Reports from NTBCC Committees – as discussed at 11th October NTBCC meeting

Below are the reports submitted by the various NTBCC Committee conveners to NTBCC members prior to the October meeting. The key aspects of these reports were part of the Occtober NTBCC meeting but due to time pressures, not all of the content was discussed. The following reports cover Transport, Events (& other topics falling under the Environment Committee e.g. 2030 Climate Strategy) & Planning.

Although the key topics were discussed, there is much additional detail in these reports. If there are issues raised in them that were not covered, please contact us via  www.ntbcc.org.uk/contact/  and we will try to respond.

Thse will be included in the Minutes of the meeting – to be published officially in mid November.

N.B. This is a long read (10 minutes+)

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Take Away’s from NTBCC’s February Meeting by Laura Graham

Our second meeting of 2021 took place on a snowy night that once again saw us gather by zoom.

Monthly meetings using zoom continue to be very well attended with the Eventbrite listings working effectively. Expertly set up by our Vice Chair, Richard Price, any members of the public registering late on the day of the meeting are caught with direct emails from the secretary. The increased attendance has been a silver lining in these dark, difficult times.

We are also very grateful for the regular and engaged attendance of councillors and for the expert hosting by our Chair Carol Nimmo (aka Britney) whilst thankfully not achieving the heady heights of viral infamy that some other (parish) councils have.

Cracking on with administrative requirements, the previous months minutes were passed, after minor corrections were noted and agreed. The police report was very helpful and thanks were extended to the officer who prepared it. Policing appears to have been quiet due to lockdown, with some vandalism to report but no housebreakings (everyone is at home!), business break-ins or assaults reported. Last month we asked for more information on reports of breaches of COVID regulations and are reassured to hear these are few and far between.

Deirdre Henderson commented on the review of the next stage of the short-term letting legislation development. The Local Government and Communities Committee have passed the proposed legislation over to the Scottish Parliament and there is to be a Scottish Government Working Group. Representatives have been invited from various sectors, and ‘big industry’ is very well represented however residents’ groups are not so well represented and have to go through their local council.

Concerns were expressed that there could potentially be a conflict of interest. It was agreed that we should have a follow up meeting for those members interested in this subject.

In response to an earlier iteration of concerns around the subject of Graffiti, Andi Christie, head of Drummond Community High School reported on a survey she had undertaken amongst the younger members of the community.  The general view is that most people do not like graffiti, however the idea of creating ‘legal wall space’, designated for Graffiti, enabling artistry as opposed to vandalism was considered to be a viable option

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NTBCC meeting – January 2021 Transport / Planning Committee Reports (Draft)

Transport Committee Report (January 2021)

Spaces for People

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

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

Tram Works

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

Mike Birch January 2021

Planning Report (January 2021)

Major Applications – Current  

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

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

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

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NTBCC minutes – Monday 9 November 2020

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s AGM, held via Zoom, on Monday 09 November 2020 at 7pm Continue reading

‘New Town Quarter’ – Redevelopment of the Former RBS Site on Dundas Street

As many will be aware, planning applications have been  submitted for redevelopment of the former RBS site on Dundas Street by the agent (Turley) & the architects ’10 Design ‘ on behalf of Ediston – this includes 144’Build to Rent’ (BTR) residential units, 117 private residential units and 88 Mid-Market Rent (MMR) i.e. meeting the 25% ‘affordable units’ requirement  (=349 in total) together with office space,retail / leisure space & a 116 room hotel.

NTBCC is aware that there may be confusion amongst residents as to what applications have been submitted and which applications are open for comment at this time.

The main application covering the redevelopment is 20/03034/FUL but accompanied by an application for  the ‘Complete Demolition in a Conservation Area’ (20/03661/CON) i.e. separate permission is required to demolish non-listed buildings that are within a conservation area (in this case, the New Town Conservation Area). It’s normal for these 2 applications to be determined at the same time. Also worth noting that the original ‘Demolition in a Conservation Area’ application (20/03033/CON)  was withdrawn earlier in August 2020 but then resubmitted as 20/03661/CON.

It had also been rumoured that a 3rd application would be submitted specifically covering the access from the new development into King George V Park. Notification for this now received (20/03655/FUL) – this covers  ‘Formation of Path & Associated Landscaping’ – now with all documents lodged on the Council’s Planning portal. It proposes removing 5 trees (2 diseased (classifised as “U” and 3 others (with a limited expected life – between 10 & 20 years) to allow a wide split entrance into King George V Park in the south-west corner, for pedestrians (via steps) & cyclists / ‘wheelers’ by a ramp.

So – to be clear – for the main redevelopment – there are 3 applications lodged : 20/03034/FUL (Redevelopment), 20/03661/CON (for the demolition)  and 20/03655/FUL (detailing the access into KGV Park) – all  with the final  date for comments being 9 October.

NTBCC requested confirmation that it will be considered as a Statutory Consultee & also requested an extension to the period for comments until 16 October – to allow final consideration at October’s NTBCC meeting (& also recognising that there are 400+ documents submitted…..).This has now been confirmed by the Council Planning officer.

As indicated some weeks ago & covered in the Spurtle (‘No hotel for Dundas Street development and confirmed at the September NTBCC meeting – a further application is also being submitted for an alternative option (labelled ‘NTN1’) on part of the New Town Quarter site (designated  as ‘Plot 1’, covering the northern-most section on Dundas Street – from the proposed new accessway from Dundas St. to KGV Park to Eyre Place – i.e the proposed location for the hotel in the scheme  currently open for comment – but omitting the hotel & replacing it with a further 79 residential units. This scheme is subject to a separate Pre-Application consultation (20/03825/PAN) – the consultation process has now been approved. There is a virtual public consultation scheduled for 8 October on the official website (& also separate session for NTBCC as well as local residents’ groups a few days earlier).

However, worth reinforcing that the focus should be on the 3 ‘live’ applications that have been lodged.

There will be an opportunity to comment on the revised scheme (‘NTN1’)  later in 2020.

 

Brief Highlights from NTBCC’s 10 August Zoom Meeting

A second, very successful, NTBCC meeting using the Zoom platform with members of the public both welcome and involved.  Despite some last minute technical issues (& inability by some NTBCC members to locate the Zoom link-in details!) – we were happy  to record 15 community councillors were present (virtually) – including one of our office bearers  from the back seat of a car many miles from Edinburgh.

Also we all appreciated attendance by 5 ward councillors – many thanks to Councillors Doran, Miller & Mowat from the City centre ward (almost a full house) and also Councillors Osler & Barrie from Inverleith Ward for joining us. Having Councillors present is really helpful in many of the discussions, both to understand current council thinking as well as being able to pick up issues.

As an aside – we also regularly extend an invitation to Leith Walk ward councillors as a significant part of NTBCC’s area lies within Leith Walk ward. They would be very welcome at future community council meetings.

Last, but by no means least, almost a dozen members of the public. And we mustn’t forget the roving Broughton Spurtle editor also joining us from afar.

We would also thank Police Scotland for providing an excellent summary of their activities in the city centre – unprompted by us – much appreciated. Key messages were a continued issue with cycle thefts (incl. Just Eat hire cycles), police checks for Covid-compliance on licensed premises, reported improvements in anti-social behaviour at Waverley Mall with the temporary village now set up and increased focus on speed checks across the city centre.

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Communication from Ediston on ‘confusion over the application process’ for the RBS Site on Dundas Street / Fettes Row

It was announced in the media on 31st July that Ediston (for owners Orion Capital Managers) have submitted a planning application for the ‘New Town Quarter’, the large brownfield site which includes the buildings previously  occupied by RBS at the foot of Dundas Street. The plans are for the site to be redeveloped to include residential (both for sale and ‘Build to Rent’), offices and some retail use. In addition, it may include options for a new hotel.

It was intended to discuss these plans at  the New Town & Broughton Community Council’s (NTBCC) August meeting and the community council was hoping more details would have been available on the Edinburgh Council Planning portal prior to the meeting. However, we were aware of a rumour circulating  that the application had been withdrawn.

Two separate applications are necessary, one covering the proposed redevelopment of the site and the second, for demolition of the existing buildings – although not listed (unsurprisingly), they reside within the New Town Conservation Area and  as such, permission is required for demolition. It is also worth stating that it is normal practice to assess both of these applications concurrently – as a key factor in the assessment for demolition is what is being proposed to replace it.

The application for ‘Complete Demolition in a Conservation Area’ application (20/03033/CON) was lodged on 27th July but was showing as having been withdrawn on the Planning portal. No details of the other application details were available on the Planning portal.

NTBCC contacted Ediston to seek clarification as to the situation to share with local residents.  Ross McNulty of Ediston responded promptly and advised

We did confirm previously that the drawings and Design / Access Statement were issued on 24th July but the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would be issued on 31st August, and that would be the date the application will become live on the portal.

The conservation area consent has been withdrawn, but only so it can be submitted alongside the EIA on the 31st August, as it should run concurrently with the EIA, so all goes live on the portal at the same time.

NTBCC also received a further communication from Ediston on 11th August

I am making contact with you, as I have spoken to you all recently with regards to our application, but I believe there may still be some confusion over the application process and availability of information, therefore I will try to help and make it clear.

On 24th July a full set of drawings and Design and Access Statement was submitted to CEC. This information does not go on the portal as I have explained previously. The Conservation Area Consent was also issued, but it was acknowledged with CEC that it was submitted too early as needs to be lodged at same time as the Environmental Impact Assessment, therefore it was agreed to withdraw it and re-submit on 31st August.

The EIA will be submitted on 31st August as planned, and so will the Conservation Area Consent at which point all information will be available on the portal.

I have always advised that information will only be available on the portal until after the 31st August, which remains the case.

I do hope this is clear and can be communicated appropriately. If you do have any further queries, please let me know.

So, it would seem that expectations of local residents may have been raised prematurely regarding the reports of the applications having been submitted.

It seems to NTBCC that the documents should not have been lodged on the planning portal until all of the necessary documentation was available to view publically (for both the redevelopment application and the demolition of the existing buildings), and withdrawal of 20/03033/CON was both sensible and appropriate.

We look forward to the full suite of planning documents being available for scrutiny on 31st August.

Finally, we suggested to Ediston that it may be helpful if they attended the 14th September  NTBCC meeting to present their proposals and answer any questions that local residents  may have and we are pleased that they accepted this offer.