Outline Meeting Agenda: 21 JANUARY 2019

Our next meeting is this coming Monday, 7pm at McDonald Road Library. All members of the public welcome! A more detailed agenda will be published soon.

  1. Welcome, introductions, attendance, apologies, declarations of interest
  2. Approval of Minutes of 19 November 2018 meeting
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Community Police Officer’s Report
  5. Planning
    1. hearing regarding 106-162 Leith Walk
    2. CEC planning portal issues
    3. Gretna Memorial telecoms mast (Rosebank Cemetery)
  6. Transport & Clean Streets
    1. timeline for proposed tram extension and interdependent projects and issues
    2. Leith Walk Phase 4 remedial works
  7. Parks & Green Spaces
    1. Water of Leith walkway (Bonnington)
    2. disused Powderhall railway green corridor
  8. LCCC Office Bearers’ Reports
  9. Bulletin
  10. Open Forum
  11. AOCB
  12. Future Meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations

What we’ve been up to in 2018

Another year has passed in which Leith Walk, our much-loved and iconic high street, continues to dominate our meetings. Depending who you’re talking to, Leith Walk, once designated as a pedestrian-friendly boulevard or, more recently, a dual carriageway with pedestrian-deterrent paving (if the current tram designs go ahead), continues to be a political football. Plagued by disruption and road works for over 12 long years, residents are fed up and sharply divided as to whether the trams, should the plans be approved, will actually benefit the area.

Leith Walk disruption

Our Transport sub-committee, already dealing with many large and complex planning applications, have had to pull out all the stops as the comparatively straightforward Phases 4, 5 and 6 of the Leith Walk Programme transmogrified into proposals for the St James Centre, The Picardy Gyratory and the trams.

In response to the prospect of another 5 years of upheaval and uncertainty, LCCC has agreed on a list of measures that we feel need to be implemented if the unique character of the Leith Walk and Easter Road area is to be safeguarded. They range from financial compensation for existing businesses to the improvement of green spaces and better active travel connections to green corridors. To maintain the social mix that makes Leith one of the most popular places to live in Edinburgh, LCCC has also agreed to object in principle to any further planning applications for student and/or hotel accommodation.

Abbeyhill disruption

The Abbeyhill Gyratory, temporarily created for the benefit of the construction traffic to and from the St James Centre, caused serious traffic congestion and pollution. Looking at the St James Development in the long term, it will potentially have a far-reaching impact on the area in terms of housing, businesses, traffic and pollution. We met with councilors and officers regularly to try and improve the situation.

Planning and development

Over the past year the Planning Committee made submissions on 11 applications, including strongly opposing inappropriate proposals to destroy the art-deco shops in Leith Walk near Stead’s Place. We even managed to stop some  over crowded development in confined tenemental spaces by forceful representations. Alongside the community, we are formally representing local people in the Trams consultation, the Powderhall Railway Redevelopment Group, the North East Edinburgh Planning Group and the Powderhall Waste Station Development project.

Vehicle parking

Earlier in the year, our Parking sub-group started a petition to ask CEC to look at ways of regulating parking in the area to reduce car use and air pollution.

The petition gained 390 signatures and was presented to the Transport and Environment Committee on 17 May. Our delegation was well received and we were promised that our parking issues would be considered as part of their report, Strategic Review of Parking, Edinburgh, to be brought to the Committee in August.

However, we were disappointed that this Report, when it was published, did not give us the priority we had expected and a letter was sent to Councillor Lesley Macinnes expressing this. The letter prompted an offer of a meeting with a Council officer which took place early in October. We were assured that the Leith Central Area would be considered along with several other areas of the city and reports would be issued from February 2019.

In the meantime, we have been promised that parking attendants will patrol the area more regularly and on a more random basis. We have also been told that the Council are to appoint a Social Media Officer who will deal specifically with parking issues raised via the various social media platforms.

Both these measures will hopefully have a beneficial effect while we await the outcome of the reports on parking early in 2019.

Supporting the community

We supported the 2nd Leith Chooses, a £120k participatory budgeting project funded by Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government in which all three Leith community councils collaborated. We’re delighted to say Leith Chooses 2019 will take place on the 23rd Feb. Learn more at leithchooses.net.

Have a great 2019! As always, this is a very brief summary of all the meetings and correspondance our community councillors have been up to. If you’re interested, all our monthly meetings are open to the public and we encourage everyone to come along. Our next meeting info can be found on our website.

LCCC November outline agenda

The outline agenda is below – a detailed agenda will be available nearer the time. 

  1. Welcome, introductions, attendance, apologies, declarations of interest
  2. Approval of Minutes of 15 October 2018 meeting
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Community Police Officer’s Report
  5. LCCC Office Bearers’ Reports
  6. Transport & Clean Streets
  7. Planning
  8. Parks & Green Spaces
  9. Bulletin
  10. Open Forum
  11. AOCB
  12. Future Meetings (usually 3rd Monday of the month) and meeting topics/presentations

Voice Your Choice: Edinburgh North East

This Thursday 13th, you decide how North East Edinburgh employment services are funded.

From 10.30am at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Dalmeny Street, residents, workers and volunteers (16+) of Edinburgh’s North East locality can come along and vote for projects of their choosing in a participatory budgeting event similar to ‘Leith Chooses’ from January this year.


How do I know if I live in Edinburgh North East?
Edinburgh services are now split into four localities. If you live in Broughton, Leith, Craigentiny, Portobello, Craigmillar, Niddrie or Duddingston, then you live in the North East locality.

locality map_680x479

More information
More info can be found on Eventbrite. This project is organised by Joined up for Jobs.

Kiltwalk looking for Leith volunteers

The Edinburgh Kiltwalk is on the 16th of September 2018.

The Kiltwalk is a unique charity that enables walkers to raise money for any Scottish charity of their choice. By staging events that bring together thousands of walkers who fundraise for their chosen charity or cause, they support those in need of a helping hand After two successful Kiltwalks in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee which has hosted over 15,000 walkers, the Kiltwalk are excited to come to Edinburgh for the final event of 2018!

The Kiltwalk would love to involve the local communities they pass through on the walk. Part of the route goes through Leith and a pit stop is located in Victoria Park!

Kilties are needed to give their support at the event, keep walkers spirits up and create the most enjoyable day possible. All of the work you do, the time you give and effort you put in to makes the events what they are and is always recognised by staff and walkers alike.

For more info, please visit thekiltwalk.co.uk/volunteer/


Stead’s Place applications to be extended

Below is the full correspondance from the the Convenor of LCCC’s Planning sub-group, Harald Tobermann and Kenneth Bowles regarding the extension for comments on the planning applications until the 28th September 2018.

Dear Kenneth Bowes

Regarding applications 18/04349/CON and 18/04332/FUL.

I write to request an extension for comments for both the above applications by four weeks to 5 October; this should apply to both community councils and local residents for the following reasons:

  • the applications were filed and advertised during the holiday and council recess period when many people are not in Edinburgh, including ward councillors whose advise is sought by their electors
  • there are a very large number of documents to consider, some very lengthy and complex
  • there is great local and wider public interest in these applications, possibly the most substantial since the application for Shrub Place (that went to appeal)
  • the timing of several local community council meetings where these applications will receive public scrutiny do not mesh with the currently advertised timeline

Finally, the application 18/04349/CON has been advertised misleadingly as concerning “156, 158B, 160 And 162 Leith Walk Edinburgh EH6 5DX” (the application form on the portal gives merely a grid sequence); however, it appears demolition is sought for 106-154 Leith Walk. This applies to a lesser extend also to 18/04332/FUL (which gives the same misleading address). To avoid subsequent legal uncertainty over the validity of the process, it seems to me that it would be prudent to re-advertise both applications with a new timeline, or – if the applicant supplied invalid information – to invite them to resubmit.

Harald Tobermann,
Leith Central Community Council

Dear Harald Tobermann,

In response to your email, the original address does appear to be incorrect. Therefore both applications are to be re-advertised with a new expiry date of 28th September 2018. This should provide the community council (and other interested parties) enough time to provide a response.

Kind regards.

Kenny Bowes
Senior Planning Officer
Majors Waterfront Team – City of Edinburgh Council

Leith Central Community Council have yet to formally submit their response.