CRAMOND & BARNTON COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Incorporating Cramond, Barnton, Cammo & Quality Street (West)
Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 16th June 2016 in
Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall
Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Ross Wilkinson, Bert Scott, Percy Feketey, Jean Morley, Eaun Pearson, Isla Browning and David Belfall. A total of 72 people were in attendance including Councillor Norman Work.
Welcome and introductions
The Chair welcomed those attending and noted apologies from Peter Scott, Mark Whittet, Marion Mitchell, Jane Neville and Gena Wylie as well as from Concillors Paterson and Sheilds.
Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 19 May was approved.
The police report was given by PC Aidan Douds. The Incidence of criminal activity has been low over the previous month. 5 attempted housebreakings, 4 of which were aborted due to the culprits being disturbed. There had also been a break-in to a garage where some bicycles had been stolen. Some cars had been broken into at Cammo park – opportunistic incidents involved the theft of items that had been left where they could be seen. There had been some vandalism of property at the Cramond Primary school and from a car – again in the Cammo area. A number of groups of criminals that had previously been involved in housebreakings in the north of the city were currently in custody. Hence the low incidence in the past month.
Richard Adlington introduced the topic with a summary the history of the Steps up to and including the more recent frustrated efforts to plan for a replacement structure; the preferred option being a suspended boardwalk around the rocky knoll. However early in June events had taken a turn for the worse, structural problems had been found in the steps and they had been closed in the interest of safety. This had prompted the approach to the Council covering a request that an update be provided to the Community Council and the various other local groups. David Lyon, Head of Environmental Services and Stevan Wedeley, the Head of the Nature Heritage Service had responded to the invitation and were in attendance to provide that update. David began by advising that work to repair the existing structure had begun on the morning of the 16th and that, weather permitting, the steps should be open again within around 10 days. Any bad weather could jeopardise the timetable.
As to the permanent replacement he recognised the frustrations at the delays that had arisen to date. Funding remained an issue and the team had been stretched dealing with other priorities, including a landslip on the Water of Leith near Bonnington.
A cantilevered walkway remained the favoured option. This was a complex project because of the nature of the terrain, above water bringing with it environmental challenges. Several detailed surveys would be required – geological, hydrological and an environmental impact assessment. It was estimated that these could cost in the region of £32k much of which was coming from SUSTRANS. A working group was proposed to help drive and direct and FRAW and the other local groups would be involved. Some questions followed about the need for the various surveys, the related issue of the SEPA considerations about the future of the weirs, whether other options remained a possibility, the timetable and funding. Beyond a commitment to have the surveys commissioned before the beginning of September Mr Lyons said he was unable to offer a timetable for the further stages, including construction.
The Chair advised that the Airport in conjunction with the CAA was conducting a review of take-off and landing flight paths. Included amongst the options for take-off was provision for a northerly flight path that would miss Cramond on the west side. The various options would be the subject of a formal consultation with affected communities. For Cramond and Barnton there was to be a drop-in exhibition in the Cramond Kirk Hall running from 3:00pm until 6:30pm on Thursday 7 July. This would be followed by a formal presentation in the Kirk at 7:30pm that same evening.
Planning officials had recommended approval be given to the nursing home application for 18 Whitehouse Road when it came before the Development Committee of the Council on 22 June. Scant if any regard had been paid to the work and efforts of the Cramond Action Group and the Community Council references to which were buried in the submission to Councillors. No word had been received in response to the CC approaches for a hearing. Concerns were raised about the integrity of the handling of the application and whether the CC should be looking for judicial review. The groups and the CC would turn their attention to launching representations to the officials and to the Convenor and Councillors on the Committee. The challenge was to anticipate what issues would take the attention of the Councillors against the strength of the presumption that seemed to support development at all costs. The immediate objective was to press for a hearing as an absolute minimum.
David Henderson, a resident of Barnton Avenue, spoke of his concerns and that of a number of neighbours at the planning application which had been submitted for a house on land adjacent to 33 Barnton Avenue. The concern related to the fact that the plot was part of an ancient woodland which ran down from Clermiston Hill towards the Forth. Over recent years several trees had been cut down – some because of decay – but there was a concern that more healthy trees may have to be removed for the house to be built. There was also a concern that given the “set back” positioning of the house on the site a new building line may be established creating a precedent for more building in the area. Mr Henderson expressed the hope that the CC may feel persuaded to submit concerns to the planning officials before the closing date for comments of 24 June. (Note: the CC did make a submission focussing on concerns about the risk to the woodland and impact on the Conservation Area).
Norman Work advised that he and the other local Councillors would lobby the Councillors on the Development Committee about the Care Home and would press for a hearing.
Percy Feketey asked if the Community Council planned to man a stall at the forthcoming Davidson’s Mains Fair. The value of such a presence was discussed and it was agreed that with the forthcoming Community Council elections the opportunity should be taken to encourage new people towards serving.
Date of Next Meeting
- Thursday 15 September 2016