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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 16th November 2023 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: : John Loudon (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott (Planning Lead), Sally Chalmers, Dianne Stein, James Hancock, John Howison, Bert Scott, Gena Wyle, Robert Bruce and Percy Feketey. Also in attendance, Councillor Norman Work, Kevin Lang and 8 members of the community. 

Apologies: Apologies had been received from Hamish Barrie, Michael Dick and Aaron McKeen. It had been hoped that Adam Cummings might have attended the discussion on item 7 but both he and Michael Dick had another engagement elsewhere in the Kirk Hall.

Approval of October 2023 Minutes

The minute of the October meeting was approved.

Introductory Remarks

John Loudon welcomed those attending and began by repeating the key terms of the governance guidance regarding the expectations of members in discharging their responsibilities. In all their dealings, the duty was to gather and represent the views of the community, to act always in a non-political manner, to treat people at all times with respect, and not to make personal remarks, attack or otherwise humiliate anyone either online or at meetings. Members were obliged to declare any interest they may have in any issue falling to be considered by the Community Council to protect the integrity of such considerations by the Council.

Employing a Minutes Secretary

John Loudon said that, in an effort to reduce the burden on the Secretary, he was advocating moving to employ a Minutes Secretary at a likely cost of between £25 and £50 per meeting. Gena Wylie said that the constrained budget could not sustain such costs. Ian Williamson said that in the overall scheme of the burden of the duties expected of the secretary, doing the minute was not arduous. Percy Feketey shared some of the work. It was agreed to reconsider the issue in February.

Matters Arising

Discussions with Other NW Community Councils.

John Loudon relayed back the matters that had been discussed amongst the chairs of the NW Community Councils. These included bus services where there was a shared concern about the loss of the section of the old service 41 that had connected up Princes Street, George Street, Hanover Street and the Mound towards the Old Town.

Many saw the new 47 route as a suboptimal route, although there were others who supported the route on Lothian Road. The 43 offered some service compensation for that lost by the new route of the 47, which no longer ran between Barnton Junction and D’Mains. Concerns had also been expressed about some of the suggested changes to Service 13.

Subsidised Bus Services

Councillor Lang fed back on the considerations of the Transport and Environment Committee’s considerations from earlier in the day about subsidised services.  Operating costs had risen significantly but the S75 development gain monies from Cammo Meadows offered a degree of protection for the local service.  The proposals being progressed may provide for a new service to connect up Cramond and Cammo Meadows over to the Gyle and on to the Heriot Watt Campus, Currie and Balerno. The prospect of the new service being operational by February/March was mentioned.

Queensferry Road and Safety

The pedestrian crossing lights on Queensferry Road around Barnton Park had been checked and were activating within a reasonable timeframe. However rapidly they may be triggered, this would not eliminate the tendency of some of the schoolchildren to cross against lights. The fact that the implementation of the new 30mph limit on Queensferry Road had been delayed served to prolong the risks on the road. John Loudon said that he understood that the new speed limit was to be in operation early in the New Year.

Access to NHS Dentists

On the lack of access to NHS dentistry in the area, Councillor Younie had advised that this reflected a national issue with more and more dentists stepping away from providing NHS dentistry. Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP was pursuing the matter with the Health Secretary.

Police Report

PC Donald MacLeod said how pleased he was to be able to attend and present the report. With 5 community councils on his patch, it was not always possible. Road safety and speed checks continue to be a priority and Whitehouse Road is a continuing focus. Quads and off-road bikes continue to be a problem. The nature of the incidents meant that there were rarely occasions where there was much evidence of a police response to the reports. But much was going on using CCTV to identify and track down the offenders. There had been some incidents involving anti-social behaviour on buses, which was, in part, one of the unintended consequences of the roll-out of youth bus passes. Contact via the e-mail address shown on the Police Report was advised where, for example, it was felt that a speed camera may be required on certain roads within the community.

Brighouse Update

John Loudon confirmed that subsequent to the last Business Meeting in October a private meeting of members had taken place on 3 November at which some key principles were discussed and are as reflected in the bullet points paper included in the Report. The next key meeting is to take place on Monday 27 November where the Community Representatives along with Councillor Lang would be meeting with AMA and Penny Lochhead and at which more detail around the Needs Assessment is expected along with a summary of what had been determined to be the key issues of concern to the public in the area.

It was agreed that the bullet points paper, which had been the product of the members meeting back on 3 November, should be distilled by John Loudon and submitted to Penny and AMA in advance of the 27 November meeting.

Update on Various Issues

The report on this item should be read in conjunction with Annex A from the November Report, a copy of which can be found at the end of those minutes.

Planning Issues

Peter Scott reported that the CC’s submission regarding the application for a proposed garden room for a house on Cramond Glebe Road had been dismissed by the officials.

On the planned Cramond Care Home, Peter Scott advised that the enforcement approach made to the Council about whether the developer had breached the condition of approval by virtue of not having commenced the works within the prescribed period had not been supported, as the developer had undertaken minor works on the site. The Council also disregarded the CC’s concerns that the egress lane may not meet Equalities Act requirements.

Peter Scott advised that he had been contacted via Facebook and indirectly by some residents at Lennymuir about a planning application concerning a major distribution depot planned at Turnhouse. This already has planning permission from 2009 and the latest application seeks some amendments. Peter suggested that the Council should be approached to prepare a comprehensive traffic management plan for the Turnhouse, Maybury and West Craigs areas, given all the proposed/new developments.

In discussion, Councillor Lang stated that there was an approved traffic management plan that embraced the Turnhouse, Maybury and West Craigs areas and dated from the West Craigs planning application. The prospect of increasing volumes of heavy traffic from the proposed depot and existing Turnhouse airfreight operations on Craigs Road and Maybury Road is a matter of significant concern. The depot’s location and traffic impacts will be of concern to Ratho, Kirkliston, Corstorphine and Cramond as well as Barnton Community Council’s and their communities. Peter Scott undertook to review the current traffic plan and to report back.

The Council had approached the Community Council and the other local groups concerned about proposals for Dowie’s Mill Weir. A meeting is set for 29 November at which Peter Scott will represent CBCC. He will discuss the issues with FRAW in advance of the meeting.

Edinburgh Airport

As before, much detail about the airport and its community support arrangements, efforts to reduce water pollution, shifts in flight volumes, complaints, etc. can be found in Annex A.

The marked increase in the number of night flights is a matter of public record. It is also clear that a proportion of these were flights destined to arrive “in-hours”, but delays had seen them arrive during the night operating hours. (It was explained that this was in part due to events in Ukraine that require flights to avoid Ukrainian airspace.). There was also a general awareness of an increase in scheduled night flights, especially by some operators, including Ryanair, EasyJet and Jet2. Councillor Lang reminded the community of the differing practices across many of the English airports—some had the numbers of night flights regulated, while others had elected to self-regulate. The Scottish Government has thus far declined to get involved in regulating or encouraging Scottish airports to self-regulate. It was suggested that the Community Council might invite a SG representative to attend to discuss.

On noise reporting, concerns were expressed that the reports offered currently by Edinburgh Airport focus on average noise levels, including times when no planes are overhead, thus failing to highlight events when noise levels are demonstrably above recognised health standards. Hence, the value of the data was greatly diminished. A plea for reporting on kerosene emissions in the locality was made. There was no reporting on the waiting times for taxis at times where there are many anecdotal reports of considerable delays.

Notwithstanding the nature of the discussion, the fact was that among the complaints made to the airport about noise and/or flight paths, etc., very few emanated from the CBCC area. The vast majority came from localities where, by any measure, the real impacts on residents were minimal, if not negligible. Is the community of CBCC simply inured to the reality of its proximity to the flight paths and sees no point in complaining or making representation? The Community Council recognised that it did not know how its community currently felt about the matter. It was agreed that a focused meeting is required, but that in preparation, some of the performance information that had been discussed should be corralled to aid the discussions.

Councillor Lang said he was pressing for information breaking down night flights between those that had been scheduled and those delayed from in-hours operations. It was suggested that the information should also cover the number of the planned new scheduled night flights in 2024.

Councillor’s Reports

Councillor Work had nothing additional to report.

Councillor Lang reported on the Blackhall Library, where the survey work had identified that major roof work would be required to address the problems found. The costs were borderline against opting for a rebuild.

A planning application is pending for the West Craigs North site in the designated green belt.

The city-wide ban on pavement parking is due to come into effect on 11 December with enforcement expected to begin in January.
Silverknowes Road North was to be re-opened to traffic, which may help reduce displacement in Cramond.

Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 18 January 2024