NTBCC meeting minutes 14 November 2022

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s ordinary meeting, held in Broughton’s St Mary’s Church, on Monday 14 November 2022 at 7pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. ND (‘no dissent’) means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.

URLs have been added by the minutes secretary.

1 Welcome/Admin/Apologies

1.a Attendance

Mike Birch NTBCC Stewart Mills NTBCC Cllr Max Mitchell Inverleith ward
David Clarke NTBCC Carol Nimmo NTBCC Cllr Jo Mowat City Centre ward
Annick Gaillard NTBCC Richard Price NTBCC Cllr Hal Osler Inverleith ward
Laura Graham NTBCC Nick Reid NTBCC 11 residents/visitors
Simon Holledge NTBCC Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary PC Arron Stewart Police Scotland
Deirdre Henderson NTBCC Cllr Finlay McFarlane City Centre ward PC Tom Jablonski Police Scotland
Susan Macinnes NTBCC Cllr Claire Miller City Centre ward

1.b Apologies

Jack Hugh NTBCC Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle
Ken Lochrie NTBCC Cllr Jule Bandel Inverleith ward
David Renton NTBCC Angus Robertson MSP Edinburgh Central
Alan Welsh NTBCC Ben Macpherson MSP Edinburgh Northern and Leith
Peter Williamson NTBCC Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North and Leith

2 Minutes of 10th October 2022 meeting and matters arising

Approved as-is (proposed S Mills, seconded M Birch, ND)

  • C Nimmo: most action points from October have been completed
  • C Nimmo/Cllr Mowat/Cllr McFarlane (item 6.a): East London St acoustics work will be done as a benchmark after full reopening of Leith Walk (~a week hence). It was noted that traffic is reported as not yet being back to normal.
  • C Nimmo (item 6.a): information has been provided to the MP. Angus Robertson MSP was also at this meeting.
  • Cllr Mowat (item 8.b): delayed papers have been received, and new papers are arriving, despite issues with CEC IT.
  • Cllr Mowat (item 9.b): I am working on a visit to Biffa.

3 Police report, including Police Scotland response on suggested format

See also text of report in Appendix 1, or PDF on NTBCC website. PCs Stewart and Jablonski reported:

  • They are on the City Centre community policing team. PCs Purnell and Fairburn are dedicated to NTBCC’s area, so other PCs may attend NTBCC meetings. PC Stewart creates city centre CCs’ newsletters, using a city-wide template.

3.a Crime reports

  • There has been an increase in calls about youths, mostly about them congregating in ‘hotspots’ even though they are not always causing problems. The increase in calls is assessed as being due to school holidays.
  • There have been calls about pavement-cycling and people cycling in large
  • There have been a few assault calls. Police are pursuing positive lines of enquiry.
  • A person has been using an angle-grinder to steal bikes.
  • There is good CCTV coverage in the city centre, which has helped
  • 1 attempted domestic break-in in the New Town, 1 business break-in (George St)
  • An electric Vespa was stolen from St Andrews Square, and a work-van from Annandale St.
  • Police have been very active on Operation Crackle, about fireworks etc on and around 5 November. The city centre was relatively ‘OK’ compared to other areas. This built on prior work with firework vendors.
  • Part of Princes St was closed over one night due to a bomb-scare. A controlled explosion was carried out – the device had not been viable. Enquiries are ongoing.
  • The West End police station hosts a ‘central initiative team’, a mix of plain-clothes and uniformed officers. Half of the team deals with acquisitive crime (e.g. shoplifting), half with drugs matters. Some arrests are due to their work.
  • There has been a fire at the Remembrance memorial outside the City Chambers.
  • Community police will be working on the winter markets (Operation Winter City), as noted in the November newsletter.

3.b Q & A – mostly about the newsletter

  • PC Stewart: please let us know what types of information you wish in future letters. To obtain crimes statistics, it’s probably best to use Freedom of Information routes. I have to compile them from records of individual ‘jobs’.
    • C Nimmo: NTBCC should set up a group to work with the police on this topic.
    • R Price: other CCs regularly receive crime statistics in their reports.
    • Action: R Price to supply PC Stewart’s email address to B Ryan, B Ryan to forward exemplar reports to the PCs, CCing city centre councillors
  • B Ryan: Please don’t paste in images of text – these are of no use to people using screen-readers.


4 Drummond Community High School representative: ‘Cost of living’ initiative

The DCHA head of school (a student) reported on DCHS’s ‘cost of school day’ initiative. This includes

  • Free sanitary products
  • A breakfast club
  • Free food parcels (available anonymously), jackets/winter coats, uniforms
  • trolleys of essentials in each classroom (snacks, toiletries, iPad charging stations, stationery)

Supplies of fresh food are running out quickly, so the initiative is approaching local supermarkets and parents.

Actions: DCHS HoS to send relevant materials to B Ryan, B Ryan to put them on NTBCC website.

  • Cllr Osler: not all Inverleith neighbourhood network funding has been allocated, so DCHS initiative should apply.
  • L Graham: would the initiative like our windfall apples?
    • Action: DCHS HoS to ascertain
  • Cllr McFarlane: The Crannie has a food pantry, so DHCS initiative could approach it.

5 Licensing

See also report in Appendix 2. All points made by A Gaillard unless otherwise noted.

5.a Consultations

5.a.i ‘Statement of Licensing Policy’ (including over-provision) – closes 20th December

This implements the 2005 Act. It was last done in 2018, so this is an initial consultation. A draft statement will then be issued in 2023. It covers the usual 5 objectives (preventing crime and disorder, public safety, preventing public nuisance, promoting public health, protecting children and young persons) but also covers specific areas. (See bullet points in section 12.b.i below.) Temporary licenses can be used for premises to start trading while waiting for full licenses. There is no limit on numbers of consecutive temporary licenses.

A Gaillard has been successful in applying to join the Edinburgh Licensing Forum, which comprises representatives from trade (6 people), CCs (6 people), police, charities, heads of CEC services, charities, Edinburgh Sheriff Court (children’ protection). She is also drawing on CCs’ responses to licensing applications. She has submitted NTBCC objections to all 5 recent applications. There are all in designated areas of overprovisioning, where no new or extended licenses should occur without good reason.

During COVID, numbers of applications across Edinburgh decreased, but overprovisioning controls have been ineffective.

Year new premises licenses provisional premises licences major variations
applied refused applied refused applied refused
2020 4 0 63 0 93 0
2021 1 0 64 0 61 0
2022 4 0 70 1 111 0

The consultation closes after NTBCC’s December meeting.

Actions: AG to circulate draft response, gather NTBCC reactions to it, submit final version. Other NTBCC members and residents to submit their own responses.

5.a.ii ‘House in Multiple Occupation conditions – closes 30th December

  • AG: this consultation is about conditions on license-holders, i.e. whether they should provide CEC with emergency contact numbers, provision of in-situ notices.
    • A resident: there is a statutory requirement for HMO owners to put up notices for 21 days, and inform neighbours.
    • Cllr Mowat: this change would require annual notifications.

5.b Current miscellaneous Licensing Board applications

  • St James Place. This was formerly the John Lewis collection-point, but a planning application was approved for conversion to offices and Class 3 use (food/beverages) for the St James Quarter developer (long term lessee). They now seek licensing until 1am, with off-sales until 10pm, a large outdoor seating area and sports broadcasting. AG has submitted NTBCC’s objection. The concern is about noise from the outdoor area potentially disturbing the congregation of the nearby cathedral. This area is owned by the archdiocesis, which has granted a long-term lease to St James Quarter’s operators.
  • St James Quarter unit 4.02a. AG could not locate this unit to gauge its effect or to view the posted site notice, so submitted an objection. The Board was informed that its access is via level 3, although the unit is on level 4. She has now found the site notice and plans: the site would represent a player’s tunnel. The key issue is that the access tunnel is an emergency exit. Other grounds for objection are the request for being open until 1am and that area of St James only having retail permitted use.
  • St James Square (Bar Hütte): this occasional license has been granted with conditions limiting the impact of noise.
  • 38 George St: AG has objected to extension of hours.
  • 95 George St: AG has objected to this application for extended hours on overprovisioning grounds.

5.c Other points, Q&A

  • AG: police are not against extensions to licences but have to deal unwelcome consequences, hence their work with Street Assist. However there are constraints on such work, e.g. due to delays to arrival of emergency services.
  • D Clarke: will there be the same number of bars as in previous Hogmanays?
    • AG/Cllr Mowat: this is all under temporary licensing. Operations will be smaller than in 2019.
    • Cllr Mowat: the ‘Star Flyer’ has been removed as part of the granting planning approval.
    • Action: Cllr Miller to ascertain numbers at tomorrow’s APOG meeting.
  • L Graham: hoardings similar to previous years along Princes St have negatively impacted the look of the city.
    • Cllr McFarlane: hoardings were requested by police.
    • Action: Cllrs McFarlane and Mowat to ask for details at tomorrow’s APOG meeting.
  • M Birch: do we still need to go to city chambers to see details of licenses?
    • Cllr Mowat: licensing is being moved online, starting with HMO matters by mid-2023.
  • M Birch: were there any dispensations (i.e. extensions of licenses) for HMOs during COVID?
    • Cllr Mowat: yes. CEC was given up to 9 months to determine applications for extension of civic licenses submitted before the original licenses expired. Some licenses are granted for 3 years.

At this point, C Nimmo commended the CEC councillors attending this meeting.

6 Planning

All points made by R Price unless otherwise noted.

6.a Consultation: ‘Short-term Let Planning Guidance for Edinburgh’ – closes 22nd December

  • CEC is now consulting on its preferred options in the non-statutory guidance for businesses around change of use from [normal] residential to STL, i.e. where STLs would not be in the owners’ main homes. There are also certain relevant planning policies in the Local Development Plan. The consultation covers
    • The character of the area of the would-be STL (Would-be STLs in fully commercial areas would be more likely to get permission; residential and quiet areas would have presumptions against granting permission.)
    • The property’s size (Larger numbers and sizes of rooms would mean increase potential for noise and disturbance.)
    • Pattern of activity (Access to the would-be STL via a shared stair would mean presumption against permission; properties with their own main doors would have other considerations. However, CEC cannot control how a property is used after permission is granted, if the property is sold to another owner.)
    • Nature and character of services provided (Access to a communal garden from the would-be STL would mean presumption against permission; parking will be considered within the context of other relevant CEC policies.)
  • Cllr Osler: Planning permission stays with the relevant building; licenses are for individual owners. CEC considerations for planning permission have been about would-be STLs’ effects on residential amenity, and on the vibrancy of would-be STLs’ areas. CEC’s position on applications is also partly based on outcomes of previous appeals to the Scottish Reporter. This should also provide clarity to the industry.
  • R Price: the forthcoming City Plan 2030 (CP2030) may have stronger policies than the current (2016) local development plan. When CP2030 is in force, the Scottish Reporter will use it to judge appeals.
    • Cllr Osler: so does the forthcoming National Planning Framework 4. (NPF4) Currently, the local review body is inundated with appeals.
  • Cllrs Osler and Mowat: there isn’t a blanket ban on STLs on communal stairwells, e.g. CEC granted permission for a whole stairwell’s properties in a vibrant area to become STLs. There is a lack of data on previous numbers of STLs.
    • D Henderson: CEC approving STLs in vibrant areas is maybe OK but unlawfulness does not constitute vibrancy.
  • Actions: RP to draft NTBCC’s response. NTBCC members and residents respond individually
    • RP’s draft is likely to take a similarly strong position to that of the Cockburn Association.

6.b Consultation: ‘World Heritage Site Management Plan’ – closes 12th December

  • This is important because it is relevant to permitted development in the WH area. The consultation is led by EWH, with support from CEC and Historic Environment Scotland, and uses the place standard tool.
    • C Nimmo and RP: NTBCC responded to the 2016 consultation using this tool, and has repeated this exercise for this consultation. EWH still has a long way to go in a number of areas.
    • M Birch: this is an unusual consultation because it does not set out positions/options for comment. (A resident said this was ‘stunning’….) NTBCC agreed that the process is not as far advanced as it should be.
    • Action: RP to post details of NTBCC response on its website

6.c Update to non-statutory ‘Guidance for Listed Building and Conservation Areas’ – October 2022 update

  • This guidance covers what is allowable for listed buildings. This is not a consultation. NTBCC should discuss it with CEC planners, e.g. on content around ‘net zero’ (e.g. installation of solar cells, options for energy improvements to windows etc.) versus conservation considerations. It was felt that the updated guidance is better than previous versions but further, more detailed clarification would help.
  • Cllr Osler: CEC Planning committee has passed a motion to seek views on cost to residents versus conservation considerations. The resulting CEC consultation will not lead to immediate changes but will be about practicalities.

6.d Planning applications

  • Marshalls Court: NTBCC has submitted a representation as indicated at October’s NTBCC meeting.
  • Former Jewson’s yard (Eyre Place): Residents have actively expressed concerns. Members of the Development Management Sub-committee will visit the site in the next few days. Action: RP to attend this site visit.
  • Christmas market (East Princes St gardens): NTBCC’s submission raises several ongoing concerns but does not fully object to this application because NTBCC recognises the popularity of this event. NTBCC’s submission is already posted on its website. CEC has limited permission to 1 year, so NTBCC hopes for more timely applications in the future to enable a more useful discussion.
  • Bar Hütte: NTBCC has submitted a representation.
  • 108, 114-116 Dundas St: NTBCC understand that a revised application will be submitted. This will address the issues originally raised and which was refused. (That decision was upheld at appeal). NTBCC is waiting to see the detailed plans.

7 Transport

All points made by M Birch unless otherwise noted.

7.a Lothian Buses/East London St etc. – next steps

Around 10 ELS residents were present.

  • Cllrs McFarlane: I and Mowat have written to and met with Lothian buses. LB is ‘pretty resolute’ that diversion of off-service buses from ELS would happen after Leith Walk is fully reopened. LB was apologetic and aware of the situation and resulting public feeling. LB does not wish to cause problems. LB will brief drivers to counter habits formed during the current use of ELS.
  • Cllr Mowat: use of ELS is unacceptable to residents, and is not good for buses. It will be worth pressing LB again. There is a commitment to monitoring from mid-November, and a consultant has been appointed.
    • M Birch: the issues that need assessment include noise, traffic volumes, speed, and emissions. The re-opening of Leith Walk should now allow out-of-service buses to use Annandale St. Buses from the East of Edinburgh (e.g. airport buses) are using this street, so there is nothing now preventing other buses going via Picardy Place and Annadale.
    • M Birch: In-service use of ELS has reduced to around 30 buses per day going to Bellevue. It is accepted that these need to go via ELS.
    • Residents have been very patient while ELS has seen major increases in use by buses. This issue is under LB’s control but LB no longer seems prepared to engage with CCs, so this issue needs escalation.
    • A resident: I thank other ELS residents for attending.
    • Another resident: this issue also affects the Drummond Place area, so I am grateful for ELS residents’ actions. There is a railway tunnel under Drummond Place, and subsidence is occurring here, so vibrations should be monitored. There should be a ban on double-decker buses using cobbled (setted) streets. The issue is the many out-of-service buses.
    • Another resident: diesel emissions are very harmful to health. Five African countries have banned diesel. Most children at ELS school have asthma. There are shorter routes to the bus station. It has taken months to switch on the electric vehicle charger on ELS. There should not be a bus depot between two schools. There should be a high tax on diesel.[1]
    • M Birch: you made these points 2 years ago. LB did make some reductions but these have not been maintained.
    • S Holledge: I have obtained NO2 measurement tubes from Asthma and Lung UK. They could be put in ELS.
    • Another resident: ELS has been used for problematic diversions for many years, not just since the start of tram-works. ELS is chaotic, and has a shortage of parking, leading to ELS being dirty and noisy yet it’s mostly in a conservation area. The problems are devaluing our properties, but other similar areas are not suffering in the ways we are.
    • Another resident: we are grateful to NTBCC for their work on this issue and to councillors for their action. Other councils do not permit noisy operations before 7am. Hotels causing noise at night have been shut down by councils. CEC forbids other noise-causes on ELS but continues to allow this issue. Now Leith Walk is open and used by in-service buses, so out-of-service buses should also use it. The problem is with LB’s management.
    • Cllrs McFarlane and Mowat: LB has said it will start to use Picardy Place. We will follow up with LB, seeking details of relevant driver-training.
    • L Graham: this is a rat-run used by drivers to avoid Picardy Place. There should be traffic lights to prevent this.
    • Cllr Mowat: parents have asked for ELS to be designated as a school street but were told it is a ‘strategic route’. This should be revisited now. (Cllr Miller concurred.)
    • Cllr Miller: I have taken notes of points for Cllr Bandel to raise at a relevant meeting.
    • A resident: CEC has committed to a pinch-point here.
    • Cllr Mowat: this has slipped every year. It’s now due in 2023 or 2024.
    • C Nimmo: engagement should be with LB’s operations managers, not its communications staff.
    • Cllr Mowat: I’ve engaged with LB’s chief executive. LB is under operating pressures.
    • M Birch: how can we get this problem onto TEC’s agenda?
    • A resident: use an advocate who is affected by the issue.

7.b ‘Trams to Newhaven’ – report/follow-up on recent NTBCC/CEC walk-through

  • M Birch: a very positive walk-through with Council officials raised useful areas of concern. The trams team can act on some matters, but other ‘public realm’ issues can only be fixed by CEC. These include crossings at Elm Row being poorly designed, leading to dangers. We are concerned that these issues are not being faced.

7.c Participation request

No discussion

7.d EV charging – Focus group sessions on 15th and 17th November

C Nimmo: S Holledge will represent NTBCC at these sessions, so residents’ associations should contact him.

8 Environment – discussion following decisions taken at T&E Committee (3rd November)

8.a Picardy Place: Final Design development proposal as agreed on 3rd November

See report in appendix 3.

  • Action: NTBCC to consider this matter further in December.

8.b George Street & First New Town project – report/next steps

8.b.i Report by S Holledge

The Transport & Environment Committee meeting on 3 November was a kind of milestone for the George Street Project.

  1. The report was accepted (9 votes to 2), as follows:
    1. Agreement to transition from Design Stage 3 (conceptual but detailed) to Design Stage 4 (technical). This will involve choosing a contractor(s) probably this year (2022).
    2. There was an update on the Operational Plan (on which the Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) will be based) but it hasn’t been finalised and probably won’t be completed until April/May 2023.
    3. Projected cost of the project has risen from £32 million to £36 million.
  2. An Economic Impact Assessment by John Boyle (of Retties) was published as part of the report. ‘Getting Home Safely’ — the women’s safety document – was included, but still no mention of the survey of sub-surface features (sewers, drains and cellars) which had been planned for the autumn.
  3. Addenda by Labour, the SNP and the Greens were passed (en bloc with the support of the Liberal Democrats). These asked fortrees to be included if possible in the plans. (This implies some rethinking of the basic design and I’ve suggested we need structured stakeholder discussions of the issues. I don’t think it’s viable to be precise about other design aspects, while being vague about trees.)
  4. There were deputations from Edinburgh Access Panel, Essential Edinburgh, Seven Sevens Cars Ltd and Edinburgh City Private Hire Ltd, George Street Association, Kimpton Charlotte Square (hotels) and St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church. These were largely about access matters (i.e. the Operational Plan), but also covered support for businesses over the three-year construction period.
  5. There was a presentation by John Boyle on his Economic Impact Assessment at the George Street Association (GSA) on 10 November. This was highly technical but cautiously optimistic, using a time period of 20 years. A predicted cost of £42 million (rather than then the £36 million now cited by CEC) and total benefits of £95 million provide a benefit: cost ratio (BCR) of 2·2, which is (apparently) considered good by professional economists (!), and compares to ‘do nothing’ BCR of apparently 0·2. (GSA members (and other stakeholders) don’t see any alternative to the project, much as they fear the three years of construction.)

Boyle thought the best example of a successful project of this kind was Strøget (Copenhagen). Pedestrianisation there had led to a 600% increase in pedestrians and a 400% increase in ‘shopping and staying activities’ [sic].

  1. The GSA meeting was attended by CEC’s project manager Tony Holsgrove. He hoped CEC would now prioritise the Operational Plan (presumably rather than the design). I have concerns about this. The Operational Plan (largely access arrangements) is easy changeable/reversible according to circumstances, while the design is the construction plan, which will be difficult to correct if there are mistakes.
  2. The next Transport & Environment committee stage is due in April/May 2023.

8.b.ii Discussion/Q&A

  • Cllrs Miller and McFarlane: the operation plan will come back to committee, before advertising of TROs, so there will be opportunities for engagement. Construction will be in blocks, rather than closing the whole street.
  • George St Association president: the George St redesign work is part of CEC’s strategy for city centre development and climate action. The street has degraded, and equality is important, so inaction is not an option. CEC officials have engaged well with the process. Sustrans funding (which comes from Transport Scotland), although committed, is not guaranteed: CEC cannot simply order Sustrans to fund this work. Hence I am concerned about negative media reports. I am concerned that we do not end up in a lose-lose situation. We need to work constructively to solve issues.

8.c Communal Bin Review – outwith Gull Proof Sack Areas update (note to be circulated).

  • C Nimmo: the trial of alternative bin arrangements has started successfully.

9 To note

9.a ‘Use of Public Spaces for Events and Filming’ – report expected at December’s Culture & Communities Ctte

  • S Holledge: I have asked the relevant convenor for an early view of the report so NTBCC has time to respond to it.
    • Cllr Osler: a report in October was pulled because it was ‘not fit for purpose’ but cllrs were not told why this was. There are concerns about other matters not fitting into this overarching report (e.g. West Princes Street gardens) and so being decided separately.
    • Cllr McFarlane: we can offer a meeting if CEC schedule doesn’t fit with NTBCC’s schedule.
    • L Graham: recent filming was not properly notified, causing much frustration around prevention of parking etc.
    • S Mills: this also affects active travel, and prevents people getting home.
    • Cllr Mitchell: there should have been much better notification and in-situ points of contact.

9.b Communal Bin Review: World Heritage Site streets – recycling trial

No discussion – Peter Williamson’s note to be addressed outwith the monthly meeting.

10 Any other business/news from local Residents’ Associations etc

No discussions

11 Appendix 1: text of police report (written 5 November 2022)

11.a November 2022

11.a.i Looking Back

Throughout October in the NBCC area there has been an increase in the rise of youth calls due to the school holidays, as is typical with youth calls most of them were just concerns re groups and annoyance but not that many crimes recorded and groups of youths have been dispersed accordingly. Sometimes they cycle about in big groups and cause annoyance and the issues can of course be felt particularly near fast food establishments such as McDonalds at St Andrews square to name but one.

The few assault reports that have come in are currently being investigated with positive lines of enquiry being followed. There have been separate reports of youths with an angle grinder out to steal bikes and there has been a theft of an e-bike and a delivery drivers scooter stolen. There were also two pedal cycles stolen however both of these had been left by their owners unattended and opportunists had quickly taken advantage of the lack of security. There has been one attempted break in to a flat in the new town and a break in to office premises on George Street with a panel in a door kicked in and small electrical items stolen.

An electric Vespa was also stolen from St Andrews square and also a works van at Annandale Street where the owner may have left his keys unattended.

11.a.ii What We’re Noticing

As I collate this report it’s the afternoon of the 5th November and my backshift colleagues are all headed out to try and keep the public safe and law abiding this potentially dangerous night, this is known as Operation Crackle. A lot of advance work has been done in the past days and weeks, visiting previous youth offenders and working with trading standards and premises selling fireworks. Schools and youth groups have been visited and bonfires have been getting dismantled and soaked throughout the day to prevent disorder as it gets darker.

Here’s hoping it all pays off and everyone stays safe, unfortunately there are always those who seek to turn a fun event into a frightening one as we have seen already in Dundee. Riot police and unmarked officers and vans are also being deployed as part of our plans should matters escalate.

11.a.iii Looking Forward

Mid -November will bring us the winter markets returning within the city centre. As a city centre community team, supplemented with further officers, there will be a dedicated foot patrol team ensuring that people can enjoy the festivities in a safe and considerate matter. Having the knowledge and experience of city centre officers will be invaluable to patrol areas of interest along with the festival activity.

If there are any issues which we feel you should know about, we will of course update you in the forthcoming newsletters, but if there is anything you would like us to address, or crime prevention information you would like us to provide, please let us know and we will tailor the content accordingly.

Kind Regards, City Centre Community Policing Team

11.b Advice and Support

Two panels too small to read were here. They appear to give advice on shutting out scammers and protecting sheds.

11.c Useful contact numbers

11.d About Us

  • Local Area Commander: Chief Inspector Murray Tait
  • City Centre Community Policing Team – West End Police Station:
    • Inspector David Duthie
    • Sergeant Cameron Walker
    • Sergeant Emma Mcnaughton

Plus 8 officers allocated to community issues in Edinburgh’s City Centre.

11.d.i Contact Us:

12 Appendix 2 – licensing report (A Gaillard, NTBCC licensing convenor, 2022_11_14)

Regulatory Committee last meeting: 29th Sept; next meeting: 21st Nov

12.a.i Edinburgh Council Short Term Let (STL) Planning Guidance consultation (closes 22nd Dec)

  • NTBCC Response DRAFT
    • Secondary letting – AKA Short Stay Commercial Visitor Accommodation (SSCVA) – is the only form of STL that now also requires Planning permission for a change of use (COU).
    • Other type of STL – namely Home sharing &/or Home letting – will require Licensing permission only.
  • Timeline
    • Licences and permits applications – The City of Edinburgh Council – since 1 October 2022, new hosts cannot operate until they have a licence.
    • Existing hosts and operators will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence.
    • All hosts and operators need to have a licence by 1 July 2024.

12.a.ii Licensing system AKA ‘Civica APP’ to ‘Civica Cx’ upgrade – timeline and expected improvements.

Go live has been postponed to H1 2023, following the addition of STL Licensing to current processes – update from Andrew Mitchell at the Licensing Board meeting on 31st October refers.

12.b Alcohol licence registers

Licensing Board last meeting: 31st Oct; Next meeting: 28th Nov

12.b.i Licensing Board Policy consultation (closes 20th Dec)

  • Draft of NTBCC Response will be shared in due course – focus has been spent on Edinburgh Licensing Forum and specific Alcohol Licensing applications so as to develop a better understanding of the current Statement of Licensing Policy, 26th November 2018 (edinburgh.gov.uk), and these areas that the Board is particularly interested in:
    • Overprovision
    • Licensing hours
    • Extension of licensing hours
    • Children and young persons access to premises
    • Temporary licensing – particularly grant of occasional licences (when the current ability is to apply to unlimited number of these)

12.b.ii St James Place (St Andrews Hall)

NTBCC objected to Provisional Premises licence application 474741, for a ‘premium pub, bar and restaurant in mixed commercial/residential development’ with Onsales hours requested until 1am daily, and Offsales hours until 22pm daily. Operations would extend to a large outdoor seating area. Sports such as World Cup/Euros etc. would be shown out with core hours.

The intended use goes a fair deal further than what was shared in precursor Planning applications. NTBCC objected, due to the perceived detrimental impact that this would have on St Mary’s regular services and the risk of upsetting members if its 2,500 congregation on occasion – e.g. during funerals.

NTBCC representation was made in person at the Licensing Board meeting on 31st October. The application has been continued to the next meeting, so as to allow for a site visit by Board members.

12.b.iii St James Quarter (Unit 4.02A)

NTBCC objected to Provisional Premises licence application 474742, for a ‘premium interactive football and immersive gaming premises with ancillary drinking and dining facilities, in a mixed commercial/residential development’.

NTBCC objected, upon failing to find the premises and associated site notice!

NTBCC representation was made in person at the Licensing Board meeting on 31st October. The application has been continued to the next meeting, so as to allow for a site visit by Board members.

12.b.iv St James Square

Occasional licence applications 485006, 485007 for the start of Bar Hütte Season 2 from 9th November to 6th December.

NTBCC submitted comments on behalf of nearby residents. The application was granted by delegated authority, with the following conditions:

  • All amplified music and vocals to be so controlled as to be inaudible in the nearest noise-sensitive premises.
  • In addition, music is to be restricted to the individual karaoke cabins and the bar cabin. There is to be no external music.

12.b.v 38 George Street (Caffe Centro)

Variation of Premises licence application 477708, to extend terminal Onsales hours from 1am to 3am daily.

NTBCC objected, the premises already are getting maximum terminal Onsales hours for its primary permitted use (restaurant with liquor licence).

The application should get decided at the next Licensing Board meeting on 28th November.

12.b.vi Ground floor, 95 George Street (Fat Hippo Restaurants?)

Variation of Premises licence application 476148, to extend terminal Onsales hours from 11pm to midnight daily.

NTBCC objected, overprovision and the current licensed hours feel fair for the primary permitted use (restaurant with liquor licence).

The application should get decided at the next Licensing Board meeting on 28th November.

12.c Civic and miscellaneous licence registers

Licensing Sub-Committee last meeting: 7th & 8th Nov; next meeting: 5th & 6th Dec

12.c.i HMO conditions consultation (closes 30th Dec)

The focus is on two standard conditions for the licence holders:

  • Provide the Council with an emergency contact number (HMO11)
  • Give neighbour notifications (HMO12)

Draft of NTBCC Response will be shared in due course.

12.c.ii Temporary Civic Licensing

While the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (legislation.gov.uk) doesn’t require the Council to consult with Community Councils, it doesn’t appear to state that any representations made by Community Councils – should they elect to do so – couldn’t be considered. The approach was trialled on the below… with success!

12.c.iii St James Square

Temporary Public Entertainment licence applications 486149 & 485250 for Bar Hütte Season 2 from 9th November 2022 to 3rd January 2023.

NTBCC submitted comments on behalf of nearby residents. The application was granted by delegated authority, with the following conditions:

  • All amplified music and vocals to be so controlled as to be inaudible in the nearest noise-sensitive premises.
  • In addition, music is to be restricted to the individual karaoke cabins and the bar cabin. There is to be no external music.

12.c.iv Outdoor Area (AKA Tables & Chairs) permits

The relaxation of the Scottish Government’s COVID Planning guidance has fully ended.

All structures in place for longer than 28 days now require Planning permission

13 Appendix 3: communal bin review (P Williamson, NTBCC environment convenor, 2022_11_10)

On 27 February 2020, Transport and Environment Committee (TEC) of the City of Edinburgh Council approved the approach to be taken to implement its communal bin review project. This included setting out the parameters and criteria to be used to determine the locations of each bin hub and the types of bins that would be used for non-recyclable waste, recycling, food waste and glass. This was followed by TEC on 22 April 2021 approving the phasing and timeline for implementation of the project which at the time phased in implementation in the New Town & Broughton area for “Spring 2022” (except N1 (Hillside and Broughton)) which was planned for January 2022).

Following a commitment made by the Transport and Environment Committee on 27 January 2022, the Convenor, Vice Convenor and officers met with representatives from Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH), Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Cockburn Association (CA), New Town and Broughton Community Council (NTBCC), West End Community Council (WECC) and Stockbridge and Inverleith Community Council (SICC) on 1 March 2022. At the meeting, an update on all of the mitigation measures that had been discussed with EWH and HES was provided, and it was agreed to: pause on the progression of Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) in the streets with gull proof sacks while the Council undertakes a feasibility study of alternatives solutions, primarily underground waste solutions and waste rooms; work with NTBCC and the other Community Councils to discuss options to improve recycling rates in streets where gull proof sacks are used; and that representatives from EWH and HES would continue to work with officers to identify bin locations in the other parts of the EWH area. The Committee approved this work on 31 March 2022. The Association of Public Services (APSE) was commissioned to undertake the feasibility study into alternative solutions. This work in ongoing with the outcome to be reported in December.

According to a paper to the Committee on 6 October 2022 Phase 5 that now includes the New Town is currently “On hold”, while Phase 4 is earmarked for Late Summer/Autumn 2023 suggesting a full year before implementation.

This provides an opportunity to consider the implications for the rest of the New Town outside gull proof sack areas where there remains a certain ambiguity about what is to happen, particularly as the issues for this area significantly overlap with those on the gulf proof sack areas.

It is proposed that the Environment Committee hold a meeting open to all Community Councillors to review the current position, to engage with those in the affected area (outside the gull proof sack areas) and determine what actions might be appropriate.

In the meantime, the Community Council is asked to express views generally on progress of the Communal Bin Review and specifically on expectations of the proposed Environment Committee meeting.

[1] NB this is only an account of the resident’s statements. NTBCC cannot verify, for example, asthma rates at any school.