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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 17th Sept 2015 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall


Present:  Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Ross Wilkinson, Marion Mitchell, Bert Scott, Percy Feketey, Isla Browning, Grant McCulloch, Euan Pearson and Gena Wylie. A total of 17 people were in attendance including Councillors Lindsay Paterson and Norman Work.

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending and noted apologies from David Belfall, Gena Wylie, Mark Whittet, Jane Neville and Councillor Alastair Shields.

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 June was approved.

Police Report

There was no police presence and no report had been received.

Chairman’s Report

The Chairman reported on the debacle of the new toucan crossing at the junction of Barnton Avenue and Cramond Road South. There had been the lack of engagement before the works had commenced (and the fracture had included CEC HQ to the West Team at Drum Brae). There had been concerns about some of the detail of the works actually carried out. A safety audit had been conducted; a number of the issues identified had been addressed and a report on the audit completed. The Chair undertook to forward on the report when he received it.

There had been a recent meeting of the Neighbourhood Partnership where again the issue of the connectivity (or rather lack of connectivity) to Waverley Court had been the subject of discussion. Improvements were required if the NP was to achieve what it was set up to achieve.

The recent Pedal for Scotland event had been the subject of much discussion at the NP. The objectives of the event was not what was in question but the issues of communication with local communities and the extent of disruption caused were both unacceptable. There was to be a full follow-up meeting to which community representatives were to be invited.

The processes of security continued to present significant challenges for people using the airport. New systems, the required staff training and the increasing volume of passengers using the airport were combining to create delays in the throughput of passengers into the departure lounges. While the airport strives to address the process issues get there early remains the best advice.

On the subject of the airport the Chair advised that he had received a very strident approach from a local resident about the associated aircraft noise from the position of Cramond and Barnton within the flightpath. There was a need to determine whether these concerns were representative of the views of the community in general and if so what further action may be indicated. An invitation would be issued to the resident for him to make a presentation at a future meeting.

Planning Report

(Please note that the following report should be read in conjunction with the Secretary’s report for 17 September which includes detailed reports on the various planning issues discussed at the meeting).

On the latest SES Plan Main Issues Report Peter Scott talked about the key options described in the MIR and also explained the engagement process which the CEC had embarked upon in a effort to help inform responses. The timetable was designed to see the new plan adopted in 2018. The end product establishes the strategic framework for development across an area comprising Edinburgh, Fife, Lothian and the Borders. He described the substance of the three options offered for regional growth; the process which the CC had followed in terms of developing a draft response (including the input of CC members) and the key elements of the draft reply that emerged . These focused on supporting a combination of two of the options mooted by the CEC. The result was a statement of support for some concentrated growth within Edinburgh for example on the Waterfront and in the Garden City areas (but excluding most of the other suggested areas which involved green belt development) plus distributed growth to sustain communities throughout the Region eg in the Border towns. The plan needed to be more responsive to the digital working opportunities supporting more home working; as currently drafted it was promoting existing working patterns. The CC confirmed that it approved the content of the draft reply.

On the Local Development Plan Peter described how the Plan had been referred to the Reporter employed by the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals and how the CC representations had challenged the CEC on its shortcomings in the way it had presented (or rather misrepresented) the views of the CC.

A precis of the position in relation to the proposed Cammo development was provided and the CEC’s handling of the planning process was used as an illustration of the problem which was confounding many planning applications and that was the absence of proper feed-back when representations were being set aside by the Planning Committee.

On the proposed care home behind Cramond Glebe Road Peter explained what the focus of the proposed letters of objection would be; firstly on that part of the application that was concerned with the demolition of the house to “clear the plot” and thereby enable the development of the 61 bedroom Care Home within the Cramond Conservation Area (ie conservation area consent) and secondly on the development of the proposed care home (planning consent). The extent to which the demolition and construction of a building of the mass and materials that was proposed was contrary to the Planning and Policy guidelines concerning developments in Conservation Areas was to be the focus of the objections. Other issues included scale, fenestration, partial timber cladding and use of reconstituted stone all of which were incompatible with the scale of the existing building in the area. There were also concerns about the inadequacy of the “gardens space for the residents of the home.

The entrance pathway and egress path were of particular concerns. The documentation was spattered with inaccuracies all of which were designed to paint the picture of minimal disruption to the community, maximum employment opportunities and optimal public transport. Another home would add to the pressures on the Cramond Medical Practice at a time when it was already demonstrating that it was operating at capacity. Concerns were raised about the additional pressure which another home would place on the sewage system where there was already clear real signs of problem including increased incidence of sewage ending up via outflows in the River Almond. It was reported that Scottish Water were experiencing significant challenge in trying to locate and resolve a problem with sewage outflow across the woodland pathway some 100 metres from the Boat Club. There were concerns about the Traffic Impact Assessment; it was convoluted and opaque and contained mistakes. And there were a number of examples of misleading information.

The Chair confirmed that the CC had been granted Consultee status in relation to the application and that there would be a hearing at which the CC would have an opportunity to present its views orally to the Committee. Approval was given for the CC to write to the CEC in support of rejection of the proposed development with the reply focusing on those issues considered to be material to the consideration of the Planning Committee..

The Chair also updated people on his recent attendance at the CC meeting for Currie where he heard about the developers plans for the Garden District development that sits between the RBS HQ at Gogar and the City Bypass and here the developers (Murray Estates) argued that they could build 3,500 housing units – a number which would deliver much of the housing need which was under consideration at Cammo.

Peter highlighted the recent decision of the Council which rejected a proposal for the replacement of traditional-style wooden sash and case windows at a property in Caddell’s Row with UPVC windows. The lesson to be learnt from this planning case is that all proposals for replacement windows within the Cramond Conservation Area require planning approval.

Peter outlined the proposed strategy for taking forward the work of the Interpretation Group including the leadership role which would be provided by the Cramond Association but with the ongoing involvement of the CC.

Secretary’s Report

A brief update was provided by Ian Williamson covering some issues where progress had been made in recent months. A more comprehensive report would be provided at the next October meeting.

Councillors Reports

Both Lindsay Paterson and Norman Work expressed their concerns about the many shortcomings which had impacted on the Community during the recent Pedal for Cycle event. There had been a preliminary wash up session and some changes for the future were already in prospect. There was to be a further more formal wash up session although it was not clear as to who all would be invited. Councillors and the CC were clear about their expectations that they should be invited.

Any Other Business

A question was raised about the considerations that had been given earlier in the year to the hours during which the Royal High School club house could be kept open. An update was sought. There being no other business the Chair thanked those present for their participation.

Date of Next Meeting:

  • The next meeting will be held on Thursday 15 October 2015.

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