This blog is where you will find community council information, including meeting times, minutes and agenda. Do please comment on postings.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Agenda for MSCC meeting on We 28 September 2016 at 7:30pm

Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council will hold its monthly regular meeting on We 28 September 2016. 

The meeting will take place in our usual venue of St Catherine's Argyle Church Halls on Beaufort Road/ Grange Road. The meeting will start at 7:30pm.

This will be our first meeting of 16/17.  The next meeting after this one will be We 26 October 2016. 
All who live or work in the area are most welcome to attend 


 1                  Sederunt and apologies
 2                  Draft Minutes of last meeting, 22 Jun 2016, and matters arising (not otherwise on Agenda)
·     Pedestrian route on Beaufort Road
·     Public toilets
·     Pothole patching
·     Marchmont & Sciennes Trader’s Funds
·     Planters at foot of Marchmont Road

 3                  Police Report

 4                  Meadows & Bruntsfield Links:
·     Update from Mike Shields
·     Progress with Jawbones’ return

 5                  City council Councillor report on currently topical issues

Items for discussion
 6                  Planning applications
                  - Process for applications to modify/ remove trees
                  - Next steps with redevelopment of RHSC (Sick Kids) site
 7                  Community Council elections/ co-options
 8                  Seagull nesting
 9                  Grange Road Crossings
10                  Leaflet delivery
11                  Rising rolls at local schools
12                  Christmas Tree Lighting event
13                  My worst roads – request from Daniel Johnson MSP

For info:
14                  Treasurer's report
15                  Meetings attended
                  - South Central Neighbourhood Partnership
                  - Edinburgh Southern Community Council Planning Officers meeting
16                  Marchmont Road crossing
17                  24 Bus

18                  AOCB
19                  Date of next meeting: 26 October 2016

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Less than a week to go till nominations to join Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council close (Mo 26th)

There's less than a week to go till nominations to join Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council close (Mo 26th) and there are still plenty of spaces!  

If you want to discuss what's involved do get in touch via the contact details shown on the right of this blog.

Remember the nomination paper can be downloaded at

Friday, 16 September 2016

Note of public meeting about Redevelopment of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) site

The meeting was held at the Church of the German Speaking Congregation on Tu 13 Sep starting at 19:30

Douglas Rogers welcomed around 100 people to the meeting and outlined the Agenda.  Alastair Philp added his welcome on behalf of the Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council. Ian Murray MP and Miles Briggs MSP had sent apologies. Daniel Johnson MSP and Cllr Steve Burgess were present, and Cllr Cameron Rose arrived during the meeting.

David Wood from PAS (Planning Aid for Scotland) gave a short introduction to PAS, which provides impartial advice and training on the planning process for local communities. He also spoke about how community engagement in planning can be assisted by the use of 'Charrettes' and described PAS’s Charretteplus approach.  The 'Charrette' process uses intensive community-design workshops to develop a shared vision.

Charles Campion from JTP then spoke. He outlined how the 'Charrette' process (including site visit, drop-ins and 2 days of workshops) had been used for redevelopment of a former hospital site in London. Experts had facilitated the process and when the eventual planning application was considered by the Planning Committee it was passed unanimously.

Stewart Adams from NHS Lothian then explained the approach to be taken in selling the RHSC site. The site will be marketed now (as a single site) with initial offers invited by Christmas, and final offers early in 2017. A developer will then be selected, and they will continue the planning process.  Community Engagement is starting now, with this meeting, and will continue, involving the developer when one is chosen.

Richard Slipper, from GVA James Barr (acting as planning consultant for NHS Lothian) shared the proposed plan for pre-planning activities.  He is compiling a 'position statement' that will summarise relevant planning 'facts' including what the local development plan says, constraints on the site due to listed buildings and the site being in a conservation area.  This 'position statement' will also include initial community views: to gather these there will be a public workshop in November (date to be set; involving local groups including MSCC).  The 'position statement' will help to develop a list of criteria that can be used as part of the developer selection process.

Laura Bird from Sciennes Primary Parent Council asked that the planning and engagement process considers how more playground space could be found for the school.  Perhaps by limiting traffic on Sciennes Road in front of the school to pedestrians and cyclists and enlarging the existing community woodland strip.

Elizabeth Cumming from the Mansfield Traquair Trust spoke about the Phoebe Traquair murals (picture 1 and picture 2) on the site in the current mortuary. These are class A listed. Some are painted directly onto lathe and plaster but some were moved to the site from another location in 1894 and are deliberately embedded in boxes. The murals are fragile and must be protected during construction. National Museums of Scotland would help with any fund raising.

Then Stuart Irvin, the Minister at St Catherine's Argyle asked us to consider, as we ponder redevelopment options, the fact that the hospital has been the site of many personal tragedies as well as triumphs.  He also made a plea for affordable housing to ensure a rich mix of ages of resident.

The meeting concluded with a question and answer session, including:
  • There was concern that a developer might not take notice of community views. Hard to predict until they are chosen.
  • Could affordable housing be constructed that is externally indistinguishable from 'posh flats'
  • Daniel Johnson MSP asked if NHS Lothian would fund a Charrette process. They have no current plans to do full 'Charrette' but would engage if a planned funding application to Scottish Government is successful. They do commit to a 3 hour workshop in November.  In a quick poll of the meeting most said they'd like to take part in a 'Charrette' process if there was one.
  • Could there be a stipulation on chosen developer to run a 'Charrette' process? This is in theory possible but would have to be paid for from proceeds of sale. It was pointed out (by Charles Campion) that a 'Charrette' can save a developer money if it smooths passage of the planning application.
  • Could developer be compelled to leave public space? Always a balance between routes through a site and resident's privacy.
  • Could there be 'meanwhile uses' if the site is vacant? Intention is for developer to develop as soon as NHS Lothian vacate (in spring/summer 2018) but could perhaps be considered by developer if there's a delay.
  • Could property be transferred from NHS Lothian to City of Edinburgh Council for Sciennes School? NHS Lothian need to maximise money they make from sale on behalf of Scottish Government who get the money from the half of the site they own [the other half is owned by the Edinburgh & Lothians Health Foundation who have agreed a joint sale with NHS Lothian].

Edinburgh’s Volunteer Recruitment Fair #edvolfair16 is on Wednesday, 21st September 2016

Volunteer Edinburgh, as well as sixty volunteer involving organisations, will join together on Wednesday, 21st September 2016 between 11.00am and 7.00pm at St Paul’s and St Georges Church Hall on York Place to host Scotland’s leading Volunteer Recruitment Fair.

Entry is free to the public, and we expect more than a thousand visitors to come along to find out about the huge variety of volunteering opportunities available across Edinburgh with charities, social enterprises, community groups and the public sector. 

This year, in addition to representation form a wide-range of volunteer involving organisations, there will be free learning zone workshops happening throughout the day, and for the first time a free app to enhance your experience.

When visitors need to sit down after taking in all this new information there’s a cafĂ© serving delicious food and drink run by bespoke organic events (boe).

Volunteering helps people build new skills, get a taste of different working environments, create new friendships and boost individual confidence and wellbeing.

For those seeking a route into work, volunteering also adds skills to CVs as well as providing work experience and up-to-date references.

Making the choice to give your time and expertise to help others is a positive and meaningful commitment, with big rewards for the volunteer and the organisation or clients that the volunteer donates their time to. The Volunteer Recruitment Fair is the perfect way to match those who want to make the best use of their time with those who benefit from their input. It’s also an opportunity to publicise Edinburgh’s vibrant Third Sector community.

For more about the Volunteer Recruitment Fair, visit the Volunteer Edinburgh (you can also download programme from here)

Paul Wilson, CEO of Volunteer Edinburgh said “Volunteering is a simple enough word with a big impact.  It’s not just the difference that it makes to people’s lives and the city but the difference it can make to you.  It is proven to improve health and wellbeing and can make all the difference when looking for work or when starting out in Education.  You get the chance to do things that you never thought you would, make new friends, enjoy yourself and all the time knowing that what you are doing is genuinely changing the world. 

So if you are not sure what you can do, what you want to do or what you might enjoy then we are here to help”

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Friends of the Meadows & Bruntsfield links: newsletter and next meeting (18 Nov)

Their next public meeting will be at the German-speaking Church, 1 Chalmers Crescent, on Friday 18 November. Martin Hyman (with experience of the Olympics, as well as training on the Meadows) will be the speaker.

Views sought about Edinburgh's greenspaces!

Forest Research have launched a short interactive mapping survey to collect information on where people go to see and enjoy nature in Edinburgh. Please complete this survey if you live or work in Edinburgh, or you have visited this city in the last 12 months. It can be completed in just ten minutes:

They will use your responses to identify the most loved areas of greenspace in the city and to get a better idea about why you value these areas. 

This survey has been developed as part of the European GREEN SURGE project and findings will be shared with City of Edinburgh Council and other Edinburgh Living Landscape partners to help inform better planning and management of the city’s greenspace. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Whitehouse Loan gas main replacement works starting now (for 20 weeks)

Following discussions with City of Edinburgh Council, work to replace a gas main that runs beneath Whitehouse Road will start on Monday 12 September and take approximately 20 weeks. 

This project has been brought forward to take place in advance of road resurfacing work minimising long-term disruption for local residents and road users.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council Election: nominations now open!

Nominations are now open (5-26 Sep) to become a member of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council.   You can download a nomination form (PDF) here.   


If you would like to make a difference in your community then Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council are keen to attract new members.   

Find out more about Community Councils in general by visiting this website

If you want to know more about Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council then explore this blog or contact the secretary, Alastair Philp, using the contact details to the right -->

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Reminder! Public meeting on redevelopment of the Sick Kids site: next Tu (13th) at 19:30

Just to note that the public meeting about consultation on plans for the Sick Kids site will be next Tuesday - the 13th - at 7:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Church of the German Speaking Congregation on Chalmers Crescent.

Mix & Mingle - 8th October 2016

South Central Neighbourhood Partnership Active Living Action Group is hosting its second Information Day which will provide the opportunity for local people to find out what activities are available to them both locally and across the city.

The event is aimed at people aged 50+ but everyone is welcome.

You can get more information from the South Central Neighbourhood Partnership website.  Nearer the time they will list all of the contributors. 

Friday, 2 September 2016

Update on re-development of the Sick Kids Hospital site: Public Meeting on Tu 13 Sep 2016 at 7:30pm

On 30 Aug representatives from Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council, from a local Planning Action Group, and from Sciennes Primary School Parent Council met with NHS Lothian staff to hear about plans for redevelopment of the current Royal Hospital for Sick Children Site.  Childrens’ services move in 2018 to Little France. 

We heard that NHS Lothian have appointed planning and (separately) property marketing advisors.  They propose to advertise the RHSC site (all as one site) this autumn, and hope to have a prospective buyer by Christmas 2016.  The prospective developer will then start the formal pre-application notice (PAN) process and prepare a planning application.

NHS Lothian is keen to start community engagement now. The planning advisor will prepare a ‘pre-application position statement’ over the next few months laying out i) formal planning constraints, ii) heritage considerations (listed buildings, conservation area etc.) and iii) community views. This will be used as one tool to assess bids for the site.

The hospital will move in spring 2018 and continues to operate as normal till then.  Re-development by the developer (whoever they are) will not take place till after then.

To find out more come along to a Public Meeting on Tu 13 Sep at the Church of the German Speaking Congregation in Chalmers Crescent. This meeting will be at 7:30pm and will be co-hosted by the Planning Action Group for the Sick Kids Site and by Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council.  NHS Lothian will attend to provide a short summary of the engagement exercises they intend to provide in relation to the pre-planning application stage - and to answer questions.  Representatives from PAS (Planning Aid Scotland) and from a community planning consultancy will also be present.

Updates will continue to be posted at this MSCC blog

[update, 20 Sep: Note of the Public Meeting now available]

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Redevelopment of the Sick Kids site: Public meeting at 7:30pm on Tu 13 Sep

A public meeting will be held on Tu 13 Sep at 7:30pm in the Church of the German Speaking Congregation on Chalmers Crescent.  See the poster below.

update: [more news on plans for the redevelopment is now available]

Warrender Park Road to be temporarily closed between 5 Sep to 9 October to install new pedestrian crossing at Marchmont Road

The new Pedestrian Crossing of Marchmont Road, close to the junction with Warrender Park Road, appears to be about to happen. Notices have gone up on lamp-posts advising of temporary closures to Warrender Park Road at Marchmont Road and restrictions on parking and loading.

The CEC Traffic disruptions page ( shows it as: 

MARCHMONT ROAD Meadows/Morningside
At Warrender Park Road
City of Edinburgh Council

Installation of new puffin crossing.
2-way temporary traffic lights. Warrender Park Road closed at both sides of Marchmont Road.
Sep 5, 2016
Oct 9, 2016

Edinburgh Doors Open Day 2016 on 24 & 25 Sep 2016

Each year the Cockburn Association organise an Edinburgh Doors Open Day event to celebrate the architecture, heritage and the built and natural environment of our beautiful city.  

This year the event takes place over the weekend of 24/25 September.

In this 26th year the theme is Innovation, Architecture & Design and many of the venues and activities will reflect this.

A brochure is now available (you may wish to click on 'read more').  Many of the events are expected to be popular so you are advised to book ahead.