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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 15th November 2018 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Ross Wilkinson (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Percy Feketey, Bert Scott, Jean Morley and Marion Mitchell.  Andrew Mather, Gena Wylie, Tim Mitchell and Michael Dick had given their apologies as had Councillors Lang and Young. A total of 15 people were in attendance including Councillors Work and Hutchison.

Police Report

The police report was given by PC E5861. During October there had been 36 crimes reported in the WA 5 policing area of which only 6 fell in the Cramond and Barnton CC area. Of these on concerned a disturbance in the grounds of Lauriston Castle, 4 shoplifting in the D’Mains Tesco and one case (S57) being within the curtilage of a dwelling without a good explanation.  A very quiet month for the area. A resident new to the area reported on an incident of abuse involving a cyclist on the Almond walkway who had sworn at a young mother and child whom he considered was making his path more difficult.

Some signage had been put up by the police in the area encouraging more sensitive behaviours and courtesies on these shared carriageways. There was value in reporting such incidents without which the police could have no understanding of such behaviours.  Without such reports there would be no patrols. There was also a discussion about poor driver behaviour, including inconsiderate and on occasion dangerous driving. Again, the police could only act on the basis of real time information.

Minutes of October Meeting

The minutes of the October meeting were approved.

Chairman’s Report

The Acting Chair said he was pleased to note Andrew’s absence at a time when he was enjoying a holiday abroad following his health challenges. He went on to invite Stefan Slater to present on the issues with the Airport. Stefan had attended two Airport meetings in recent days; one the general consultative meeting and the other concerned with noise management.

Media coverage of the Civil Aviation Authority’s considerations of the Airport’s consultations had been misleading leaving many people to conclude that all of the changes on which the Airport had consulted were now lost, including the proposed minor adjustment to the east bound departure path which was to achieve some small deviation away from Cramond.

The CAA had not rejected the proposals, but neither could they support them because they had found what they regarded as material inconsistencies in some of the information which the Airport had used in its consultation with stakeholders and the public. There was no suggestion that this had been done maliciously. But the mistake was sufficient to cause the CAA to require the process of engagement to be looked at again and it was likely that there would require to be a further round of engagement before changes may be agreed.

As had been reported before the more recent suggested changes had provoked fierce and well-orchestrated opposition from the North Queensferry and Dalgety Bay areas of South Fife.  Indeed, an approach had been made to the Secretary of State for Transport to call in the proposed changes. It was clear from the Noise Advisory Board that there was little sympathy for the concerns of Cramond.

It could not be overstated how important it was for the community to continue to take each and every opportunity it could to make clear to the decision makers how concerned this community was at the continuing and escalating challenges there are around air traffic and noise and pollution. The comparative paucity of representation from this community was being used as a weapon against us suggesting we were inured to the issue and had learnt to live with it.

Night flights remained an issue of particular concern and challenge. The local MP Christine Jardine had been successful in securing an adjournment debate on the subject where the S of S for Transport had been obliged to respond. Councillor Lang had secured a debate on the subject earlier in the year in the CEC and as a result the Council had approached the Airport and had asked it to consider introducing a voluntary code of night flight regulation.

If the Airport could manage its own house in this regard, then formal regulation could be avoided. The Secretary asked whether a timescale had been set in the approach to the Airport for self-regulation – the concern being that the longer the Airport take to reflect the greater the risk of a creep in the number of night flights using the Airport. Councillor Hutchison said he would look back at the nature of the approach to check on time frame.

On arrivals there was no chance of Cramond benefiting from any relief. It had been decided that an offset approach could not be managed safely given the current equipment in most aircraft.

A question was raised about the apparent ability of the Airport to proceed with developments without having to seek planning application. The planning legislation gives them planning rights meaning they do not have to approach the local authority.

Planning and Secretary’s Reports

Peter Scott advised that the application covering the Cammo Fields development was expected to be submitted within the next few weeks. Arrangements were being made for an exhibition on Thursday 20 December in the Church Hall where the latest plans for the development could be viewed. There was not much by way of change to be seen although the height of the planned flats fronting on to the Maybury Road were now 2 storeys rather than 3 as before.

The plans were unlikely to reveal much about what changes may arise to the Maybury Road but if the S75 planning gain monies are used for the purpose for which they are intended then many of the changes which the CC has been seeking could be implemented. They had been factored into the traffic assessment conducted by the consultants acting for Cala/David Wilson which assessment had supported the benefits attaching.

CEC officials had thus far been less than responsive to the approaches, but Kevin Lang was trying to secure a meeting. Following the exhibition Peter Scott would prepare a draft submission for consideration. He would also seek an extension to the time frame for response to reflect the fact that with the Christmas break the CC would not meet again until 19 January 2019.

Fundamental concerns remained about the pace of the infrastructure follow through and the risks to adequate schooling, roads etc. Some members recalled that there used to be a regular report on S75 development gain monies so that individuals and CC’s could track the proper use of such resources.   Without this information there was a loss of accountability to ensure proper follow-through of commitments.

It was suggested that the Council should be asked about whether such monitoring still existed and if not why not and how did the Council assure itself that money committed was being provided and used for the purposes for which was intended.  

The Secretary reported that the latest phase of the road works on the Queensferry Road had been comparatively painless when seen against the mayhem that had arisen in the summer.  There had however been some problems over the first weekend with bus services which had been unable to go through Davidson’s Mains despite information on the Lothian Buses website to the contrary.

There was also fresh disruption around Davidson’s Mains with traffic lights and works to manage utilities around the new Costa coffee shop; which works seemed to have gone ahead without any TRO notification. The Secretary said he would press for full consideration to be given by the Council’s Transport and Environment Committee to its objective C20 which reads “Explore the introduction of a lane rental for utility companies to reduce traffic”.

Such a measure would appear to offer a much-needed incentive to utility companies to ensure that work was carried out expeditiously. The EACC has undertaken to pursue this with the Council.

The proposed “Blast” runs for the promenade for next year had been rejected following significant objections from the CC and others.

Councillor’s Report

Graham Hutchison reported that his mail box had been creaking under the welter of complaints associated with the changes to the waste collection service.  The issue had taken up 90 minutes of discussion and explanation at the Locality Committee meeting on the previous evening as the lead officials were grilled over the management of the changes.

Cramond had got off lightly compared to other parts of the Almond Ward.  Fallen trees had been an issue and concerns continued over the failure to address the risks on Whitehouse Road for children being dropped off by parents for the primary school.  Graham had been speaking to the headteacher about these.

The promised adjusted TRO seemed elusive officials being prepared to prioritise other pressures.

Councillor Work provided an update on his actions regarding the Cramond Inn which had been raised at the last meeting.  He had asked the LSO to carry out a compliance check against the licence.  Normally the DPM would be called in if there was a problem but the owner was not caught by these provisions.

The difficulty now with the Inn was the fact that the applicant or licensee had been sacked.  Councillor Work said he would be happy to invite the LSO to speak at a future CC meeting.  The Secretary suggested to Councillor Work that the review of compliance should also cover the Doo’Cot Inn which is owned by the same brewer and where there had been occasions where the licensee had been covering both establishments.

In relation to the expected TRO covering Cramond Glebe Road Councillor Work was asked to check and confirm the position of the legislation where provisions including 24 hrs loading restrictions were in prospect.  It was suggested that where a TRO was being promoted in such circumstances and where objections were made then the Committee was obliged to convene a hearing to be chaired by a Reporter to consider the matter and to hear evidence.

The Chair wished all present a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

Acronym’s used in these minutes
  • CEC = City of Edinburgh Council
  • CC = Community Council
  • CAA = Civil Aviation Authority
  • EACC = Edinburgh Association of Community Councils
  • TRO = Traffic Regulation Order
  • LSO = to be confirmed
  • DPM = to be confirmed

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 19 January 2019