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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 15th Oct 2015 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present:  Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Ross Wilkinson, Peter Scott, Jean Morley, Marion Mitchell, Bert Scott, Percy Feketey, Isla Browning, Grant McCulloch, and Gena Wylie. A total of 22 people were in attendance including Councillor Alastair Shields.

Welcome and introductions

The Chairman welcomed those attending and noted apologies from David Belfall, Mark Whittet, Jane Neville, Robin White, Euan Pearson and Councillors Lindsay Paterson and Norma Work. The Chairman provided a brief update on a number of issues which he had been involved in since the last, September meeting. The Royal High School Pavilion and the proposal to extend its potential opening hours had yet to be finally resolved. There remained a neighbour who had concerns and the plans were dependent upon these concerns being resolved. Progress had been made with the issue if the toucan crossing at the junction of West Barnton Park Avenue and Cramond Road South; the absence of proper consultation at the right time remained a grievance but it was to be hoped that lessons had been learned; the report on the audit of the junction in operation had yet to be seen by the Chairman.

The CC had written in support of the proposed Garden District planning application that planned for some 1500 houses; there was a hope that progress with the development may take some of the pressure off the Cammo proposal. He advised that he had received a number of expressions of concern about the continuing noise from aircraft using Edinburgh Airport and with an expectation that the Community Council should be pressing the Airports Authority to change the runway in order to steer the flight path away from Barnton and Cramond. Those who had made the approach would present their views at the January meeting.

Finally, it was noted that concerns persisted with the Pedal for Scotland event where the latest indications suggested that the CC and other local groups were at risk of not being invited to the wash-up meeting.

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 September were approved.

Police Report

PC Aidan Douds began by apologising for there not having been a police presence and report at the previous, September, meeting. He advised that following a recent restructuring he and Jim Kelly were to be the two Community Police Officers for the Almond Ward who would be covering the CC area. PC Douds had been 12 years in community policing, 5 to 6 of which had been within the Almond Ward. The report which PC Douds went on to speak about covered the month of September. After a brief discussion it was agreed that reporting in this way on a calendar month was best in the interests of consistency and comparability from month to month.

The main issue for September was, once again, housebreaking, where the statistics revealed a small spike following more recent months where the incidence had declined when compared against the epidemic of break-ins and attempted break-ins that had been a feature of the beginning of the year. These incidents had taken place in Barnton Park, Lauriston Farm Road, and Barnton Park View. 3 male culprits had been captured (and they had also been responsible for 2 further house break-ins in Silverknowes). While the formal report did not cover October it emerged from the discussions prompted by some of the residents attending the meeting that there had been 4 break-ins or attempted break-ins over a 2-hour period on the one day in October. Once again these concerned small items of high value and other opportunistic crimes including car theft where keys had been accessible within the homes.

PC Douds advised that he was unable to leave a copy of the detailed report owing to changes in the confidentiality of the document. This change had been challenged at the meeting of the Davidson Mains and Silverknowes Association which had considered this issue earlier in the week. Councillor Shields expressed his dismay at this recent change and the feeling of the meeting was also that the change represented a reduction in information sharing which was difficult to comprehend. It was also argued that the change carried a risk that the resultant verbal account could, by mistake, be misreported in the minutes which when approved were published as the formal record of the CC meeting.

Some concerns were raised about the incidence of motorists “parking and riding” in some streets in the area. Barnton Park View was one street that was mentioned with the concern being that sight lines for drivers were being obscured by these casual parkers with the resultant risks.

Planning Report

Peter Scott updated those present on the response to the planning application that had been submitted in support of the development of a new nursing home behind Cramond Glebe Road. As of the meeting date some 99 responses were recorded as having been received on the Council’s planning website. The CC response had been adjusted following circulation and would issue in the following days. A major focus of the objections centred on the location within the Conservation Area which it was felt should substantially raise the pass mark to be achieved were consideration being given by the Council with a view to supporting the proposal. Peter went on to describe the supporting detail making up the objections.

The discussion moved on the governance processes being put in pace to support the implementation of the Interpretation Strategy. It was noted that Andrew Mather would sit on the Steering Group which would oversee the Implementation Group’s assessment of what work would be progressed from the Strategy report which the CC had approved earlier in the year. These arrangements were approved.

Secretary’s Report

Ian Williamson began by reporting on the excellent work which had been carried out earlier in the week by two young scouts as part of community support work which counted towards their Chief Scouts Gold Awards. William O’Donnell and Craig Percy had devoted two days of their Autumn school break to cutting back on vegetation and hedges that were encroaching on to pavements and paths in the approaches to Cramond Village (and in the Village and on the promenade).

Ian went on to report on the disappointing news that the improved lighting that was to be installed on the pathway running between the golf courses would not now be introduced until Spring of 2016. He went on to speak to the A3 sheet that was the Autumn Action Plan report. (A copy of the report will be uploaded on to the CC website for ease of reference). Problems and backlogs with the processes for the drafting and publication of TROs were impacting on a number of areas of Edinburgh including the CC area where the assessed need for such measures was being frustrated by administrative issues within the CEC HQ.

Highlights for the purposes of the minute include the Council’s acknowledgement that the garden wall that has fallen on to the promenade does represent a risk and that efforts require to be made to approach the owner to require him to address this risk. The storm damage to the gable end of the block of houses fronting on to the Cramond promenade had now been repaired and painted and quotes were being sought from the contractors for other external repair works elsewhere in the Village. The work on the next detailed planning phase of the Salvesen Steps replacement project had been delayed with the sick absence of one of the key officials. The money required for the drilling investigations had been secured. The traffic issues on Whitehouse Road remained on the Action Plan.

The requirement to secure clarity from the Council about what the additional costs would be to resurface the section from the pedestrian crossing at the Royal Burgess south to Queensferry Road with an additional lane from Barnton Grove to QR as compared against the costs of resurfacing the road to the existing lane widths was again emphasised. However recent discussions with officials in the West team had raised the prospect of establishing a small working group to look at the route from Davidsons Mains through to Gamekeepers and the Whitehouse road with a view to determining whether consideration should be given to introducing measure designed to discourage traffic from using the route as an alternative to the main “A” routes west/east through the area. It was confirmed that the CC should participate in such considerations.

Councillors’ Reports

Alastair Shields confirmed that the local Councillors were sighted on the TROs backlog issues and had written to express their concern and frustration at the impact it was having on addressing traffic challenges. He recognised that there were concerns about the Neighbourhood Partnership and how it interacted with Community Councils and how the process influenced change. Some of the meetings were open to the public and these needed to be better advertised if there was to be a hope of them being better attended. Andrew Mather said that where CC members were attending NP sub-groups he expected them to provide a short update paragraph for inclusion in the following CC Secretary’s report on any matters of interest. Mr Shields advised that in relation to the proposed Nursing Home he had submitted his objections which majored on the incompatibility of what was proposed within a Conservation Area and in the traffic challenges.

Any Other Business

Andrew Mather said that a response to the Lottery Fund application made for the Chain ferry proposal was expected the following day. Attention was drawn to the Edinburgh Solar Energy Project under which solar panels were to be installed on 25 schools within the Council area. Members of local communities could invest in shares in the concept. Tim Mitchell advised that the issue of the unpleasant smell which it was believed was emanating from the depot at the former East Craigs recycling dump had been raised and that SEPA had agreed to mediate at a site visit to take place on 9 November.

Date of Next Meeting:

  • The next meeting will be held on Thursday 19 November 2015.

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