LCCC February 2021 minutes

Meeting highlights

  • move to online meetings
  • planning: 50 Pilrig St, Rosslyn Bowling Club, Arthur St, Edinburgh Development Concordat
  • Transport: Atkins report Trams vibration), lack of treatment of icy pavements, consultation on controlled parking zone

Minutes of Leith Central Community Council ‘business’ meeting, held via MS Teams, on Monday 15 February 2021 at 7:00pm

Actions and decisions are red italic. nem con means that no-one spoke or voted against a decision.

1 Welcome, introductions, attendance, apologies

1.a Attendees

  • LCCC voting members: Jack Caldwell, Alan Dudley, Charlotte Encombe, Pierre Forissier, Nick Gardner, Sheila Kennedy, Ian Mowat,
Harald Tobermann, Lucy Watters, John Wilkinson,
Amy Woodgate
  • LCCC ex-officio and non-voting members: Bruce Ryan (minutes secretary), Cllr Susan Rae (Leith Walk ward)
  • Others: no-one

1.b Apologies

Jack Caldwell (LCCC, arrived late), Ian Mowat (LCCC)

1.c Declarations of interest in any items on the agenda

C Encombe declared an interest in item 5.b below, because she lives on Pilrig St.

1.d Order of business below

This was agreed nem con.

2 Approval of minutes of the ordinary LCCC Meeting on 18 January 2021

These were approved as-is (proposed S Kennedy, seconded C Encombe, nem con)

3 Matters arising from previous minutes (and not included on agenda below)

  • Item 6b: H Tobermann is waiting on replies to his emails about the unsatisfactory state of the Dryden St area.
  • Item 6c: H Tobermann to submit LCCC’s comments on the Bonnington plans.
  • Item 9a: H Tobermann and NTBCC are waiting on replies to their communications about the London Rd SfP measures.

4 LCCC Governance and Office Bearers’ reports

4.a Technical and procedural issues that caused postponement of the planned virtual public ordinary meeting on 15-02-21; steps taken to address these

The following was written by B Ryan after the meeting.

  • To use new email addresses, and to connect Teams to LCCC’s domain, it was necessary to make changes to LCCC’s domain-name server (DNS).
  • At first, LCCC’s comms team thought this needed to be done via LCCC’s domain provider (4U Hosting), but LCCC’s comms team had lost log-in details to that account.
  • Once these were retrieved, 4U Hosting informed LCCC that its DNS is done via WordPress. (This is because LCCC uses WordPress’s DNS system to make LCCC’s WordPress content appear when people visit its domain.)
  • There was then some difficulty finding where in the WordPress system DNS changes should be made.
  • This was followed by difficulty implementing Microsoft’s instructions to connect Teams to the LCCC domain:
  • When various details were entered, the underlying system changed them to incorrect settings.
  • All of this took much time, so it was not possible to arrange for LCCC members to practice using Teams meetings before the scheduled public meeting.
  • Hence it was decided that this meeting would be for LCCC members only, as a ‘shakedown’.

Action: LCCC comms team to document the necessary steps and login details, to avoid repetition of this.

Action: B Ryan to update contact details on LCCC website

4.a.i New email addresses for Office Bearers (with the old ones being forwarded) and the need to communicate these to CEC and reflect them throughout LCCC’s website

A Woodgate: aliases are set so that emails to the old LCCC addresses will automatically forward to the new addresses. So there should be no need for office-bearers to directly engage with the old email addresses.

  • Action: S Kennedy to inform CEC of LCCC’s new email addresses

4.a.ii LCCC to continue to maintain suitably secure repository arrangements for access to LCCC internet platforms

Action: A Woodgate, B Ryan, J Caldwell, H Tobermann to undertake this, and share as needed how the repository is maintained, and report to next LCCC meeting

Action: B Ryan to upload LCCC digital assets to LCCC teams filestore

4.b LCCC to follow up with MSPs and CEC, stressing need for additional support to conduct virtual or hybrid CC meetings

  • H Tobermann: LCCC does not necessarily need technical support for this, but does need budget – it currently has sufficient reserves to run the present Teams set-up for 2 years.
  • J Wilkinson: Please also ask how long LCCC will need to meet online/hybridly.
  • Action: C Encombe to undertake this communication (with Andrew Kerr).

4.c Update on emerging publication policy and procedures (website, Twitter, Facebook)

  • A Woodgate, B Ryan: these have not yet been drafted, due to time spent getting Teams to work.
  • Action: B Ryan, A Woodgate to draft these.

4.d Treasurer’s report

No report – treasurer absent

4.e Reports from other Office Bearers and LCCC groups

4.e.i Secretary

See item 7.c below.

4.f Update on LCCC representation on outside bodies

4.f.i To obtain a report from EACC on their activities

  • Chair: J Tibbitt has resigned from LCCC, so LCCC is no longer represented on EACC.
  • H Tobermann: I am dubious that EACC undertakes useful activities – it is mostly for CEC to ‘prove’ it has consulted with CCs. LCCC should now check whether EACC has reformed itself, as J Tibbitt aimed while he was its chair.
  • Action: C Encombe to check with EACC, H Tobermann to check with neighbouring Edinburgh CCs.

5 Planning

5.a Status of current planning applications (FEB 2021)

This was noted.

5.b Proposed demolition of house and development of apartment building in Conservation Area at 50 Pilrig Street (21/00246/FULand 21/00248/CON) – deadline 19-02-21

  • P Forissier: several residents contacted LCCC about this. It is not a straightforward application: it includes demolition of an existing house, then building 9 flats. There has been very poor communication from the developers. He has compiled ways this application contravenes relevant policies, e.g. its height and massing versus the local development plan.
  • J Wilkinson: a resident’s objection notes a rejected similar application from ~10 years ago. This application also fails the new Edinburgh Development Concordat’s requirements, e.g. communications with neighbours.
  • C Encombe (post meeting): There was an applicationat some point for the same site for a larger nr of flats that was eventually rejected.
  • H Tobermann: LCCC supported the mural on Arthur St (which is very close to Pilrig St).
  • N Gardner: I support objecting to this application.
  • Actions: P Forissier to circulate his notes, other LCCC members to use these to help draft a submission

5.c Proposed change of use of old Rosslyn Bowling Club from leisure (class 11) to residential (class 9) at 54 Rosslyn Crescent (21/00528/FUL) – deadline 12-03-21

  • P Forissier: This application is only for a change of use. The club-house used to be a public space, but the new owner wants it to become a house, including minor changes to the building. However, achieving current standards for housing will be very expensive. There are no plans to build on the actual green: it would become something like an allotment.
  • Cllr Rae: I am happy to talk to P Forissier offline about this as I know a little more about this.
  • H Tobermann: the local community wanted to make this building a community facility, and are strongly against this application. They fear that the current plans might fail, but grant of change of use would enable another developer to do unwelcome things.
  • N Gardner: if the site becomes residential, there is potential for a large block of flats here (using the bowling green). LCCC should support community use of the site/building, if there is potential for this.
  • J Wilkinson: site access makes this impossible, due to the single door
  • Action: P Forissier to follow up with Cllr Rae, and undertake other research, then report back to LCCC.

5.d Mooted development (36 units) by Thistle-Peat between Arthur Street and Leith Walk; possible presentation at March meeting

  • H Tobermann: this is the site of the former Wilkinson business and derelict land behind it. I suggest inviting the developer to speak to LCCC when the planning application has actually been submitted. (This is not a PAN.)
  • Decision: HT’s suggested approach was agreed nem con

5.e New Edinburgh Development Concordat (DEC 2020) without explicit CC reference

  • H Tobermann: I was notified of this by a former LCCC member, who has said the concordat was put through by CEC in December, without consultation (and I recall no consultation). The text does not mention CCs anywhere, but CCs have a statutory role in planning. Hence the concordat may be illegal. The version linked to above has been passed by CEC.
  • Action: LCCC planning committee to read the concordat, then decide whether/how to react.
  • (At this point, there was discussion of how to see items linked in agendas and the Teams meeting simultaneously.)

5.f Any other Planning matters relevant to LCCC area


6 Parks & green spaces

6.a Submission to Public Space Management Consultation

This submission was noted.

6.b Friends of Pilrig Park report

J Wilkinson: the park has become very muddy. I hope it will recover.

6.c Other Park Friends’ reports

H Tobermann: the other parks have become muddy too.

7 Transport & clean streets

7.a Trams to Newhaven

7.a.i Atkins report on vibrations & ground borne noises

  • P Forissier: Atkin’s report is now late. Many people are concerned over lack of transparency, and lack of information that should have been available before work started, from the trams project, including LHNCC and LLCC.
  • H Tobermann: This has been discussed at CCTT/TT meetings. Today, TT apologised for raising expectations of sooner resolution. Once the work was handed to the main contractor (SFN), it could make up its own work-programme, which CEC cannot alter much. SFN is due to provide technical aspects of its design to Atkins, so the latter can assess any dangers from noise etc for stated that. Information-handover should happen ‘soon’. My conclusion is that if SFN does not yet have this information, it should not be building so it does not lock in issues. It is possible to build vibration-insulation under the track but this costs money and time.
  • Action: H Tobermann is sharing updates from TT with other CCs in CCTT, for CCTT to decide how to respond to the issue.

7.a.ii Verbal update on tram works and final overall impact on LCCC area

H Tobermann: street-lighting & bin-collection issues are not resolved, a major contravention of TT’s promises.

7.a.iii Any issues that have arisen for local residents or businesses that have not been dealt with satisfactorily by the Tram Team

See above

7.b Absence of pavement winter treatment on Leith Walk during recent icy spell (in contrast with mechanised snow clearing of Iona Street south pavement)

  • Chair: I was told that Leith Walk is not a priority area.
  • J Caldwell: I raised this with the Trams Team, because the pavement on Leith Walk should be its responsibility. I too have found that Leith Walk pavements are not priority for gritting, despite major footfall here.
  • H Tobermann: LCCC members should note that one Iona St pavement was mechanically cleared – why not Leith Walk?
  • A Woodgate: I saw a mechanical device on Easter Rd yesterday, but could not see the organisation that owns it.
  • N Gardner: prioritisation of footway-clearing was worked out at Neighbourhood Team level a few years ago.
  • J Caldwell: all grit-bins in LCCC’s are some distance from Leith Walk, which helps side-street residents but not LW.

7.c CPZ consultation for Bonnington area – virtual ‘drop-in’ sessions on 24-02-21 (background here)

  • S Kennedy: on 28 January, CEC’s transport & environment committee accepted the strategic review of parking, with the Green amendment. There is a large document that LCCC members could read. TROs are due to be published by the end of 2021, for the measures to be implemented in 2022.
  • J Wilkinson: I received relevant documentation, including a poor map. There will be a meeting and drop-in sessions.
  • Action: J Wilkinson to share a link to the meeting on Wednesday 24 February (1pm) and documents.

7.d Any other transport & clean streets matters relevant to LCCC area

No items

8 Licensing

  • S Kennedy: LCCC has made no objections to this month’s licensing applications.
  • J Wilkinson: does the licensing committee meet online? How can people join it?
  • Cllr Rae, S Kennedy: it does meet online. If LCCC submits an objection, it will be asked if it wants to join the meeting.
  • J Wilkinson: has the proposed pub in a railway-arch in Manderston St been approved?
  • Action: J Wilkinson to look online for relevant information.

9 Open forum

No items


  • Action: S Kennedy to forward an invitation to CCs to take part in events on the circular economy and the planning system.
  • J Wilkinson: I have signed up to attend one of these events.

10.a LCCC committee/working-group membership

  • A Dudley: it is difficult for me to join online meetings, but I want to remain on LCCC – I enjoy this form of participation.
  • L Watters: I am happy to join committees/working-groups as needed.
  • Action: chair and LW to discuss this elsewhen

10.b Virtual meeting to discuss a Leith Community Plan (22-02-21) – contact

  • Chair: I recommend LCCC members attend this.

11 Future ordinary meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations

11.a LCCC should hold a public ordinary Meeting on 15 March in a virtual format

  • Chair: we are still learning the Teams system, but need to restart public meetings
  • P Forissier: please can business meetings be outwith normal meetings, to maximise opportunities for community input.
  • H Tobermann: this is a nice idea, but it’s not possible to create more than one full agenda per month. Virtual meetings are problematic. LCCC does not have capacity to handle all planning applications under current conditions
  • P Forissier: some meetings would not require full agendas as normally prepared by H Tobermann.
  • J Caldwell: online matters have been challenging but will get better. Teams enables discussions between meetings.

11.b 2021: 15 March, 19 April, 17 May (AGM)

These dates were noted.

11.c Future presentations and charrettes

11.c.i Presentation by Thistle-Peat on application between Arthur Street and Leith Walk

11.c.ii Talk by CEC Archeology Officer and FCA on findings at 70, 72 Newhaven Road (17/01183/FUL)