NTBCC minutes – Monday 13 October 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 13 October 2014 at 7.30pm

1              Attendance and apologies for absence

1.1          NTBCC members present

Susannah Beaumont NTBCC Gaby Holden NTBCC Lewis Press NTBCC
Audrey Cavaye NTBCC James Igoe NTBCC Richard Price NTBCC
Richard Corral NTBCC Iain McGill NTBCC Christine Ross NTBCC
Stuart Cowie NTBCC Ian Mowat NTBCC Cllr Joanna Mowat City Centre ward
Lynn Henni NTBCC Allan Jack NTBCC

1.2          Others present

Bruce Ryan minutes secretary Barbara Frame resident
Alistair Macintosh Moray Feuar representative Fiona Gibb resident
Alan McIntosh Broughton Spurtle Gary Harrison resident
John Ross Maclean Broughton Spurtle Kim Harrison resident
Iain Macphail Edinburgh Council City Centre Programme Jeremy Jameson resident
Angus Murdoch Waste Services, Edinburgh Council Margery McBain resident
Lesley Sugden Waste Services, Edinburgh Council Sally Philip resident
PC Derek Babow Police Scotland Angus M Reid resident
PS Stevie Lamb Police Scotland Frank Robson resident
Toby Jones market trader Matthew Roper resident
Patricia Andrew resident Mr & Mrs Roussot resident
Elizabeth Barclay resident Michael Soutar resident
Iain G Brown resident Philip Stout resident
Anne Casson resident Hannah Walthew resident
Gerald Della-Porta resident Alex Watts resident
Pat Denzler resident

1.3          Apologies

Carol Nimmo NTBCC Cllr Karen Doran City Centre ward
Jonathan Finn NTBCC Cllr Lesley Hinds Inverleith ward
Alan WelshJudy Conn NTBCCNTBCC Cllr Alasdair RankinCllr Gavin Barrie City Centre ward
Mark Lazarowicz MP Edinburgh North & Leith

2              Minutes of meeting of 8 September 2014

2.1          Accuracy and adoption

Adopted without changes (Proposed L Henni, seconded G Holden, nem con)

2.2          Matters arising

Lewis Press was co-opted on to the NTBCC as Claremont Court Residents’ Association’s nominated representative (nem con)

3              Police Report

Sgt Lamb reported on the last quarter’s crime statistics, and comparisons with the same quarter of 2013.  The reporting period included the Commonwealth Games, during which there was a heavy level of abstraction (i.e. police working at the games rather than at their usual locations). Also police had been abstracted from the city centre to Pilton and Drumbrae.

  • Violent crime reduced by 90% (= 50 crimes)
  • Serious assault reduced by 7·5%
  • Robberies down by 32%
  • Minor assault reduced by 9%
  • Acquisitive crime reduced by 4·3% (= 90 crimes)
  • Domestic housebreaking has increased (= 6·8%)
  • Break-ins to businesses have increased by 40% = 32 crimes)
  • Shoplifting reduced 17% (= 167 crimes)

Police Scotland (PS) advise not leaving car-keys visible to prevent housebreaking leading to vehicle theft.

Sgt Lamb reported on a ‘horrible’ incident in Eyre Place on Wednesday 8 October. A 21-year old female was attacked around 4am, near Smithies pub. The enquiry is ongoing – it is possible that a silver saloon was involved. Sgt Lamb requested that anyone who might have evidence to report it via the 101 phone line.

PS record numbers of frauds (e.g. internet fraud, credit card fraud) under ‘acquisitive crime’ but Sgt Lamb did not have figures for this area. Action Sgt Lamb to report on this next meeting

A trader reported that there had been incidents of drink-fuelled incidents at Edinburgh markets, such as groups of up to 15 people drinking in public (of itself perceived as threatening) followed by, e.g. damage to vehicles, public urination. This behaviour had peaked in July-August but is now decreasing as weather closes in. He noted that police response had generally been good but that there had been no response on some occasions. Sgt Lamb responded that there has been a 50% increase in calls to PS about antisocial behaviour. PS operational planning is taking account of this but PS has changed to a 1-shift work pattern. Sgt Lamb stated that if people contact PS about crimes, PS can change its operational planning accordingly. Cllr Mowat stated that she and the City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership are aware of this issue, and asked people to report problems so that action would be taken.

I Mowat stated that NTBCC wishes to work with PS via the Safer Neighbourhood Forum, and asked Sgt Lamb to put this on the next agenda.

I McGill suggested that problems were exacerbated by cuts to services to homeless people, and suggested that a proposed further 22·5% cut would increase problems more. Action: IMcGill to draft submission to Edinburgh Council

L Press noted delays (up to 10 minutes) in answering calls to 101. He suggested there are insufficient operators.

L Henni asked about the proposals about armed police officers. Cllr Mowat reported that while the proposals may have been temporarily rescinded, the Scottish Police Authority consultation continues – see http://www.spa.police.uk/performancepages/247613. Sgt Lamb confirmed that the policy is under review. Action: NTBCC members and others to individually respond to this consultation.

I Mowat noted that there is no email address on the city centre police website (http://www.scotland.police.uk/police-stations/edinburgh/214643) and requested that this be rectified.

4              Transport

4.1           Update from Iain MacPhail (IMP), Senior Project Manager, Edinburgh Council, re proposals for Picardy Place etc

This update covered the related matters of the George St layout trials, the proposals to remodel Picardy Place and work on St Andrews Square. IMP stated he was happy to report at future NTBCC meetings because there are now a lot of projects in the CC area. He also stated that he was very keen to receive input, including data collected by residents. This is a précis of IMP’s points from both his main speech and answers to questions.

See Appendix 1 for IMP’s notes.

4.1.1      George St (GS)

There is currently a 12-month trial (started 8th September), including a 2-way cycle-lane, more pedestrian space and a 1-way lane for cars. Changes will and have been made in response to observed behaviours. For example, in response to (mostly) taxis driving on cycle-lanes, IMP and colleagues had first tried improving signage but this had not worked. IP and colleagues are now considering single bollards at entries to lanes, ideally versions that will not hinder emergency vehicles. They have also moved a taxi rank, and will change the traffic direction at Young St. This is in response to ‘symptoms’ along Young St and Hill St, although the actual cause was elsewhere. Relevant TROs will be issued simultaneously.

They have employed a research company to investigate GS’s users’ opinions, and to find out what does and does not work by interviewing 100 people per month. At least 10% of responses are to be from residents[1], and another 10% are to be from cyclists. So far, it seems that bars, restaurants and patrons are satisfied but that retailers are not, so IM and colleagues are looking for improvements. They are also doing quantitative analysis, e.g. footfall, visitor numbers, air quality, traffic – IMP will supply figures when they are available. There will be 4 quarterly stakeholder meetings – the next is on 16th December

[1] residents’ points included

  • An Abercromby Place (AP) resident suggested that this proportion was too low, also stating her concern about the GS experiment and its effect on AP, e.g. 600 vehicles per hour along AP. She asked what was the point of the experiment, what evidence is being gathered and how it is gathered. IP responded that the experiment is to ascertain what layout would be best for GS and its environs, e.g. how much parking is needed, does the cycle lane help, how GS is being used, whether increased pedestrianisation would help – in short how GS can contribute to a safer, more attractive city centre. IMP and colleagues are not (currently) monitoring movement of/damage to buildings due to increased traffic along AP etc.
  • Another resident also offered his traffic counts, including breakdowns by vehicle type – these show that traffic has not reduced now that the tram works have finished. IMP reiterated his keenness to receive such data. Action: ImP to collate his and others’ data and report to next NTBCC meeting
  • Another resident suggested that issues arise from streets having been designed for horse-drawn carriages – modern vehicles are faster and heavier, so reinforcement of streets (and buildings?) may be needed.
  • Another resident requested (investigation into) surveyors’ reports, weight limits to prevent building damage and other action to show that Edinburgh Council is taking residents’ concerns seriously.
  • Another resident suggested reopening the tunnel between Scotland St and Waverly station. It turns out that Harvey Nichol’s cellars and foundations prevent this.
  • It was suggested that people can comment on the plans via the Edinburgh world heritage trust (email vision@edinburgh.gov.uk), via conversations with IMP’s researchers and via NTBCC.

4.1.2      Picardy Place (PP)

IP chairs a short-life exploratory design group, formed to obtain joined-up thinking around 3 projects in this area: Leith Walk improvements, extension of the trams to Leith and the St James quarter scheme. This is currently meeting weekly to deliver an optimal functional design and sense of place by exploring options together before planning applications are made. The group includes Sustrans, Edinburgh Council planning and transport team members, Henderson Global, architects etc. Currently, plans are ‘embryonic’ – there will be consultation later. Action: IMP to forward minutes of these meetings to NTBCC

Henderson Global are the best source for information on timing of developments – they are likely to submit a full planning application (they currently only have outline permission) in the next 6 months. There will be a pre-consultation event on Monday 27th October at the Glasshouse

Edinburgh Council currently owns the roundabout land but intend to sell it. Priorities for remodelling start with pedestrians, people accessing buildings, then cyclists, then motor vehicles. There has been no resistance to IP and colleagues’ insistence on cycle-lanes through the development.

IMP and colleagues are working with, e.g. Lothian Buses about factors away from the site that may impact how PP works, e.g. options for orbital bus routes, if trams are installed on Leith Walk bus routes 22 and 25 would have less demand, potential effects on other parts of the New Town e.g. Broughton St. (This is also part of the George St trials.) Traffic modelling indicates that if PP goes wrong, the first place to suffer would be the Mound.

Motor traffic will not be removed from Leith Walk, despite the precedent of Princes St.

IP noted that the team links to the Leith CCs via Leith Neighbourhood officers (A Herriman, I Buchanan: http://www.edinburghnp.org.uk/neighbourhood-partnerships/city-centre/contact-us/)

4.1.3      St Andrews Square (StASq)

Developers are currently reconstructing the south side of StASq. Plans include extending the south side’s pavement. An exploratory group has been formed to about completing the paving around the square. It is intended to bring all sides ‘up to scratch’ without disturbing the development and traffic flows. Edinburgh Council has no settled options yet – whatever emerges will be subject to consultation – and IP is happy to inform the next NTBCC meeting.

4.2          20mph consultation

Responses to the consultation needed to be submitted within the next 4 days. I Mowat suggested there were two options:

  • a blanket 20mph limit for all streets in the area
  • arterial roads having 30mph limits, all others having 20mph limits. (NTBCC would then need to state which are the arterial roads.)

A suggestion that all roads should have 30mph limits, hence welcoming visitors, with lower speeds only where really needed (e.g. school entrances) was not seconded and hence not discussed further. The following is a précis of suggestions, points and questions raised by NTBCC members and residents.

  • Abercromby Place (AP) and Albany Street (AS) are currently 20mph advisable. Under the proposals they would be arterial/30mph – and that limit would be enforced
  • It may be less confusing, especially for visitors, to have the same (20mph) speed limit throughout the area.
  • AS is residential/business use. During the tramworks it was used as an arterial route, leading to bad experiences. The George St experiment might lead to AS being used as an arterial again, leading to repetition of these experiences
  • Will there be design features to discourage or slow traffic turning from arterials into 20mph roads, e.g. cobbled roads should be 20mph? Currently commercial traffic goes through unsuitable roads.
  • A precise definition of ‘arterial’ was requested. For this discussion it was assumed that arterial roads are those that carry traffic from outside the area to destinations also outside the area. Hence planners would need to designate arterial routes that do this, and hence think holistically, not doing ‘pick and mix’.
  • A member suggested that mixing 20mph and 30mph limits would be too complex and hard to enforce.
  • NTBCC should concern itself with its residents’ wishes, not with [others’] needs for arterial routes.
  • The point of AP and AS being arterial is to funnel traffic to York Place.
  • It was suggested that 20mph limits bring less (noise) pollution, danger and other benefits. However, it was also suggested that 20mph is outwith cars’ efficient zones, leading to greater air pollution.
  • There is a World Heritage site which should be considered –all roads in and entering it should be 20mph.
  • Genuine arterial routes should be 30mph but residential streets and streets mainly used by people should be 20mph. (Cllr Mowat noted that the 20mph proposals covered all of Edinburgh, using this rationale.)
  • There is no value in giving Broughton Street 30mph limit – it’s ‘blocked’ at either end by a roundabout and York Place.
  • PS will enforce speed limits by being in the right place at the right time, and reacting to identified problems, according to Sgt Lamb.
  • Arterial routes should revert to previous parking schemes, which may result in fewer parking places.
  • Arterial routes should receive ‘benefits’ to make up for the ‘cost’ of having 30mph traffic.
  • Public transport should be permitted to do 30mph, all other vehicles to be limited to 20mph.

After this, option 1 received 6 votes and option 2 received 7 votes. Hence decision: NTBCC to submit opinion that all roads in its area should be 20mph apart from Regent Road, Princes St, Queen St/York Place, Dundas St/
Hanover St, Leith walk, London Road, Broughton Road

See Appendix 2 for actual submission.

5              Environment

5.1          Update from Angus Murdoch (AM) of Edinburgh City Council about changes to waste collection in New Town

AM reported that black plastic bin-liners began to be discontinued in 2010, due to issues with burst bags, vermin (rats and gulls). A project was led by the city centre management team – this included plots in the old and new towns, e.g. gull-proof bags (GPBs), communal bins, recycling points, food-waste recycling schemes. Methods that are effective, satisfactory to customers, cause little visual intrusion and are cost-effective/operationally viable are needed.

The pilot ran over 2011, and was publicised via an online survey, direct email, mailshots, local radio, print and online media. It monitored inter alia street cleanliness, burst bags, black bags being left out, visual impact. Resident groups and crew feedback contributed to gathered data. For example, emptying the original design of GPB could be unsafe during dark mornings, evening collections were inefficient. Food recycling reception was mixed – it roughly correlated with whether residents are long-term or transient.

After the report to Edinburgh Council, most streets received communal bins. GPBs were issued to long tenements, or if residents requested them and they were viable. Variations were made to fit locations, e.g. Belleview Road received dark green bins to fit with its gardens, and to reduce impacts on parking.

The main issue has been the time taken – it takes a long time to issue TROs and prepare bin sites. (The TRO process takes even longer if objections are submitted.). There have also been allegations of bins being over-filled and ‘bin-tourism’ (people deliberately, repeatedly using other streets’ bins) – this is not permitted. Rubbish is now being collected from bins 3 times each week. Of the 13,000 households affected, 3600 have GPBs, 7600 have bins, 1800 still use black bags. Some areas currently do not have settled solutions.

NTBCC members and residents made the following points:

  • A member expressed extreme frustration at the waste collection arrangements – she felt mis/under-informed and that the Council was taking far too long to implement a working scheme (for example Broughton Street Lane is being left in a disgraceful state – how were overfilled bins being handled?)
  • Another member stated that AM and colleagues had to deal with complex requirements and many sudden changes of view, and that it is up to householders to behave responsibly, to help council.
  • A resident concurred, commending AM and colleagues but agreeing that there are information issues: regular re-issue of information on how to deal with waste is needed, especially by transient residents who otherwise would not know what to do. This would also help combat bin-tourism.
  • Businesses also need to develop good waste-handling.
  • Bin designs are unhelpful for small, elderly and disabled people.
  • Some residents keep GPBs attached to railings through the week – this is not welcome.
  • Garden waste is being dumped in communal bins, as is commercial/builder’s waste to avoid paying commercial rates.
  • A member who is very keen on recycling and other green matters stated that if he didn’t know about recycling schemes, other less interested residents would not know – hence far better communications via appropriate channels (not just boring circulars which get ignored) are needed.
  • If a resident will be away on a GPB collection day, can his or her refuse be put in a communal bin elsewhere. (AM replied that this should not be done, certainly not regularly – residents could ask their neighbours to help.)
  • Bins should not be concentrated, to reduce visual pollution and to discourage bin-sites being treated as dumps.

AM noted that many of these are global problems. He stated that he and his team were trying to solve complex problems and apologised where they had failed. He offered to revisit NTBCC in December.

6              Licensing

I Mowat submitted objections on 10 October about 99 Hanover St Bar  and the Cumberland Bar. See Appendix 3 for details.

7              Planning

Not discussed due to lack of time. A separate report was later circulated – see Appendix 4.

8              Activities of local street or amenity associations

Not discussed due to lack of time.

9              Any other business

The architect for Claremont Court can visit NTBCC in November or December.

10         Date of next meeting

10 November 2014

Appendix 1 – Ian MacPhail’s notes on major projects affecting NTBCC area

Iain MacPhail, City Centre Programme Manager at City of Edinburgh Council
Contact details : iain.macphail@edinburgh.gov.uk


Summary: year-long trial began on 8 Sept 2014, introduction of a 2 way cycle facility & additional pedestrian space, and a one way system for vehicular traffic.

Trial: Run on an “ETRO” basis, changes can be made during the year in response to driver behaviour or issues that arise. 4 examples of changes being made: bollards, taxi rank, Young St. & animation

Research: CEC has commissioned an external agency to undertake 1200 on-street interviews seeking feedback and satisfaction levels on a range of aspects. The research is fed back quarterly to stakeholders and has been positive to date. Selected responses from on-street interviews:

Note – These responses relate to the look of George Street post-Festival, as during the Festival it is recognised that the street was cluttered with a variety of inconsistent & unattractive pop up events, which was not part of the Council’s project that commenced on 8-9-14. Responses here are from the post-Festival period, from the first 100 respondees – that number is too small to yet be conclusive, so please note these are considered only initial and interim figures for information only.

  • 90% consider George Street is more attractive since the Council’s changes were implemented, and the Festival had departed.
  • 79% think changes have provided an improved pedestrian experience
  • 78% think the changes encourage people to spend more time in George Street
  • 76% think the changes encourage people to walk more
  • Only 8% of responses reported that they drove into the city and parked in George Street itself. All other shoppers and diners either came in by different means of transport or drove but parked in St James Centre, Charlotte Square, Castle Terrace or elsewhere.
  • The number of car parking spaces has only been reduced by 9% in the street (now that the Festival has departed) and only 1% of respondents raised car parking as an issue
  • 53% of respondents think it’s important for some car parking to remain available on George Street (20% unimportant, 27% don’t know)
  • 76% said they felt the changes had made their day more enjoyable, 22% said it made no difference to them, only 2% said less enjoyable.
  • People travel to George Street on foot (23%) by train (19%) bicycle (13%) and car (17%)
  • The most common reasons for going to George Street were dining (29%) browsing/window shopping (29%), shopping (22%), meeting friends/family (21%), drinking (19%) and most respondents gave multiple reasons.
  • 34% said they would spend 1-3 hours on George Street, the most commonly reported ‘duration of stay’
  • The next quarterly stakeholder meetings will be on 16-12-14, 24/3/15,   23/6/15  &   8/9/15
  • A minimum of 10% of respondees will be New Town residents (stipulated in the research contract). Quarterly updates are being gathered on traffic numbers (to track any traffic displacement) on the following streets: Heriot Row, Albany St, Drummond Pl, Great King St, Hamilton Place & Geo/Queen


Summary – a short life exploratory design & working group has been formed, chaired by me.

This group emerged from three closely related major projects, the Leith Walk Programme, Edinburgh Trams (moving towards extending the Tram to Leith) and a Picardy Place Working Group (related to the development of Edinburgh St James) which spent September 2014 producing an indicative development site kerb line and examining the linkages between all of the various city centre programmes : George Street, St Andrew Square, Register Lanes, York Place, Edinburgh St James, Picardy Place, London Road junction & then towards the Leith Programme.

This group has met weekly and my key aim (as chair & facilitator) has been to ensure that technical and design options are not being explored in isolation – each programme needs to knit successfully to its neighbouring area. Exploring design options (with all programmes represented) has brought all these groups together, with the design optioning process getting underway in earnest now, October.

The group has included SusTrans, CEC transport & planning officials, CEC neighbourhood officials, CEC Estates dept, Edinburgh Trams, Henderson Global (represented by their project managers & transport planners), plus architects, transport designers and urban designers.

I have been happy to forward all minutes directly to the chair of NTBCC and will continue to do so, and I am happy to present a candid update to the Community Council on a monthly ongoing basis.

Any options which are produced from this group will become subject to a public consultation.


Summary – at the previous meeting of NTBCC the CC received a presentation from developers currently in the process of demolishing and reconstructing the south side of St Andrew Square. Part of their presentation had included an outline proposal for an expanded pavement on the south side of the square. The developers informed the NTBCC meeting they intended to take this proposal to the Council but had not formally done so.

Following the NTBCC meeting, I invited the developers to a meeting, including an array of designers & stakeholders from St Andrew Square, similar to the Picardy Place exercise outlined above.

This is an exploratory design group looking at completing the paving and public realm around the square. Works have been completed on the east side of the square (along the tram line). We will programme the works on the north, west and south sides over the next 2 years, taking into account wider city centre traffic management impact of undertaking each leg & dovetailing with existing development delivery schedules. No settled view has emerged yet on the developer’s proposals.

Any options which are produced from this group will also become subject to a public consultation.

Many thanks for inviting me tonight and I hope this information is useful and informative.

Kind regards, Iain – Iain.macphail@edinburgh.gov.uk

Appendix 2 – NTBCC’s 20mph submission

To City of Edinburgh Council Transport Department

  1. We applaud the City Council for consulting on this major change before embarking on it.
  2. We have featured the consultation on our website and have invited responses from residents, but have not received any responses- though hopefully we encouraged some direct responses to your consultation.
  3. We also contacted a number of residents associations in the New Town area and asked them for their views. All supported 20 mph with the New Town/ Broughton area in respect of those street marked light blue on your plan and called local streets. Two thirds also supported the proposals that all streets in the City Centre area marked dark blue and described as main streets should be 20mph, as they thought this would simpler for driver and for enforcement purposes. Although there was also some support of the view that at least some of the main streets should remain at 30mph.
  4. A large number of residents of Abercromby Place, and some from Albany Street, attended our meeting where the proposal was discussed and made it clear that they were appalled by the designation of their streets as main streets on the proposal map. Both streets are mainly residential, neither is a bus route, and Albany Street has end-on parking. Prior to the tram works traffic on both was light, but during the tram works when it was used as the diversion route for York Place, traffic was very heavy. Although the diversion ended over a year ago and traffic levels have fallen substantially, residents maintain that it is still higher than pre tram route- and pre George St trial. After this regrettable history they are deeply suspicious of the Council who have lost considerable goodwill over this insensitive labelling. Plainly all residents want the streets to be 20mph, as does the Community Council. But we would also like an acknowledgement from the Council that this designation was mistaken.
  5. By contrast we can see the basis on which the other  main streets in the New Town and Broughton area were designated, and opinion on the Community Council itself was divided about whether some of these should remain at 30mph, or also be reduced to 20mph.
  6. The Community Council, by an overwhelming majority, supports the 20mph for all light blue local streets. We believe this will assist in slowing traffic down on residential streets on the World Heritage Site to the benefit of residents, cyclist and pedestrians, although some scepticism was expresses about how this would be enforced in practice. In that regard we are not calling for speed bumps – and we think it better to introduce the lower limits and then see if further speed reduction measures prove necessary.
  7. However,  by a very narrow majority we agreed that some of the main streets should not be reduced to 20mph. In making this selection we had regard to whether the street was narrow or wide, cobbled or setted, the extent it was residential or otherwise, whether it was a main bus route, and (in the case of Dundas Street) whether cyclists routinely exceeded 20mph on it. There was concern that to make some of these streets 20mph would be to render the whole scheme unduly oppressive. Some observed that 20mph was a less efficient speed for some vehicles than 30mph so the lower speed limit would, if anything, increase emissions. The majority also believe that by differentiating certain routes like Queen Street / York Place as a main route this will encourage drivers to use it rather than “rat run” through 30 mph streets.
  8. We consider that the following streets in our area or bordering it should remain at 30mph; Regent Road, Princes Street, South and North Charlotte Street, Charlotte Square (east side) , Queen Street / York Place, Leith Street , Leith Walk, London Road, The Mound, Hanover Street ,Queen Street Gardens East,  Dundas St, Brandon Terrace, Inverleith Row (borders our area), Broughton Road and Bonnington Road  (borders on our area). The rest of the dark blue marked routes in the New Town and Broughton CC area should be 20mph.
  9. For the avoidance of doubt the route from Queen St to Queensferry St by St Colme St, Great Stuart Street and Randolph Crescent, which is mainly residential, narrow and setted, should be 20mph maximum, and in this way we hope drivers will be encouraged to use the alternative Charlotte Square /Hope Street route, now it is to be two-way again.

Please confirm receipt of this submission

Kind regards

Ian Mowat
Chair New Town and Broughton Community Council
Tel 07944 938556

Appendix 3 – licensing submissions

99 Hannover St

Tracey McLean, Senior Legal Support Officer, The City of Edinburgh Council, Services for Communities- Licensing , City Chambers, 249 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1YJ

Dear Sir/Madam

Variation of premises licence-number 265239-  99 Hanover Street

I am writing on behalf of New Town and Broughton Community Council to object to the application by the 99 Hanover Street bar for variation of the  hours of their liquor licence on  Fridays to Sundays to stay open till 3am in the morning.

We note the bar is currently licenced to 1am daily despite there being a significant number of residents in upper floor flats on either side of the street. Residents have confirmed to us that the noise of patrons leaving the bar at the current closing time of 1am is at times very noisy.  One commented that if the closing time was two hours later the patrons would be likely to be even drunker and even noisier- and of course the disturbance would be two hours later. Another resident commented that the bar is not a very good neighbour, failing to clean up sick on the pavement in front of and bottles left outside its premises. This leaves him with little expectation that the bar can be trusted to ensure patrons leave quietly at 3am.

It is clear that this extension is likely to lead to significant loss of amenity for residents of the northern part of Hanover Street so we oppose it on this ground. Moreover, our understanding is that in the New Town there is a general 1am closing time for bars, so we also oppose the extension on the basis that it would create an unfortunate precedent that other bars in the area would be likely to follow. Residents of arterial routes to the north already are already disturbed by late night revellers making their way home -and whilst some of this is already after 3am from late opening clubs, any move towards 3am as a rule would be bound  to increase the numbers staying out late rather than calling it a night at 1am.

The most unique feature of Edinburgh is that is  an historic  city centre with a significant resident population- who have put up with a considerable expansion of Edinburgh’s nightime economy (especially in and around  George St) over the past few years with good grace. There is however a balance of amenity to be struck, and to grant this application would be to shift it decisively against residents whose presence is vital to maintaining the fabric of the New Town.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Mowat, Chair, New Town and Broughton Community Council

Cumberland Bar

Tracey McLean, Senior Legal Support Officer, The City of Edinburgh Council, Services for Communities- Licensing , City Chambers, 249 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1YJ

Dear Sir/Madam

Variation of premises licence number 266266 -Cumberland Bar

I am writing on behalf of New Town and Broughton Community Council to object to the application by the Cumberland Bar for variation to allow their beer garden and front patio areas   to be used for the consumption of food and drink until 10pm all year round- rather than just 1 May till the end of the Festival as at present.  Currently the beer garden and front patio are licenced to 9pm daily with the exception of the period from 1 May until the end of the Edinburgh festival (Fringe and/or Official) each year when these areas may be used until 10pm.

The objection is made because this change is thought likely to lead to an unacceptable loss of amenity for residents for the 8 months in which the hours would be  extended to 10pm. The pub is situated at the eastern end of Cumberland Street, which is almost entirely residential, and its garden area backs on to the equally residential Drummond Place and Dundonald Street. Indeed it is hard to think of any pubs in Edinburgh with beer gardens which are in quite such close proximity to residents.

Residents whose premises back on to the garden advise that the beer garden currently causes disturbance when open to 10pm, one commenting; “On warm summer evenings the noise can crescendo as the evening goes on and the packed garden of drinkers have more and more to drink. There are many nights when the noise of people shouting and laughing is like a raucous party going on in the garden and is impossible to shut out, even in the furthest bit of our flat with the windows closed. It can be very disturbing and a huge relief when the garden closes.”

The NTBCC is not convinced that the present extension to 10pm between May and the end of August is acceptable, given that it is plainly causing quite lot of disturbance well past primary school children’s bedtimes in a residential area where families live. However, equally we recognise that in these summer months it can be very pleasant to sit and chat over a drink outside until 10am and that the pub staff do ensure that the garden is closed promptly in line with the licensed hours.

However, the hours now sought would mean the outside areas being licensed for drinking in the dark- and (unless heaters are provided) cold, which we do not think there is any demand for except for smokers. For the avoidance of doubt we would be strongly against any attempt to create an all season outside area in the garden by providing heaters as we fear it would change the character of the garden and attract a more raucous crowd than it does at present. We think after sundown the balance of amenity shifts in favour of residents not being disturbed after 9pm and thus would call for this variation to be refused.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Mowat, Chair, New Town and Broughton Community Council

Appendix 4 – Planning Committee Report September 2014

Planning Sub-Committee

No Planning Sub-committee held in September but ongoing dialogue.

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 are 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. Plan to liaise with EWH (Adam Wilkinson) later in October (24th) before finalizing response?

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

– Tuesday 11/11/14 – 3.00 – 7.00pm

14/0903/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).

Plan to request a separate session with the agents (Scott Hobbs) & the architects etc. on Monday November 3rd

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

Offer of an update to St James Centre Plans to NTBCC Chair & Planning Convenor on Monday 27th October at The Glasshouse, Greenside Row (11am – 1:30pm). Proposal to also invite TIAA Henderson’s to November NTBCC to update a wider audience. Further proposals are expected in the coming months.

Intent to update stakeholders about the proposals for the site. 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 :

(1)    Policy CC1: To include Picardy Place & cycle routes in St James Centre Development Principles i.e. “a new civic space, public pedestrian and cycle routes to strengthen links with the surrounding area, especially St Andrews

(2)    Policy Ret 1: support the emphasis on developments paying due regard and / or special attention to upper floors if not to be used for retail purposes, and how these may be put to, or brought into beneficial use.

(3)    Policy Ret 1: whether the proposal will help to create a safe and attractive (pedestrian – DELETE) environment, safeguard historic character and improve the appearance of the city centre including the public realm.

(4)    Policy Ret 8: The change of use of a shop unit in a local centre to a non-shop use will be permitted provided:

  1. a) the change of use would not result in 4 or more consecutive non-shop uses Replace “and” with “or”;
  2. b) the proposal is for an appropriate commercial, community or business use, which would complement the character of the centre and would not be detrimental to its vitality and viability.

(5)    Policy Ret 10: 255 Add west end of Rose Street/George Street to the Council’s Guidance for Businesses identifying sensitive areas in this regard namely Tollcross, Grassmarket, Nicolson/Clerk Street, west end of Rose Street/George Street and Broughton Place/Picardy Place and their environs.

Planning Applications / Representations

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.

Post meeting update: currently Planning Officer minded to refuse this application (as against City Centre Retail policy) but as there has been significant community support – it will be reviewed at the Development Management Sub-Committee on 22nd  October.

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.

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.

14/0292/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). Decision pending.

Post meeting update: Application reviewed at DMC on 8th  October & DMC minded to refuse this application – against the recommendation of the Planning Officer but consistent with the recommendation of the Scottish Reporter. Further review scheduled for 22nd  October.

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.

Richard Price
September 2014