This CC meeting was different. First, PC Bruce Burt, who has been policing the city centre for years, finally made it to our CC with only 100 odd days till retirement, and had members hanging on his words with his softly spoken but elegantly delivered crime report. We wish him well!
Then, rather than the usual Planning issues, we heard from Drummond Community High School (DCHS) Parent Council, who outlined their concerns about a proposal in a recent Council report that secondary-level Gaelic Medium Education (GME) be moved from its current home within Gillespie’s (which it was outgrowing) to DCHS. They stressed that they weren’t against GME per se, but were worried that given the increasing roll at DCHS, and its feeder primary schools, there would not be room for both the projected GME pupils and Drummond pupils in a few years. Whilst the City Council had offered guarantees that no current secondary school pupils would be forced to move, this didn’t offer comfort to parents whose kids were still at primary school and were hoping to join older siblings at DCHS. Neighbouring secondary schools such as Trinity Academy were already close to full. Although it might be possible to expand on the DCHS site, this would disrupt the school and cut into to playground space. There was also concern that the adult outreach programme at DCHS would be threatened, along with its “Community” status. In the ensuing discussion, several CC members voiced concerns about the GME proposals, whilst others felt it was too early to judge. It was agreed that CC members as a next step would attend an ‘engagement event’ with parents on 27 February at DCHS, where the City Council will present various options.
From a planning perspective, the latest RBS site application was briefly discussed, noting that Historic Environment Scotland had maintained their objection to the latest scheme. The Royal High School inquiry is now set for September 2018 with NTBCC participating as a partner along with the Cockburn Association & Edinburgh World Heritage. We agreed to support the expected public funding appeal from the Cockburn in the coming months.
Finally, we report a success! Two Licensing applications for variation (29-33 Dublin St and 3A Dundas St) to which NTBCC had submitted objections due to the likelihood of noise-nuisance. These have been permitted, BUT with for shortened hours and with a condition that ‘all amplified music and vocals shall be so controlled so as not to be an audible nuisance in neighbouring residential premises’. That is, the onus of proof of “no nuisance” is with the licensee, as it was for all licenced premises in Edinburgh until the Council’s Licensing Board started granting less stringent conditions for amplified music last year. This may be a useful precedent.
Full minutes of the meeting will be available in the coming weeks on the NTBCC website.