Alex Alderton (Minutes), Stephen Rodger Benson (SRB), Joan Carter (JC) (Acting Chair), Daniel Fisher (DF) Bob Hodgart (BH), Liz Logie (LL), Philip McDowell (PM), Nicholas Oddy (NO), Betty Offerman (EO), Philip Pinsky (PP)
Councillor: Alison Dickie (AD)
Member of the public:
Nahid Aslam (NA)
1. Welcome and apologies:
JC welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies from Tim Pogson and Jack McPake.
2. Issues brought by members of the public:
NA wished to tell us that Edinburgh Central Mosque is collecting photos and stories about its early days. If anyone has anything to share from around the time it was built that would be welcome. They can contact the Mosque.
3. Alistair Cranston, Manager, Unite Student Accommodation - Problems at Salisbury Court
Alastair was not present.
4. Minutes and Matters Arising:
The minutes of the March 2022 meeting were agreed.
4.1 - Item 8.4 - East Meadows area improvements: Discussion between DW and JC still ongoing.
4.2 - Item 8.5 - National Planning Framework 4: the deadline for responding to the consultation passed without a submission from SCC. However the discussion still ongoing as there will be future opportunities to comment. BH has spent time going through the document and submitted a piece individually, and has looked at a document around land use planning and the issues with '20 minute neighbourhoods'.
Action: BH to circulate what he submitted.
5. Councillor's Report:
Reports that antisocial behaviour is making its way back; AD is working with the police on this.
There are lots of individual cases but few bigger issues.
AD will tidy up any loose ends from previous issues and report back.
The SCC expressed its thanks to Alison for her support during her time as Councillor.
6. Reports from Committees and meetings attended:
6.1 Scottish Widows: DF, NO and JC met with the agent and architect and had a tour of the Scottish Widows building. Very poor building in terms of energy use etc. They aren't looking for suggestions of use; they have found a way to use it as office space. It will be a major overhaul and there is asbestos. They want to build housing where the car park is, and the pond will be reinstated. They claim there is a lot of demand for office space in Edinburgh.
6.2 Distillery: JC and PP attended along with Steve Burgess and Alison Neathy. Some of the details discussed previously were more refined; they met with key individuals and established a relationship. PP said they were yet to see any change and the distillery is working to full capacity. Still no banksman for trucks. The people PP represents don't expect much change, but they want to let the Distillery know they are concerned and vigilant. Many things that have been promised PP feels are nowhere near actually taking place. The SCC and Councillor Burgess being involved has been very beneficial. SCC to remain in the loop but no further meetings to be planned for the moment.
6.3 BH attended a special meeting of the Edinburgh Civic Forum organised by the Cockburn Association on 9th March about National Planning Framework 4. There was a feeling that NPF4 is good at a high level but lacking much language of commitment.
7. Planning and Licensing Applications:
7.1 East Newington Place Student Housing: Unanimously rejected by the CEC Planning Committee. Appeal might not happen because it was rejected on so many material points. Would like to see affordable housing there. The Davie Street developers have committed to eight affordable housing units. There was a suggestion that the SCC could invite a Housing Association to work with them to create plans for East Newington Place.
Action: JC to contact Tim to discuss contacting a Housing Association.
7.2 Davie Street Development Proposals: From the plans, the layout looks unconvincing. They may end up being used for short-term lets but this would require separate planning permission. If affordable, there could be demand for long-term but a mix is required. High density living is preferable environmentally but quality and good planning are crucial. Suggestion for all to look at the plans.
Action: SR to circulate.
7.3 Nicholson Street Sign: Proposal for two large and bright LED displays at BT 'Street Hub' on Nicholson Street as well as a number of other places. They will be advertising panels that replace phone boxes and also provide communication facilities.
Action: SR to raise objection.
7.4 Salisbury Mews: no objection.
7.5 127-129 Nicholson St Sign: no objection.
7.6 28 South Clerk St: Approval granted for an application from January (despite objection from a heritage organisation). Two more applications are in now that seem similar (1313 and 1319).
Action: PM to raise objection on grounds that the previous application was already approved.
7.7 Parkside Terrace: no objection.
8. Hustings for City Council Elections
NA happy to support; DF probably able to help. Suggestion to use Southside Community Centre or Charteris Centre. Candidates to be contacted to arrange a date in the first instance.
Action: JC to contact candidates and make enquiries.
Chair required; suggestion of Colin Christison.
Publicity will be required.
Action: PM to circulate poster design.
9. Public Question time (if agreed at point 2 to do so)
10. Any other business
10.1 Southside Community Centre is back up and running.
10.2 Reopening of the Low Road in Holyrood Park: Meeting of Car Free Holyrood and HES has taken place. A survey has shown the majority of people would like the road to remain closed. This would also help to reduce traffic. General feeling that the road should not be reopened to traffic.
Action EO to circulate information.
11. Next meeting:
10th May 2022 (Zoom/in person tbc)
Action: JC to book Nelson Hall.