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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 19th Jan 2017 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Peter Scott, Percy Feketey, Jean Morley, Alan Rust, Tim Mitchell, Gena Wylie, Marion Mitchell and Paul McLaughlin. A total of 27 people were in attendance including Councillors Norman Work and Alastair Sheilds.

Welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed those attending and noted apologies from Ross Wilkinson, Bert Scott and from Councillor Paterson.

Police Report

The police report was given by PC James Loosemore. In the 4 week period to date there had been 27 reported crimes in the WA05 area (covering Cramond, Barnton, Cammo, Davidsons Mains and Silverknowes of which 13 related to the CC area. 6 of these related to housebreaking – 3 break-ins in the Cammo and Braehead areas, 1 attempted housebreaking, 1 housebreaking but where nothing was taken and 1 incident where a suspected housebreaker was reported in the curtilage of the house.

Other crimes included theft from a vehicle, theft from a lock-up and a drug arrest in Marine Drive. A targeted police presence would be “visiting” the most affected local areas. PC Loosemore advised that following consideration Police Scotland had agreed to revert to the prior practice of leaving a written report. The CC were encouraged to reflect on what this should cover.

Residents were encouraged to consider adopting Neighbourhood Watch which was contributing towards reducing the incidence of break-ins in these areas where it had been adopted. Those with conservatories were asked to pay particular vigilance to the robustness of the internal doors and locks – and to make sure these were locked up at night and where the house was unoccupied.

Airport Report

Bob Brough provided an update on the work of the Airport Action Group which had been set up in January 2016. The Group had met on 6 or 7 times in that period including on 4 occasions with senior executives of the Airport. The key issue remained that of the flightpath and the findings of the first round of consultation was expected on Tuesday 24 January. What further action may be required would depend on the outcome to this first phase. In advance of the findings comments on the possible outcomes were speculative. The engagement process over the last year had left participants hopeful that the outbound flight path to the north east would see aircraft flying due north over Lord Rosebery’s estate before turning east over the Forth thus avoiding the populations of Barnton and Cramond.

For inbound flights the problem arose from the line which pilots took some 8 miles out and which set aircraft on a course over Cramond and Barnton. The existing technology which supported pilots was due to be renewed within the next 12 months and there Was the prospect that if the Airport invested in the new ARNAC system then deviation away from arriving over Cramond and Barnton was more likely.

An independent noise monitoring group is to be established and Andrew may be involved. Its powers and terms of reference have to be agreed. There were- concerns that the existing monitoring equipment was underreporting noise. New equipment had been promised which would record the noise levels for every flight leaving or approaching the airport.

Air pollution was a concern but the City of Edinburgh Council had agreed to assume the monitoring role. There had been a small increase in the numbers of night flights and without regulation there was a concern that this would continue to rise.

Overall while there were issues there was a sense of real engagement and a preparedness on the part of officials to listen.

A number of questions were raised and comments offered. It was reported that the Council used to regulate the Airport and that the process included the licensing of flights; was that no longer the case?

The Community Council should emphasise the need for the Airport expedite the investment in the new ARNAC system. Expectations about influencing the in-bound flight path were perhaps unrealistic and the community should not get its hopes up. Given the impact on this community it was argued that there was a very strong case for the Noise Management Board to have two seats on it from the locality – one from the CC and one from the Cramond Association.

The next meeting with the Airport Consultative Committee was scheduled for next week and in the coming days the next phase of the consultation process on flightpaths would commence. An event would be held in the church – dates to be agreed.

Salvesen Steps

Richard Adlington provided an update on the latest sorry saga of the Steps. A meeting that had taken place with Council officials (and the current Convenor of the Transport Committee) immediately before Christmas had revealed that an engineering assessment had determined that the existing wooden steps were dilapidated – and to an extent that was considered beyond repair. The whole wooden structure was to be taken down before the end of January. Better news was that the Council appeared to have responded to the concerns about the need for a temporary replacement structure while the discussions and plans for the permanent replacement continued. A temporary structure was to be assembled to replace the wooden structure which would be dismantled.

As to the future and a permanent replacement, the feasibility study was expected to be complete in February. The various surveys, geology, hydrology, engineering, landscape etc. were all but complete and the momentum required to secure the replacement seemed still to be there. The challenge would come from the extent to which the apparent existing buy-in from key Councillors would continue after the forthcoming Council elections. The Transport Convenor, for example, was one of the supporters who was standing down. Notwithstanding the fact that SUSTRANS were committed to funding 50% of the build costs the cheapest option was likely to costs more than £1m leaving a substantial gap for the Council to fund.

Planning Report

Peter Scott covered a number of different planning issues – the detail of most of which are covered in the written Report tabled at the meeting. Support was forthcoming for the proposed responses to the Council on the Fair-a-Far Weir improvements; the development of two 2-storey houses in the rear garden of 5 Essex Road; and on the PAN applications involving residential and associated developments north of Craigs Road.

A lively discussion followed on an application which had been received involving the development of a 10 apartment building on a site at 40 Barnton Avenue which application also provided for the demolition of the existing house. There was concern that the location was within the Barnton Avenue Conservation area; that what was proposed was of a mass and of building materials that were not sympathetic to the area However there were some views expressed which pointed to the existing eclectic mix of buildings and architecture on Barnton Avenue. There remained many traditional houses but there were also several contemporary designs of varying shapes and sizes. But it was agreed that the scale of the proposed build was significantly beyond any other building on the Avenue and risked setting an entirely new benchmark for the street. The CC would submit the concerns on behalf of the community.

On a more positive note, Peter Scott reported on the work ongoing on the promenade to repair and improve the area in front of the Maltings. Council officials had been responsive to some real-time suggestions about how best to present the area, improving the level of shelter around the benches and reducing the risk of the landscaping becoming a magnet for unsightly rubbish. The project contributed towards the realisation of the Cramond Vision.

Councillors Report

Norman Work reported that he had been advised that Council officials were preparing to serve an improvement notice on the owner of the house responsible for the wall which had fallen on to the promenade. The notice would demand the production of an engineer’s survey covering an assessment of the works which were required. He had also been speaking to officials about the concerns in relation to the Campus site.

The only concluding item of business was a plea for the Community Council to support the need for improvements to be made to the fabric of the pavement around the Cammo Estate. 

Date of Next Meeting.

  • Thursday 16 February 2017

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