Minutes of the meeting on Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 7:00pm
(by Zoom)


CC Members:
Stephen Rodger Benson (SRB), Joan Carter (JC) (Acting Chair), Daniel Fisher (DF) Bob Hodgart (BH), Liz Logie (LL), Philip McDowell (PM), Jack McPake (JM), Nicholas Oddy (NO), Betty Offerman (EO), Philip Pinsky (PP), Sakshika Raghav (Minute Sec), David Wood (DW).

Councillor: Alison Dickie (AD)

Members of the public:
Simita Kumar (SK), Tim Pogson (TP)

1. Welcome and apologies:
    JC welcomed everyone to the meeting.
    Apologies from Stuart Tooley.

2. Issues brought by members of the public:

3. Minutes and Matters Arising:
The minutes of the February 2022 meeting were agreed, with the addition of Daniel Fisher to the attendees.
3.1 - Item 3.1 Simon Square: Signage now correct. Howden Street now open for one lane of traffic.
3.2 - Item 4.1 Public toilets on the Meadows: New city council strategy on toilets, so permanent toilets possible, eventually.
3.3 - Item 6 Scottish Widows: Tour of the building with Nick Ball, agent, being arranged. Limit of 3 people from the CC. City councillors have already been on a tour. Building still owned by Lloyds Bank. An agent and architect have been appointed to find a use for the building. Aim is to re-use the building, but not for student flats or a hotel. Grounds are being maintained and security is on site. There will be consultation with the community about future use. Suggestions from the CC - an art library, University of Edinburgh for teaching and study, Preston Street Primary School use some of the grounds. We would like to know if the building is suitable for conversion to private residential housing.
3.4 - Item 7.3 Graffiti on Salisbury Crags. Item carried over in view of correspondence between local residents and Historic Environment Scotland.
3.5 - Item 7.4 Composition of the SCC: Eusa rep is appointed, not co-opted. We have 9 elected members, including 4 co-opted members. Permission required for further co-options.
3.6 - Item 9 Next Meeting: Alistair Cranston unable to attend today but will be with us in April.
3.7 - Item 4 Vice Chair's report: Student housing, 4B East Newington Place. Not known when this will come to Development Management Sub-Committee for decision. AD to check progress.
Action AD

4. Councillor's Report:
4.1 Preston Street Primary School: Meeting soon with the Transport Convener to discuss re-imagining the space around the school. AD will follow up the suggestion that Scottish Widows grounds could be used.
Action AD
4.2 South Side Community Centre: Good to see groups moving back in to the centre. AD meeting with the Management Committee to discuss support for groups returning. It would be good if the CC had representation on the management committee.

5. Police report:
5.1 Written report with papers for this meeting. Noted that Holyrood Park is policed from Craigmillar, not St Leonard's. Also noted the intention to deal with obstructive double parking.
5.2 Police keen to join us again when we are meeting in person. They are unable to attend meetings via Zoom.

6. Reports from Committees and meetings attended:
6.1 EACC EGM - no minutes yet. Good discussion about the future of festivals in the city. Not known how the Meadows is to be impacted this year. AD will check.
Action AD
6.2 Distillery: Another meeting yet to be arranged. Progress since last meeting - some lights turned off. No banksman with trucks. No change in noise and smell or working hours. Schedule of works not received. Communications are better since the Community Council and Councillor Burgess have been involved.

7. Planning and Licensing Applications:
7.1 Mobile phone masts at St Peter's church, Lutton Place: no objection.
7.2 119 Nicolson Street extended opening hours: no objection
7.3 New John's Place HMO: Granted despite objections and not meeting Council requirements.

8. Any other business
8.1 EACC looking for monetary contributions from CCs. Agreed to contribute £20.00
Action JC
8.2 Census: Information is on our website. Facebook post to be made to draw attention to this.
Action PM
8.3 East Meadows Toilets: opening hours, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm too short now as the evenings get lighter.
8.4 East Meadows area improvements: Table Tennis table erected but further upgrading required. DW and JC to discuss before next meeting. All members please share any ideas with them. David Wood to recirculate his document that summarises where we got to previously. DW and JC to report at next meeting.
Action DW / JC
8.5 National Planning Framework 4: DW helping frame CC response. We are in the Central Urban area. We should decide if we want to support ideas such as pioneering low carbon urban living, Acceleration of urban greening, reuse of land and buildings, etc. Also 56 different planning policy areas we might want to comment on. All very high level, but will be used to decide on new housing for example. DW will draft a response to 5 or 10 policies that we might want to comment on. Deadline for consultation response 31st March 2022.
Action DW
8.6 Comments from BH on NPF4: Generally good at the high level, but weaker, leaving loopholes and exceptions, in detail. Our comments should urge strengthening of the language. Conflict between sustainable zero carbon development and empowering local communities, and large scale development, prioritising the needs of volume builders who are going to build largely on greenfield sites at moderate densities, whereas we need something more compact, less loss of agricultural land and biodiversity. Minimum housing land requirements are too generous. Good examples such as Slateford Green and the good ideas developed there have been ignored.
8.7 3 points of action on Ian Perry from last month's meeting: No response. PM will forward information to AD.
Action PM

9. Next meeting: 12th April 2022