulk, we considered that it did attempt to bring a fresh, distinctive and innovative approach appropriate in what is an unashamedly modern development. Our main concern was that the feature created the impression of too much bulk in the building. Council planners confirmed that the proposed building was larger than the envelope established by the outline planning permission.

Despite the many representations made, the DMC saw fit to approve the application as submitted.

  • Earlier in August, the AMC covering the proposed materials for the main primary facades was reviewed at DMC. Again, despite the Planning Officer’s recommendation to refuse the application for the proposed use of limestone (but supporting retaining the homogeneity of using sandstone, consistent with most other buildings in the New Town Conservation Area), DMC approved the main facades being clad in limestone.

14.1.1 Recent News

  • The hearing/inquiry on compulsory purchase orders for the delivery of the development was held in September/early October. The outcome will now be considered by the Scottish Government.
  • The developers, THRE, have confirmed the existing centre will close following the Christmas trading period with demolition beginning in spring 2016 (end April) but John Lewis (JL) will continue trading.
  • 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 and ‘offers a rare opportunity in the Scottish capital for John Lewis to take ownership of a large-scale modern space and fit out and merchandise the store to its requirements’.
  • 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. We propose to offer NTBCC meeting as a forum for regular face to face updates from the developers, from December 2015 onwards.

14.2 42 St Andrews Square, 19-23 South St Andrews Street, West Register Street & West Register Street Lane (15/02788/FUL & 15/02784/LBC)

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 in response to the initial PAN 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).

  • AHSS & EWH have both maintained their objection to demolition of listed buildings, believing that the SHEP tests have not been met.
  • The application remains ‘pending consideration’ by the Planning Officer.

14.3 Former Royal High School

Following a 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.

14.3.1 Brief history

  • A 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 & ding hall are proposed for demolition to be replaced by a purpose-built accommodation block including music practice rooms.
    • RHSPT have announced that Simpson & Brown have been appointed as architects for the scheme and they intend to continue to develop the detail behind their proposal.
  • 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.
  • Currently over 1500 comments lodged on the Planning portal.
  • NTBCC have a final draft of their representation (available on NTBCC website) and will submit as agreed by mid-October.
  • We are aware that this application has prompted an ICOMOS-UK Informal Assessment of the impact of this and other recent developments on the World heritage site.

14.4 3–8 St Andrew Square

A development of ‘Grade A’ office space, retail space and apartments covered by a multitude of applications has been approved and the construction is well-advanced.

  • Construction progressing at a pace.
  • Premises for 6 restaurants have been confirmed with 3 operators announced.

14.5 Charlotte Baptist Chapel

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 is 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. Developers state that they are aiming for the higher end of the market.
  • Although the building is listed, the interior is relatively plain. Their subdivision follows the architectural features and retains them where possible as features within the rooms, which are generous in size and ceiling height. A few elements e.g. the pulpit woodwork will be re-used in the basement bar area.
  • NTBCC’s view is that this is a much-improved and imaginative use of the building and whilst we may not strongly support the application, the proposal would safeguard the building in the longer term. Other possible uses which keep the interior intact (e.g. theatre, cinema, concert hall, church) are already well provided for in Edinburgh and no such offers have been forthcoming.
  • 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 will consider the application in more detail after having both the developers and local residents discussed their views at the September NTBCC meeting.

14.6 Public Consultation Event – September 2015 RBS Public Consultation on 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 2010 Edinburgh City Local Plan (ECLP) defines this ‘urban area’ as suitable in principle for ‘residential, commercial, institutional and other purposes’. However, the ECLP also states that the site of the former tenement on Eyre Place is designated as ‘open space’. Local plan policy Os1 offers protection for this, ‘unless certain criteria are satisfied’.

Furthermore, as the site is within the New Town Conservation Area and forms part of the northern boundary of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site (although just over it), any development of the site must preserve or enhance 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.

The NTBCC Planning Committee has collated their initial thoughts that have been separately distributed.

14.7 154 McDonald Road

  • Applications (including LBC) covered the installation of a new sub-station to service the already-approved scheme ‘to alter and change the use of 154 McDonald Road to residential accommodation (as amended)’, 13/02458/FUL. Given that Scottish Power has determined that the current electricity supply for the building will be inadequate for the new use, proposal therefore to construct a new sub-station at the adjacent primary school end of the playground, with access to the pavement on Broughton Road via a new opening in the wall. Opportunity appears to have been taken to append a further structure to this to act as a ‘summer house’ for the residents of the building.
  • NTBCC objected to the proposal on the grounds that it would be detrimental to the setting of the listed building and the reduction on the already-limited ‘visual amenity’ land at this location. We proposed relocating the sub-station to the basement of the existing building.
  • The application has now been withdrawn by the developers.

A new application for creating 2 openings complete with case iron gates for a purpose unknown has now been lodged and fast-track approved.

14.8 21A Claremont Crescent

NTBCC lodged an objection along with local residents to a proposed contemporary extension to the rear. The proposal is broadly similar to a previous application refused in 2008.

14.9 City Observatory

The application by The Collective Gallery and Malcolm Fraser Architects for redevelopment of the City Observatory compound has been approved by the DMC. NTBCC were broadly supportive of this application as were other heritage bodies. The Cockburn regretted that the site was not developed more in keeping with its history.

14.10 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 to be worked – most importantly – how do the junctions work ?

14.11 Other News

NTBCC were contacted by local residents in Rose Street regarding alterations to the ‘Pride of Scotland’ shop frontage and the incessant piped music & whether this was permitted by current regulations. NTBCC believe that the issue is temporary as the lease is up for renewal & therefore the situation will resolve itself in time. NTBCC propose no further action.

NTBCC were contacted about a stalled development in Moray Place. Permission was granted for a significant redevelopment of a rear extension which was approved in 2012. The design involved the creation of a third level, at lower basement and garden level, with the excavation of about 400 cubic metres of soil and bedrock to create this lower floor. Demolition of existing rear extension occurred in late 2012, early 2013 with significant spoil remaining in the rear garden. Since then absolutely nothing has happened on site, leaving a construction site in the World Heritage site. It would appear that this is acceptable under the Council’s current regulations but NTBCC believe that this is an unacceptable situation.

NTBCC were contacted concerning a possible breach of planning regulations at the new Bottledog (new Brewdog) at 25A Dundas Street. A projecting illuminated shop sign has been installed and NTBCC have been contacted by local residents. Although the Licence has been approved, we encouraged them to lodge a planning breach online which may result in Brewdog applying for retrospective planning permission to put up the sign. If this is not granted, they would then have three months to appeal the decision.

14.12 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.

14.12.1 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.

The Reporter has requested further information from CEC Planning Dept. to back up the reasons for refusal of this application. The situation has been made more complex by a previous application close to this having been granted in 2012 (this was for the same applicant). NTBCC did not attend the site visit by the reporter in September as we have made sufficient representations already.

14.13 Strategic Development Plan 2

SESPlan are now preparing the second SDP. A Main Issues Report (MIR) has been prepared highlighting the key challenges facing the region over the next 20 years and presents a series of issues and options on how to address them. The MIR consultation is taking place until 30 September 2015.

NTBCC has received hard copies of the report and has submitted initial thoughts through the Cockburn Association on the wider concerns raised over the continuing erosion of Edinburgh’s Green belt as well as the basis for the population growth which underpins the need for a large increase in housing.

14.14 City of Edinburgh Council Consultations

  • Consultation on Developer Contributions & Affordable Housing (responses by 20th November)
  • Leith Town Centre Supplementary Planning Guidance (includes top of Leith Walk) – closes 19th October
  • Student Housing – 2nd Phase Consultation (responses by 20th November)

14.15 Scottish Government Consultation

  • Review of Planning Processes – no timetable at present, more details to follow when details announced


15 Appendix 2 – Licensing report

15.1 Liquor Licences

The Licensing Board meets on 26 October.

A new licence has been requested for Cote Restaurant (previously Aga shop) at 51 Frederick Street and a mail order despatch office at 26 Howe Street. I can see no problems with either of these.

The lady who lives next to Bottle Dog (new Brew Dog shop) at 25a Dundas Street continues to have concerns about noise, but the shop has not yet opened. We will continue to support her where we can.

J Finn has the statement of reasons for granting licences to Brew Dog and 24 Royal Terrace (licences we have previously objected to). Please contact him if you wish to see these.

15.2 Other – tables and chairs permits

The directory listing of valid tables and chairs permits together with the file download of new applications can be located via

This should be provided on our website, as no neighbour notification is given for these permits.

16 Appendix 3 – Environment report

16.1 Waste meeting of 7 October

L Press, C Ross and J Finn met with Bob Brown (waste operations), Campbell Clark (recycling) and Lesley Sugden (waste strategy) from Waste Services. Waste services are responsible for clearing away domestic (not trade) waste. They said that many of the problems are due to the age of the vehicles in current use. They break down often making it difficult to complete their collection route and there is no spare capacity for peak times, such as during the Festival or when students arrive/leave. Four new trucks are due in March 2016 and they expect the service to be more reliable from then.

However, we were not convinced that this was the whole problem. Whilst the collection teams have procedures to follow to clear up side waste and report other problems such as broken or damaged bins, it appears that these procedures are not being followed. There appeared to be no checking by management or quality control in place, and management seemed mostly concerned that the routes were completed, not that the job was actually being done effectively. Lesley Sugden took this away as an action point, and we will follow this up. She suggested providing regular updates to the New Town and Broughton Community Council, which we encouraged her to do.

We were also told that the programme for container replacement should start in April 2016.

Lewis agreed to pursue the problems with the Council website/on-line forms, which do not appear to be working properly.

16.2 New Town and Broughton Community Council statement on waste to Lesley Hinds

We issued a statement of our concerns on 22 September following our earlier meetings with the environmental wardens and trade waste representatives of the Council. The Council’s meeting notes seems to indicate that they have taken our comments on board. See below their note on the way forward.

Way forward

We agreed there are four key strands to how we can work together to improve cleansing performance in the three Wards.

Education: ensure residents, businesses and visitors understand how they should dispose of their waste. KR highlighted the recent project the Open Space Strategy Team had undertaken to look at tackling fly-tipping and the education materials that had been developed following it (e.g. stickers for bins highlighting how residents should dispose of unwanted furniture), the roll-out of the new trade waste policy and the engagement with businesses and Clean-up Edinburgh Campaign.

Effective Enforcement: it was agreed that enforcement is crucial, e.g. the continuing success of the new trade waste policy is dependent on enforcement and there is a significant risk to the Council reputation if this is not undertaken. Ian Buchanan (IB) highlighted the issues with the number of Environmental Wardens and their wide remit, however it was discussed that city wide there are over 30 Environmental Wardens. It was suggested their allocation and remit needs to be reviewed when the Environmental Wardens move to the Environment Service.

Enabling community action: It was agreed that supporting community groups, such as Leithers Don’t Litter, was crucial. KR highlighted the range of opportunities that already exist for community groups to get involved (Community clean-ups, Waste Action Grant extended to include litter projects, Tidy Business Awards) and it was agreed that these need to be better promoted.

Action: KR to review current promotion and develop plan for future communication

Good Council Service: MB provided details of current recruitment for Task Force and Environmental Wardens and the work being undertaken to support the barrowbeat operatives working in the area. KR provided details of how technology (Confirm hand held devices, bin sensors) were being used to improve operations.