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

Minutes of Meeting held on Thurs 20th June 2019 in

Cramond Kirk Millennium Hall

Present: Andrew Mather (Chair), Ian Williamson (Secretary), Ross Wilkinson, John Howison, Jean Morley, Bert Scott, Peter Scott, Percy Feketey and Michael Dick.   Marion Mitchell and Councillors Lang and Work had given their apologies.   A total of 25 people were in attendance, including Councillors Hutchison and Young. 

Minutes of May 2019 Meeting

The minutes of the meeting in May was approved.

Police Report

PC Martin Claws provided a report covering May 2019. The month had been quiet in terms of criminality in the area with one housebreaking, the theft of lead flashings from a building, an incidence of speeding on Whitehouse Road. There were also incidents of damage to the new community bikes in the area.

Work continued to try to address the ASBO issues relating to the gathering of youths with the often-attendant theft, damage and abuse that followed. There was a regular police presence around the D’Mains Tescos – and the old bus stop that used to be located near the now Costa Coffee had been removed (youths have used it as a gathering point with sufficient proximity to Costa Coffee for them to have wi-fi access!). A campaign was also beginning and targeted at youths to educate about the risks attaching to the use and abuse of alcohol which was often a factor fuelling some of the behaviours which led to criminality. Sergeant Kennedy was leading a summer programme of initiatives.

Chairman’s Report

The Chairman reported that on the Airport work was underway to re-state the case in support of emerging flightpaths to the Civil Aviation Authority under the new procedures and that it was hoped that the new systems would be in place in time for Spring 2020 supporting the scope for the diverted departures that would largely avoid Cramond. On the Crosswinds proposed development, the early engagement that had begun was just that – engagement to help shape the plan for the development of the site. John Howison had undertaken to go to the next meeting with the developers. Plans were progressing to address the issue of the current single route of roads access to the Airport with the Airport being prepared to meet the costs in the short term.

On the Glebe Road TRO, a Reporter had been appointed to consider how to proceed against the background of appeals having been submitted by some 170 people. The key focus of the Community Councils objections rested on the view that the TRO created or at least exacerbated a safety hazard which did not currently exist around the mid-section of Cramond Glebe Road. The CC stood ready to present its case at such hearing to be called – expected date mid-August.

The Chairs of the constituent north-west Community Councils (and DMSA) had met to agree on a position in relation to the various developments in the locality and the aggregate impact on infrastructure, especially roads. Increasing congestion and the resultant impact on emissions was a shared concern. Together they had met with Councillors and officials responsible for transport and the environment. Several possible solutions had been considered, including car parking charging, congestion charging, bus priority lanes but solutions remained elusive with all of the possible way forward carrying their own difficulties.

Further meetings had been sought with the Chair of the Development Management Sub-Committee to discuss the process underpinning the approval of the Cammo Fields Planning application. A meeting had also been set up with John Inman to discuss the implications of the decision and the continuing concerns about the infrastructure gap. John Skinner raised a point of governance regarding the Sub-committee considerations, and that was that the papers for the next meeting of 19 June contained no record of the considerations of 22 May. There was no public record of what had been agreed. Councillor Hutchison undertook to look into this.

It was confirmed that Councillor Hutchison had been appointed as the returning officer for the forthcoming Community Council elections.

Planning Report

Peter Scott spoke to the report which had been tabled at the meeting.

Cammo Development Approved

The Cammo development of 655 houses has been approved by the Development Management Sub-Committee. This is not surprising given that the site was identified for housing in the Local Development Plan. At a Hearing, Councillors Lang and Hutchison and MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton argues robustly for refusal. The Community Council accepted that the area was allocated for development, but identified the key issues of infrastructure provision, traffic congestion, etc. and advocated a delay in the Committee’s decision until a full infrastructure plan and a roads plan were approved by Committee.

Duncan Fraser provided a strong representation on behalf of Davidson’s Mains & Silverknowes Assoc. (and CBCC), identifying traffic and air pollution issues and seeking a full traffic assessment, taking account of wider traffic issues than the developers had assessed. Cammo Residents Assoc. also made a presentation. The developers made a strong presentation in favour of the development, stressing the high quality of design, a mix of housing, etc.

Only Councillor Osler picked up the traffic issues to any extent, but issues of uncertainties over infrastructure provision were largely ignored by Committee members and were countered by the planners – not always giving full or accurate information to the Committee. CBCC’s Secretary has prepared a note on his observations on the hearing and process underlying the decision, which has been circulated to Community Council members and will be included on the CBCC website.

Craigiehall Proposals Withdrawn

Proposals for a large-scale, mixed-use, development, including housing, hotel, primary school, park-and-ride, etc., on the former MoD site at Craigiehall and adjacent land owned by Dalmeny Estate, have been withdrawn by the applicants, following a damning report prepared the CEC planners for a forthcoming Planning Hearing at which CBCC would have made a presentation. The Report sought refusal on a large number of grounds, including non-allocation in SESplan and the LDP, traffic, aircraft noise, landscape and heritage impacts, etc. The reasons for refusal echoed many of those identified in CBCC’s previous submission. It is likely that Dalmeny Estates and their partners will seek inclusion of this site in the next LDP.

Planning Bill

The Planning Bill will undergo its final consideration in Parliament on 18-20 June. Following substantial changes made at stage 2, Ministers and officials have worked with stakeholders to shape further amendments with the intention of returning the Bill to the aims of creating a streamlined and more effective planning system. Some 200 amendments fall to be discussed. The mooted third party right of appeal against planning approvals is unlikely to be supported. This is regrettable; the view of this Community Council – and many others- remains that a right of appeal should be supported for Community Councils clearly balanced by a requirement that none should be vexatious. (The language in the new Code of Conduct would appear to provide the necessary challenges about being clear regarding the substance of any appeal and that they were material).

SESplan 2

In May 2019, Ministers rejected SESplan 2, the strategic development plan for South East Scotland. After considering the plan and the Examination report in detail, Ministers came to this decision as the spatial strategy is not supported by an adequate or timely transport appraisal. The lack of a sufficient transport appraisal to inform the preparation of the Plan is a fundamental deficiency which has led to rejecting the plan. It is now a case of wait and see.

Dowies Weir

The Council’s report on recent consultations on its proposals for removal of Dowies Mill Weir is now available for viewing at CBCC has not had time to digest the report fully, but the Friends of the River Almond Walkway’s Newsletter’s statement, referring to the consultation (as below), coincides with our initial assessment – i.e. ‘This is a stage in the process that will lead to a proposal being submitted to the appropriate Council committee. It had been hoped that account would have been taken of what was the large majority view that the original proposal was gravely flawed and that providing a proper survey was undertaken, repairing and adapting the current weir would be the best solution and would avoid the visual and environmental damage and would cost less. A brief look at the new paper indicates that this is regrettably not the case’.

An initial reading of the consultation report suggests that it is biased strongly in favour of removal of the current weir. Indeed, the final section contains a series of quotes from those on favour (37% of respondents) but does not balance this with contrary statements from the 63% opposed to this. Similarly, it focuses on assessments of the Council’s proposals but gives little or no consideration of the counterproposals submitted by FRAW.

It was noted that the Lord Provost had no knowledge of this sensitive project.

Secretary’s Report

The Secretary spoke to those issues which had been covered in the report as tabled.

The Cramond Inn

Following last month’s meeting, a “chaser” was sent in follow-up to the enquiry made to the Licensing Standards Officer in April. A response has now been received which confirms that the Inn is operating in accordance with the primary legislation (in the case the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005.

I have also discussed the Community Council’s interest in the Inn with the manager. I have emphasised that the decision of the Community Council to write to the Licensing Board was borne out of a frustration at what was at the time another of several periods of closure due to management churn. Doing nothing was no longer tenable. He and his partner have now been running the Inn for several weeks now, and I wished them both every success. I believe we share what is a common goal and one which I also believe the vast majority of people within the community would support – and that is for the Inn to once again be an asset to the community and Edinburgh and to be known for its good food and drink.

The need for significant work to upgrade the kitchens has meant that the Inn is currently not serving food. It is also at present operating on a cash-only basis. The managers have a programme of works designed to address these – and other issues where maintenance is required. With the brewer’s support and appropriate local operating freedom for the management, we may be confident for the future.

Community Council Elections

We have now received from the Council information about the imminent round of Community Council elections due to take place this September. The following is extracted from the e-mail received:

Individual Community Councillors

The timetable for the election of individual community councillors is as follows:

  • Monday 9 Sept – Publication of Notice of Election (start of nomination period
  • Monday 30 Sept 4 pm – Deadline for nominations (forms to Returning Officer)
  • Monday 30 Sept 4 pm – Deadline for withdrawal of nominations
  • Thursday 10 October – Publication of Notice of Poll (if a poll is required)
  • Thursday 31 Oct – Polling Day (if a poll is required)

Nominated Representatives

Community councils have both elected members and representatives from recognised local interest groups. The timetable for the election of representatives of local interest groups is as follows:

  • Monday 9 Sept – Notice of Election
  • Monday 30 Sept – Close of Registration

Distribution of nomination forms and other materials

Individuals seeking election to a community council must be nominated by a proposer and seconder, both of whom must be on the electoral register for the community council area. Each elector may only propose one nominee and second one nominee. Nominations require to be submitted with the candidate’s consent. Self-nomination is not permitted. Individuals who wish to be nominated as elected members are sent the following by the Returning Officer or can obtain them from the Council website:

I. Nomination form for Elected Member;
II. Copy of publicity leaflet; and
III. Copy of the City of Edinburgh Scheme for Community Councils. (Also available online

Local interest groups, who wish to put someone forward as a nominated member must be registered with the Council. They will be sent the following by the Returning Officer:

I. Nomination/Registration form for Local Interest Groups;
II. Copy of publicity leaflet; and
III. Copy of the Scheme for Community Councils; which contains Procedure for the Appointment of Community Council Nominated Members. (Also available online

Close of nomination period – 30 September 2019

Nominations will close on 30 September 2019 at 4 pm. Nomination forms submitted to the Returning Officer will then be checked to ensure that nominees, proposers and seconders are all registered electors for the relevant community council area. The Returning Officer will count the number of validly completed nomination forms.

At this point, there can be three outcomes:

1. Uncontested election – if the number of nominees is equal to or more than half the number of permitted members but does not exceed the maximum number of permitted members the candidates will be declared duly elected, and no poll will need to be held.

2. Contested election – if the number of nominees is more than the maximum number of permitted members then a poll is required. Where an election is contested, it will be conducted by secret ballot of local electors, organised by the Returning Officer in accordance with the Scottish Local Election Rules but subject to modification. Voting in a contested election will be a combination of e-voting and postal voting. Polling day would be 31 October 2019.

3. Unsuccessful elections – If the number of nominees is less than half the number of permitted members, no community council will be established.

Local interest group – nominated members

Registration forms for local interest groups should be returned to the Council’s Elections Team who will ensure that qualifying organisations are appropriately registered by the close of nominations (30 September 2019). The Elections Team will inform the Returning Officer of the number of valid application forms received. Where the number of nominations does not exceed the maximum number of nominated members, those nominees will be declared duly elected.

Should the number of nominees registered exceed the maximum number of nominated members, the Returning Officer will convene a meeting of representatives from all registered local interest groups and the elected members of the community council. Participants at this meeting will vote by ballot to determine which local interest groups will become members.

Promotion of the 2019 community council elections

The Council will take the lead on the promotion of the elections. It is not the role of individual community councils to prepare their own leaflets or spend their funds on publicity about the election. This does not, however, preclude the use of the community council’s newsletters or social media accounts to raise awareness of the election.

Information about the elections will appear on plasma screens in libraries and Council offices.

Posters, leaflets and flyers will be available to the public in libraries, community centres, Council offices and GP surgeries. This information will also be distributed to Registered Tenants Organisations, Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and a range of voluntary groups.

I have written to enquire when we should expect to receive the information packs and to ask if they are writing to schools and colleges in an effort to attract youth involvement. Councillor Hutchison said that he would pass on the forms to the Secretary as soon as he received them.

Acronym’s used in these minutes
  • TRO = Traffic Regulation Order
  • LDP = Local Development Plan
  • SESPlan = South East Scotland Strategic Development Plan
  • FRAW = Friends of the River Almond Walkway

Date of Next Meeting

  • Thursday 19 September 2019