Cities are moulded by intricate networks of historic, social, economic and technological inter-relationships. Successful places are those which adapt positively and effectively to meet new challenges. So proposed interventions, however well intentioned, must fully examine, analyse, understand and build positively on this complexity, rather than being isolated responses to pressure from one particular interest group or issue. Edinburgh has a very distinctive character and it is rare that undigested schemes, uncritically imposed from elsewhere, can produce satisfactory results.
Broughton Street is a typical example of a historic highway. Originally the main street of Broughton village outside Edinburgh’s walls, from the 12th century it was also part of the ‘Wester Road’, until Leith Walk was built in 1650, through Bonnington to Leith.
As Edinburgh spread the street was absorbed into the expanding city, reinforcing its role as a community hub for the surrounding area with housing, retailing, pubs and cafés, and at one time also with sixteen religious institutions directly on the street or close by. Later public transport, first as trams and then buses, was routed through it. Many of the shops were of a quality which draw customers from beyond the immediate vicinity. As with most inner-city residential areas, it had experienced a period of decay but has now come back strongly.
Today, it plays multiple roles – as a highway, as a public transport corridor, as a pedestrian place for shopping and leisure, as a residential street, and above all as a high-quality community high street for local residents and those beyond, which contrasted with and complemented the chain stores and larger-scale retail offering of the adjacent city centre, in the same manner as Stockbridge or William Street catered for their localities. Continue reading
Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting (Construction Phase) via Google Meet on Thursday 29 October 2020 at 5:30pm Continue reading
Another bumper turnout for the November meeting – peaking at over 40 attendees including yet another excellent turn-out (over 75%) of NTBCC members . Also very pleased to yet again register the attendance of Cllrs. Mowat & Osler – their frequent presence at NTBCC meetings being both welcome and very helpful. A quick mention also from our local ‘stirrer’ – the editor from the Broughton Spurtle who has recently returned from a long sojourn south of the border – seemingly none the worse for it….but sometimes appearances can be deceptive….time will tell.
Perhaps also worth a mention – despite having held 4 previous ‘virtual’ meetings using Zoom without any problems – our Chair (who describes herself as a computer ‘non-geek’ or neophyte in respect of computer systems) stated at the start of the meeting that her screen kept freezing. Much consternation resulted & frantic searching for the agenda by the Vice Chair but fortunately this freezing seemed to be a temporary issue & the Zoom platform returned to its normal performance….thankfully.
Of most interest to the many members of the public that tuned in were the plans (Pre-application consultation) for the demolition & redevelopment of Centrum House on the western edge of Dundas Street (specifically 108-114 & 116 Dundas Street). We were very happy to welcome representatives from Morgan McDonnell Architecture & Scott Hobbs Planning to make a short presentation on their proposal and take Q&A’s. The lower stretches of Dundas Street & Fettes Row are undergoing much change with this Pre-consultation following on the heels of the various applications for the former RBS site.
First though, there was some outstanding business to take care of from the recent NTBCC AGM (in terms of agreed changes to NTBCC office bearers) - as well as the gratefully-received summary from Police Scotland.
The Police Scotland report highlighted several significant burglaries (involving jewellery & bikes) in the New Town as well as some mindless vandalism to parked cars (in Moray Place / Doune Terrace) – unfortunately all reported as ‘unsolved’. Also – mention of ‘Operation Crackle’ (where do they get these names from ?) – being the dedicated police response to” Fireworks” night (covering inappropriate setting off of fireworks and uncontrolled bonfires requiring attention from the Fire Service). Thank goodness it is over for another year!
The agenda item on the proposed redevelopment on Dundas Street followed covering the demolition & redevelopment of the ‘civically poor’ building (as described by the presenter & apparently also reported as being acknowledged by Historic Environment Scotland as a ‘negative contributor to the Conservation Area’) on the site adjacent to the new development at 120 Dundas Street. The presentation was helpful in providing detail on what was envisaged but the main point of contention for residents attending was the proposal for the new building on Dundas Street to be brought forwards significantly to match that of the adjacent 120 Dundas Street (with the resultant removal of the existing railings and trees framing the entrance to the World Heritage site). A further impact of this would be to obscure views / daylight from the set-back windows from 120 Dundas Street. A slightly heated discussion ensued.
Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held via Zoom, on Monday 12 October 2020 at 7pm
Edinburgh Council has stated that ‘CCs can approve minutes, and take other decisions, remotely’, as so long as they ensure that ‘remote meetings are as accessible to members of the public and (as) well-advertised as possible’. Continue reading
Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s AGM, held via Zoom, on Monday 12 October 2020 at 7pm
Actions and decisions are red italic. ND (‘no dissent’) means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.
Edinburgh Council has clearly stated that online AGMs are acceptable under the current coronavirus restrictions. Continue reading
Item 7.6 'Spaces for People Update '
The New Town and Broughton Community Council (NTBCC) welcomes the decision to shortlist Broughton Street for inclusion in the next phase of the Spaces for People initiative.
Broughton Street plays a key role in the neighbourhood as a retail and hospitality venue, as well as an important thoroughfare for this part of Edinburgh. We have concerns, however, that the focus of the changes outlined in the update being considered today does not address the key issues identified in the comments submitted on the Commonplace tool or indeed the issues that have been highlighted by the community. We therefore urge that before any definite plans are developed for this area that there should be further direct engagement between the Spaces for People team and various local interest groups including businesses on Broughton Street. The NTBCC is very willing to participate in, and facilitate these discussions, with the community.
Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting
(Construction Phase) via Google Meet on Thursday 1 October 2020 at 5:30pm Continue reading