NTBCC minutes – Monday 10 November 2014

Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of New Town and Broughton Community Council, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 10 November 2014 at 7.30pm 


1              Attendance and apologies for absence

1.1          NTBCC members present

Susannah Beaumont NTBCC Allan Jack NTBCC Lewis Press NTBCC
Richard Corral NTBCC Ben MacPherson NTBCC Richard Price NTBCC
Lynn Henni NTBCC Iain McGill NTBCC Christine Ross NTBCC
Gaby Holden NTBCC Ian Mowat NTBCC Alan Welsh NTBCC
James Igoe NTBCC Carol Nimmo NTBCC Cllr Deidre Brock Leith Walk ward

1.2          Others present

Bruce Ryan minutes secretary Iain MacPhail Edinburgh Council City Centre Programme
Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle PC Steven Lamb Police Scotland

1.3          Apologies

Audrey Cavaye NTBCC Cllr Lesley Hinds Inverleith ward
Stuart Cowie NTBCC Cllr Joanna Mowat City Centre ward
Jonathan Finn NTBCC Cllr Alasdair Rankin City Centre ward
Judy Conn NTBCC Marco Biagi MSP Edinburgh Central
Cllr Karen Doran City Centre ward Mark Lazarowicz MP Edinburgh North & Leith

2              Minutes of Meetings of 13 October 2014 and matters arising

Approved subject to changing ‘anger’ to ‘frustration’ in item 5·1 (Proposed A Jack, seconded I Mowat, nem con)

3              Police Report

PC Lamb stated (either in his main report or in response to questions)

  • The relevant PS email address is edinburghcitycentrecpt@scotland.pnn.police.uk. I Mowat requested its addition to the city centre police station web page (http://www.scotland.police.uk/police-stations/edinburgh/214643/)
  • There has been a general decrease in crimes of violence but break-ins (to businesses and homes) continue to be an issue. (PC Lamb was asked about whether rises are typical for this season.) This is in part due to dark nights. Police Scotland (PS) will patrol identified problem areas. PC Lamb advised use of security lights and hiding valuables.
  • To deal with antisocial behaviour (ASB), PS community safety teams are patrolling, along with environmental wardens. There is now a full-time licensing officer (Shona Fleming), focussing on West End matters, e.g. door stewards, body-cams, early resolution of incidents, relations between licensees and PS, but also covering all of the city centre area.
  • Flexi-units from outside Edinburgh will provide additional patrols during the festive period. This will aid with ‘campaign against violence’ days. There will be a ‘keep safe’ campaign over the Christmas period. Additional policing resources have been arranged for 21 Dec to 4 Jan.
  • PS have a media unit that also requests media help to investigate crimes when relevant. It was suggested that PS use newspapers to advise owners to install security lights etc.
  • PS priorities for this area are assault and violent crime, house-breaking, anti-social behaviour, drug matters.
  • A safe zone bus is being reintroduced. This will be stationed at Picardy Place (St Mary’s Place) on Friday and Saturday nights and will be staffed by medics to look after inebriates who have not committed offenses, without using PS resources. (See also http://bit.ly/1q7cBC1.)

It was reported that attempts have been made to grab cameras on Calton Hill. Photographers are now buddying each other.

4              Transport

4.1          Iain MacPhail of Edinburgh Council re Picardy Place and George St

4.1.1      Picardy Place

Mr MacPhail (IMP) reported that his role is to ensure that major projects (both private and public) in the city centre talk to each other, to create a coherent sense of place. For example, developments in the Register area off St Andrews Square should use high-quality materials that match those of existing buildings etc.

On 2 Dec, a report by Alistair Sim on options for extending the tram line further north will be considered by Edinburgh Council (CEC). This report will focus on the design issues and business cases for several options, including no change, extension to McDonald Road, extension past McDonald Road. The report will not focus on the actual routes for such options, but the design group chaired by IMP has done some work on routes. Cllr Brock added that CEC will decide on 2 Dec which option(s) to investigate further.

Such investigations will include 3-D visualisation, e.g. of trams in Picardy Place (PP). Matters are being investigated by the City Centre Programmes Exploratory Working Group, headed by an independent design chair (Keith Gowanlaw). Action: IMP to forward details of CCPEWG to NTBCC.

Business cases will be defined in terms of viability to extend the tram line to proposed stops. (IMP’s group is not examining business cases – they are being handled by Transport for Edinburgh.) They will include lessons from the existing tram lines, e.g. issues around priority of trams over other traffic, access from St James area, holistic consideration of the projects in the area – these will also form part of the 2 Dec report.

No options are set in stone but when any option be preferred as a result of this report, NTBCC should be ready to be involved in consultations. These would include, e.g. siting a transport interchange on Elm Row (the widest part of Leith Walk [LW]), how tram lines might be fitted into narrow stretches of LW [e.g. using single track tram line], dual-use stops, (trams on one side, busses on the other), configuration of PP. IMP also reported that SUSTRANS is working on tram extension options, e.g. that trams would reduce the need for buses on LW.

The chair stated that NTBCC’s concern should be how far trams lines would go along LW. Responding to a query, IMP stated that passenger numbers on existing trams during winter weather would be monitored.

IMP could not comment on potential halts to renovation of LW between Pilrig St and the city centre. (See Leith Central CC October minutes [item 6] at http://leithcentralcc.co.uk/reports.)

IMP was asked about potential planning applications for a hotel in PP – he understands that no such application is due in the immediate future. IMP’s group has considered how much volume a hotel might take up and how traffic (including cycle paths) would fit around it. IMP also confirmed that CEC has considered selling the PP land (more than just the roundabout) but there is no identified end-user.

A McIntosh asked about Henderson Real Estate’s briefing session on 27th October: at this, Henderson deliberately told AM that PP does not feature in their plans, and that CEC was driving this matter. (This was later confirmed by CEC.) However, the Spurtle has previously been told that hotel was a make-or-break deal for CEC – without it Henderson might step away from the project. AM suggested that Henderson’s non-involvement enables public bodies such as NTBCC to saw what they want from the projects in this area.

There was discussion of technical details of potential tram routes through Picardy Place, but IMP reiterated his main message – that NTBCC should be prepared for the report publication on 2 Dec. It was noted that the report will go into the public domain 7 days in advance.

4.1.2      George St

IMP reported that there were two themes to work on George St (GS). Firstly, each month 100 GS users are being interviewed by an independent research company, so currently over 200 interviews have taken place, at varying times and on different days to provide a full picture. Around 90% of interviewees have commented favourably on GS. Details will be published at the quarterly stakeholder meeting (16 Dec at Assembly Rooms, time to be confirmed) NTBCC is welcome to attend. However local groups and residents have been expressing concerns, e.g. over traffic and environmental health implications (GS has failed some environmental tests) – IMP is exploring these and will present statistics. Action: IMP to supply the interview questions to NTBCC.

A Jack asked how much weight would be put on interview responses, considering that the sample number was small and the methodology potentially unusual. IMP responded that the research company had a high reputation, and that while 400 responses would be enough to provide reliable results, 1200 interviews would be conducted – this would be more than robust. 10% of interviewees will be local residents. Action: IMP to supply interim results when around 300 interviews have been conducted.

IMP and colleagues will not base decisions solely on interview results – other data sources include businesses, drivers, traffic flows, social media, unused parking spaces. (It was suggested that parking in other areas was investigated to see whether shopping is migrating to other areas.) Decking and marquees have received the most ire – this has been reported to Essential Edinburgh (EE).

Secondly, IMP is engaging with EE about negative reactions to decking and marquees – these are not part of CEC’s GS experiments. IMP will present to civic forum (25 Nov) on the future of the GS experiment. This should start discussions on design and sense of place – the latter is currently absent. An independent design process will be started, using an independent design expert, to examine sense-of-place options and future-proofing such as how GS can compete with St James/Multrees Walk. For example, the current two-way cycle-path that crosses the middle of GS doesn’t make sense to IMP.

NTBCC are unsure if all businesses on George Street are in favour of the current experiment. A Welsh reported seeing an application by Essential Edinburgh (EE) for a trader’s licence for the whole of the pedestrianised area of Castle St ‘in perpetuity’, and so is concerned that EE will have control of large parts of the city centre. IMP refuted this, stating that the Licensing Board does not hold with perpetual licenses, but promised to investigate. He noted that St Andrews Square is privately owned.

IMP also reported that large umbrellas that can be easily and rapidly removed are to be placed outside the Huxley in the West End. This experiment could inform future changes to GS’s fixed marquees etc. IMP has asked emergency services to report on the marquees, especially in terms of emergency service access to GS.

There will be a meeting of the Edinburgh Civic Forum on 25th November – this will also discuss GS. ECF includes the Cockburn Association, community councils and other relevant bodies – see http://bit.ly/1wIPL0k.

4.2          Other transport matters

  • The transport ctte will meet between 2 Dec and next NTBCC full meeting (8 Dec) to consider GS and PP.

5              Planning

See also planning committee report (Appendix 1)

5.1          St James Centre

I Mowat and R Price attended an information forum about the St James Quarter (SJ) – they now need to consider the material provided by potential developers and prepare probing questions to put to, for example, Henderson at NTBCC’s December meeting over their existing outline planning permission. Henderson intend to apply for detailed planning permission in 2015, with demolition of the existing St James buildings before the end of 2015, construction to start in 2016 and finish in 2020. The SJ and PP schemes are not related.

The outline plans include retention (and refurbishment) of John Lewis, removal of the elevated walkway between SJ and parking on the other side of Leith St, converting Leith St into a retail street, conversion of the student accommodation on James Craig Walk to residential use, lots of car-parking, cycle routes (possibly from George St to St Andrews Square through SJ).

These plans have apparently been in development since 2005 – now is the time for NTBCC to make input. Relevant websites include http://www.edinburghstjames.com and http://www.ama-ltd.co.uk/Edinburgh_St_James.html (Allan Murray Architects)

Action: RP will put his report on NTBCC’s website, NTBCC members to suggest questions

It was asked how the nearby simultaneous major projects (SJ, PP, Register St etc) will affect transport. RP held the view that this transition period needs strong, integrated  management  from CEC as there are a number of significant developments with similar schedules but suggested that overall progress on these developments  may be limited due to lack of available  contractor resource.  It was also suggested that Edinburgh could not accommodate so many nearby simultaneous projects, and that the transition has significant potential to again negatively impact local businesses – following on from the impact from the tram works.

There has been a specific planning proposal for John Lewis’ goods pick-up place. This listed building would be extended with a glass-walled restaurant (ground floor) and offices (other floors), with a public square.

5.2          West Register St

There will be a PAN exhibition for West Register St: 4pm-7pm on 27 Nov at 42 St Andrews Square. The PAN includes residential space/serviced apartments, offices, hotels, retail space, restaurants/cafés, via some demolition and refurbishment. R Price questioned how this development would interface with other nearby projects. The developer’s agent could come to NTBCC’s December meeting.

5.3          St Andrews’ Square

There are several applications for this area – comments are due soon. Action: planning ctte to respond asap

5.4          Other planning matters

  • A response to the Standard Life building PAN has been submitted – RP suggests that this PAN is acceptable.
  • There have been no developments around the Tesco (Dundas St) application.
  • The Edinburgh Solicitors’ Property Centre now has permission to move to 107 George St.
  • A PAN about the Royal High School PAN is due soon. The building would become a hotel under this PAN.

6              Environment

The environment ctte is waiting on news of domestic waste containers.

7              Licensing

I Mowat attended the most recent licensing board following his recent submissions (Appendix 3 of October minutes). The application for the Cumberland Bar has been withdrawn. However, a new canopy that has been installed may garner its own objections. The Hanover St application was refused – the licensing board rule is that bars shut at 1am. Later closure requites entertainment – apparently award-winning DJs do not count as such, but dance floors such as the one at Pivo do count.

A Welsh will attend the licensing forum meeting on 13 Nov, and report back to NTBCC.

A new book Edinburgh – mapping the city (http://amzn.to/1vf02qh) shows the number of pubs in 1890.

8              Treasurer’s Report

No report – treasurer still abroad.

9              Activities of Local Street or Amenity Associations

  • I Mowat advertised the Broughton Project Group’s halloween party.
  • The police box in Drummond Place has been bought by a private individual. It was reported that a police box in Heriot Row has also bought by another private individual. There is no information about plans for these.
  • Claremont Court residents have are disputing CEC’s responses about insulation work which may have been ‘foisted on them’. Cllrs Brock will meet with L Press about this. NTBCC will keep a watching brief for now. R Price suggested that this is a legal issue which NTBCC is not party too, but that the process for statutory repairs is now unclear and that it’s ‘impossible’ to get statutory repair notices removed. Cllr Brock stated that a report on the process is imminent.
  • I Mowat suggested that the NTBCC January meeting should be or include a business meeting (i.e. not advertised as public) to discuss NTBCC’s processes. A January public meeting would be contingent on volume of planning and other public business. IM will book the current venue for 2015 meetings.
  • A Welsh suggested that NTBCC’s grant from is not being fully used and hence might be clawed back – this should be discussed soon. Therefore members should claim all legitimate
  • Katie Swann of CEC has offered to speak to NTBCC about the local community plan (LCP) on 8th Alternative dates included January or February.
  • Richard Corral will attend the LCP public board meeting
  • Cllr Brock reported that the ESPC property maintenance event will be on 17 Nov at 5:30. Places can be booked by calling 0131 555 0688.

10         Any Other Business

11         Date of Next Meeting

8 December 2014

Appendix 1: Planning Committee Report October 2014

Planning Sub-Committee

No F2F Planning Sub-committee held in October.

Pre-Application Notifications

14/02568/PAN Demolition of the Existing Building (Standard Life call-centre) and construction of Flats 52 – 52A Annandale Street

Attended the Public Exhibition in August – including canvassing local resident’s views.

NTBCC responded to the Public Consultation – broadly in favour of the development. Raised concerns over proposals for car park / amenity area to rear but NTBCC support the proposed height / massing & improvement in streetscape (although not to would be difficult……).

14/02836/PAN Proposed amendments to approved mixed use development, including a new facade to replace the 6 / 7 St Andrew Square frontage, the introduction of class 1, class 2 and class 3 uses at first floor / ground floor and lower ground floor level, introduction of a rooftop restaurant (class 3), public realm improvements and other associated works at 3-8 St Andrew Square and 7-21 South St David Street

Presentation by Montagu Evans/Gareth Hoskins & CDA at September NTBCC. Divided opinions on merits of demolishing previously-listed building but general “person in the street” view would seem to be ambivalent to supportive of doing something. Meeting held with EWH (Adam Wilkinson) late in October (24th) – response being finalized.

14/03533/CON | Demolition of now non-listed remaining structure at 6-7 St Andrew Square. | 3 – 7 St Andrew Square Edinburgh

Application granted in accordance with Historic Scotland position.

14/04101/FUL Proposing amendments to approved mixed use development, including revisions to the elevational treatment and development of a new façade to replace the 6 / 7 St Andrew Square frontage, 3 – 8 St Andrew Square, 7-21 South St David Street Edinburgh

Representations due by 14th November – essentially consistent with previous PAN.

14/04100/FUL Proposing amendments to approved mixed use development to allow for class 1, class 2 + class 3 uses at 1st/ground floor + lower ground floor level, + class 3 + class 4 uses on level 6, at 3 – 8 St Andrew Square and 7 – 21 South St David Street. 3 – 8 St Andrew Square, 7-21 South St David Street Edinburgh

Representations due by 21st November. Details of this application need to be understood more fully.

14/03607/PAN Amendment to approved scheme 05/03128/FUL. Demolition of existing office building & Masonic Club, new build incl. Masonic Club, Retail & Commercial to Leith Walk & Residential with associated access, parking, 69m west of 7 Shrub Place

PAN for an amended scheme at Shrub Place Lane development (old Edinburgh Council Tram Depot) which although technically is within the Leith Central CC area – it borders the NTBCC area & may have a possible impact on Leith Walk etc.

These amendments to include:-

  1. Car park layout reduced,
  2. Removal of commercial office to Block A and substitute with residential.
  3. Redesign of internal flat layouts/cores/mix to comply with current Building Standards
  4. Public Realm Redesigned.
  5. Revise elevations

There are 2 Open Days scheduled, both at McDonald Road library;

  • Tuesday 21/10/14 – 3.00 – 7.00pm CANCELLED
  • Tuesday 11/11/14 – 3.00 – 7.00pm STILL SCHEDULED AS FAR AS I AM AWARE

14/03550/PAN 42 St Andrews Square, 19-23 South St Andrews Street, West Register Street & West Register Street Lane

Includes the “(ex)-Romanov” building in the south-east corner of St Andrews Square & Register Street / West Register Street. Details vague at this point – Residential, offices, Hotel, serviced apartments and Class 1 (Retail),2 (Professional offices),3 (Restaurant/café) uses including some demolition, some refurbishment & some new build

Public Exhibition dates set for November 4th & 6th (4pm & 7pm) – CANCELLED WITHOUT COMMUNICATION – new date with venue TBC is November 27th – probably between 4:00pm & 7 pm.

Scott Hobbs also willing to come to December NTBCC meeting if NTBCC support?

We would also like to get a clearer view from Edinburgh World Heritage & the Cockburn on their views for the whole St Andrews Square development.

14/xxxxx/xxx Edinburgh St James Information Forum

RHP & IM attended the update to St James Quarter Plans on behalf of NTBCC on Monday 27th October. Proposal accepted to also invite TIAA Henderson’s to December NTBCC to update a wider audience. Further proposals are expected in the coming months.

Outline PP was granted in 2009 which established the principles of redeveloping the centre for a mix of uses and provided detailed approval for siting & maximum height of buildings. Various “reserved matters” applications are being progressed for the detailed design of the development which will be lodged for full PP in late 2014/early 2015.

Edinburgh Local Development Plan

Second Proposed Plan – representations requested

Representations completed & submitted for Policy CC1,Ret 1 (x2) & Ret 8. Acknowledgement received. Details of submissions in September report – detailed copies available if interested.

Planning Applications / Representations

14/04044/FUL 52-52A Annandale Street Demolition of Existing Building & Construction of a Flatted Residential Development with Assoc. Parking & Landscaping

Representation submitted to PAN – broadly in support. Full application has undergone Edinburgh Urban Design Panel review & incorporated some changes proposed by NTBCC (improved landscaping / revision of types of accommodation). Comments period now closed but NTBCC has until 18th November to make further representation.

Update on Previous Planning Applications / Representations

14/0746/FUL & LBC 30 Dundas Street

Representation submitted objecting to proposed changes to front elevation & rear single storey roof (installation of air conditioning, use of non-authorised materials).

Amended scheme proposed by architect to retain existing frontage & install plant machinery in roof void and refurbishing rear extension in slate / lead etc. Listed Building Consent (with only 5 objections) now granted. Full PP (with 18 objections) still pending but Planning Officer minded to grant subject to review at DMC. No further news since early October………….

14/0747/FUL & LBC 30 Dundas Street Installation of ATM

Representation submitted objecting to proposed changes to front elevation & proposing if ATM required then it should be located internally. Application (both Full & LBC now withdrawn) & NTBCC understand that ATM to be located inside building.

14/01419/FUL Garage at rear of 8 Bellevue Crescent & 14/00049/REVREF

Representation submitted objecting to development – application refused, appealed to DPEA who withheld the decision. Further application made which was again refused. Contact from local resident regarding CEC’s decision not to continue with enforcement notice as recommended by DPEA. Modifications have been made to the building but it is unclear whether the true intent of the use of the modified building is actually a garage or remains a standalone office.

NTBCC proposes to object (retrospectively) to the Enforcement Officer’s decision despite clear guidance from DPEA & the Local review Board.

14/0292/FUL 30 McDonald Place (Batley’s C&C)

Variation of Condition 3 of planning permission 834/88 (as amended under appeal reference: PPA-230-2114, dated 19 June 2014) to extend the opening hours of the cash and carry to 08:30 to12:00 hours on Sundays.

Representation submitted strongly supporting Scottish Government Reporter position of no Sunday opening or deliveries. Amended application to permit Sunday opening supported by Planning Officer (minded to grant) but review & subsequent site visit by Development Management Committee (DMC).

Application reviewed at DMC on 8th & 22nd October & DMC refused this application – against the recommendation of the Planning Officer but consistent with the recommendation of the Scottish Reporter. Although precedent is not a material issue in planning terms – this has set some form of standard wrt impact of commercial premises on residential amenity outside of normal working hours.

14/02786/FUL 1-6 Canonmills Bridge (currently Earthy’s)

Change of use from class 3 to retail, erection 6 flats and 3 town houses and minor alterations to elevations

Original representation submitted by NTBCC against the 2009 application but subsequently granted in May 2013. NTBCC proposed refurbishment of existing premises rather than demolition & redevelopment (which has now happened). Subsequent application to vary elevation details attracted 230 comments – mostly mistaken objections to the 2009 application. Application for elevation changes pending.

No updates since end July – decision pending.

14/03491/FUL Change of use of ground floor Class 1 retail unit to Class 2 office.  GF 107 George Street

Representation completed in support of ESPC move from 85 George Street to 107 George Street. Overall NTBCC have no concerns with this application and moreover we believe that relocating the current ESPC further to the west on George Street will maintain footfall and is fully consistent with the intent of the City Centre Retail Core policies. In addition, the proposed showroom helps draw visitors into the City Centre and away from retail parks on the peripheries of the city.  Therefore, the NTBCC urge that this application is granted to ensure continuity of the ESPC’s presence on George Street.

Planning Officer was minded to refuse this application (as against City Centre Retail policy) but as there has been significant community support – it was reviewed at the Development Management Sub-Committee on 22nd October common-sense prevailed & the application was granted.