Steads Place: LHNCC’s submission

LHNCC comments, among other things.

  • We support the development of this site but are disappointed with the developer’s adherence to the lowest possible standard
  • We acknowledge that this application does have positive aspects that will be identified in our general comments. There are, however, some significant concerns especially identified below that will affect our final decision.

Below is the text of LHNCC’s objection: here is the original as a PDF.

LHNCC
email: secretary@lhncc.org.uk
11 January 2021

Adam Thomson
Case Officer,
PLACE,
Waverley Court,
4 East Market Street,
Edinburgh , EH8 8BG 

Dear Mr Lodge

Ref: 20/05553/FUL – 106 – 162 Leith Walk Edinburgh EH6 5DX
Applicant: Drum (Stead’s Place) Ltd & CAMVO (the applicant)
Agent: Callum Fraser, Iceni Projects

Grounds for Comment

I am submitting above on behalf of LHNCC. We support the development of this site but are disappointed with the developer’s adherence to the lowest possible standard. The application has been discussed by our Planning Team and this response has been accepted by members. The applicant states that ‘they have specifically sought to address the previous reasons for refusal of previous application – most notably by retaining the red sandstone building and reducing the overall height and massing of the development.’ We acknowledge that this application does have positive aspects that will be identified in our general comments. There are, however, some significant concerns especially identified below that will affect our final decision.

Major Concerns

Sustainability

This application should be refused if it it not offering an overall neutral carbon design for the domestic dwellings using argument that it complies with Section 6 (Energy) of the Scottish Technical Standards.ELDP. Their statement “Opportunities for connecting to existing district heating networks have been investigated however review of the Scottish Heat Map confirms that there are no appropriately sized existing heat networks within feasible distance of the 106 – 162 Leith Walk” needs to be investigated further. The fact that this development is looking to provide housing for at least 20+ years. There appears to be token approach with provision of solar panels on some roof areas (ELDP Policy RS 1 Sustainable Energy). These concerns need to be addressed and rationale for our comments are addressed in references below:

CEC has voluntarily committed itself to a neutral carbon target by 2030. See this link: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/climate-2/climate-target-net-zero-2030/1#:~:text=As%20Scotland’s%20capital%20and%20economic,become%20a%20net%2Dzero%20city.

In addition CEC is building as a contribution to achieving this target this development https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/climate-2/sustainable-urban-regeneration/1

Extract from the development plan: “We are investing in a £1.3 billion redevelopment of the Granton Waterfront to deliver low-carbon communities in North and West Edinburgh.

It will create carbon-neutral housing. It also aims to create a neighbourhood where residents can access to work and everyday services, such as shops, schools, parks and leisure facilities, within a 15 minute journey by foot, bike or public transport so they don’t have to rely on a car.

It is set to be one of the best examples of low-carbon urban development in Europe.

Granton is part of a wider programme of investment in the development of the city including projects at Fountainbridge, Meadowbank and Powderhall. There are all set to be carbon neutral and with the potential to support carbon reduction on neighbouring sites. 

We’re also working on the delivery of the BioQuarter which also aims to be carbon neutral. This is in partnership with Scottish Enterprise, University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian

It is extremely disappointing to note that once again this planning application for Steads Place is going to be based on gas as the main source of heating and allow each flat to have its own gas boiler.

There are several other sources of heating covered by the

Building standards technical handbook 2019: domestic – Section 6.3 https://www.gov.scot/publications/building-standards-technical-handbook-2019-domestic/6-energy/6-3-heating-system/

Emphasis is made to the use of renewable sources of energy and “In the design of domestic buildings, the energy efficiency of the heating plant is an important part of the package of measures which contributes to the overall dwelling carbon dioxide emissions.”

When can the Sottish community in general and the Leith Community in particular know that  CEC  is taking its own targets and the planning applications it approves seriously and start telling developers they must design their domestic buildings to comply with the the above standards for renewable sources of energy and in particular the mandatory

Section 6.3 of the Building standards technical handbook 2019: domestic.

The clock is ticking and there is now only 9 years left so action is needed NOW to ensure that developers start to offer much better building designed to meet the carbon neutral target by 2030.

Red sandstone building

Application does not include any design details for retention/refurbishment sandstone building just a statement in The Proposed Development document 4.92. saying it will bring the building back into active use  potential to allow future activity. As demolition of this building was main reason for refusal of previous application it would seem appropriate to contain planning details and information regarding future ownership and tenure. Are there plans for suggested Community Buy Out?

Accommodation schedule

All BTR private accommodation potentially exclusive, poor provision for elderly or disabled who are currently included in Affordable classification and therefore not always eligible for this classification (Policy Hou 6 Affordable Housing: 230-232(0). There should be total integration across site instead of affordable housing segregated, being tenure blind does not fully address this. RSL’s prefer this but in doing so they are providing house not homes!

Thought needs to be given to developing intergenerational developments more in line with developing a sense of Community. No provision of mix of styles just two bland blocks of flats (Policy Hou 2: Housing Mix 223).

Positive aspects

  • The creation of a street through the site to provide natural surveillance and activity.
  • A significant reduction in overall height of the new buildings.
  • The creation of a variety of public, semi public and private spaces along the length of the route through the site with access to Pilrig Park
  • Use of pitched roofing
  • Parking – Shared access accommodates emergency services, refuse vehicles and drop-off. Parking in this area is to 9 no total car parking bays are accommodated within the red-line boundary, 1 of which is an disabled accessible space.
  • Bicycles – Cycle parking providing 335 spaces. There is no information on secure storage provision for bikes

Yours sincerely

Jennifer Marlborough, Secretary, LHNCC

One thought on “Steads Place: LHNCC’s submission

  1. Pingback: LHNCC January 2021 minutes

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