Secretary’s Report April 2018
8/01100/FUL, 597 QUEENSFERRY ROAD: DEMOLITION OF HOUSE AND ERECTION OF 6 TERRACED TOWNHOUSES
The proposal is to replace the substantial villa at the corner of Queensferry Road and Cammo Road with a terrace of 6 townhouses on Cammo Road frontage. CBCC has been approached by several neighbours and its proposed submission reflects their concerns and comprises, in summary
- a statement of concern at the applicant’s blatant disrespect for the planning process, as in advance of the application, the site has been denuded of many trees and other vegetation, which could have provided landscaping demolition of the traditional villa is justified by it needing repairs. It appears structurally sound and could be modernised; thereby, maintaining the character of the local area. Illustrations under-represent the scale, height and obtrusiveness of the development. The application ignores the Council’s planning policies and design guidance statements of support have been elicited from individuals with no apparent relationship to the immediate neighbourhood of the development.
- detailed reasons for refusal, including references to LDP policies, Edinburgh Design Guidance and guidance for traditional villa areas. In particular, the proposed submission seeks refusal on grounds of the application
- ignoring the settled character of the area – which comprises substantial villas or bungalows set back from the road frontage and in relatively large gardens
- proposing over-development of the site – as the mass, depth and height of the 3-storey terrace is out-of-scale with surrounding buildings
- having a building line substantially in front of that of neighbouring houses
- comprising a monolithic terrace of houses, of a mass and scale and in such proximity to adjacent properties, as will significantly affect their amenity, privacy and lighting
- being deficient in landscaping provision, with prior removal of trees having removed any landscape context for the development
- proposing individual parking areas and accesses for each house from/onto Cammo Road, in close proximity to the Queensferry Road junction, which is contrary to safe road design. Also, siting of car parking immediately between the housing terrace and road is contrary to Edinburgh Design Guidance.
CHANGES TO COUNCIL’S SCHEME OF DELEGATION FOR HOUSEHOLDER PLANNING APPLICATIONS – PROPOSED STANCE OF CBCC
The Planning Service has notified community councils of proposed changes to the Scheme of Delegation, whereby officers have delegated powers to make decisions on householder planning applications, including listed building applications, without these going to the Committee for decision.
This is not a consultation, but proposed changes will go to full Council in June and our Councillors will have the opportunity to seek changes at that stage. It is proposed that CBCC seeks support from our Councillors for the following
- Proposed changes: The Planning Service proposed that officers should have delegated powers to approve/refuse all householder application. The current threshold for applications to be referred to the Committee is 6 objections. The Committee rejected the Planning Service’s proposals and proposes raising the threshold to 20 objections.
CBCC’s observations: In more rural or some suburban situations, 20 objections is too high a threshold. For example, at Dowies Mill Cottages, if all residents and community groups objected to a proposal, this would not come near 20 objections. Also, the threshold takes no account of the ‘weight’ of each objection; for example, 1 person’s objection has the same weight as that of a community council or resident’s association. CBCC suggests that all applications objected to by a community council be referred to the Committee for decision; otherwise a threshold of 6-8 objections should apply.
- Proposed changes: The Planning Service proposed that applications could be refused by officers no matter what level of support, unless the community council supported the application as a statutory consultee. The Committee decided that a threshold of ‘more than 20 supports’ should apply to refusals and apply to all local developments, including housing developments of up to 49 houses.
CBCC’s observations: This not critical to CBCC, as the community council’s support is given weight and the applicant retains the opportunity to seek a local hearing or to appeal.
- Proposed changes: There are no delegated powers in respect of petitions for/against an application. Officers had proposed that petitions be treated as 1. and 2. above. The Committee decided that petitions should not be taken into account in respect of house extensions or alterations.
CBCC’s observations: CBCC considers that each petition should be treated as a single objection.
- Proposed changes: The Committee supported officers’ recommendations that
- where there is an unresolved objection from a statutory consultee (this would include a community council) and officers recommend the application for approval, it should be decided by Committee
- where an application is recommended for refusal by officers, but it is supported by the community council, it will not be decided under delegated powers (CBCC’s interpretation of an unclear statement by CEC).
CBCC’s observations; These changes would appear to strengthen a community council’s role.
The Chair has provided the following up-date on the flight paths issues. The statement drafted by Andrew has been cleared by the Chief Executive of the Airport as reflecting an accurate statement of the current position.
Flight path proposal update. Edinburgh Airport have tried out both offset arrivals and banked take offs on a computer simulator. While both are flyable they also have associated issues.
Discussions are ongoing between EDI representatives and the CAA. It is not possible to determine whether these discussions are the forebears of possible good or bad news. I am confident that EDI are trying their best to get a good outcome for Cramond. We will keep you informed of any substantive progress.
The Council’s action in serving a statutory notice on the owner of the house on Cramond Glebe Road requiring the repair of the garden wall which had collapsed, much of it on to the promenade, has achieved some progress. While the property has in the interim been sold the Council’s lawyers have advised us that the new owner has confirmed that the wall will be re-built by him and that he intends to start these works as soon as possible.