Incorporating Cramond, Barnton, Cammo & Quality Street (West)

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 15th March 2018 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Percy Feketey, Jean Morley, Tim Mitchell, Ross Wilkinson, Bert Scott and Marion Mitchell.  Michael Dick and Gena Wylie along with Councillor Lang had given her apologies.  A total of 18 people were in attendance including Councillors Young and Work.

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending.  The minutes of the last, February 2018, meeting were approved. 

Police Report

The police report was given by PC Sam Davidson but using a narrative and stats provided by PC James Loosemore and covering the month from 1 to 28 February.  Across the Almond Ward there had been 34 reported crimes, 12 of which were in the Cramond, Barnton and Cammo areas.  These included shoplifting, vandalism, theft and abuse of communication (threats/abuse by social media).  

Reflecting on an issue raised at a prior meeting PC Davidson said that to the extent to which Police Scotland input into planned housing developments was largely concerned with advice on crime prevention measures.  They did not comment on traffic impacts. 

The followed a lengthy and inconclusive discussion about the traffic lights at the junction of Quality Street and Queensferry Road (west bound) where on occasion cars were effectively jumping the light and making a right (west bound) turn in front of traffic heading north bound from Craigcrook Road towards Davidsons Mains.  This was a dangerous practice which it was suggested could be avoided if the sequencing of the light was changed.  A few seconds delay to the green light coming on for traffic exiting west bound from Quality Street would be sufficient to address the issue.  There were differing opinions as to whether such a change was required.

Chairman’s Report

On the matter of the Airport, the Chair reported that the simulation of the offset approach and northern departures had been conducted and accepted by Edinburgh Airport as viable.   The decision about implementation now rested with the Civil Aviation Authority.

A green light would provide for implementation by April 2019.

On the issue of night flights Councillor Young said that the City of Edinburgh Council were to consider a motion on night flights designed to inform an agreement with the Airport on a voluntary code for limiting the numbers of such flights.  The Airport were expected to view such a proposal positively. 

The Chair thanked all the MSPs, MPs and Councillors who had been involved in shaping the various improvements which were being secured with the airport and which addressed many of the concerns of members of the community.

Planning Report

Peter Scott reported on the follow-up meeting which had taken place on 22 February where the focus was to be on the traffic implications of the proposed Cammo fields development. 

The CC had been assured that we would get a response to the paper which had been presented to the Transport and Environment Committee and which offered various suggestions for improving traffic flows through the Barnton Junction.

Instead officials reverted to their lines about not adding to traffic pressures, that more people would be walking or cycling to work.  The consequences of on-line shopping and the increasing numbers of delivery vans seemed to escape them.  Smart traffic lights will mitigate traffic pressures in their opinion.  But no proposals were offered for improving flows and to the extent to which there may be the potential for junction improvements there was neither the money nor the manpower resources to progress plans. 

As matters stand we await a formal response to our questions and the CEC await the SWECO traffic impact assessment.   More hopefully, SWECO have agreed to model in the CC junction proposals.  The CEC position is that it cannot commit to accepting the proposals (regardless of the outcomes to the assessment) and that is notwithstanding a commitment from the developers to put in much of the money.  In the meantime, the CC await a formal response from the Council to its proposals and the questions tabled in advance of the meeting.  The CC had also advised caution as to the proposed timetable for any change of use of Cammo Walk involving the prohibition of driving.   If this was to be imposed it would have to wait until the Craigs Road development had progressed. 

Some progress was being made with the Cammo Gardens junction with the Maybury Road.  Following representations from residents and with support from Councillor Paterson, the Roads Department had said they would put in advance warning lights on the approaches to the junction but the approval of the Road Safety Assessor was required first. 

On the Cammo development the application was expected to be made in April with the TIA being expected to emerge at around the same time.   Members expressed concern at the attitude of officials to the policy guidelines which stated that there should be no detriment arising from housing development; it was inevitable that there would be more traffic.  It was asserted that the Council were in denial pinning their hopes and decisions on false expectations about some exponential use of alternative transport modes for travel to work, especially walking and cycling.    

In relation the concerns which had been raised about the development at 7 Braehead Grove which looked to be far exceeding the approved plan there was no opportunity for intervention unless it became clear that the property was being used for other than residential purposes.

There were emerging concerns about an expected application involving 3 storey townhouses on a site of an old house at the junction of Cammo Road and the Queenferry Road.  Peter Scott said he would look out for this one on the weekly list. 

Several objections had been submitted on the TRO relating to the proposed Care Concern Home at 18 Whitehouse Road, including from the CC.  

Councillors Reports

Reflecting the imminent start to the Commonwealth Games there followed somewhat of a ping-pong between the Secretary and Councillor Work concerning the proposed introduction of a separate charge to residents who opted to continue receiving the brown garden waste bin and collection service. A particular challenge was likely to come in relation to buildings of multiple-occupancy with communal gardens.  The budget decision had been to introduce such charges but the details about how it would be introduced had still to be worked out.  The details were to emerge in June/July.

Percy Feketey confirmed that the Safety Forum was to be reconstituted having been in mothballs for many months as the Council reviewed the governance arrangements. 

A discussion followed about the state of the roads and the proliferation of pot-holes.  Councillor Work advised that he had sought a report on the matter.  Action was required not another report.  The condition of Edinburgh’s roads had never been as bad. 

Acronym’s used in these minutes

  • CEC = City of Edinburgh Council
  • CC = Community Council
  • TRO = Traffic Regulation Order
  • Traffic Impact Assessment

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 19 April 2018 – will be chaired by Ross Wilkinson in the absence of Andrew Mather.