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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 16th May 2019 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Jean Morley, Bert Scott, Peter Scott, Percy Feketey and Michael Dick. Marion Mitchell, Ross Wilkinson and Councillor Young had given their apologies as had Councillors Work and Lang. A total of 25 people were in attendance, including Councillors Hutchison, Lang and Work.

Minutes of April 2019 Meeting

The minute of the April meeting was approved subject to the list of those attending beg adjusted to reflect Michael Dick’s attendance.

Chairman’s Report

The Chairman confirmed that the May meeting would be the penultimate one before the summer break and that this year that break also heralded the next round of CC elections.  By the time of the June meeting, he said that one of the four local Councillors would have been appointed as the election numerator in charge of the process for the community.   In preparation for the new round and with it the prospect of some of the current faces choosing not to stand again, he had been trying to secure, with some success, some fresh blood.

Robert Bruce had agreed to join and to act in support of the Secretary going forward. John Howison had decided to join and serve as Acting Chair – recognising that Ross Wilkinson would be standing down.  John introduced himself and gave a brief resume of his past career and current interests and challenges (including 12 grandchildren). Tim Mitchell had advised of his resignation.

The Chairman introduced Louise McIntyre the recently appointed communications manager for the Airport.

Presentation on Airport

Ms McIntyre explained that she had been in post for around seven months as the Communications Engagement Manager for the Airport.  Put simply her role was to communicate better with communities, especially those most affected by the flights’ paths. There would be any issues for which she may not know the answers; in which case, she would strive to find out and report back. The Airport was again obliged to conduct a review of the Air Space programme by the CAA. The Community Fund had been bolstered by additional funds coming from the night levies – and the current tranche of resource was now open for applications (due within six weeks).

The Chairman continued by reporting on the Airport Committee meeting he had attended at the beginning of the week. There had been a lengthy report back from the Noise Committee which was now conducting its business in a more constructive and useful manner. The work of this group was timely given the apparent greater emphasis being placed by the CC on air space review. However, there was no reason to expect the findings of the new review to be any different from the previous one insofar as the preferred departure and arrival flight paths were concerned.     The Airport was not regulated, and there was a sense that the City of Edinburgh Council was not keen to go down his road. To address this issue, especially for night flights the Airport had increased the charges on operators for such flights. They were also encouraging the introduction of newer – and quieter – aircraft by levying a higher charge on older aircraft.   There had been an expectation that the Scottish Government would remove Air Passenger Duty, but it was to remain. It remained to be seen what impact this would have on operators – especially those who may have been preparing to introduce new services.

Follow-up questions and observations covered the concerns about the flow within the terminal building – clunky and congested.  Issues with perhaps too many fights too close together, making it very challenging for the airport building – inc. security – to cope. Problems with the approach road – poor condition and gridlock during Highland Show. A new access road was planned for the next 12 to 18 months.

Councillor Lang reminded those present that the concerns regarding night flying and the lack of preparedness of the Airport to demonstrate a willingness to self-regulate night flying had been an issue which had secured cross-party support within the Council.  This had resulted in an approach from the Council to the Airport urging it to introduce self-regulation – or be prepared to be regulated by the Council. That Edinburgh Airport was the only major airport in the UK to neither self-regulate nor be regulated suggested that somehow the people of Edinburgh did not warrant the same considerations afforded elsewhere.   Small increases to charges to operators were paying lip service to any genuine commitment to address the issue. Councillor Lang’s strident attack on the Airport on this matter received wholehearted support.

Police Report

The police stats, as presented sought to compare and contrast criminality during April 2019 against April 2018.  Housebreaking was down – 7 against 11; thefts up from 7 to 15 including shoplifting and the theft of bikes – members were encouraged to take advantage of the bike marking opportunities provided by the Police (it was suggested that having the capability to provide this at the D’Mains fair would offer an excellent opportunity).  Assault numbers had remained the same at six each April.

The ASBO issues at Lauriston Castle continued to be troublesome, but with the introduction of the task force and CCTV, the matter was being addressed. This would continue across the summer. One resident drew attention to the recurrence of similar problems (including gratuitous vandalism and fire-raising) around the Cramond Kirk Yard and in the walled garden. The Fire Service had responded. The police response was that they would check this more regularly. An issue with the removal of saddles from some of the Just Eat bikes was raised.

Presentation on Street Lighting Improvements    

Jack Keillor of the Council made a presentation on the programme for upgrading street lights running across the City to 2021 and covering some 64,000 lights.  The programme would come into the area between July and September. The systems enabled the City to maintain an understanding of the functionality of each light by use of remote sensors, thus allowing more rapid repairs should that be required.

The new lights had a life expectancy of 25 years against the 4/5 at present. Some concerns were raised about the span of the light coverage on some roads where it was believed that new lights had been introduced (Whitehouse Road was mentioned). He result was that there were regular dark areas.  Mr Keillor said he would check this as if it was happening it was something which the new lights were designed to eliminate through more sensitive positioning.

The possibility of Heritage lights for Cramond Village was raised, but Mr Keillor said that the programme provided for a like for like replacement.  It was suggested that this risked perpetuating a sub-optimal provision.

Treasurers Report

The Treasurer reported on the annual accounts for 2018/19 which were included in the papers.  Expenditure appeared higher against the previous year – in large part because the hall fees for 2017/18 had been paid in 2018/19 (as well as the costs for that year).  Also, the only income for the year had been the grant from the Council. The accounts were approved.

Planning Report

Peter Scott spoke to the report which had been tabled at the meeting.  The following is that report. Additionally, he also advised that the CC would be presenting at the forthcoming Development Management Sub-Committee’s consideration of the Cammo Fields development for which a 98-page report was required reading.  Duncan Fraser would also be making a presentation on behalf of Davidson’s Mains and Silverknowes Association.

19/01710/FUL: Convert garage to dwelling, 21 Cammo Crescent Edinburgh

Cammo Crescent (on the south side of Queensferry Road) is a well-established row of two-/three-storey houses of traditional designs and materials sited within extensive gardens.  The shoe-horning of this proposed house and extension into a very narrow section of garden ground at the very periphery of the site and use of materials (e.g. metal/board cladding) for part of roofing and walls, is contrary to LDP Policies Des 1, Des 4 and Des 5 and would set an unacceptable precedent for development on this side of Queensferry Road.

The Community Council has advocated refusal for the above reasons.

18/08166/PPP:  Erection of dwelling house, 3 Strathalmond Road

The development of single house in the valley of the Bughtlin Burn, to which the CC objected, has been withdrawn.

Maybury – North of Craigs Road PAC Second Exhibition

The Community Council was invited at five days’ notice to attend a further exhibition of proposals for the site north of Craigs Road.  The exhibition covered the same information as at the previous exhibition but included a design for housing on the part of the site. The Community Council has objected to the short notice and lack of wider publicity for the exhibition and reiterated its objections to any development on the site, which forms an important element of the local and wider landscape, is a key components of the green belt, will act as a buffer between the Maybury and Cammo developments and will exacerbate traffic issues on Maybury Road and the wider roads network.

Maltings Frontage Improvements

Following advocacy by the CC and with the support of our elected members, a modest amount of Neighbourhood Environment Project (NEP) funding has been allocated for further improvements to landscaping and wall repairs around the seating area and ‘hole in the wall’ site adjacent to the Maltings.

Secretary’s Report

The Secretary spoke to the written report extracted below for reference with the record of the discussion on the night in this font.

Governance incl. new Structures

The Secretary’s absence from the April meeting was due to his attendance once again at a meeting of the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils (EACC) running at the same time in the City Chambers.   Critically some of the initial meetings falling out of the new structures have taken place since the last CC meeting – one at the beginning of May and most recently on 15 May.  These involve the new Neighbourhood Networks reflecting a far broader church of members considered to represent better the greater local engagement that is considered so critical to the emerging arrangements.

The challenge will be that with this greater engagement will come greater (or more) expectations at a time when we have been told that the previous arrangements were dismantled because (in part) they were too time-consuming of officials within the Council.  Feedback on the meeting on the evening of 15 May will be offered at the CC meeting. Gena Wylie had attended the Network meeting on the 15 May and reported on what would have been a disappointing turn out for the organisers. Some 116 people had looked at the e-mail invitation to the event, but only ten groups were represented on the night.  A particular challenge going forward would be to select the representative from the Network to sit on the new Locality Partnership (the more influential body).

Cramond Inn

The Secretary wrote on 20 April by way of follow-up to the Licensing Services Officer who spoke at our February meeting on licensing matters.  The approach reflected a concern that there remained both a degree of uncertainty about some detailed aspects of the legislation and the interpretation being applied in the case of the Cramond Inn.   Some pointed questions were covered in the follow-up, and to date, no reply nor acknowledgement has been received. Failing any response before 20 May, the Secretary suggests that the matter is raised at a more senior level within the licensing board official structure with a request for an immediate response on what are some very important and straightforward questions.   It was agreed that a follow-up should be sent, and Councillor Work suggested it be directed to Morag Leck.

Councillor’s Reports

Both Councillor’s Work and Hutchison had (in keeping with the Chair) attended recent presentations about the emerging Crosswinds development near Turnhouse. Included within the proposals were plans for a new access road but otherwise, there were few issues of concern to the area. On the Salvesen Steps, Councillor Work reported that the various surveys were being analysed.  Councillor Hutchison reported that he was receiving far fewer complaints about the refuse collection and that the new service seemed now to be settling down. There remained concerns about the condition of roads. He confirmed he would be speaking at the forthcoming Committee considerations regarding the Cammo Fields development. Councillor Lang said he too would be speaking at the meeting.

Acronym’s used in these minutes
  • CAA= Civil Aviation Authority

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 20 June 2019