Author Archives: Jack Caldwell

Do you know someone who would benefit from a Christmas meal?

MealMakers (run by Food Train – Scottish Charity Number 24843) are looking for referrals of people who could do with a hot meal to help tackle lonlieness and social isolation this Christmas.

They are operating in both the EH6 and EH7 postcodes this year.

If you wish to refer someone in Leith, Abbeyhill, Bonnington, Canonmills or Restalrig who would benefit, please fill in this form on their website.

Register for our virtual AGM next Monday

Our Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday 16th November at 7pm on Zoom. It is open to all residents in the local area. It is an opportunity to hear about the LCCC activities over the last year, and to look forward to 2020/2021.

More details and registration on

The meeting will include;

  • Annual Report: brief review of year
  • Treasurer’s report
  • Demit of current office bearers and election of new office bearers

AGM Agenda

  1. Welcome and recording of LCCC membership present and apologies received
  2. to agree: Minutes of the previous annual general meeting of LCCC
  3. to note: the Annual Report
  4. to agree: Treasurer’s submission of Balance Sheet and Annual Accounts duly independently examined and certified correct (p4ff of Annual Report)
  5. This item will be chaired by Bruce Ryan:
    Demit of current office bearers and election of office bearers
  6. This and subsequent items will be chaired by the newly elected LCCC chair:
    Confirmation of LCCC committees and working groups, their convenors and members 
  7. to agree: Dates, times and venue of future ordinary meetings
  8. to note: Date of next annual general meeting: 17 May 2021.

Meeting papers (from October 2014 onwards) are on LCCC’s website on the meetings page:

We are objecting to the Montgomery Street Park mast

After listening to residents and objectively looking at the proposals, our Planning working group have lodged an objection to the City of Edinburgh Council over the proposals for a mobile phone mast next to Montgomery Street Park.

20/04148/PA: Objection from Leith Central Community Council

Prior notification for electronic communication code operators. | Telecommunications
Mast North East Of Montgomery Street Park Montgomery Street Edinburgh
Leith Central Community Council objects to the application and, in accordance with the
particulars listed below, the City of Edinburgh Council should refuse the application.


The application is contrary to the Edinburgh Local Development Plan Policy RS 7 Telecommunications

● It would not have been demonstrated that all practicable options and alternative sites
have been considered, including the possibility of using existing masts, structures and buildings and/or site sharing.
● Such evidence, including any reasons for rejection, would not have accompanied the application.
● The visual impact of the proposed 20m mast would not have been minimised through
careful siting, design and, where appropriate, landscaping.
● The application would not have demonstrated that all practicable options to minimise
impact have been explored, and the best solution identified.
● The proposal would be considerably taller than all nearby buildings and would
overwhelm the adjacent listed church at 121 Montgomery Street, Calton Centre,
Formerly Kirk Memorial Evangelical Union Church.
● The proposal would harm the natural heritage of Montgomery Street Park as it would be 5m taller than the park’s mature tree canopy..
● The application would not have provided a detailed assessment of the impact of
telecommunication waves on the health of the adjacent mature trees.
● The proposal would harm the built heritage of the city by being located on the New Town Conservation Area boundary.
● The proposal would comprise a large cluster of apparatus at its top which would add to the visual impact it would have on the New Town Conservation Area.
● The City of Edinburgh Council’s Mast Register would not have been used to check for a suitable site (“it was felt that the industry database was a more up-to-date source of
information – Planning justification statement – p1).
● A valid operational justification would not have been provided.
● An assessment of the cumulative impact of individual proposals where other
telecommunications developments are present nearby or are proposed to be located
nearby would not have been provided. Such an assessment would describe how the
cumulative effects have been considered and any negative visual impact minimised.
● The application would not have demonstrated that the site is wide enough to
accommodate the proposed equipment without impacting upon pedestrians traffic

The application is contrary to the Edinburgh Local Development Plan Policy Env 6 Conservation Areas

● The proposal would not have demonstrated that it does not adversely affect the setting
of the New Town Conservation Area.
● The application would not have provided a sufficiently detailed form for the effect of the
development proposal on the character and appearance of the area to be assessed.
● The application is not including visuals or photomontages to demonstrate the minimal
impact of the proposal.

The application is contrary to the Edinburgh Local Development Plan Policy Env 16 Species Protection

● The application, by its very nature may have a detrimental effect on European Protected
Species (EPS) covered by Habitats Regulations. Bats are often sighted in Edinburgh
parks and a full bat survey of the current status of the species and its use of the site has
not been provided.
The application is contrary to Section 59 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and
Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997
● The proposal would not have demonstrated that a special regard has been given to the
desirability of preserving listed buildings or their setting or any features of special
architectural interest which they possess.
● The proposal would not have been advertised as affecting the setting of a Listed Building
(121 Montgomery Street, Calton Centre, formerly Kirk Memorial Evangelical Union

The application is contrary to Planning Advice Note: PAN 62 Radio Telecommunications

● The application would ignore the opportunities that exist in urban areas to use small
scale equipment, to disguise and conceal equipment and sensitively install equipment on buildings and other structures.
● The application would be in a visually sensitive location within an urban area where it is particularly necessary to take positive steps to disguise or conceal equipment. Such
locations include conservation areas, scheduled ancient monuments and their settings,
listed buildings and their settings and recreational areas, eg public open spaces.

The application is contrary to National Planning Policy Guideline NPPG 19: RADIO TELECOMMUNICATIONS

● The proposal would not have demonstrated that the operators have explored alternative siting and design. Information about these enquiries should accompany every planning application. Operators should thoroughly explore alternative sites to find the solution with the least landscape impact, which may help allay public concern. Where difficulties in site acquisition arise code system operators have powers of compulsory acquisition. Although due to the time involved in compulsory acquisition operators will generally seek another site.

The pre-application consultation process has not been completed

● The application is not providing evidence or data from the public consultation.
● The pre-application consultation with the Council, with regards to the siting of masts
would not have been completed. The Planning justification statement notes that the
applicant has not received a reply from the Council before proceeding to a formal

For all the reasons listed above, Leith Central Community Council objects to the application and, in accordance with the particulars listed below, the City of Edinburgh Council should refuse the application.

Trams To Newhaven Newsletter: 23rd Oct

The ‘Trams To Newhaven’ team have sent out their fortnightly newsletter, here are some adapted excepts relating to our area;

Leith Central Community Council volunteers continue to liaise with the Trams To Newhaven team and neighbouring community councils. Please visit the “CCTT (Community Councils Together on Trams)” tag on our website to see minutes from previous meetings.

Leith Walk 
Site investigation, excavation works and surface water drainage installation is continuing from London Road to Crown Street.

Pilrg Street to Dalmeny Street 
This section of works has been handed back to Infrastructure & Systems Contractor, SFN, who will commence the main tram infrastructure works.

McDonald Road
McDonald Road / Leith Walk junction has been shut to accommodate utility diversions as part of the construction programme. These planned works were based on documents given to the project that detailed the locations of utilities in the area. Following excavations of the road we have identified the need for additional electrical utility works to take place.

Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times and Pilrig Street will remain open to help traffic flow in the area. Vehicle access to McDonald Road will remain via Bonnington and Broughton Road.

Trams progress so far
Trams to Newhaven have created this video that provides an update on progress so far. From Newhaven to London Road, get a birds eye view of the project. The video outlines current key areas of the project, including archaeological works, Logistic provisions and approximate locations of the future tram stops.

As part of the Support for Business package, Trams to Newhaven have commissioned a series of small murals to be painted on utility boxes on Leith Walk and Constitution Street. Working alongside Vue Arts, the project will help exhibit the work of local aspiring and established graffiti and street artists.

You can sign up for the Trams To Newhaven fortnightly newsletter on at

Leith Walk closures tomorrow from 7pm – 5am

We wanted to remind you that the Trams to Newhaven works require the running lane in Leith Walk to be closed tomorrow from 7pm to 5am and will repeat every weeknight for the coming week. Please see the below tweet;

Lothian Buses have also issued an update on their website at Day buses will utilise Easter Road and Night Buses will use Bonnington Road.

You can keep up with the Trams to Newhaven project and sign up for their regular updates at

McDonald Road Library (& some others) re-opening next month

McDonald Road Library is set to re-open during the day from Tuesday 13th October 2020.

Services resuming include book borrowing and internet access.

Please see the below posters from Edinburgh Council for more information. For up-to-date information, please visit and

Stead’s Place online session – 21st September

We’re delighted to announce that we are hosting a presentation from Drum Property Group, regarding the Stead’s Place development, followed by a Q&A session on Monday 21st September, 7pm.

Local residents are encouraged to submit questions in advance, but are also welcome to ask questions directly at the session. Pre-submitted questions will be addressed first, followed by open questions.

This event is open to the public and all are welcome, though spaces are limited. To take part, please note;

  1. This is a pre-registered event. Please register using Eventbrite.
  2. The meeting will take place on Zoom, so please ensure you are able to use Zoom videoconfrencing software.
  3. You can familiarise yourself with the new plans linked on our Eventbrite page and below.

More information and registration:

Pilrig residents campaign for community garden

A group of residents in Pilrig have started a petition to convert the now-closed Bowling Green behind Rosslyn Crescent into a community garden. The site is currently owned by Lothian Buses.

We are currently unable to take a firm position on this until our next consituted meeting, but residents can learn more about it on EdinburghLive and read the petition itself on 38Degrees.

Major gas replacement works around Montgomery Street

Below is adapted from an email we recieved from Scottish Gas Networks (SGN):

Summary: Works will commence on Monday 31st August and last for six weeks around the West end of Montgomery Street and Montgomery Street Lane.

As you are aware, SGN manages the network that distributes natural and green gas to 5.9 million homes and businesses across Scotland and the south of England. We also provide the gas emergency service in these areas.

I’m writing to you to make you aware of our upcoming project to upgrade our gas network in the Montgomery Street, area of Edinburgh. This project involves us replacing our existing gas mains with new plastic pipe.

Our essential work will ensure the local community receives a continued safe and reliable gas supply for many years to come. We’re working closely with Scottish Government to make sure we carry out our project in line with all current coronavirus safety guidance.

We’re looking to start work in the Montgomery Street area of Edinburgh on Monday the 31 August and will last approximately six weeks.

These works involve the replacement of pipe feeding Montgomery Street Lane, as this is a cul-de-sac we will need to ensure access and egress is maintained. Should we need to close access for any reason affected residents will be notified again.

We wish to assure you that work will progress as quickly as possible and we will make every effort to minimise any inconvenience caused by our works.

We have extra safety precautions in place to protect our colleagues and our communities from the virus. Our colleagues will be keeping to social distancing guidelines on our sites and we’d ask communities to keep their distance too. There’s more information about our coronavirus response on our website:


McDonald Road Fire Station works update

A small update from the Robertson Group working on redeveloping McDonald Road Fire Station, part of which is being converted into the Edinburgh’s Museum of Fire;

Residents Letter – 006 – Progress Update to end of July 2020

Due to the pandemic we are currently all living with, first & foremost I hope that this newsletter / update finds you and your families safe & well.

Since reopening on 4th May 2020, the project continues to be operated under the Construction Scotland Safe Operating Procedures accepted for use for essential works.

The safe operating procedures have allowed the following works to progress on site.

• Progression of the roof coverings including insulation
• Facing brick feature bands to Dryden Terrace & McDonald Road
• Installation of new structural steelwork including projecting window pods
• Installation of bracing steel & structural strengthening works
• Installation of new lift shaft steel structure

In the next few weeks further SFS framing systems will begin being installed which will allow the closing in of the building envelope to commence. By October we will be preparing for window installation to make the building watertight.

Internal fit out will then commence in October.

Early design & detailing work for the Museum of Fire has commenced with the designdisciplines working remotely & from home.

We have also recently been involved with a social media request to assist with watering the street trees on McDonald Road which now appear to be flourishing.

You can find out more about the ongoing development at