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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 17th January 2019 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Ross Wilkinson, Jean Morley, Bert Scott, Peter Scott, Marion Mitchell and Gena Wylie. Percy Feketey, Tim Mitchell and Michael Dick had given their apologies as had Councillors Work, Hutchison and Lang. A total of 23 people were in attendance.

Minutes of November 2018 Meeting

The minutes of the November meeting were approved.

Police Report

PC Donald McLeod and Jim Kelly were in attendance and PC Macleod introduced himself as one of the new officers for the area. His report covering November and December covered the usual array of minor crimes including housebreaking’s, attempted housebreaking, theft by shoplifting, and a variety of nuisance calls and other issues leading to the handing out of ASBOs. There were a number of road traffic offences involving speeding and in one case excessive drinking.

A more significant and frustrating problem was the recent gatherings of significant numbers of youths (30 to 60 in numbers) on several occasions in the Cammo Estate.  On occasions fuelled by alcohol the behaviour was disruptive and involved damage, noise and nuisance and efforts to disperse them sometimes resulted in the behaviours and disruption continuing into other areas. There seemed to be no strategic solution or policy regarding how to handle the issue which was very much a repeat of what had been seen last year around Lauriston Castle and sometimes in the Cramond Kirk Yard.

The problem remained the same only the location was moving.  A question was asked about the issue of cars parked on pavements, on occasion resulting in walkers having to walk onto the carriageway.  Where pedestrian right of way was being impeded then the Police could address the matter.

Almond Mains Club

Gena Wylie reported on the recent unsuccessful funding application which had been made in an effort to secure ongoing funding for this club which had been meeting twice a week for some 20 years offering a meal and activities for elderly isolated people in the community. Over the period some 70% of the costs of the club had been met by Council grant.

The forms had been tortuous to complete and with little sense as to the criteria to be met for what was now under the redefined definitions of small charity as against large charity. Hitherto the club fell under the definition of a small charity (costs under £50k) but the new definition of small charity was those under £20k. With a complex application form and unclear criteria the application had failed or had been rejected and with no meaningful explanation as to why it had failed,  It was of little solace to reflect on the fact that it was one of many pre-existing charitable resources which were now likely to fold in the coming months.

For want of the continuing support from the Council (35 across Edinburgh of which there were 7 in NW Edinburgh which had failed to secure funding). The real concern was what was going to happen to those people who derived so much benefit from attending the club. All at a time when the Council and the new Integrated Social Health Care partnerships were meant to be addressing the problems associated with social isolation the reality was very stark when compared with the rhetoric.

Without the support of Councillors and the MSPs the chances of securing the future of the Club were remote. The irony was that the budget set aside by the Council for what were now regarded as small charities was under-spent.

The Glebe Road TRO 18/83 (18 Whitehouse Road)

The Chair went over the background to this TRO.  Yes it addressed the general road traffic management issues which had impacted on CGR for many years but the focus on the issues of access and egress to the proposed Care Home site were galling and would not address the increased risks which would accompany the opening up of the access and egress roads to the level of usage that could be expected from the Home.

Research supported ably by John Skinner was being used to develop a case for rejecting the TRO at least insofar as those aspects concerned with the access and egress were concerned.  The recent consultation period for the TRO had expired and the CC believed that there had been an overwhelming welter of objections to the Order (confirmed subsequently as 188).  Given the nature of some of the restrictions the legislation provided for the Order to be referred to a Reporter to be appointed by Scottish Government to consider and to advise the Council of his/her findings.

It was believed that the Order was to be put before the NW Locality Committee week commencing 21 January seeking a mandate to refer the matter to the Reporter.

As part of preparing for participation in the considerations of the Reporter the Chair proposed that the CC conduct a traffic survey to be carried out on Cramond Glebe Road in the coming weeks.  Members were asked to devote an hour to “manning” the survey.

Planning Issues Report

Before passing over to Peter Scott for the planning report the Chair referred to the discussions which he had been involved in with the Chairs of the other community councils in NW Edinburgh, including those from Kirkliston, South Queensferry, Ratho as well as the Davidsons Mains and Silverknowes Association about the infrastructure requirements of the various developments being supported by the Council.

A consistent theme which was troubling all of the CC’s was that of the lack of any real sense of urgency on the part of the Council when it came to specifying and programming the infrastructure requirements individually and collectively of the many residential developments being pushed through by the Council.  The Chairs were to meet with Lesley McInnes, Convenor of the Transport and Environment Committee, later in February to discuss the shared concerns about the prospect of further traffic pressure on the A90 and other arterial routes to the NW of the City.

Peter Scott moved on to discuss the various issues reflected in the Report tabled at the meeting. The text of the Report as tabled is reproduced in Arial 12.  Discussion on the night is in forte 14.

Planning Matters

18/06969/FUL:  3 Braehead Road

The CC’s Planning Representative followed up complaints by attendees at CBCC’s November meeting that the construction of the house and roadside boundary features were eyesores, by visiting the site.  He concluded that the development was compliant with the original planning consent and CBCC members were notified of this by e-mail in November.

Explanation:  Planning approval was granted some time ago for a new house in front of the original bungalow, which is set back from Braehead Road.  A more recent application included modifications to extend the site boundary towards the existing property, internal modifications to the building layout and the addition of an office in front of the previously consented development.  CBCC objected to the office extension, as this would come to within 2-3m. of the footway along Braehead Road and be in front of the building line of adjacent properties.  The application was subsequently granted consent, after the applicants withdrew the office element.   He said he would check again on the emerging development and if it appeared that it did not comply with the permission, he may seek an enforcement notice.

18/09541/FUL. Demolish house and erect 15 flatted dwellings.   9 Barnton Avenue West.

The CC’s submission has been submitted which refers to the following

  1. The CC accepts the principle of a replacement residential development of an appropriate design and scale in this brownfield location.
  2. The scale and massing of the building and, particularly, the proximity of the western, northern and eastern facades to the site boundaries, along with removal of trees and shrub screening, does not provide the visual and landscape containment that would be consistent with that provided in neighbouring properties and is characteristic of this part of Barnton Avenue West. Hence, CC has sought refusal of this application and recommended a more modest scale of development.
  3. The roof design and choice of materials does not respect the character of the area.
  4. CC recommends that the Council and its statutory partners should pay particular attention to issues of capacity in local sewerage and drainage networks in assessing this development.
  5. CC encourages the City Council to seek additional on-site parking provision.

It was agreed that the plans would provide for over development of the site and the Community Council’s response was entirely supported.

17/03129/FUL: Sheltered Housing: 90m east of 4 Barnton Ave West

An amended application has been submitted for this assisted living complex for McCarthy and Stone.  The CC’s proposed submission contains the following

  1. As a preface: The CC recognises the need for such accommodation; appreciates that many in the community wish to see the site developed, rather than remaining overgrown and an eyesore; and welcomes the applicants’ positive responses to previous concerns and the improvements in the amended application in respect of design, drainage and landscaping
  2. Concerns that the scale and density of development is contrary to guidance in the Barnton Ave. West Design Brief and LDP. In particular, the density of development and scale of the apartment building are not consistent with the existing character of this part of Barnton Ave. West.
  3. While additional tree, shrub and hedge planting is proposed, further screen planting could be undertaking along the Royal Burgess Golf Course and Barnton Ave. West boundaries
  4. The applicants are proposing a micro-tunnelled drain for surface water under Barnton Ave. West to connect to drainage channels into the River Almond. However, it is proposed that some surface water drainage should be channelled through the old, poorly maintained and partially collapsed drain running under Riding Park.  The CC supports Riding Park residents’ contention that all surface water flows should be channelled through the new drain.
  5. The CC is urging the Council to accept more parking provision than its normal standards, in recognition of the likely requirements of residents of this development and the distance from shops, other services and amenities.
  6. Issues of medical provision need to be addressed prior to planning approval, due to existing local medical services operating at/over-capacity.

18/10028/PAN:  Mixed Use Development, Land North-East of 210 Craigs Road.

This is a pre-application consultation on speculative proposals for a wide range of land uses on Green Belt land between the major Cammo and Maybury development sites.  The CC’s proposed submission states that such development of this land is unacceptable, as

  1. The proposals are speculative and proposed uses can be accommodated on brownfield and greenfield land allocated in the LDP, without intruding on Green Belt land. Promoting such a range of use classes is inadequate to explain the developers’ intentions and contrary to policy.
  2. Lack of LDP justification for the scale of development and extensive range of uses. Many of the proposed uses would be contrary to the Council’s ‘Town Centres First Policy’.
  3. The site is designated as Green Belt, will act as a buffer between the Maybury and Cammo sites, and is important in protecting the urban edge, local landscape character and wider landscape setting. Its development would be contrary to a range of landscape policies in the LDP.
  4. Development of this site would generate additional traffic – exacerbating traffic congestion and delays, to an unacceptable extent.
  5. The development would diminish the rural character of Cammo Walk and its green network potential.
  6. Flood prevention/mitigation measures will be required for any development on this site.

18/01755/FUL:  Cammo Fields Development (Revised Scheme)

Cala and David Wilson Homes have submitted a revised application for the Cammo Fields site.  This comprises some design amendments which reflect previous submissions by CBCC and others, including reduction in height of the 4-storey flats along Maybury Road and along the proposed Mauseley Avenue, amendments to boundary treatments on the northern (Cammo Grove/Gardens) boundary and changes to the internal road system.  These changes were the subject of the public exhibition held by CBCC in December which attracted around 90 attendees.

CBCC’s revised response is likely to reflect previous comments regarding

  1. Delivery plan – need for explicit phasing of development in accordance with the provision of essential services and infrastructure; especially schools and roadworks. So far, CBCC has been unable to get firm commitments from CEC on implementation timescales for essential services.
  2. Traffic issues – issues over road and junction improvements and the impacts of traffic on wider roads network in NW Edinburgh. Need for traffic lights at Cammo Gardens Junction, especially if Cammo Walk closed to traffic in which case this residential community would be effectively land locked.
  3. Air pollution issues – due to increased traffic and additional congestion.
  4. Boundary issues – need for developers to agree northern boundaries and formally register these, prior to development commencing. This cannot be undertaken until developers take ownership of site
  5. Link to Cammo Estate – proposed change in location of link route and potential for developers to take responsibility for strip of land between development site and Cammo Walk
  6. Drainage issues – especially along northern boundary and concerns over capacity of trunk sewer.

There remained a worrying concern surrounding the apparent difficulty in extracting a robust delivery plan from the Council.  It was essential that a delivery plan should be produced by the Council which matched the pace of the Cala/David Wilson development with the agreed infrastructure requirements.

There was a real and alarming risk that the Council seemed prepared to allow the programme to be determined by the pace of the slowest of the various related developments which collectively produced the case for the infrastructure investment.

It was entirely possible that these slower developments may be as much as 5 years behind the Cammo Fields development.

These concerns would provide the foundation to the proposed response.

 18/10112/PPP; 18/10120/LBC:  Restoration of A-listed Craigiehall Temple, Removal of Existing Dwelling & Development of 10 Townhouses.  66 Cammo Road

Application refers to the inability to sell the existing house which is attached to Craigiehall Temple and the opportunity to redevelop the site with the construction of two terraces of (6 and 4) townhouses.   The proposed submission includes the following:

  1. Support for restoring Craigiehall Temple and demolishing adjacent residential building, which detracts from the historic and architectural integrity of the A-listed Temple. Its removal would emphasise the design characteristics of the Temple and its appearance within the surrounding landscape, which is recorded in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes.
  2. Potential support for development of no more than three homes of appropriate scale and design, accompanied by a landscape plan to ensure significant enclosure and screening of such these properties. Any new development should be at a more substantial distance from the Temple than the proposed townhouses, subservient in height and not detract from its visual presence.
    1. Objection to proposed development of 10 townhouse-type properties, based on –
    2. Scale and character of development would detract from rural character of Green Belt and surrounding countryside. Terraced houses would represent intensification of development in this part of Green Belt and be a precedent for further ribbon development on Cammo Road.  Proposals are contrary to CEC’s Green Belt and Countryside policies.
    3. Development would detract from, rather than enhance, the restored Temple’s contribution to its designed and general landscape setting
    4. Site is not convenient for active travel to shops, schools and other services, so residents would be reliant on private transport. No footway between the site and established housing on Cammo Road.
    5. Site is part of a Local Nature Conservation Site. Protected species surveys will be required.
    6. The terms of the proposed submission were supported.

North West Waterfront/Granton Waterfront Project

The City Council is leading a major development programme for Granton, including its Waterfront. The project area extends along to the edge of Cramond.  Consultants are consulting the communities and other stakeholders on future development and a Waterfront Group has been established, including representatives of the community councils.

This could be an exciting new regeneration project for a very large area mostly owned by the Council and stimulating Waterfront connections (e.g. Promenade and green space between Newhaven and Cramond).

A second stage consultation opens on the Council’s consultation hub from 18th January and a community event is being held on Saturday 19th January from 10am – 1pm in Granton Parish Church, 55 Boswall Parkway, Edinburgh EH5 2DA.  CBCC are examining ways in which the wider community can interact with the development team.

Dowies Weir

After a long period of relative silence, the controversial project to replace the potentially failing weir at the former site of Dowies Mill has come to a stage whereby the City Council is consulting the community and others on a preferred option.  The Council’s suggested option involves a significant reduction of the impounded waters which form the ‘mill pond’ around the old Brig.

The Council will hold a public exhibition at The Maltings, Cramond Harbour, from 22nd -26th January.  Provisional dates and times (to be confirmed) are

    • Tuesday 22 Jan               10:00 – 13:00
    • Wednesday 23 Jan         17:00 – 19:30
    • Thursday 24 Jan             13:00 – 15:30
    • Friday 25 Jan                   10:00 – 13:00
    • Saturday 26 Jan              11:00 – 15.00

Further information will be presented at CBCC’s meeting on 17 January.

Healthcare Matters

Ian Williamson and Marion Mitchell met with David White and Dr Robin Balfour early in December to discuss progress with the Integrated Health and Social Care agenda especially in regard to health care services in the community within Cramond and Barnton.

The Community Council was keen to be involved in working with the local team and practitioners in shaping the development of services.  A draft paper following the discussion is being developed and will be circulated in due course.

Any Other Business

The Chair provided a brief update on the Airport.  As had been advised at earlier meetings the consultation which the Airport had carried out earlier in the year had been deemed to have been flawed by the Civil Aviation Authority (certain information found not to have been consistently reported to different communities affected by proposed changes).The Airport were now obliged to conduct the consultation again.

The Chair also reminded those present that Community Council Elections would fall to be conducted in the Autumn (2019).  More members would need to be recruited for the CC to sustain the minimal level required to operate and these new members would have to be prepared to take on some discreet areas of work to better balance the loadings.

In closing concerns were expressed regarding the continuing problems with refuse collection following the schedule changes some months earlier. There was still random collection timings with the associated challenges of refuse lying out on the kerb for days. In the absence of Councillor Work a plea was made for pressure to be maintained on the CEC and the Licensing Board to strive for a solution to the problems associated with the continuing closure of the Cramond Inn.

Weeks were now stretching into months since the Inn closed following the latest management dismissals and there was little sign of the Company demonstrating any genuine effort to resolve the issue and either secure new management or endeavour to sell the Inn to someone who could make a go of it.

In response to a suggestion that the meeting could perhaps start earlier than its traditional 7:30pm time the Chair undertook to check whether the hall management would allow for a 7:00pm start in future.

The next meeting will be held at the new earlier start time of 7:00pm on Thursday 21 February 2019 (Start time confirmed subsequent to the January meeting).

Acronym’s used in these minutes
  • CEC = City of Edinburgh Council
  • CC = Community Council
  • TRO = Traffic Regulation Order
  • LDP = Local Development Plan
  • CGR = to be confirmed

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 21 February 2019