NTBCC minutes – Monday 8 December 2014

New Town and Broughton Community Council

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 8th December 2014 held in Drummond Room, Broughton St Marys, Bellevue Crescent, Edinburgh.

Present:      Ian Mowat, Audrey Cavaye, Richard Corral, Carol Nimmo, Gaby Holden, Alan Welsh, , James Igoe, Lynn Henni, Richard Price.

Ex officio members present, Cllr Angela Blacklock

Members of the public Present:  Alan McIntosh (Spurtle) , John Ross Maclean (Spurtle), Phyllis Stephen (The Edinburgh Reporter) Alastair MacIntosh (Moray Feuars) and other local residents

  1. Apologies for Absence: Judy Conn, Jonathan Finn Christine Ross, Susannah Beaumont and Bruce Ryan, Cllrs Doran, Hinds, Mowat and Rankin, Mark Biagi MSP and Mark Lazarowicz MP.
  1. Minutes of the previous Meeting and Matters Arising – Noted that items requested under section 4.11 and 4.12 of the November 2014 Minutes had not been received from Mr MacPhail (IMP). The Chair advised he had received traffic data, which suggested volumes were down in York Place.  IMP is requesting time data. The report did show 4/5 vehicles a minute in Albany Street which suggests IMP doesn’t believe the count to be high. A resident disagreed with this as he had carried out a survey and the volumes were found to be considerably higher. Chair agreed to action if details were not received.  Regarding the 4.12 missing item (survey questions) Carol Nimmo (CN) advised she would prefer these in advance of the meeting on 16/12/2014.  This is scheduled for 10am at the Assembly Rooms and CN would attend.

Alastair MacIntosh (AMcI) also raised the issue of the light sequence at the west end which was causing long delays every day, through the Moray Feu although the belief is it is to encourage traffic to use the major route rather than via Drumsheugh.

The Minutes of the November NTBCC were approved by Lynn Henni (LH) and seconded by CN.

  • Police Report: Sgt Belfall was in attendance and advised the CC of a number of Initiatives in the area including Shop Safe, Party Safe, Safe Zone Bus and Campaign Against Violence. Also advised there were flexible teams working in various areas of Edinburgh and Central Scotland. Operation Greenland has teams working in St Andrew Square and the Grassmarket.   Also mentioned that housebreakings were slightly down.

Sgt Belfall also highlighted a change to licensing hours between 18th December and 3rd January, which provided a 2 hour extension for drinks, and one hour for food. The Chair advised he was unaware of this change and he understood it was only for the Festival, but was advised that this has been in operation before.  Chair asked if the Police had data on whether this increased disorder events, for example. The Police present could not say.  It was pointed out that premises did have to apply for this change.  Alan Welsh (AW) to check number/names of applications.

AW then queried the provision of stats/trends by the Police.  Sgt Belfall confirmed these would be available up to October and it was agreed these would be helpful.  LH also suggested sending details in advance.

  1. Planning – Richard Price (RP) highlighted the undernoted applications:

West Register Street – noted the plan was to keep the Venetian façade of the 19th century  warehouse at the back of the old RBS office  but the rest of the building would go. Also recommended that someone view the interior before we commented on the application.  AW highlighted that the 1970’s building in that block was also coming down and it is believed that the new façade will then move forward.

Walkway through to new St James – it is unclear whether this will happen due to ownership of Register House.

Shrubhill – 360 units and the relocation of the Masonic Hall.  Also noted that all the additional traffic from this development will add to Leith Walk, which is a concern. AW also raised the need to protect the old railway line at this site. RP however advised he believed the main concern to be the impact on Leith Walk.

Student Housing – Consultation – Cllr Blacklock advised this was going back to Committee in May.

George Street & Picardy Place – noted both of these changes were worth fighting

It was also suggested that rather than just making commentary on developments, that we provide suggestions on how a development could be done.

Coffee Pavilion St Andrew Square – raised by AMcI regarding the building of a storage and toilet pod, which was quite large. It was suggested this was part of Essential Edinburgh’s use of the Gardens, although this may be owned by Saltire Inns and maybe a route to turn this into a licensed premises.  Phyllis Stephen (PS) noted that the previous owner did have a licence for limited alcohol, although this may have changed since he left.  AW asked whether the Gardens were protected by Statute.  RP to investigate and write as appropriate.

Howe Street basement – developer wished to turn this into a 3 bedroom flat with contemporary extension and develop the cellars.  NTBCC objected, as did Historic Scotland.  New plans have now been raised with a smaller extension.

  1. Transport – the following items were noted:

Tram – 11th December – Tram Extension Paper is going to the full Council for decision on whether to commission business case for tram extension.

Buses on Princes Street – a TRO has been published for consultation  to ban buses that were not providing a local bus service from Princes St (west of Waverley Bridge) . The aim is to reduce congestion and stop coaches unloading.  This could also impact tour buses but not LRT, First, etc. Companies will require to be registered.  Chair noted that he was surprised private hire coaches could use Princes Street so was not against banning them but  believed NTBCC should object to any service buses being displaced.  AMcI voiced concern about displaced buses again ending up using Moray Feus.  Chair suggested it would help if Hope Street was 2 way. AMcI said that the lack of signage in the area did not help and LH agreed to follow up with Alastair Sim.

AMcI also raised the Air Quality Management Area which currently excludes Moray Feus.  Some residents have been pressing for this to change. Chair advised he would require to see some communication from both sides.

  1. Environment – none.
  1. Licensing – AW attended the Licensing Board but found that the NTBCC were not on the Forum and therefore not allowed to take part, we would require to be invited to join. Richard Corral advised that he was prepared to attend once this was resolved.  Audrey Cavaye (AC) to investigate.
  1. January Meeting – Chair advised that this meeting will not now be a Business Meeting- but an ordinary meeting to accommodate the West Register St developers who wished to make a presentations then. Likely to arrange a separate business meeting in February or April.
  1. Activities of Local Street or Amenity Associations

Neighbourhood Partnership – Richard Corral (RC) attended the recent meeting. Mentioned that the Safer Neighbourhood Partnership should be getting resurrected.

Edinburgh Reporter – advised that advertising costs on line are £20 per 1,000 views

EACC – AGM did not have a representative from the City Council.  The Edinburgh Partnership, which is believed to be above the Neighbourhood Partnership, is not well known.  Future meetings are scheduled for 29th January, 26th March, 25th June and 24th September.  RC also expressed an interest in attending these.

  1. Any Other Business

James Igoe formally confirmed that he was resigning from the Community Council. Members expressed their regret and thanked him for his excellent work in creating the new website. James Igoe said he had discussed the website administration with Bruce Ryan ( our minute taker)  who is agreeable to taking this on.  Chair will contact BR to discuss.

Scotland Yard –it was suggested that we might consider asking them if they were interested in holding a community engagement day- and we could perhaps offer some of our grant money to help fund it. No decision taken .

  1. Date of Next Meeting – Monday 12th January 2015 at 7.30pm at Broughton St Mary’s Church, Bellevue Crescent, the Drummond Room.