LHNCC August 2020 minutes

MInutes of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council members-only meeting with Drum Properties, held via Zoom on Tuesday 25 August 2020 at 7:30pm

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 Neil Tulloch LHNCC Calum Fraser Iceni (for Drum Properties)
Elaine Dick LHNCC Arthur Young LHNCC Fife Hyland Drum Properties
Don Giles LHNCC Bruce Ryan Minutes secretary Susan Pegg Drum Properties
Jennifer Marlborough LHNCC Cllr Chas Booth Leith ward
Douglas Tharby LHNCC Deidre Brock MP Edinburgh North & Leith

1.b Apologies for absence


1.c Introductions

The Drum Properties participants introduced themselves.

2 Declaration of interests


3 Minutes of June 2020 meeting

Approved as-is (proposed N Tulloch, seconded S Auld, nem con)

4 Matters arising

All covered below

5 Police Report

  • See full report in Appendix 1. J Marlborough read out highlights of this report.
  • Action: J Marlborough to thank the police for this informative report.

6 Report from elected representatives

6.a Cllr Booth

  • Correspondence about the Ocean Terminal tram-work is ongoing. People should contact the councillor if they have any issues.
  • Schools have gone back.
  • The CItyPlan 2030 consultation report is now before CEC. The cllr commended CCs collaboratiing on the Seafield masterplan.

Cllr Booth’s internet connection failed at this point. Action: Cllr Booth to email a report.

6.b Deidre Brock MP

  • Parliament has been on recess. There is much constituency work on coronavirus – this is likely to increase as furlough ends.
  • The MP attended a meeting about Seafield but the presentation didn’t work. The MP commends such inter-CC collaboration.
  • The UK health minister says there will be more walkthrough coronavirus testing sites soon, and mobile testing units. Demand for testing from schools and parents ramping up.

7 Chair, Secretary and Treasurer reports

7.a Chair

See also full report in Appendix 2.

  • LHNCC’s executive has been busy, despite the ‘break’ over July.
  • The chair thanked LHNCC’s planning group their work, and N Tulloch for representing LHNCC on the Seafield group.
  • The chair noted arrival of new cycle-tracks and automatic traffic lights so coronavirus is not spread via traffic-light buttons.
  • Scotland is now in phase 3 of emergence from lockdown. Restaurants can now have customers indoors, and many are taking part in the ‘eat out to help out scheme’. The chair commended ‘Full Hearts, Empty Kitchens’.
  • The chair attended the recent EACC meeting – see later in this minute
  • LHNCC’s next newsletter in preparation. Members should send copy to E Dick. LHNCC’s website is being kept up to date.

7.b Secretary

See full report in appendix 3. Other matters have arisen since this report was written, but are covered in the rest of this minute.

7.c Treasurer

  • LHNCC’s current balance is £457·53. CEC grants for CCs are due soon.

8 Standing reports

8.a Planning

8.a.i Stead’s Place/106-162 Leith Walk – Drum Team follow up to PAN Consultation

  • J Marlborough welcomed the Drum Properties team. LHNCC has commented on the current plans. A majority of relevant CCs are quite supportive of Drum’s proposals, but some questions remain. (The following is Drum’s answers to JM’s questions.)
    • The development will be all private build-to-rent.
    • The operator of affordable housing has not been decided, but won’t be Drum Properties.
    • It is unlikely that affordable housing and private house will be integrated through the site.
    • It is still to be confirmed if all buildings on the development will have pitched roofs.
    • The construction schedule is being created, and will be shared when ready, hopefully at the second consultation.
    • ‘semi-private space’ is areas dedicated to residents but publicly accessible. There are also private and fully public areas.
    • Public access to the site via the sandstone buildings is being considered but is not in the current plans. Some impetus came from the Halmyre brief, but community right to buy doesn’t allow knocking bits out of the sandstone buildings.
  • Fife Hyland’s presentation on the recent consultation
    • See also screenshot at https://lhncc.org.uk/fh_slide.
    • There was much positive engagement – over 1100 visitors (~60% from Edinburgh).
    • 84 complete questionnaires were received.
    • There were 34 live question-sessions.
    • 24% were against the proposals, but Drum suspects this is due misconceptions about student housing still being planned.
    • 33% were unsure, which Drum believes is reasonable given that plans are not yet fixed
    • This feedback will help Drum with refining the design of the site.
    • FH is keen to address any further queries and issues.
    • Action: F Hyland to send full slide-deck to B Ryan

8.a.ii Scottish Government – Proposed Changes to Pre-Application Consultation Requirements in Planning

  • J Marlborough noted this covers complex matters, and asks many questions. She welcomes feedback from LHNCC members.
    • Action: LHNCC planning group to work to look at this and share information with LHNCC members, and then work on a response.

8.a.iii Seafield Project – update

  • N Tulloch noted that there was a meeting on 13 August of local CCs, MPs, MSPs and cllrs. The outcome can be summarised as all supporting the group’s aim to establish a development masterplan for Seafield. There was no ‘eureka moment’, so the local CCs will meet again soon to look for funding for professional assistance. Soon, the CCs will meet with CEC planning officials. More assistance from these officials is now anticipated.
    • Action: N Tulloch to report regularly on future progress

8.a.iv Western Harbour – Update

  • J Marlborough, following a contact with the planner, noted that there was a request to extend timings due to coronavirus.
    • Also, current legislation requires changes to the existing plans (made in 2009, but then paused due to the credit crunch).
    • Following this, there will be consultation with CCs, as if this was a normal full application.
    • It was also mentioned that there is a suggestion that cladding-plans may be included and revised.


  • E Dick: is there any sign of the second application, covering the park?
    • This application is about Phase 1, including 1/3 of the park. The second application may well need the same process.
  • D Giles: when will LHNCC ask about continued use of gas central heating instead of more environmentally-friendly heating?
    • There was discussion of the existence of relevant Scottish Government legislation, and the 2030 deadline.
    • Action: JM to ask about this for this development

8.a.v Other items

  • Work on Skyliner has now started.
  • J Marlborough has received a notification of a potential major development Pitt St/Trafalgar Lane.
    • Action: J Marlborough to share this with LHNCC planning group.
  • There is no news about Industry Lane.

8.b Licensing

Action: D Tharby and A Young to liaise on this topic.

8.c Transport

8.c.i Trams/CCTT (Community Councils Together on Trams)

  • Trams to Newhaven project – update
    • J Marlborough: CCTT met with Trams team (TT) at the end of July. CCTT is waiting on responses to some questions it raised.
      • JM is concerned about threats to Discovery Garden at Ocean Terminal (OT). According to TT, TT has a legal agreement to implement OT’s design. TT has not itself planned to change this garden. JM fears that these changes might not need normal consultation/approval because the Tram Act states that trees and landscaping do not require these. JM is trying to obtain relevant OT contact details. It was queried whether maintenance costs will be taken up by CEC or OT. The most recent design suggests that maintenance costs being are likely to an issue for OT
      • JM showed the slides available here: https://lhncc.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/ocean-terminal-discovery-garden.pdf. Slides 2 and 3 show the garden as it is now. Slide 4 shows the ‘final’ design from October 2019. Slide 5 shows the original ‘Porta’ design that LHNCC supported in 2019, with a hedge to make the locale more attractive. Slide 6 shows an updated design from June 2020. This is no longer available on the TT website. There are currently two applications for tram-stops at Lindsay Road and Ocean Terminal – these do not require normal planning approval.
      • Cllr Booth: this land is owned by OT. I am told it attracts rats and antisocial behaviour. These changes are not due to TT.
      • Action: B Ryan to share these slides with LHNCC members.
      • Action: D Brock MSP to chase contact with OT. (Cllr McVey has also offered to do this.)

8.c.ii EBUG (Edinburgh Bus Users’ Group).

J Marlborough: there is much online complaint about floating bus-stops. EBUG says that support for buses is waning. There is competition for road space between buses, cyclists etc.

8.d Environment

8.d.i Transition Edinburgh (Cockburn Association Civic Trust) – Edinburgh Climate Roundtable Wed 12 August (JM).

JM – this was interesting meeting – see notes (JM to circulate)

8.d.ii Cladding issues update

N Tulloch: Scottish Government has recently issued ‘very technical’ draft advice on external cladding on multi-storey buildings. NT suggests LHNCC supports relevant residents in the area. There is a lack of people qualified to carry inspections needed by lenders.

8.d.iii Other points

8.e Heritage

  • J Marlborough: over 1000 people attended the Edinburgh World Heritage events ‘Black History Matters’ on 16 July.
  • J Marlborough: there is no news on ‘Buildings at Risk: Victoria & Rennie’s Isle Bridges’. There is talk of a commemorative plaque for John Rennie Snr at Rennie’s Isle bridge.
  • J Marlborough: concerning Leith Rotary meeting (23 July): speaker was Scottish Historic Buildings CEO. This was an interesting meeting on the Customs House Feasibility Study. £4m is needed for all desired repairs. It’s very hard to subdivide the building.
  • J Marlborough: Heart of Newhaven Community Project now has the right to buy building it wants, so will apply for £££ soon.
    • This project has a huge catchment area.
    • Action: J Marlborough to write article for LHNCC newsletter.

8.f Community

8.f.i LHNCC – How we can help, ideas for the future, Crown Estate Scotland (CES) – Sustainable Communities Fund

  • E Dick: thanks to N Tulloch for spotting this. CES is making grants to communities that are within 5 miles of the Scottish coastline or a similar distance from CES’s rural assets. The environment grant is available to CES tenants. The community capacity grant is available to projects that improve buildings/community spaces or create sustainable development via various local benefits. Can LHNCC spearhead such a project? (Cllr McVey is in favour of this – CEC can support it.)
    • D Brock MP: the Friends of Giles St have done great things in their area, using small pots of money and local sponsorship.
    • D Giles: I have passed on this news to the Water of Leith Conservation Trust – it may want to work on Coallie Park.
    • Action: E Dick to set up small LHNCC group to further this work

8.f.ii Leith Rotary Meeting 13 August

J Marlborough: W Barr, A Munro & M Kerracher (Citadel/Pilmeny/YMCA) reported on their help to the community during lockdown and in the future. Inter alia, Pilmany made 2168 ‘helping’ calls, 105 afternoon teas and many other good things.

9 EACC – Online meeting Thursday 13 August 2020 – feedback

  • D Tharby: there were 19 attendees. S Holledge (NTBCC) is now EACC secretary. The meeting considered emergency measures and their publication, and relevant changes to Edinburgh. EACC chair (John Tibbitt, LCCC) was tasked with engaging with CEC over how CCs can meet during lockdown etc. Edinburgh University presented a paper on community engagement. CC AGMs will need to be online. Action: D Tharby to share report of this meeting when it’s available

10 Neighbourhood Networks

  • D Tharby has met with Evelyn Kilmurry (NE Edinburgh locality manager recently). It is proposed that the 4 locality managers meet to discuss NNs can proceed.
    • Action: D Tharby to keep LHNCC informed.
  • D Giles: LeithChooses is considering how to proceed, because CEC has not enabled e-voting, and in-person voting cannot proceed. Money is available for disbursement, so a community-based decision-making process is needed. However, the Consul e-voting system, developed by COSLA, is in use in North Ayrshire. Edinburgh is ‘way behind’ other councils.


  • N Tulloch: there are overflowing recycling bins in the Portland area, hence there is much unwanted landfill of recyclables.
    • J Marlborough: I am chasing this, and lack of bins in general in Leith, with CEC.
      • Action: Cllr Booth to pursue this with CEC waste
    • D Tharby: I received today email from CEC waste about an info-event tomorrow.
      • Action: Cllr Booth to investigate short notice.
  • D Giles: there have been divers in Water of Leith to pull out dumped material.
  • N Tulloch: near Discovery Gardens, there is a derelict building. It has been in this state for a long time. (D Tharby: 17 years!)
    • J Marlborough: it is very difficult to contact the owners of this listed building. It is not mentioned in the trams landscaping, so is likely to remain.
    • N Tulloch: there are proposals for legislation making councils able to compulsorily purchase such buildings.
    • Cllr Booth: compulsory purchase is possible for councils but is hard to achieve. Action Cllr Booth to liaise with other ward cllrs

12 Date of AGM and next meeting: Tuesday 22 September 2020

  • Action: B Ryan and J Marlborough to facilitate this meeting via Zoom, registering public attendees via Eventbrite

13 Appendix 1: police report

13.a Coronavirus pandemic:

The Police response under Operation Talla has continued, with shift-by-shift extractions from response&community teams to mobile units dedicated to public disturbances, licensed premises checks and covid-linked congregations. This will continue for the next fortnight, at which point – I imagine – responsibility for the above checks will fall back to us community officers. The number of calls to the Police relating to people not adhering to legislation has predictably decreased after staged relaxing of guidelines and responsibility for public mask-wearing, etc primarily being taken on by the premises/travel companies themselves.

13.b Breakdown of calls in north Leith/Newhaven area (approx 316 in total):

  • 21 calls relating to public nuisance
  • 21 calls of theft, mostly of bikes*
  • 17 domestic-related calls
  • 9 calls of other violence
  • 26 loud noise/music-related calls
  • 26 concern-for/missing person calls
  • 8 drug-related calls

*There has recently been a propensity for electric bikes to be targetted by thieves, not least because members of public are more and more seeing the benefit of having an added electric option to their means of travel. The best way to combat this is by owners keeping their bikes within their own private property and, if this is not possible, then by attaching gold-standard locks through the wheels AND frame. Cablelocks can be easily and quickly cut through with scissors/secateurs, and should never be used instead of a D-Lock to attach the bike to a foundation point.

13.c Other calls of note:

  • 20/08/20 – sexual assault on a 41-year-old female at Manderston Street – a Police spokesperson has stated, “Officers are carrying out enquiries in the area to establish more information on the incident”.
  • 12/08/20 – a male was found in the Water of Leith near Shore Place – he was eventually rescued safe and well by Fire Service and Police
  • 25/07/20 – sudden death at Newkirkgate shopping centre – a male died in unexplained but non-suspicious circumstances after he had taken unwell

13.d Some of the local issues we have been looking to tackle include:

  • youths within the open-air swimming pool at David Lloyd, Newhaven Place after-hours – we are working with staff at David Lloyd in an attempt to effect a positive solution
  • cannabis-smoking within vehicles parked at Western Harbour Breakwater – increased patrols led to two males and their vehicle being searched in terms of Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, a personal amount of cannabis found and a Formal Police Warning issued
  • drug misuse in areas of North Fort Street and Industry Lane, resulting in increased foot patrols, and focussed stop-searches
  • cannabis-smoking within parked vehicles at North Leith Sands – increased foot patrols led to four males and two vehicles being searched in terms of Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and drugs paraphernalia seized

13.e Monthly Police surgery:

No monthly surgery at Ocean Terminal until further notice.

13.f Publication of the Quarter 1 2020-21 Performance Report (21/08/20)

  • a survey of over 22,000 people found that 63% of people agree or strongly agree that they had confidence in their local police, which was an increase of 21 percentage points compared to the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey 2018-19 (42%).
  • the report also details 60,000 individual engagements between officers and the public regarding the coronavirus rules. The figures show that even where officers required people to disperse, the vast majority co-operated after having rules explained to them or on instruction to do so. In just 6.5% of cases, officers were required to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice, use reasonable force or arrest an individual.
  • Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor stated, “The first quarter of 2020-21 covered an extraordinary period for Scotland and indeed the world. Highly restrictive measures on freedoms of movement and association were introduced almost overnight as, collectively, we all sought to combat the spread of coronavirus. Officers and staff discharged their duties with courtesy, compassion and common sense to help the people of Scotland who in turn showed overwhelming support for their police service. We will continue to value the bond of trust which policing and the public have forged together and which has been further strengthened during this unprecedented period.”

14 Appendix 2: chair’s report

I thank you again for attending this meeting.

It seems no time since our last meeting in June and the work load for Secretary Treasurer and Vice Chair has shown us that a ‘holiday period’ is not possible for a Community Council. I am also indebted to The Planning Sub Group members who have had reason to meet and a particular thanks go to Neil Tulloch for standing up as our representative on the newly formed Seafield: Connecting Costal Communities.

There are a lot of changes to see across the City, new cycle tracks on many busy roads, over 100 sets of Traffic Lights now automatically change for pedestrians during the day (hygiene reasons) and of course Planning Applications never seem to stand still. Your LHNCC ‘inbox’ needs a look at least twice in the week…

We are now in Phase 3 of our coming out of ‘Lockdown’ there are many local businesses greeting their customers indoors again and several restaurants and bars enjoying giving what have been dubbed ‘Rishi’s Dishes’ discounts.

Empty Kitchens working from Leith Theatre kitchens have now served over 140,000 meals meaning that with this and the good work of the Foodbank we are almost at 200,000 meals, a truly great achievement.

I would again like to extend a very warm vote of thanks to both these organisations for their tremendous achievements within our community.

It was good to attend the second virtual meeting of the Edinburgh Association of Community Councils my full report will be later on this evening.

The Summer 2020 edition of the Newsletter is now in preparation and we are always looking for information for our website. Thanks to Jennifer, Elaine and Bruce for making this happen.

I stress as always that on our Website in particular we ‘signpost’ not ‘recommend’ or ‘endorse’ the items that we receive where they have a community focus, and we consider are of interest, AND of use to the community. As a resource this is more important than ever in these times where a ‘new normal’ is being established.

To end, last Thursday I met with two families in the harbour area. A small flotilla of swans, yes all seven sygnets still around, and also a family of goosanders who are regular diners at 7.30 p.m. one of Elaine’s neighbours. It is truly a diverse community in which we live. Stay safe, stay well and look after those less able than yourselves0.

Douglas Tharby, Chair (August 2020)

15 Appendix 3: secretary’s report

The following links have been circulated recently and relate to items on Agenda. If you have any questions relating to them or that you would like to discuss please send them to me or raise them at the meeting

15.a Standing reports

15.a.i Planning

15.a.ii Transport

15.a.iii Environment

15.a.iv Heritage

15.a.v Community

Jennifer Marlborough 25 August 2020

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