Summary of NTBCC’s Representation to Amended RBS Proposals

Following the well-attended January meeting, as agreed, NTBCC have made further representations to the amended applications 16/05454/PPP and 16/05455/CON.

Thanks to the Fettes Row & Royal Crescent Association and Friends of King George V Park for their contribution and community engagement.

We continue to believe that the proposed site, given its size, central location and adjoining a precious open space within the New Town, does offer a unique opportunity to add real value to the area whilst still allowing the current owner to achieve sufficient value from the site. As such, NTBCC are not against appropriate development for the site which directly abuts the Edinburgh World Heritage site and within the New Town Conservation Area – including replacement of some of the buildings that have little or no architectural merit.

However, for the reasons outlined below, reflecting the concerns expressed by many local residents, NTBCC continues to object to this application being granted at this time and we urge that this application is either further amended or refused.

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RBS Re-development – Summary of Proposed Changes

As discussed at recent NTBCC meeting, amended proposals have been lodged on the Edinburgh Planning portal mainly covering changes to the proposed new buildings fronting Fettes Row and Royal Crescent.

These amendments can be viewed on the planning portal (under the original application 16/05454/PPP). There are 35 new documents including 22 new drawings as well as updates to the original Design & Access Statement & the Environmental Impact Assessment.

Following NTBCC’s request, the final date for comments to be lodged has been extended by 10 days until Monday 15 January 2018 to reflect the Xmas holiday. It has also been confirmed that comments made on the previous application in November 2016 WILL BE taken into account when the Planning officer determines this amended application.

Broadly, the amended application proposes a small retail element (at street level fronting Dundas Street / Eyre Place) with maximum of 400 flats (if development is 100% residential) or some office / business use and/or an hotel and/or a care home with a reduced number of residential apartments.

The 8 January NTBCC Business meeting will be preceded by an open discussion (starting at 7:00pm) on these amended plans to allow the community to express their views and for everyone to better understand what is now proposed.

NTBCC also agreed to provide some guidance as to the key documents that have been either been added or amended to try to help understand the information contained therein.

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Update : Amended Plans Now Submitted for RBS Site Redevelopment

As discussed at recent NTBCC meetings and consistent with the recent presentation by representatives from GVA and Michael Laird Architects, amended proposals have now been lodged on the Edinburgh Planning portal covering changes to the proposed new buildings fronting Fettes Row and Royal Crescent.

These amendments can be viewed on the planning portal (under the original application 16/05454/PPP. The 35 additional documents include 22 new drawings as well as the expected updates to the original Design & Access Statement & the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

Currently, given updates to the EIA, the final date for comments to be lodged is 5 January 2018. We have requested that this should be extended given that the consultation spans the festive period. Edinburgh Council have now confirmed an extension for all comments to Monday 15 January 2018.

From initial inspection, the proposals would seem to be consistent with the October NTBCC presentation – reducing the height of the 4 blocks on Fettes Row to 7 storeys (from 8) and more importantly, halving the height of the blocks fronting Royal Crescent in response to the concerns expressed by Historic Environment Scotland. This results in a 20% reduction in the total floor area and a reduction in the maximum number of residential units from 400 to an expected 300 (assuming a minimum-acceptable Class 4 (Office) use).

Whilst we welcome these changes, we will look more closely at the detail followed by a discussion at the next NTBCC meeting on 11 December.

 

NTBCC minutes – Monday 9 October 2017

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 09 October 2017 at 7.30pm

Actions and decisions are red italic underlined. Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision. Continue reading

New Proposal – Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Re-development – Dundas St / Fettes Row / Royal Crescent

Following on from the seemingly “stalled” planning application (16/05454/PPP) for the former RBS site in the New Town, NTBCC were recently invited to a meeting by GVA / Michael Laird Architects to have first sight of their latest (amended) proposals.

The original application attracted over 400 objections including one from Historic Environment Scotland (HES). The agents and architects have been in discussion with both the Planning Authority and HES with the objective of amending the their plans in light of the many concerns raised with their original proposal, primarily (but not exclusively) due to the impact on the views and amenity of Fettes Row & Royal Crescent and the users of King George V Park.

We understand from these recent discussions that the agents intend submitting a set of amended plans – replacing elements of the original plans to address (at least in part) the concerns raised by HES and many others. We also understand that a further consultation period of at least 21 days  is envisaged which will allow residents to look at the proposed changes and submit further comments. There may also be further "neighbourhood notifications" to alert local residents to these amended plans.

We also strongly encouraged the developers to engage in a face to face discussion to give residents more background and explain the reasoning behind these amendments.

We are pleased that representatives from GVA and Michael Laird Architects will be at the October NTBCC meeting on Monday October 9th at 7:30pm in Broughton St Mary’s (further details on  http://www.ntbcc.org.uk/ntbcc-agenda-monday-9-october-2017/to discuss their latest thoughts.

The developers have indicated that their amended plans will be submitted for consideration in the next 1 – 2 months but  should provide a clearer timescale at the NTBCC meeting.

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Update on RBS Site Redevelopment including Historic Environment Scotland’s Response

The New Town & Broughton Community Council has consulted widely on the proposal for redevelopment of the RBS site fronting Fettes Row, Royal Crescent, Dundas Street and Eyre Place.

We have also had extensive engagement with the architects / agents who have been involved with bringing forward a planning application.

NTBCC have further refined the draft of the representations that we published on our website recently and have now submitted the final versions covering the Planning Permission in Principle application (16/05454/PPP) as well as the Conservation Area Consent application (16/05455/CON) for the demolition of the existing buildings on the site.

NTBCC’s final representation for 16/05454/PPP can be viewed here and the parallel representation covering 16/05455/CON here. They are also now available on the Edinburgh Planning portal along with other statutory consultees.

We have been encouraged by the high level of community engagement regarding this development and we appreciate the significant effort made by many local residents associations and other groups as well as the robust discussions at many community council meetings.

We have also encouraged many heritage bodies to register their comments on these applications and are pleased that our neighbouring community council (Stockbridge & Inverleith) have submitted their objections as well as Edinburgh World Heritage, the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) and the Cockburn Association.

We are also encouraged by the detailed objection submitted by Historic Environment Scotland - who has taken a strong position regarding the negative impact that the proposed development would have on the World Heritage Site due to the proposed height and massing (which can be viewed here with key statements highlighted). We would hope that their formal objection will ensure that current proposal is withdrawn and significantly amended followed by a further period of public consultation.

We remain of the view that a more appropriate level of development of this prime New Town site has the potential to create a complex of buildings that would truly enhance this area of the city.

 

NTBCC Draft Representations on RBS Scheme

The New Town & Broughton Community Council have had extensive discussions with the developers of this scheme. NTBCC members attended the three Public Consultations over the preceding 12 – 18 months and have provided comments at each stage.

Furthermore, we have discussed the developing plans at many community council meetings and have had active discussions with many residents’ groups in the local area – the majority of whom would be affected by this development. It is worth noting that despite the high level of pre-consultation by the developers with the community and despite many groups not being adverse to development or redevelopment on the site, there has been a growing level of concern expressed as the proposals have matured.

We have now concluded a draft of the representation that we intend to submit prior to 18 December. Although the majority of the discussion has been associated with the Planning Permission in Principle application (16/05454/PPP), we will also object to the Conservation Area Consent application (16/05455/CON) for the demolition of the existing buildings on the site.

The draft representation for 16/05454/PPP can be viewed here  and the parallel representation covering 16/05455/CON here.

A summary of these representations will be covered at the NTBCC meeting on Monday 12 December.

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