15 February 2020
On 11 March 2019, LCCC called for formal planning guidance from CEC for the sites on both sides of lower Leith Walk (‘Stead’s Place’ and the site opposite, framed by Leith Walk at the old tram depot site to Manderston and Halmyre). On 25 March 2019, Neil Gardiner, CEC’s Planning Convener, responded: ‘There is considerable merit in your suggestion to prepare guidance in relation to the Stead’s Place site and also cover neighbouring development opportunities, for example land on the opposite side of Leith Walk. The preparation of a Place Brief would provide the opportunity for the local community to come together with landowners/ developers to discuss development options, aspirations and concerns across a number of development sites.’
In early 2020, CEC started work on a Place Brief for the area between Leith Walk and Halmyre Street in the form public workshops and an online consultation.
Key elements and characteristics of the emerging Place Brief
In view of the prominent location of both sites – east and west of Leith Walk, between Stead’s Place and Jane Street, and Manderson Street, Halmyre Street Smith Place respectively – Leith Central Community Council welcomes a Place Brief that guides future development in this area in a way that is sensitive to the surrounding urban fabric that is home and workplace of a strong community. Leith Central Community Council is conscious that the latter is vital to sustain the existing high density of the area. Given the size of both sites, insensitive or inappropriate ‘insertions’ would undermine this strength and should therefore be ruled out by the Place Brief.
At the same time, the Place Brief is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve East-West and North-South permeability and to provide a step-change in health provision and much needed social and truly affordable housing.
The following elements should be part of the Place Brief:
- Manderston Street and its railway arches should be part of the Brief, as well as former Tram Depot office building (165 Leith Walk) and the ‘Stead’s Place’ shop frontage with the warehouses behind.
- The effects of any future development on the Conservation Area and all listed buildings surrounding the site should be acknowledged. In particular, the 2-storey ‘Stead’s Place’ shop frontage needs to be a key element of any future development, as acknowledged by the DPEA appeal decision.
- The provision for truly affordable housing for rent and to buy, including social and council housing, should be made a priority to tackle homelessness and overcrowding.
- This part of Leith has an active local economy giving opportunities to access good quality work. A mixture of affordable residential, industrial, commercial and retail options is essential to protect a vibrant and lively Leith Walk as a place where people live and work.
- High quality pedestrian, and where possible, cycle routes through both sites – both north-south and east-west – should be designed in from the outset.
- Recognising the existing diversity of uses, there should be no single dominant use.
- Sensitive and diverse architectural styles should be at the heart of the future design.
- No overly massive design should be allowed; scale and density must be in tune with existing buildings surrounding the sites.
- Considering the size of the site, the future developments should create an attractive series of places rather than one place.
- Design features should complement existing styles while contributing to the existing eclectic character of this part of Leith Walk.
- Outstanding precedents like the award winning Goldsmith Street in Norwich and Leith Fort should inspire the Place Brief.
- The inclusion of significant greenspace should be an essential part of the Place Brief.
- Developer’s contributions should be ring fenced for community agreed projects.
- Cultural and social spaces should be considered a priority for future community development.
- There is a range of spaces and opportunities to meet for the elderly and vulnerable people but many are at risk, like the Bingo Hall.
- Serious consideration needs to be given to the relocation of the outdated NHS facilities at Allander and Inchkeith House to a purpose-built health centre on the West side with ‘walk-in access through one of the retained shop frontages. The existing – refurbished – buildings would lend themselves to retail or community use at ground level with residential accommodation above.
(adapted from an email from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, in response to LCCC’s query about the apparent slow-down in work on McDonald Rd fire station)
As an update on this project, I can confirm that the refurbishment programme was delayed due to unexpected structural issues surrounding the Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) roof panels, these concerns were only exposed due to the commencement of the intrusive demolition works. This delayed works on site until a decision and solution had been agreed with all parities including Edinburgh Council Building and Control Department to replace the entire roofing structure.
I can confirm that all of the agreements are now in place and work has progressed to replace the entire roof and recommence with the refurbishment of the station. This is an important and high priority project to SFRS, the modernisation of the station and the creation of the new Museum of Fire on the site is an exciting development and high value commitment for the service within this area.
Our revised programme of works is to have fully completed all of the works on the site by December 2020. However, hopefully once the roof and walls are in place later this year the noise levels and any disturbances will be significantly reduced within the immediate vicinity.
I hope that once completed this will be a station and museum that the local communities including yourself are extremely proud to have within your local area.
Please feel free to contact me if you do have any further questions or if you wish to discuss further
Iain Morris | Head of Asset Management |SFRS Headquarters| Cambuslang G72 7NA | Tel 01698 402317 | Mobile 07721719994 |
Minutes of the ordinary meeting of Leith Central Community Council, held at McDonald Road library on Monday 20 January 2020 at 7:00pm Continue reading
Lothian Buses has published the following summary of bus diversions. This is broadly what was expected and probably was unavoidable, once the decision to go ahead with the trams was made a year go by CEC. However, the devil is in the detail.
Click the graphic to see the full-size PDF in a new window.
Please check the Lothian Buses web-page for details of changes.
If you spot detailed changes (i.e. extended timetabled running times, unrealistic journey times, or longer anticipated individual door-to-door journeys because of rerouting), please comment below.
Minutes of the Community Councils Together on Trams/Trams Team meeting (No 1 Construction Phase), at 200 Bonnington Rd, on Thursday 30 January at 5:30pm Continue reading
Monday, 17 February 2020 at 7pm, at the Nelson Hall in McDonald Road Library
- Welcome, introductions, attendance, apologies
- to note: declarations of interest in any items on the agenda
- to agree: order of business
- Approval of minutes of 20 January 2020 meeting
- Matters arising from previous minutes (and not included on agenda below)
- Community Police Officer’s Rreport
- Proposed purpose-built student accommodation development with community space, associated infrastructure and amenity space, bicycle parking, landscaping and upgrade of pedestrian path and steps @ 11 – 23 Montrose Terrace Edinburgh (20/00496/FUL)
- to note: Leith Central Community Council are statutory consultees for this application
- to note: presentation and Q&A by Glencairn (applicants) regarding this application
- to note: extended deadline for LCCC comments (20 March 2020)
- to note: status of current planning applications (FEB 2020)
- to ratify: LCCC’s response to Scottish Government Planning Performance and Fees Consultation
- to agree: LCCC’s consultation response to consultation on place brief for East side of lower Leith Walk between Leith Walk and Halmyre Street
- to note: update on SLW’s community right to buy campaign
- to note: Draft notes of Pre-Application Presentation at January LCCC meeting regarding 19/05515/PAN 2-4, 6,14 Bonnington Road Lane and 200 Bonnington Road Edinburgh EH6 5RB, made by Orbit for the developer
- Local plan (City Plan 2030)
- to note: consultation “Choices for City Plan 2030” (main issues report) underway (ends 27-03-20) and parallel City Mobility Plan (see item 9b below)
- >to note: LCCC response to be based on our earlier paper
- to note: any other Planning matters relevant to LCCC area
- LCCC Governance and Office Bearers’ reports
- to note: update on issues and complaints around recent Community Council elections
- to note: Treasurer’s report
- to note: Engagement Officer’s and Comms Group reports
- to note: reports from other Office Bearers
- to note: update on LCCC representation on outside bodies
- Parks & Green Spaces
- to note: Powderhall Railway Path update
- to note: Friends of Pilrig Park report
- to note: other Park Friend’s reports
- to note: concerns over expense for use of St Mark’s (Craigroyston FC) and Pilrig Park (Pilmeny Sports Academy) by local sports clubs
- Transport & Clean Streets
- Trams to Newhaven
- to note: information shared by Tram Team at meeting with Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) on 28 January and ongoing preparatory works on Leith Walk
- to note: start of two year closure of three lanes on Leith Walk from 28 March with flanking measures
- to note: near-simultaneous closure of two lanes on North Bridge for 16 months from 17 February
- to note: any issues that have arisen for local residents or businesses that have not been dealt with satisfactorily by the Tram Project Team
- City Mobility Plan
- to note: 8 week consultation underway (ends 27-03-20)
- to note: update from Transport Forum – City Mobility Plan event (7 February 2020)
- to agree: to focus LCCC response (to be agreed at March meeting) on proposed measures with direct impact on LCCC area
- to note: introduction of on-street cycle storage facilities throughout the city (locations)
- to note: first local TRO10/20 in West Montgomery Place
- to note: any other Transport & Clean Street matters relevant to LCCC area
- Open Forum
- Officials given taste of everyday hazards which blind and disabled people face in Edinburgh’s streets (Evening News, 04-02-20)
- Future Meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations
- to note: 2020: 16 Mar, 20 Apr, 18 May (incl AGM), 15 Jun
- to note: future presentations and charrettes
- tbc 17 Feb: Montrose Terrace student accommodation by Glencairn Properties
- tbc: talk by CEC Archeology Officer and FCA on findings at 70, 72 Newhaven Road (17/01183/FUL)
 this agenda point allows members of the public to raise issues of public interest
 this agenda point allows LCCC members to raise issues not covered by the agenda
 this is for information only; any discussion to be brought to a future meeting
(adapted from an email from the Scottish Government)
The Scottish Government Community Land Team are holding a free event at Eric Liddell Centre, Edinburgh, 7th April 2020. The event will give an overview of the various types of community rights to buy that communities can use, practical advice on how to become a compliant body and the application processes. If you would like more information or are interested in coming along please follow this link to our Events page and book your place.
If you have any queries then please get in touch at email@example.com
Community Land Team (Community Right to Buy)
Tel: 0300 244 9822