NTBCC meeting – January 2021 Transport / Planning Committee Reports (Draft)

Transport Committee Report (January 2021)

Spaces for People

London Road – The initial work required to create a segregated cycle lane along London Road between Easter Road and Leith Walk has been completed with the removal of the parking bays and the addition of new road markings. Further work will be required to put the temporary bollards in place and provide new signage. Following the discussion at the last Community Council meeting I have written to Leith Central Community Council seeking their support for improvements to the Leopold Place pedestrian crossing.

Broughton Street – together with Jenni Inglis, I met with David Hunter from Living Streets for a walkabout around our area and Broughton Street in particular. We highlighted some of our concerns about pedestrian access and it was agreed that we would arrange a formal street audit in January. No date has yet been set. Better Broughton made a presentation at our December meeting and have submitted their proposals for changes to Broughton Street to the Spaces for People team; some of which are aligned with our own thoughts. It is important that we develop our own more detailed proposals based on our previous submission to the Council. We have received no further contact from the Spaces for People team regarding the suggested pre-proposal discussion.

Tram Works

Regular monthly meetings of the affected Community Councils with the Trams Team will resume at the end of this month with both the draft Traffic Regulation Orders (still not issued for public consultation) and follow up to the Traffic Modelling data review on the agenda. Tram works that were shutdown over the Christmas and New Year period resumed on 5 January.

Mike Birch January 2021

Planning Report (January 2021)

Major Applications – Current  

‘New Town Quarter (NTN)’ – Initial application submitted at the end of August for redevelopment of the former RBS site on Dundas Street – incl.  144 ’Build to Rent’ (BTR) residential units, 117 private residential units and 88 Mid-Market Rent (MMR) = 349 residential units in total. The 88 MMR units meet the 25% ‘affordable units’ requirement on site – in addition, incl. with office space, retail / leisure space & a 116 room hotel.

Main application was 20/03034/FUL accompanied by an application for ‘Complete Demolition in a Conservation Area’ (20/03661/CON).

A 3rd application specifically covered the access from the development into King George V Park (20/03655/FUL) – ‘Formation of Path & Associated Landscaping’. Proposed removing 5 trees (3 defined as viable) to allow a wide split entrance into the park in the south-west corner, for pedestrians (steps) & cyclists / ‘wheelers’ by a ramp.

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NTBCC minutes – Monday 9 November 2020

Minutes of New Town & Broughton Community Council’s AGM, held via Zoom, on Monday 09 November 2020 at 7pm Continue reading

‘Take-aways’ from NTBCC’s November meeting

Another bumper turnout for the November meeting – peaking at over 40 attendees including yet another excellent turn-out (over 75%) of NTBCC members . Also very pleased to yet again register the attendance of Cllrs. Mowat & Osler – their frequent presence at NTBCC meetings being both welcome and very helpful. A quick mention also from our local ‘stirrer’ – the editor from the Broughton Spurtle who has recently returned from a long sojourn south of the border – seemingly none the worse for it….but sometimes appearances can be deceptive….time will tell.

Perhaps also worth a mention  – despite having held 4 previous ‘virtual’ meetings using Zoom without any problems – our Chair (who  describes herself as a computer ‘non-geek’ or neophyte in respect of computer systems) stated at the start of the meeting that her screen kept freezing. Much consternation resulted & frantic searching for the agenda by the Vice Chair but fortunately this freezing seemed to be a temporary issue & the Zoom platform returned to its normal performance….thankfully.

Of most interest to the many members of the public that tuned in were the plans (Pre-application consultation) for the demolition & redevelopment of Centrum House on the western edge of Dundas Street (specifically 108-114 & 116 Dundas Street). We were very happy to welcome representatives from Morgan McDonnell Architecture & Scott Hobbs Planning to make a short presentation on their proposal and take Q&A’s. The lower stretches of Dundas Street & Fettes Row are undergoing much change with this Pre-consultation following on the heels of the various applications for the former RBS site.

First though, there was some outstanding business to take care of from the recent NTBCC AGM (in terms of agreed changes to NTBCC office bearers) – as well as the gratefully-received summary from Police Scotland.

The Police Scotland report highlighted several significant burglaries (involving jewellery & bikes) in the New Town as well as some mindless vandalism to parked cars (in Moray Place / Doune Terrace) – unfortunately all reported as ‘unsolved’. Also – mention of ‘Operation Crackle’ (where do they get these names from ?) – being the dedicated police response to” Fireworks” night (covering inappropriate setting off of fireworks and uncontrolled bonfires requiring attention from the Fire Service). Thank goodness it is over for another year!

The agenda item on the proposed redevelopment on Dundas Street followed covering the demolition & redevelopment of the ‘civically poor’ building (as described by the presenter & apparently also reported as being acknowledged by Historic Environment Scotland as a ‘negative contributor to the Conservation Area’) on the site adjacent to the new development at 120 Dundas Street. The presentation was helpful in providing detail on what was envisaged but the main point of contention for residents attending was the proposal for the new building on Dundas Street to be brought forwards significantly to match that of the adjacent 120 Dundas Street (with the resultant removal of the existing railings and trees framing the entrance to the World Heritage site). A further impact of this would be to obscure views / daylight from the set-back windows from 120 Dundas Street. A slightly heated discussion ensued.

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Update to Redevelopment Proposal at 108 – 116 Dundas Street

We were happy to host a presentation by Morgan McDonnell Architecture & Scott Hobbs Planning on the Pre-Application consultation covering proposed demolition and redevelopment at 108 – 114 & 116 Dundas Street (on the north-west corner of Fettes Row and Dundas Street, including Centrum House etc.).

Currently, the consultation (as covered by 20/03923/PAN) is open for comments which will be considered by the development team prior to submission of a full planning application later in 2020.

Scott Hobbs Planning have informed NTBCC that following several requests  to extend the time available for the submission of feedback, the consultation period has been extended until Friday 20 November.

Their website has been updated accordingly and comments can be submitted via the Feedback page on their website here or by email to consultation@scotthobbsplanning.com

Further details on the proposal can be seen here covering topics such as ‘Site Analysis’ & ‘Design Proposals’ under the Proposal tab.

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Proposed Demoltion / Re-development of 108-114 & 116 Dundas Street

NTBCC has received notification of a proposal for the ‘Proposed demolition of existing building and erection of mixed-use development including residential, office, retail and café/restaurant uses, at 108-114 and 116 Dundas Street’ (20/03923/PAN).

An Online Consultation is being held between 26 October 2020 and 13 November 2020, at www.108-114dundasstreet.co.uk  together with an Interactive Session which took place on their website  on 28th October 2020.

Although the Interactive Session has now finished, NTBCC has accepted a request from the development team (MMMARS & Scott Hobbs) that they present a brief outline of their proposals at the next NTBCC meeting on 9 November and they will also ansswer questions on their proposal.

Following this, comments can be provided to the developers directly on their website, or the facility exists to follow up with comments via email (titled ‘Dundas’)  to consultation@scotthobbsplanning.com

The developers have requested that any comments should be submitted by Friday 13 November 2020.

The development team also state that it is their intention to then submit a formal planning application for the proposed  development later this year, which would include consideration of any changes based on the comments received.

Perhaps worth noting that there will be a formal opportunity to make representations directly to the City of Edinburgh Council (as planning authority) once the final application has been submitted.

The event ‘flyer’ can be viewed here.

 

 

 

NTBCC agendas (AGM and ordinary meeting) – Monday 12 October 2020

Agenda for online meeting: 6:45pm for 7.00pm start

We very much welcome members of the public joining the meeting (using the Zoom platform).

Please register here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/new-town-broughton-cc-meeting-agm-via-zoom-monday-12-october-tickets-124163015923

Log-in details/Zoom link will then be emailed to all those who have registered.

AGM

  1. 6:45 – 7:00pm: technology check admin
  2. Attendance/apologies for absence
  3. Approval of 2019 AGM minutes
  4. Chair’s report summary
  5. Treasurer’s report
  6. Election of office bearers
  7. Any other business

Ordinary meeting

1.   Welcome/new members/proposed NTBCC Business meeting 19th October  (5 minutes)
2.   Minutes of 14th September Meeting (via Zoom) and matters arising
       (To approve)
3.   Police Report
(To note, Police Scotland key messages as received/circulated prior to meeting)
4.   Transport

  1. Spaces for People: submission on latest proposal for ‘A1 corridor’
    (To note)
  2. Forthcoming consultation on the ‘Tram Extension’ TRO proposals
    (Purpose: raise awareness of the consultation and agree how to respond to proposals affecting our area)
(15 minutes)
5.   Environment

  1. Communal Bin Review project – review of Gull Proof Sack service
    (To note & discuss overall response & proposed briefing as requested by CEC Waste & Cleansing
(15 minutes)
6.    Planning
(Purpose: opportunity to finalise response to proposals as lodged: 20/03034/FUL, 20/03665/FUL & 20/3661/CON)

  1. Ex-RBS site (Dundas St/Fettes Row) planning application: draft NTBCC Position
  2. Q&A (NTBCC & members of the public)
  1. (15 minutes)
  2. (15 minutes)
7.   Licensing

  1. Scottish Government Short Term Lets consultation
    should we respond?
8.   Engagement/Communications/Instagram update (5 minutes)
9.   Local residents’ associations/local interest groups
10. Any other business
(including any contact by residents not previously covered)
 

 During the meetings, names and email addresses may be recorded. Email addresses are held and used for circulating information about NTBCC but may also be used to seek residents’ views on local issues.

Reflections on the September NTBCC meeting from James Kilner – an NTBCC member

We are still stuck in Zoom for our Community Council meetings and it looks like we will exist in this ‘virtual reality world’ for some time. This is a shame as I miss the camaraderie of our meetings. It also makes it harder to gauge guests and to question them properly.

This month’s meeting was a case in point. Ross McNulty from Ediston and Colin Smith from Turley joined our meeting to talk about their development of the former RBS site on the corner of Fettes Row and Dundas Street. It is a massive development which  is now passing through the planning application process. Covid-19, the lockdown and social distancing and rules about meeting in groups have made it far harder to get a handle on the project and what it all means.

For 15 or 20 minutes or so, Ross McNulty and Colin Smith had the floor, or at least the Zoom screen, and told us about their project. They didn’t say anything new. A handful of questions came their way but these were also easily dealt with.

Mostly, the dry formality of this discussion had, I thought, been down to the online format but  Ross McNulty, a tough ex-pro rugby player, had also seemed grumpy. He had joined the meeting looking weary, (rattled even), pushing back on how the owners of the RBS site, a London-based  property fund, had been depicted in a community newsletter.  An hour before the meeting he had been sent, along with all the members of the Community Council, the newsletter of the Fettes Row and Royal Crescent Residents’ Association. Its front page had highlighted developers’ intention to chop down more than half of the trees on the site. It seems   that they want to turn the site from semi-rural to urban.

This segment on the development dominated the meeting and it took the tact and skill of Our Great Leader, Community Council Chair Carol Nimmo, to pull us back on schedule.

There was then some input from the Edinburgh City Councillors who are regular attendees  of the meeting including Cllr Jo Mowat on the important ‘Charter for Edinburgh’ issue  and some discussion about the ‘Spaces for People’ (SfP) programme. SfP is about creating extra space for people concerned about the spread of Covid-19, to reassure them that it is safe enough to use the pavements once again. Of all the ill-thought out Covid response programmes this is one of the stand-outs. You may have seen it in action. Red and white bollards block off parking spaces and bus lanes, congesting roads and irritating businesses. These spaces should now provide extra pavement space for people to walk along; improving social distancing…..except that I’m not sure that anybody uses them.

Anyhow, I digress.

Towards the end of the meeting, a question was raised  about how to deal with graffiti that had started to appear around the area. There is, apparently, a council anti-graffiti team that is meant to deal with the worst of this but this questioner wasn’t having much luck so far.

I’d had had a quiet meeting but now sensed my opportunity to make a difference and, frankly, to impress, and so I explained to the graffiti-concerned person that growing up in London I’d defeated these louts by painting over their graffiti on a white wall opposite my home within a day of it appearing.  She should do the same, I suggested, content that my steer would improve her life.

And now Our Great Leader, who had Zoomed in from a hotel in the Highlands to keep us in line, was able to display her poise and timing once again. The technique that I’d suggested was, she said gently, less effective on the bare stone walls of the New Town. Always happy to defer to those wiser than me, I did so immediately.

Roll-on our next meeting on 12 October.