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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 16th November 2017 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Percy Feketey, Jean Morley, Tim Mitchell, Ross Wilkinson, Paul McLaughlin, Gena Wylie, Michael Dick and Marion Mitchell. A total of 18 people were in attendance including Councillors Louise Young, Kevin Lang, Norman Work and Graham Hutchison.

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending and noted apologies from Bert Scott. The minutes of the last, October, meeting was approved.

Police Report

The police report was given by PC Aidan Douds and covered October albeit he would be talking about some of the more recent incidence of youth disturbances in Cramond and in the Davidson’s Mains and Silverknowes areas. There had been 23 crimes in the area. These covered a housebreakings and attempted housebreakings (to house and/or garages), theft and attempted theft of pedal cycles and motor cycles and a variety of incidents involving anti-social behaviour (including vandalism of vehicles). Picking up on the first mentioned of these PC Douds alerted people to the Crime Prevention Seminar to be held at Holy Cross Church on Tuesday 28 November. Close working with management at the Davidson’s Mains Tesco was beginning to bear fruit in terms of addressing the incidence of “youth gatherings” and associated anti-social behaviour in the area. A question was raised about the use of special constables to augment front-line officers. The use of such supports tended to be at events but it was acknowledged there may be value in using them more as community support.

Chairman’s Report

On the matter of the airport the Chair reported that some progress had been made since the report made in the latest edition of the Grapevine. The Airport was now pursuing our concerns with the CAA. An offset approach into the airport was now accepted as being technically achievable albeit not in all weather conditions. But the principle had now been established and the way was clear for the matter to be taken to the airline operators for implementation. Departures that avoided Cramond by flying due north before banking east over the Firth of Forth remained a more difficult proposition being pursued with the CAA.

On the Brighouse development some progress was being made in attracting interest from sports organisation in utilising what could become the playing fields area of the AMA development site. There was a package now coming together which would be taken to AMA once the support of the planning authority had been secured.

Planning Report

Peter Scott reminded those present of the nature of the objections which the CC had raised in response to an earlier application concerning 192 Whitehouse Road. A revised application had been made which was of a smaller scale but there remained issues with the façade to the house. The CC had written in support of the proposed sash windows to be installed at 4 Cramond Village.

A small group which had enlisted the support of Duncan Fraser had drawn up some proposals designed to help improve traffic flows around the Barnton Junction. The details of these were described and following discussion it was agreed that the paper could be recommended to the Council for consideration. Percy Feketey said that there was a need for detailed traffic assessments to be carried out which captured information on existing flows and volumes and which modelled the impacts of the various proposals. The paper had been designed in an effort to suggest various measures which could both improve existing traffic flows and mitigate the further traffic pressures associated with the planned Cammo development (and other planned developments in north west Edinburgh). They were considered essential measures unless the Council were planning to introduce traffic management measures to prevent, reduce or discourage private car usage on the arterial routes through the CC area.

The Cammo Fields Development

Peter Scott spoke to a series of slides which focussed on the key messages which had emerged from the exhibition which had taken place recently in the Kirk Hall and which messages were being proposed as key to the draft response offered to go to the CEC and the developers. (The details are included in the minutes of the subsequent meetinsg which took place with Council officials – a copy of which will be circulated to members and uploaded onto the website when signed off). There was what could best be described as a reluctant acceptance of the development matched only by a determination to work with the CEC and the developers to strive for a development which was sympathetic to the location and environment and which was also supported by the necessary infrastructure to be provide in the right place and at the right time. A detailed delivery plan binding both the developer and the CEC should be a condition of planning consent.

Concerns about infrastructure impacts formed the bulk of the discussion which followed and covered schools, primary medical care, roads, water and sewage. The developers were prepared to provide a community facility on the site but it was for the community to consider how it would use such an asset – as it would fall to the community to mange the facility. Members were advised to look to the South Queensferry CC area where they were currently further ahead with such considerations for a similar facility on the adjacent site which was under construction, again with Cala as the main developer.

Specific issues – again covered in the minutes of the subsequent meeting with officials – which exercised people included the height and sight lines from the Maybury Road against the prospect of 4 storey flats fronting on to the Maybury Road. Similarly, the 3 storey flats towards Maunsley Tower where it was suggested that balloons should be put up to reflect the proposed height line so that a better appreciation could be gathered of the likely impact. An area of the site described as “wetlands” was one against which the developer planned to create a green buffer strip which would be maintained by them as a landscaped area. Councillor Young said that clarity about the future responsibility for landscaped areas would be required. This was often something provided for in the title for the properties but transparency at the time of marketing was desirable. A general plea for greater detail on the plans was made with better definition of houses, roads, gardens, landscaped areas. The wrong directional layout could risk creating a wind tunnel.

Secretary’s Report

Ian Williamson reported on the recent meeting that had taken place with the key CEC officials covering the consequences of the school streets initiative especially on Whitehouse Road and the section running from Fair-a-Far Shot to Gamekeepers Road. Some further traffic restriction measures were proposed which it was felt would mitigate much of the traffic risk on this section of the road. A commitment to work with the CC to progress other needed TROs in the area was also secured.

Concerns remained around the governance processes being introduced by the SG and the CEC with the likely demise of Neighbourhood Partnerships and the emergence of new structures and a Locality Improvement Plan which brought little by way of hope for Community Councils. Key CEC meetings to be held in December were likely to signal what the CEC recognised as the way forward. Whether this would satisfy CCs was another matter. Cramond and Barnton was only one of several CCs who were dissatisfied with the emerging arrangements. The EACC had made it very clear to the new Leader of the CEC that what was being developed was unacceptable.

A meeting with the Convenor of the Transport and Environment Committee and officials from Lothian Buses was to take place on Friday 17 November to discuss the route of the A200 service.

The CEC had invited views on the budget for 2018/19. Members of the public could comment and the CC would submit a response and contributions were sought.

Report on the Integration of Health and Social Care

Gena Wylie reported on the progress, or rather lack of progress, that seemed to have been made with this key agenda. The last scheduled meeting that had been due to take place at the end of June 2017 had been cancelled and a new date yet to be agreed. Three sub-groups covering – access to GP/Primary Care services; supporting people in the community and supporting people with mental health issues – had been agreed as required to progress the work. It was agreed that further effort should be left until January to pursue an update on progress.

Councillors Reports

Councillor Work reported that he had been quite impressed with the presentations made by the developers at the recent exhibition on the Cammo proposals. He had picked up concerns that they may be trying to squeeze in some additional flats and that would have to be watched. He noted their preparedness to support a new bus service. Louise Young went on to advise that the current proposals involved the new service connecting up to the Maybury and perhaps the Gateway Interchange. On a different subject she understood that CEC officials were making progress with the expected TRO covering Barnton Avenue West; there had been many challenges and suggestions, but officials were understood to be nearing a resolution. Kevin Lang referred to the various planned developments to the north west of the City, including Kirkliston, South Queensferry and Winchburgh and the increasing concerns about the aggregate impact on traffic pressure flowing towards Barnton and the Maybury. Councillor Hutchison praised the CC for the pragmatic approach it was taking on the Cammo Fields development and voiced his support for the paper which the CC had produced offering proposals for improving traffic flows around the Barnton junction and for mitigating the impact of planned further developments. He also fully supported the requirement for the infrastructure consequences to be in place at least in part before the development was complete.

Acronym’s used in these minutes

  • CEC = City of Edinburgh Council
  • CC = Community Council
  • EACC = Edinburgh Association of Community Councils
  • CAA = Civil Aviation Authority
  • AMA = AMA Homes
  • TRO = Traffic Regulation Order
  • SG = Scottish Government

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 18 January 2018