NTBCC minutes – Monday 12 December 2016

Minutes of the meeting of New Town and Broughton Community Council, held in the Drummond Room, Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent on Monday 12 December 2016 at 7.30pm

1 Attendance and apologies for absence

Judy Conn NTBCC secretary Richard Price NTBCC planning convenor
Stephen Hajducki NTBCC Lauren Stewart NTBCC
Jack Hugh NTBCC Fran Wasoff NTBCC
Allan Jack NTBCC transport convenor Alan Welsh NTBCC
Stuart McAllister NTBCC Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary
Claire Miller NTBCC Cllr Marion Donaldson Leith Walk ward
Ian Mowat NTBCC chair Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle
Carol Nimmo NTBCC Andy Crofts Friends of King George V park
Lewis Press NTBCC environment convenor Sgt Scott Casey Police Scotland
Around 20 residents

1.1 Apologies for absence

Susannah Beaumont NTBCC Cllr Lesley Hinds Inverleith ward
Andrew Haddow NTBCC Cllr Alasdair Rankin City Centre ward
Kanimozhi Devanathan NTBCC Christine Ross NTBCC
Cllr Nick Gardner Leith Walk ward Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith

2 Minutes of Meeting of 14 November 2016 and matters arising

These were approved nem con (proposed J Hugh, seconded A Welsh) subject to inserting apologies for absence from Fran Wasoff.

Edinburgh Council’s model constitution for CCs was adopted nem con, then signed off by i Mowat and A Welsh.

3 Police: city centre priorities for South East Locality Improvement Plan

Sgt Casey reported that

  • On 17 October, police boundaries were rearranged to match council boundaries. The city centre now has 9 dedicated community police officers (CPOs)as well as 2 sergeants, 1 inspector, based at Torphichen St. in the West End.
  • CPOs work until 2am. Response officers based at Gayfield Square work 24/7.
  • The CPOs are being left to focus on community matters, not being called to ‘response’ matters
  • The CPOs have 4 main operations
    • Penitent, targeting street drug dealing
    • Switchback, enforcing 20 mph speed limits
    • Ceremon, targeting youth antisocial behaviour in Princes Mall
    • Osterberg, targeting antisocial behaviour in Hunter Square. This is a big enforcement target. Bail conditions may be used to prevent antisocial people from returning to this area.
  • There is currently an online poll to find people’s policing priorities.
  • There have been 22 instances of ‘housebreaking’ in the New Town since October (‘housebreaking’ includes break-ins to non-domestic properties). Police Scotland is working with the violence reduction task force, who work in plain clothes, to target drug dealers
  • Enforcement of speeding laws in Drummond Place and Nelson Place is due to start in January. However, a resident reported that these streets have become ‘rat-runs’.
  • A suspect in the recent murder case has been remanded in custody.
  • Police have no powers to fine or punish drivers who park with their motors running. Traffic wardens similarly can’t deal with the pollution this causes. Edinburgh Council (CEC) may have such powers.

Asked about progress on homelessness (see item 3.1.1 of November minutes), Sgt Casey responded that

  • The CPOs go at 7am to hotspots. They have seen a significant decline in calls about rough sleepers.
  • Rough sleepers at West Register House who have previously been warned can now be arrested.
  • A dedicated officer goes to the Salvation Army shelter every morning to help arrange accommodation.

A Welsh thanked Sgt Casey for this report but asked for statistics to be reported consistently.

A resident thanked Police Scotland for finding her furniture and arranging temporary accommodation.

4 Planning

4.1 Royal Bank of Scotland site (application references 16/05454/PPP and 16/05455/CON)

The developer’s representatives were also present to hear NTBCC and its residents’ comments.

R Price outlined NTBCC’s draft objections to both applications. These are on NTBCC’s website. He noted that currently there were 276 objections to the application in principle and 88 to the application for demolition, and that NTBCC had discussed this matter with relevant residents’ associations, the Cockburn Association etc. He suggested while there may be some positive features to the current plans, there remain some fundamental issues:

  • height, scale, massing
  • detrimental impact on Edinburgh’s World Heritage site
  • local infrastructure concerns – the proposed class uses provide too much flexibility
  • loss of employment and economic vibrancy

NTBCC hence wishes, inter alia

  • tighter class uses to ensure mixed use, as does CEC’s Economic Development department
  • a smaller quantum of development (i.e. smaller blocks)
  • reduced impact on King George V Park and existing properties around the site
  • far better, coherent use of the site that respects the site’s environs, especially the World Heritage context.

I Mowat noted that demolition in a conservation area should not be permitted without detailed planning permission being in place.

Residents’ suggestions for amendments to NTBCC’s draft objections included:

  • this application is contrary to Edinburgh’s local development plan (LDP)
  • there is no need to demolish the existing buildings – instead refurbishment and repurposing should be much further explored, especially while there is pressure on office space in Edinburgh
  • a geological survey and geological assurances are needed. (J Conn stated that the site has several geological issues, according to a well-qualified geologist.)

There may be a pre-development (PD) meeting to generate advice for CEC’s development management subcommittee (DMS), between closing date for comments (18 December) and the relevant DMS meeting. Any individual or body can ask for a PD meeting on the basis of the development being significantly contrary to the LDP; the head of planning and the DMS convenor would decide whether a PD meeting occurs.

4.2 Site of former B&Q (13 Warriston Road)

R Price reported that NTBCC’s position is that this site is currently unattractive but with much potential. No planning application has yes been made, but consultations have occurred. (Information is available online at http://www.canonmillsgarden.com.) NTBCC has commented on a previous ‘blocky’ plan – developers are now considering a quadrangle development with frontage on the Water of Leith with reduced-height blocks that would be quite attractive. RP also noted that CEC is under strong pressure to develop brownfield sites – this would be a good example. However, there are concerns over CEC’s wish for lower %age of onsite parking and lack of wide-ranging traffic study, and that this area of Leith Walk ward might become quite sterile. NTBCC would suggest that this is an opportunity to for different class uses (e.g. a community or health centre).

4.3 Dundas House

There is a design competition for this area.

4.4 Heriot Hill

(See item 5.4 of November minutes) R Price reported that there have been conversations with NTBCC’s MSP, and that while there is no logical basis for the Reporter’s decision, a judicial review would be expensive (>£30,000). It was suggested that the development could be stopped because emergency vehicles cannot access the site.

5 Environment

L Press reported that the Consultative Forum, organised by CEC’s waste services department, will meet this Friday privately to consider a 65-point improvement plan. (See p. 65 of Transport and Environment November minutes.)

LP had also attended a meeting of Leith Neighbourhood Partnership. This was very well attended by the public, CEC officials and CEC cllrs. There was in-depth discussion on waste issues, and a very interesting presentation by Leithers don’t litter. He suggested that NTBCC and its residents adopt streets in their area, e.g. in Powderhall



6 Licensing

Regarding live music noise, Sgt Casey stated that PS are mostly concerned with amplified busking.

The licensing convenor had emailed the following report:

There is one new application this month, from 127/9 George Street. These appear to be serviced apartments between Browns and Tiger Lily. The public will be able to use the lounge area to buy drinks.

There are 3 variations:

  • Bar Roma 39-40 Queensferry Street – to increase hours and allow gaming
  • Veeno, 74 Rose Street – to allow club meetings, classes and takeaways
  • Chachalaca Mexican restaurant, 87 Hanover Street (previously Patio restaurant) – to increase hours, allow recorded music outwith core hours and allow takeaways until 2am (3am at weekends).

My only concern this month is possibly Chachalaca at 87 Hanover St, as a 3am licence seems very late. Garibaldi has 3am but it is a basement bar, whereas the noisy 99 Hanover St seems to be 1am. Residents from across the road have previously complained about noise from these places, so I am inclined to register our concern. Objections should be made by 5 December, but we have a reasonable excuse for a late objection given our meeting date.

7 Transport

NTBCC has objected to the plan to stop exiting from Montgomery St onto Leith Walk (LW). NTBCC’s concern is that LW is not being considered holistically – effects of changes to London Road are not yet known.

I Mowat had attended the George Street stakeholders group; NTBCC will continue to be represented by him and Susannah Beaumont as the design process moves forward.

A Welsh wished NTBCC to thank CEC for renovating setts on Howe Street and Royal Circus, and also enquired if and when this would be done on Frederick Street. He also suggested that the intersection between Frederick Street and George Street needs to be controlled with traffic lights. Another CCllr suggested that the current format prioritises pedestrians and cyclists, in accordance with CEC policy.

A resident noted that road-works by utility companies do severe damage to road-surfaces. I Mowat suggested that a concordat is needed, especially in the world heritage site, to co-ordinate such matters.

8 Neighbourhood partnerships and Edinburgh Association of CCs

C Ross had attended the City Centre NP. It discussed the southeast locality plan, and Edinburgh 2050.

9 Community council committees

The communications committee will consider how the website can be approved, and whether to use Facebook.

Action: C. Millar will put a short reports of this meeting on the website soon after the meetings, so NTBCC residents can know what was discussed sooner. (Formal minutes do not go online until approved at the next meetings)

Action: L Stewart will create a poster for use in noticeboards etc

10 Activities of local street or amenity associations

  • I Mowat thanked NTBCC-affiliated residents’ associations for their work on how to object to planning applications.
  • J Hugh noted that one side of Great King Street had been filled with film vans, upsetting residents’ parking, and asked why residents had not been consulted. It was suggested that residents, NTBCC and Cllr Donaldson check with Film Edinburgh. Action: Cllr Donaldson to check the TRO

Discuss NPs in bus meeting

11 Any other business

  • L Press and B Ryan had attended the Edinburgh Association of CCs AGM. He reported that erroneous accounts were presented, followed by a presentation from CEC Chief Executive Andrew Kerr on Edinburgh 2050 and some discussions on localities. L Press suggested discussing Neighbourhood Partnerships at NTBCC’s January business meeting.
  • A McIntosh reported that Essential Edinburgh have received an independent report on the trees in St Andrews Square. The report emphasises that over-use and heavy vehicles are doing serious long-term damage. He had asked for assurance that EE will pay for renovations but received not reply.
  • Concern was expressed over how CCs can have positive impact on business improvement districts in general.