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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 19th April 2018 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present:  Ross Wilkinson (Acting Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Percy Feketey, Jean Morley, Ross Wilkinson, Bert Scott, Michael Dick and Marion Mitchell.  Andrew Mather, Tim Mitchell and Gena Wylie had given their apologies as had Councillor Young.  A total of 16 people was in attendance including Councillors Lang, Hutchison and Work.

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending and gave a brief report on Andrew Mather who had undergone major surgery the day before. Best wishes were extended to him from all those present. The minute of the last, March 2018, meeting was approved. The Secretary reported on an adjustment he had made to the minute of the February meeting to reflect a question raised about the Council’s policy concerning single-manned commercial refuse lorries. The issue was one which members remembered being raised and approval to adjust the minute was given.

Police Report

The police report which was given by PC James Loosemore covered the calendar month of March. PC Loosemore also introduced his colleagues, Sergeant Scott Kennedy and PC Darren.  Across the Almond Ward there had been 65 reported crimes, 25 of which were in the Cramond, Barnton and Cammo areas and of these 12 had been solved. These included housebreakings, assaults, attempted theft, misuse of drugs, road traffic act offences and 2 which involved what was termed curtiledge of a building (meaning suspects being found in a garden with intent to steal or commit a crime). There had also been a fire-raising incident at Cramond Primary where police were pursuing a positive line of enquiry. There followed a discussion about what was meant by the term “solved” and which covered the difficulty in tracking, matching and reporting on crimes and their resolution.

Sergeant Scott reported on the recent re-instatement of the Community Safety Forum which had been in mothballs for some time following last year’s Council elections and the various governance considerations which had ensued. There was also a discussion about some recent attempted thefts involving the motor bikes in the Cammo area. These had occurred in April. Again, the suspects were known to the police are were indeed youths who were on curfew orders which they were breaching to attempt these latest crimes.

Chairman’s Report, Planning Report and Secretary’s Report

These three reports each drew heavily on the written report (report for April 2018) which was tabled at the meeting and which is now incorporated into these minutes.

On the matter of the Airport, the Chair read out the report which had been cleared with the Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Airport as representing an accurate reflection of the stage reached on this issue (see report). In Andrew’s absence, Stefan Slater would be representing the Community on the EACC.

Peter Scott described the details of the application which had been posted for 6 townhouses to be built on the site of an existing villa at 597 Queensferry Road. He went on to detail the reasons which the CC would be offering in response to the planners as to why this application should be declined – at least in its present formulation. Again, this is set out below. Some of the neighbours were present at the meeting and spoke of their concerns about the potential impact on them and n their houses, on traffic and on the complete disregard for the character of the area and of the traditional houses that were the existing milieu. Traffic and the proximity of the driveways to the main road were a concern. At a more detailed level so was the proposal that the plan provided for a narrow path to the rear of the townhouses to run towards the pavement on the Queensferry Road with an expectation that it would be on the pavement on the Queensferry Road that the various refuse bins from the houses would be placed, creating a hazard for road – and pavement users alike. There was wholesale agreement to the CC responding to the CEC on the basis of the grounds set out in the report.

Peter Scott spoke to the second issue covered in the Report which concerned planned changes to the Council’s scheme of delegation for householder planning applications. Here what was sought was a commitment from the Councillors that when the issue came up for discussion at full Council in June that they would seek to support the views in the CC in the debate. This agreement was given.

Last but by no means least on planning was Cammo Fields. Here Peter Scott reported that the Cala/David Wilson planning application was expected to be submitted imminently and before the next May CC meeting. The business for the May meeting would be devoted largely to this issue and on the CC’s position in its consideration. This would also cover the expected Traffic Impact Assessment.

There followed a discussion about the circumstances in which the CEC is expected to apply neighbour notification where a planning application has been made. While there was Council guidelines, there was a concern that these were not always being applied consistently with the risk that the opportunity for comment was on occasion being denied.

Then Chair thanked Peter Scott for all the work he had put into these planning issues.

John Skinner made a presentation on the legal intricacies surrounding the TRO which the CEC had been promoting in support of the planned care home to be built on the site at 18 Whitehouse Road. The objective was to persuade the local Councillors to make representations to the Convenor prior to the TRO coming before the Committee to advise that the TRO is ultra vires and should therefore be thrown out. He undertook to provide the form of words covering the nuances of the argument. There was also the challenge associated with the more recent changes to the Committee structures and responsibilities which was bringing fresh uncertainties around where TROs were to be considered.

Councillors Reports

Councillor Hutchison relayed a message received from Councillor Lang about the Sighthill Recycling Depot. Its future was secure; the construction work going on in the middle of the site concerned waste management processes. He was pursuing the vexed issue of the administrations plans to charge for uplifting of the brown garden refuse bins. Patrick Coogan had been tasked to review the issue of the recurrent flooding on the A9 over the bridge at Cramond Brig. Action had been taken concerning some of the vehicles parked in the layby beyond the Miller and Carter on the road into Barnton. The safety of the Cramond Primary School site was being reviewed following the recent fire-raising incident. Braehead Grove was on his radar – and that of Councillor Work.

Councillor Work said he and other Councillors were pressing for the introduction of a voluntary code of managing and limiting the number of night flights using the Airport. The NW Localities Committee was due to meet the following week to consider a number of TROs impacting on the CC area – along with other business.

Acronym’s used in these minutes

  • CEC = City of Edinburgh Council
  • CC = Community Council
  • EACC = Edinburgh Association of Community Councils
  • TRO = Traffic Regulation Order

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 17 May 2018