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.

NTBCC representations submitted for 20/03655/FUL ( Access into the Park) – neutral stance but reflecting many concerns received from the Friends of the Park etc. & an objection to the main application (20/03034/FUL) and a further representation to 20/03661/CON – questioning if the case had been adequately made for full demolition of all buildings on site.

A further application is expected at some point (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 (the proposed location for the hotel in the initial scheme – 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). This application is expected to be brought forwards once the developers are comfortable that issues with base application had been resolved – now expected in Spring ’21.

However, in mid-December, revisions were lodged to the initial application & these were determined as material, meaning that there is a further period of consultation until 14 January 2021. It is normal in this situation that previous comments submitted would still be considered as part of the overall determination (& this was confirmed by the Planning officer). Comments on the proposed changes can be made including, if appropriate, restatement of concerns raised initially but not covered and / or addressed in the revised proposal.

NTBCC’s initial view is that most of the changes are an improvement & perhaps some should have been included in the original submission BUT overall, do not address many of the original concerns raised by NTBCC & others.

NTBCC were offered & accepted a discussion with the developers to better understand the revised proposals. Essentially they are included in the Design & Access Statement (Pats 1 – 6) which were lodged on 14 December. NTBCC suggested an extension to the consultation period given the festive period which only resulted in an extension from 10 January to 14 January.

On a separate but related note, there has been a word order raised by the Council’s Forestry Dept. for removal of 61 trees from the neighbouring KGV Park (& replanting 40 trees and 25 shrubs). This appears to be unrelated to the above applications and the Friends of the Park are fully involved.

A full summary of the proposal is on the NTBCC website www.ntbcc.org.uk/king-george-v-park-update-to-tree-removal-replanting-proposal/

109/111 Princes Street & frontage on Rose Street (Debenhams) 

Details of this previously circulated to NTBCC & the Pre-application online consultation was hosted on the project website www.111princesstreet.co.uk in September.

The application has now been formally lodged (20/05444/FUL & 20/05442/LBC) – with period for comments open until – now Tuesday 12 January – NTBCC have requested a short extension.

20/05444/FUL Proposed redevelopment and change of use of existing premises to form Hotel with rooftop bar / restaurant, active uses at lower floors including restaurant / bar / retail / flexible meeting / event / venue space, health suite / gym, together with ancillary uses, associated works / alterations / demolitions (Use Classes 1/2/3/4/7/11 and Sui Generis) at 109,110,111 Princes St., 112 Princes St. and 144-150 Rose St.  109, 110 And 111 Princes Street, 112 Princes Street And 144-150 Rose Street (Debenhams)

From an initial look at the application – the proposal as lodged seems consistent with CEC’s evolving position for Princes Street.

108 – 116 & 118 Dundas Street

Following presentation at November’s NTBCC meeting by Scott Hobbs Planning & Morgan McDonnell Architecture, draft PAC report received and also an update on their website on the feedback received from the consultation   www.108-116dundasstreet.co.uk/your-feedback/

Key issues covered :

Affordable Housing (based on the 44 units proposed a total of 11 would be required to be affordable);

Proposed Building Uses (currently proposing around 44 flats, with a mix of different types and sizes and 3 commercial units which would contain office/ retail/ restaurant-café uses);

Proposed Building Line, Height & Massing (has been developed following initial pre-application consultation with Edinburgh Council, Historic Environment Scotland, and Edinburgh World Heritage. The initial proposals have also been developed following an appraisal of the site and surrounding context, including the proposals opposite the site at the former RBS offices);

Impact on Neighbouring Buildings (the planning application will include a Design & Access Statement and daylight & sunlight assessment to demonstrate there will be no unacceptable impacts on neighbouring properties resulting from the proposed development. Regarding insulation/sound proofing, the proposed development will comply with the relevant building standards);

Parking and Traffic (108 cycle spaces & 33 car parking spaces, 2 designed to be accessible & 6 with EV charging points incl. the lowest level of the development. This is in accordance with the current Edinburgh Design Guidance for the number of flats proposed) .It is anticipated that most of the car parking demand can be accommodated by these spaces.  It also mentions that allocation of any on-street permit parking will be agreed with Edinburgh Council (but my understanding is that they would not be eligible under current policy);

 Loss of Trees (proposing to remove the existing trees around the building. Historic Environment Scotland and Edinburgh Council Planning have been consulted and do not oppose this loss of trees);

Building Reuse (fully considered but “there were various factors which have led to this not being progressed”).

Overall – these responses are slightly disappointing & the PAC does not cover the significant concerns raised by local residents wrt the chosen building line.

Comments invited on this application (20/5645/FUL) – as well as the demolition consent (20/05646/CON) until 29 January. NTBCC request to be considered as a Statutory consultee submitted.

NTBCC’s current view is to object to this application (20/05645/FUL).

12 – 14 Picardy Place Pre-consultation

Presentation on this at January’s NTBCC meeting. Reports of resident’ concerns but precise details not known at the moment.

Planning application now lodged (20/05729/FUL & 20/05728/LBC) – final date for comments 5 February 2021. To date – no comments lodged.

Previously, NTBCC members and a local resident took part in a pre-consultation meeting with the developers for this site fronting Picardy Place & backing onto Broughton Street Lane (The Outhouse bar). Proposal is refurbish and retain the listed buildings on Picardy Place but to demolish existing outshoots to the rear & rebuild more extensively.

The owners’ website states “ Working with the Silvermills Estates & Land, Stone Acre are leading this project to turn a tired pair of town houses into a new 70 bed hotel with restaurant and bar space…..  this complicated development involves the transformation of a former 10 bedroom hotel with restaurant and bar space, into a much larger and modern hotel. A new large extension is envisaged to increase the room numbers, and a modern lightweight roofing system is planned to create an exciting bar and restaurant space on a former external courtyard area”.

NTBCC’s initial summary is that the thrust of the developers is to about the necessary scale of the redevelopment (& the minimum number of hotel rooms) to ensure viability. NTBCC’s general view was that although it’s directly adjacent to the Holiday Inn, another hotel in that location isn’t an issue, as it’s not an ideal location for long term residential use and the location does benefit from close proximity to good transport links (new Picardy Place tram-stop) and close to the Playhouse and other attractions. It would however add to the 2 existing hotel offerings as well as the recently-consented STL block on Greenside Place.

Opening up a through route from northern side of Picardy Place via the proposed glazed courtyard to a bar at the rear (the current Outhouse bar) has both advantages & attractions. It should improve the general look & amenity of the mews lane.

Proposed Filmhouse Development

Although slightly outwith NTBCC’s area, following a pre-consultation, a planning application for a proposed new home for the Filmhouse cinema and the EIFF in Festival Square has been submitted.

The proposal has been reduced in height by two storeys to bring it into line with a neighbouring office block in response to comments submitted during the pre-consultation.

Fair to say – it has divided opinion…..but with 16 objections & 36 in Support (as at 10 January)

Now lodged on the planning portal (20/05527/FUL) – final date for comments 21 January 2021

More here www.scotsman.com/whats-on/arts-and-entertainment/revealed-new-plan-temple-film-edinburgh-city-centre-3066411

Richard Price

10 January 2021