LHNCC minutes: March 2019

Minutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council ordinary meeting, held at Leith Community Centre on Tuesday 26 March 2019 at 6.30pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. Nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against an item.

1 Introductions and apologies for absence

1.a Present

Stewart Auld LHNCC Jennifer Marlborough LHNCC secretary PC Chris Smith Police Scotland
Colin Brown LHNCC Douglas Tharby LHNCC treasurer Lesley McGrath Holder Planning
Elaine Dick LHNCC vicechair Arthur Young LHNCC Ian Kerr Infrastructure Manager, Forth Ports
James Duff LHNCC Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary Matthew Benson Rettie
Rob Levick LHNCC chair Cllr Chas Booth Leith ward 2 residents

1.b Apologies

Don Giles LHNCC Cllr Adam McVey Leith ward Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith
Gillian Meek Victoria Primary School Cllr Gordon Munro Leith ward

2 Minutes of previous meeting

Approved without changes (proposed D Tharby, seconded J Duff, nem con)

3 Matters arising


4 Police report

PC Smith reported the following local issues of interest to, and activities by, Leith community policing team:

  • A drugs input to 13 to 16-year-olds at the Citadel youth group
  • A talk about internet safety etc at Victoria Primary School
  • Licensed premises visits to pubs in the Newhaven area. No issues were detected.
  • Receipt of intelligence about cannabis-smoking and antisocial behaviour (ASB) in Willowbank Row.
    • So there have been plain-clothes patrols against this.
  • A few thefts of bikes at Ocean Terminal (OT) and Portland Gardens
    • So there will be a bike-marking even on 14 April, probably at Ocean Terminal (time to be confirmed)
  • Youths at OT are currently an issue, hence police are patrolling here.
  • Police were at the 50th anniversary party for Leith community education centre.
  • Operation Contrition continues: this is high visibility patrols in Cables Wynd etc against violence and ASB.
  • Concerning boy racers, there have been no calls to police about this but PC Smith was at OT on Friday and saw some.
    • The safety camera partnership van will be at Ocean Drive from 1st April.
  • PC Weaver visited Bonnington nursery about (road) safety
  • A german naval vessel is docked at Leith. Officers have advised the crew about local laws.
  • It was noted that information about parking on the pavement is now on LHNCC’s website.

5 Reports

5.a Secretary: Western Harbour Development Report

See also item 6 below.

J Marlborough (JM) reported

  • LHNCC’s planning team met to consider the Western Harbour (WH) planning situation.
    • JM has since phoned the developers for further information, and received further information and responses from the Elements owners’ association (EOA) and Western Harbour residents’ association (WHRA).
    • The concern is that the first phase of building will only include about 1/3 of the park, nearest to the new school.
    • The balance of the area that would become the park will be used for parking builders’ vehicles etc
    • The rest of the park would be built during building phase 2 (the waterfront area).
  • But this phase has not yet received planning permission, so there is concern that park may not be completed.

A resident from EOA added that

  • EOA understands builders need to keep equipment somewhere but by using Western Harbour Drive, builders’ vehicles are likely to damage already-planted green areas, cause congestion on an already-busy bus route and endanger children walking to Victoria Primary school, because they need to cross this road.
  • There are positive aspects: Heart of Newhaven is trying to work with the developers on landscaping. There are many volunteers who want to get involved with improving the area.

It was recalled from February that the developers were considering bringing in some materials by sea.

It was suggested that building of the new school would add to the congestion.

It was suggested that the new plans are contrary to the stated policy of building the park at the same time as the housing.

Other issues raised by WH owners include short-stay (AirBnB etc) accommodation and the planned ‘events’ area for Park

Action: S Auld to ask Platinum Point owners for their input, queries and concerns.

5.b Treasurer

LHNCC current balance £771·97

6 Forth Ports (FP) representatives: Western Harbour Development, to address issues identified in Planning Team Report

The FP representatives responded to questions previously sent to them by LHNCC’s planning team:

  1. Very large development incurring traffic management issues?
    • Forth Ports’ transport advisors have rechecked a traffic assessment and confirmed road capacity is available. There has also been an audit by CEC. The AMC application (current stage) is about design detail. Within that, design priorities are walking and cycling via segregated routes, including access to school, shops, and the medical centre. There have been positive discussions with Lothian Buses about extending their network into the site, which has been designed to accommodate such public transport. There will also be the tram. (These will also benefit existing residents.)
    • The developers will also consider traffic signals at the entry to site from Sandpiper Drive.
  2. Environmental implications
    • The outline PPP application was submitted with an environmental impact assessment (EIA). That considered air quality, ecology and noise. There is ongoing air-quality measurement.
    • The PPP application and EIA are 15 years old, but FP also commissioned a phase 1 habitat survey in 2018. This reported no constraints. Further applications will look at air quality and noise, and will involve engagement with SEPA, SNH etc.
  3. Who will fund building of Park? Funding – Scottish Government?
    • The park will be funded from the same budget as the overall development. So funding will be secured for all of the development, including the park.
    • The park, which will be public, will be maintained after construction by a maintenance company.
      • This will be funded from the development, i.e. from all houses including Western Harbour, Elements and Platinum Point due to an existing deed of condition.
      • This will be separate to the current factoring fees.
  4. All mid-market rental, affordable housing not included – not necessary?
    • The current AMC application for 938 units is part of the existing consented master-plan. All necessary affordable housing has already been delivered. All of this development will be mid-market rent (MMR).
    • There are no plans to include short-stay commercial visitor accommodation or serviced apartments.
    • Slide 20 shows the 938 units of phase 1, while slide 21 adds the waterfront development.
  5. Disabled and elderly facilities?
    • The architect confirmed that it is important that the development is accessible to all. Building regulations and other legislation require various provisions. An example is level access to all buildings from streets. All flats will be accessible via the ground or lifts (or stairs in case of fire). There will be accessible parking spaces etc, in line with CEC guidance.
  6. Waterfront area not included in this application – what will starting date be?
    • The current application is for 938 houses, then [part of] the park.
    • There is no fixed starting date for other phases. Options are being carefully considered to establish phase 2’s viability. A Scottish Government loan is needed to trigger additional applications because they involve significant spend.
  7. Phasing – northern section of Park last and being used for site vehicles and equipment for
    Phase 1 and Phase 2 of site. Design Access Statement 4 (19/00986/AMC) Phasing: Condition 4
    page 70.

    • Construction of the development will start in the south, and travel north. Engineering works are needed at the waterfront. Mounds of soil there will be moved back into park area to allow the park’s completion. Completion of the park will occur if/when it is clear that waterfront will not go forward to development [if phase 2 is not completed].
    • The park cannot be finished to the levels planned without finishing phase 2. However a park of some kind can be delivered when phase 1 finished.
    • Phase 2 can proceed as soon as the Scottish Government has finished due diligence.
    • Landscaping matters within the application documentation are about landscaping within phase 1.
  8. Many documents relating to landscaping for entire Park in both applications
    • FP has submitted a planning application for the full park. Now FP has split the process of delivery so that part of the park is delivered with phase 1, with the balance being delivered with phase 2 [or after phase 2 is abandoned].
    • The park is needed to attract tenants, so there are commercial reasons for completing it.
    • FP faces the challenge of building a large number of houses quickly in a small site. Hence, inter alia, FP is considering options for on-sit manufacture to build the houses.
    • Ports are still FP’s core business, so they are trying to bring in material via the port. However, the construction industry is very roads-oriented, so this is a challenge. FP would like to use ports all along the waterfront to East Lothian.
  9. Note from LHNCC Minutes 26/6/2018

The masterplan’s central park is in these current
applications, but will follow CEC’s current guidance, e.g. all-weather pitch, potential for outside teaching, large open spaces, play spaces, trim-tracks for walking/running. It will be about the size of the East Princes Street Gardens. The park will not have any buildings and Maintenance is to be agreed with CEC. Forth Ports have now stated that they will be responsible for maintenance.

    • This point was not discussed separately, but see question 3 above.
  1. Full environmental response regarding carbon-neutral plans for developments
    • This point was not discussed separately.

6.a Other comments and questions

  • R Levick noted many sources of congestion, especially on Newhaven Place, and suggested that construction traffic enters the site via Sandpiper Drive.
  • The EOA resident noted that Heart of Newhaven (HoN) wishes the whole community to hang together, and so there should not be two developments battling each other. HoN is developing many ideas around using the current Victoria primary school, and so has many volunteers keen to be involved in temporary planting where available during construction.
  • However, anti-development feeling is rising, so he suggests not using the main road (presumably Newhaven Place and Western Harbour Drive) because it is a route used by children living in the development travelling to school. When the new school is in place, they will need to cross the main road. There are also concerns about the park.
    • FP representatives reiterated that the park is being phased only due to practical engineering needs. Otherwise FP would prefer to deliver the park up-front. FP’s internal workshops have considered how to use the park as a key to community-building, even though such topics cannot be covered by a planning application. FP very much appreciates the points raised about traffic management: traffic management plans reflect such points, and there have been many discussions with CEC on traffic management, so that such issues will be addressed.
    • FP understands the importance of community engagement, so this will continue.

7 Councillors’, MSP’s, MP’s reports

7.a Cllr Booth

  • CEC decided in February to cease locality committees and neighbourhood partnerships (NPs). Now CEC is creating Neighbourhood Networks (NNs) to undertake community planning, as subgroups of the Edinburgh Partnership. However it is not yet clear how NNs will relate to elected councillors or community councils. NE locality committee met today but this shed no light on this question. A report will go to CEC’s corporate policy and strategy committee in May. It is hoped that more clarity will be available by then.
    • All three Leith cllrs are pushing hard for local initiatives such as LeithCHooses will continue. He recognises that CEC needs strong relationships with CCs, and that NPs provided this, so is keen for NNs to continue this.
    • All three Leith cllrs are keen for significant CC input to continue.
    • All are keen for citizen input into the trams to continue.
  • The bridge from Lindsay Road to North Fort St will not be demolished until the ward cllrs have been briefed (date TBC). All three prefer it to be retained.
    • It was asked whether this could be added to the trams ‘supplementary projects’. Action: Cllr Booth to ascertain.

7.b Cllr Munro

See his report online. B Ryan read out the parts that were not party-political. The text is in appendix 1 below.

8 Planning team reports and updates

At this point, C Brown strongly objected to the amount of time spends on planning applications.

Detail of all applications is available on LHNCC’s planning web-page

8.a Western Harbour Development: 19/00986/AMC& 19/01040/AMC

LHNCC members stated the following about this development.

  • There were concerns about the phasing timescale.
  • There is much goodwill for this project, and hope this isn’t taken for granted.
  • FP appeared to be positive and pro-community. Could they route traffic via ASDA? (JM noted this is an another application for area adjacent to ASDA on Sandpiper Dr.)
  • The members support the development, especially the on-site factory, but also hopes that goodwill isn’t taken for granted.
  • The members were quite taken by the on-site factory innovation. All construction involves much movement of material.
  • On the whole, this development is desirable in principle but LHNCC must mention its concerns, in its response to get assurance that they will dealt with. It was agreed unanimously to support the application in Principle.

Cllr Booth noted that in general CEC planning committees prefers detailed comments from CCs on planning applications.

8.b Sandpiper Drive (new): 19/00915/AMC

  • Date for comment extended to 2/4/19
  • This is for the vacant site outside ASDA. JM noted there may be some safety concerns due to proximity to the petrol station.

8.c S1: Skyliner: Application for Variation of Consent 16/03684/FUL& 16/03684/VARY

  • Permission granted 6/3/19
  • E Dick noted that tower blocks in the most recent plans are higher than previously proposed, and that landscaping has gone.
  • Public consultation: Ocean Terminal, Wednesday 27 February (12:00 to 19:00)

8.d 198 Great Junction St. (Art Deco Cinema): 2 Ocean Drive 18/09563/FUL& 18/09850/AMC

  • Permission has been granted as application as determination does not carry with it any necessary consent or approval for the proposed development under other statutory enactments.
  • D Tharby expressed concerns related to demolition work
    • Roof material is being removed using a crane as cherry-picker, so there is a potential safety issue.
    • Roofing material may be caught in the wind and end up in the Water of Leith.
    • Remaining parts of the building are held up by external steel girders, so maybe something has gone wrong.
      • Action: Cllr Booth to follow up these concerns with building standards and other relevant bodies.

9 CCTT (Community Councils Together on Trams)

  • CEC Transport and Environment Committee Meeting: Final Business Case (FBC) approved at Hearing 28/2/19.
  • Presentations were provided by CCTT representatives.
  • CEC Full Council Meeting 14/3/19: FBC approved (36 for; 26 against)
  • CCTT will continue to meet with Tram Team in the following months to monitor progress.

10 Local events & feedback

detail available on LHNCC ‘other work’ web-page

10.a Leith Community Centre 50th anniversary party 10/3/19

JM noted that this was very good, and included belly-dancing, although attendance was lower than expected.

10.b CEC Edinburgh Connecting our City – Engagement Workshop 11/3/19

LHNCC members have taken part in this.

10.c LeithChooses

  • Results event and feedback/review took place on 12/3/19
  • Winners are now on LeithChooses’ website. The ‘boost’ vote system worked.
  • The chair congratulated all LHNCC members who took part.

10.d Save Leith Walk

Public Meeting 13/3/19: Presentation and a hustings for Leith Walk by-election with presentations from candidates.

  • SLW is looking into a community buy-out of the site.
  • It has started an online petition to reopen the boarded-up shops.
  • The by-election husting was well-managed and respectful.
  • SLW is meeting tonight to decide the way forward.
  • Public consultations about the at139Leith Walk across from Stead’s Place are going ahead.
    • Cllr Booth noted that this came to CEC’s planning committee recently. There was much discussion re permeability etc.

11 CEC and Scottish Government consultations

detail available on LHNCC events web-page

JM noted there is a new consultation on Waverley station. Action: JM to circulate details

11.a CEC community council scheme

Closes 22/4/19: https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/ce/edinburgh-community-council-scheme-review

11.b Community Councils – Discussion Event (20/3/19)

  • LHNCC office bearers discussed this and item 11a recently. They noted that there is nothing on planning in the new scheme.
  • It was noted that CCs are now not statutory consultees on listed building or demolition consents, but can still comment.
  • Action: B Ryan to chase David Leslie for a reply on this, and if nothing is forthcoming, to contact Cllr Booth for further chasing.


12.a Revive proposal regarding LRT route 21 via Western General Hospital (WGH)

  • JM showed a map that confirmed that no buses go from the north east of Edinburgh to the WGH
  • Action: JM to contact Paul Lawrence (CEC director of place) about this.
  • JM is also trying to find numbers of patients and staff t the WGH who might use such a service. Action: Cllr Booth to investigate.

12.b Rebranding of Ocean Terminal

It was noted that there is a planning application to rebrand as Porta! to attract designer outlets. LHNCC members did not support this name.

12.c Suggestions for newsletter

These included

Newhaven Gala Leith festival
LeithChooses Quintinshill memorial service
21 Bus Custom House and Coburg House open doors

13 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 23 April 2019


Appendix 1: Cllr Munro’s report

Council Business

Once again I asked the Council Leader if he, along with the Deputy Leader, would meet with the Finance Minister at Holyrood to make the case for full and fair funding for Edinburgh.

Once again my enquiry was sidestepped and his reply framed as another question.

‘What cuts should be made to budgets to fund Edinburgh?’

This rather than put the case for powers to be used to raise funds.

The focus on cuts shows the reluctance to use Scottish Government powers to help Councils.

Tourist Tax

The City Council agreed to support a Transient Visitor Levy scheme that would be submitted to the Scottish Government and further would press for enabling legislation for the powers to be granted as soon as possible.

The Conservatives opposed this despite it being a funding source available to cities throughout Europe.

This needs to be supplementary income for Councils and not replacement incomefor cuts made by Holyrood. It will still be a struggle to make this happen as it is clear that the Scottish Government will listen to the voice of the British Hospitality Association before that of your Council.

Edinburgh Transient Visitor Levy Consultation 2018

Council Budget

On 21st February the Council set its budget – a budget that means cuts of £33.1 million for 2019/20 which is part of a programme of cutstotalling £147 million to 2022.

In addition to representatives from Unite, members from GMBand Unisonwere also present demonstrating outside the City Chambers.

Scottish Government policies protect 58% of the budget which means that cuts have to be made from the other 42% placing real strain on resources. The budget means job cutsand a further set of reports are due which will detail those cuts.

All Scottish Councils face the same problem though Edinburghhas the lowest block grant per personin the whole of Scotland. This has to change and only the Scottish Government can change the funding for Councils in Scotland. I made this point in my speech on the day using a quote from ‘As you like it’ to illustrate the point.

Gordon Munro 21 February 2019 – Council Revenue Budget Framework (2019-2020)

Leith Chooses

Leith Community Education Centre was the place to be on 23rd February. 1,267 people voted on how £44,000 of funds should be allocated for over 30 local projects. It was a great example of how much good work is done in Leith by a range of groups.

The voting included a special pink voting slip for the under 7’s so that they could cast a vote along with the adults. The results were announced at a special meeting in the Centre on 6th March.

In my view, all were winners even if they didn’t get the funding as many made connections with other groups that would help their work continue in the community.

Leith Neighbourhood Partnership

The last meeting of this community planning partnership was held on 27th February. It is still unclear what form its replacement will take but the committee unanimously agreed with my proposal that the official minute record our thanks to the community for its involvement in the work of the partnership.

It also unanimously agreed a motion I proposed to be sent to Edinburgh Partnership so that successful initiatives such as ‘LeithChooses’ can continue in the future.

It is important that this innovation is not lost, especially when you get more folk through the door than all the other council committees put together.

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