Cramond & Barnton Community Council

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

PDF version of this page

Secretary’s report for 18 September 2014

Feedback from the Cramond Promenade Survey

More than 30 completed survey pro-forma were returned from a combination of Groups and individuals who took the time to indicate how they would prioritise the various issues listed on the pro-forma. Several also offered their own thoughts on other issues not listed but where they felt there to be a problem that required to be addressed.

What follows summarises the results from the returns:

Respondents’ Prioritisations of Pro-forma Issues

1. Repair of Joint Ownership Wall fronting on to promenade (health and safety concerns)
2. A disabled public toilet (with requirement for disabled car parking space from the Cramond Inn with access).
3. Safety rail down steps.
4. Disabled bays at the car park.
5. Car parking regulations on Cramond Glebe Road to mitigate congestion during summer weekends.
6. Walls at Maltings to be re-rendered and painted.
7. Repair harbour walls.
8. Tidy up car park, eg old meter boxes.
9. Re-render and paint houses in Village.
10. New landscaping around chairs and tubs on promenade.
11. Improved signage, including from the car park to prom.
12. Remove saplings from beach.
13. Improve landscaping, including sand around the Fish.

Other Promenade Improvements Volunteered by Respondents in Free Text (not prioritised )

Some 11 further issues where volunteered by respondents. Some were for more of a service or facility for example more litter bins, more public car parking spaces, more benches/picnic tables etc. Where there were commercial bins there was a concern about their positioning adjacent to public seating (and a plea that they be repositioned and/or disguised/corralled). The smell which seemed to emanate from the sewage pumping station needed to be addressed. And it was felt that signage could be improved.

The survey responses were forwarded to Council officers in the Almond Neighbourhood Partnership in July 2014 and has informed the production of an action plan which in turn will feed into a wider – and longer term Management Plan . The plan also includes a number of roads/traffic issues on which the Council is committed to action, including the area around the Barnton Shops and the traffic congestion challenges on Cramond Glebe Road , especially over summer weekends. I and Patricia Easson discussed the emerging action plan with officials in the Neighbourhood Partnership in August. The plan attributes responsibility to the various issues, provide a summary on progress along with a timetable for action where action remains outstanding. Going forward the plan will be updated at regular follow-up meetings with the Council (and reported back to the Community Council). The agenda for the Community Council meeting on 16 October will provide an opportunity for substantive discussion about what is covered within the plan and the process for further development.

A Proposed University Project at Cramond

Representatives of the Community Council, Cramond Association and Cramond Heritage Trust met staff of Edinburgh University School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA) in early July to discuss the potential for landscape architecture and urban design students to undertake a brief series of projects early in 2015 to hypothesise what changes they believe would improve Cramond’s ‘hard’ landscapes (e.g. Promenade, Car Park, streetscape through Cramond Village) and ‘soft’ landscapes (e.g. waterside, open spaces, paths). There is unlikely to be any financial commitment for the Community Council at this stage, other than perhaps hosting an exhibition and/or public meeting(s), but members of the Community Council and the local community will be invited to attend meetings with the students early in 2015 to provide local information and indicate their concerns and ideas for improvements. The University staff have offered to give a short introductory presentation to the Community Council on how the projects may proceed at a forthcoming meeting. The University and in particular the students benefit from learning by working on a project in a real community and we may get some good ideas for potential environmental improvements in and around Cramond – focusing on the historic Village, Waterfront and unmanaged open spaces.

Interpretation Liaison Group

An informal Interpretation Liaison Group has been set up to seek to coordinate and enhance the provision of orientation information and interpretation of the wildlife and history of Cramond, the River Almond Walkway and Cammo Estate for the benefit of the local community and its visitors. Its current membership includes representatives of the Community Council, Cramond Association, Cramond Heritage Trust, Friends of the River Almond Walkway and Friends of Cammo. Representatives of the City Council and others may be invited to join the Group as its work progresses.

Visitor Survey

The Interpretation Group recognised a need to understand the characteristics and activities of visitors to Cramond and the Walkway, and local residents who use the area, and what they want in the way of information and interpretation and wider aspects (e.g. environmental and path improvements, additional visitor facilities). Volunteers undertook questionnaire-based interviews over a weekday and weekend day in August and will undertake further interviews in October and December. This information will help in planning future improvements to tourist and recreational amenities and the local environment and support future grant applications for such projects.

Bus Services to Cramond

An issue which the Community Council was asked to pursue at the May meeting concerned the level of service provided by Lothian Buses to Cramond. My approach to Bill Anderson, the Operations Director of Lothian Buses raised these concerns, pointed out the some 8 other Lothian Bus services operated to localities within 1.5 miles of Cramond yet residents in Cramond and along Whitehouse Road and roads feeding onto Whitehouse Road had no choice other than the circuitous and often tortuous journey into town on the 41. The letter asked that the routes of the 41 and 43 be reviewed to provide for both to come down into Cramond with the proposal that the 41 route up and down Cramond Road South to Davidsons Mains and the 43 route up and down Whitehouse Road to the Barnton. (It pointed out that in so doing there would be occasions where at peak travel times such a route for the 41 would cut 20 to 30 minutes off journey times into town and may therefore encourage greater use by commuters from the Cramond area). Both revised services would in all probability require to go along Gamekeepers Road in order to be facing in the right direction for their return journeys. The letter recognised that to provide this more flexible service choice may have resource consequences and therefore suggested that reducing the frequency of each individual service may offer a means of achieving that choice at no additional cost. The substance of Mr Anderson’s response is extracted below:

“You make an interesting suggestion and I note also your comparisons with other neighbouring areas. My initial comments in relation to both these aspects of your email boil down to one key point, which is that bus service provision is determined on a commercial basis. Essentially, the level of service which can be provided is determined by the volume of demand, which translates into revenue, which must be sufficient to cover operating cost. Where demand is high, the service level is likely to be high, where the demand is lower, the service level will tend also to be lower. There is usually some correlation between population density and demand.

In relation to your specific suggestion as to how routes in and around Cramond might be adapted, the key judgement we have to make is a commercial one. We have no immediate plans to alter routes in the Cramond area but we review the network on a more or less continuous basis. I will ensure that when we review provision in this part of town we give full consideration to the particular concept you have proposed”.

Copies of the full transcript of the exchange will be made available at the meeting on 18 September 2014 for those in attendance – and can be made available on request (preferably by e-mailing me on I will contact Mr Anderson again in October if I have not heard further from him by then.

Cammo Development

The planning application for 670 housing units is due to be considered by the Council’s Development Planning Sub-Committee on Wednesday 17 September, 2014. 121 public submissions have been received not including those of statutory consultees, such as the Community Council (copy reply attached). In terms of comments left by the 15 members of the public who took the time to comment on the display boards set up in the church hall and at the Blackhall library 13 were against the development , one was for – providing any development was progressed sympathetically and with regard to the location’s significance at the gateway to Edinburgh and one was for – merely acknowledging the need for more houses . Confirmation has been received from the Council on 15 September that the Cammo application is not going to be determined by 17th September 2014. We are advised that discussions regarding the proposals are ongoing and in the event that the developer makes material revisions to the proposals then objectors and neighbours will be re-notified and given the opportunity to make further comments. We await further information on a revised proposed determination date. Relevant documents can be viewed at

The Motion agreed by the Planning Committee in June 2014 (see below) gives some hope to opponents that the proposals may be considered premature, given the current stage of the Local Development Plan and lack of adequate infrastructure. Time will tell whether this is just posturing.

Second Proposed Local Development Plan

At its meeting on 19 June 2014, the Planning Committee agreed that a Second Proposed Local Development Plan (LDP) be published for representations.

The timetable is –
22 Aug. – 3 Oct.: Publish Second Proposed LDP for 6 week representation period
Feb. 2015: Submit Second Proposed LDP to Scottish Govt. Ministers, followed by Examination* by independent Planning Inspectorate
Sept. 2015*: Report of Examination
Feb. 2016*: Adoption.
(* timescales subject to determination by Scottish Government/Ministers).

All those who submitted representations on the First Proposed LDP will require to re-submit representations on the Second LDP by 3 October 2014 for these to be considered. The annex attached provides a synopsis of the Community Council’s proposed representations to the document. A copy of the detailed draft representations will be on display (along with the LDP and supporting documentation) at the meeting on 18 September. Electronic copies of the drafts can be made available on request.

At the Planning Committee’s meeting in June, a key motion was agreed – elements of which are of relevance to the proposed housing site at Cammo (P.Scott comments in italics) –
In determining housing proposals on green belt and open space sites, prematurity will be a material consideration.

Commitment is given to protect as much of the green belt as possible and giving priority to brownfield sites.

The ‘East of Milburn Tower’ site is to be re-assessed. (This site comprises part of Murray’s extensive Edinburgh Garden District’ proposals and could possibly provide more flexibility in the inclusion/exclusion of other West Edinburgh sites, such as Cammo).

Sufficient infrastructure (e.g. education, health and roads provision) should be identified, costed, have a budget provision in the Corporate Action Programme, and an agreed implementation date, before housing development is initiated. (This could have significant implications for the timing of any developments at Cammo and Maybury).

Cammo Estate Advisory Committee

Cammo Home Farm

Following the fire at Cammo Home Farm on the Cammo Estate, Council officers have informed the Community Council that structural engineers have recommended taking down parts of the two affected gables and the remaining part of the damaged roof to make the building safe and that a temporary roof be installed to protect the remaining structure from the elements. The proposed purchaser has asked that the purchase price be reduced to allow for the rebuilding of these gables. The future of the building will be dependent on further negotiations between the prospective purchaser and the Council. Unfortunately, any reductions in the purchase price may affect future expenditures on amenities at Cammo Estate.

Responsibilities: David Kyles is back as Natural Heritage Officer responsible for Cammo.

Various Issues:

Users are asked to report to the Natural Heritage Service if they see any golf balls coming into the Estate from the golf course, or find golf balls on land adjacent to the golf course.

The Natural Heritage Service has undertaken projects with volunteer groups, including pathworks and a wildflower survey, and has removed fallen trees and tree limbs. It plans to repair sections of fence along Cammo Walk, strim paths and clear edges, cut and lift grass from the pastures, replace some iconic tree species, and repair and reposition some of the stone pineapples.

Consultations are being planned on the proposed Local Nature Reserve designation.
Friends of Cammo is to be consulted on the location of a commemorative bench seat.

A discussion paper on interpretation was discussed and, subject to agreement by Friends of Cammo, an electronic survey of users’ wishes on interpretation may be undertaken.

Edinburgh Airport Consultative Committee

Our Chair attended the quarterly meeting of this committee and reports the significant points of interest as follows. The airport is now clearing in excess of 10 million passengers per year. June was just under 1 million while July was comfortably above 1 million. New check-in procedures are progressively being installed in order to significantly reduce queuing times. The new security hall with new high tech. equipment will go live beginning in October also reducing substantially processing times. A new route to be operated from February by Easy Jet will connect Edinburgh to Madeira – the Chair in particular welcomes this added holiday option. For passengers requiring assistance the Service company Amey have increased staff from 42 to 73 over the past 2 years and added significant specialised equipment. The trams are now operational and both trams and the airport link bus service are being well used with in excess of 28% of passengers using public transport.

Cramond Chain Ferry

On 30 July the plans to develop a chain ferry received planning consent. The achievement of this not insignificant milestone owes much to the tireless efforts and dogged determination of Patricia and Iain Easson. Detailed consideration on how best to progress this will begin over the coming months.

The Dementia Response

All in the community are asked to note that what started as a coffee morning has now moved to a lunch-time slot meeting at 1:00pm in the Millennium Hall. Still on the first Monday of the month volunteers are always welcome to make the tea and coffee and chat with the increasing numbers of people attending.

Work continues to progress to try to create a dementia hub and memory garden to support dementia sufferers and their carers in the local and wider community. Dr Bobby Clafferty’s vision, enthusiasm and drive has been instrumental in pulling together a group of key people to help deliver this necessary and ambitious project. Again thanks are due to Patricia Easson for getting the ball rolling.

Proposed 20mph Speed Limit

The the City of Edinburgh Council has recently embarked on a period of consultation regarding its plans to move to introduce a 20mph speed limit across many of Edinburgh residential streets. All Community Councils have been used as a conduit to try to ensure that people across Edinburgh have an opportunity to review and to comment on what is proposed.

Any comments you may have should be returned by 17 October to

Ian Williamson
18 September 2014