Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council
Meeting of Wed 24th April 2019 at St Catherine’s Argyle Church Halls,
Present: Brian Gilmore (Chair), Sophia Coyne (Minute Secretary), Mike Shields (MSCC), Shane Voss (MSCC), Douglas Rogers (MSCC), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Alastair McClunes (Resident), Anne Laing (MSCC), Cameron Ross (Cllr), and Neil Ross (Cllr).
Apologies: Alison Service (Treasurer), Susan Agnew (MSCC), Anthony Holmes (Thirlestane Lane Assoc).
Minutes from March’s meeting have been circulated, with a minor change regarding the apologies, and were subsequently approved and seconded by present members.
Brian circulated the agenda, apologies, and noted an action for item 7 on the agenda. He also commented on a misunderstanding about the planning applications regarding the Royal Sick Hospital from March’s meeting but the minutes are strictly correct..
There are a number of ongoing activities that have rendered the police unavailable to attend tonight’s meeting.
Meadows & Bruntsfield Links
There was a discussion concerning the effort of Parks to raise funds from commercial units, and to nominate certain units for this purpose, rather than raising income via cuts.
An inquiry was made concerning the source of power for energy intensive mobile units. Power for big events cannot run off lamp posts. Use of generators was discussed.
The Meadows Festival Committee challenged fees charged in connection with the festival. They were successful in obtaining a reduction in charges from £5,000 to £1,000. Organizers of the event said the event might have been cancelled had the discount not been attained.
The arbitrary redrawing of boundaries in the Meadows in 2017 placed the event in the city centre council ward and resulted in increased licensing fees.
An inquiry was made concerning repairs conducted in the Meadows. There is usually no warning when the repair is urgent.
City Councillor report on topical local issues:
Edinburgh City Council’s planning committee approved proposals for a concert hall in St. Andrews Square today. The venue will be the base for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and will have a range of other uses. It will be built behind the Royal Bank of Scotland at St. Andrew’s Square. the campaign to build the concert hall was backed by a number of sources including charitable trust Impact Scotland and a generous donor who put up £30 million.
There was discussion concerning planning applications for a flat in the attic at 100 Thirlstane Road.
Considerations such as the extent of impact on a conservation area influence whether the council will refuse the application.
In evaluating what constitutes “development” the council considers “material changes in principal elevation” and insertion of roof windows among other things.
Consistency in comments and evaluation on submitted planning applications in Marchmont is the aim.
Election of Secretary (repeat)
Royal Hospital for Sick Children:
It was reported that the planning application passed, and the Mansfield Chapel Building was approved although the final document sent to Downing Group has not yet been seen by Douglas.
Concern was expressed regarding protection of murals inside the space if flats were allowed above it.
There have been discussions between Downing Group developers and community groups including the neighborhood watch group. MSCC should continue to be involved regarding community space. Level of participation has waned. Church historic trust group want to take space as well. Community council and school involved blocked the idea of community space being a joint community space/school.
The concept of housing, one and two bedroom flats, at the site is debated.
There was uncertainty as to moving date for the nursery. There was uncertainty as to the Lease transfer date to the Downing Group. There was no clarity as to road closures, widening of pavement and parking arrangements.
The premises for the Boroughloch Medical Practice is potentially threatened.
Emphasis was placed on keeping lines of communication open with various players here.
Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment: update
There have been no further updates. The Astley Ainsley Community Trust held a feedback session with approximately 100 people. A leaflet of combined preferences was prepared.
A May 27th meeting has also been scheduled. The NHS have been slow to advise of updates.
Agreement must be reached concerning next steps and status of community engagement by the council on this issue.
Review of Community Councils Scheme:
There was discussion concerning the new draft scheme distributed.
Planning matters (Applications & consultations):
New School on Canaan Lane
Objections have been raised and there is a campaign against a new school on Canaan Lane. Traffic issues appear to be the main objection.
Apologies from the treasurer but the books are currently with the Auditor ahead of the AGM.
An event was held examining Climate Change in Scotland: Meeting Emissions Reduction Targets.
A new Climate Change Bill is being considered in Parliament.
There are long term targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 90% by 2050 .
Issues examined include space heating, transport, foods people eat, and lifestyle changes. There was discussion as to whether there is any role that the community council could play. It is worth considering the problem with heating, insulation and environmental impacts in Marchmont. Environmental benefits of renewable energy such as wind power, and tidal power were discussed.
Brian has circulated information concerning tri-annual elections to the members.
9th of September - start of nominations.
30th of September - close of nominations. All forms must be received by then.
This CC has a maximum number of Councillors of 14, so more than 7 will need to be nominated..
If there are sufficient nominations, a meeting will be held on the 10th of October.
If the number of nominations is higher than the number of places available, an election will be held on the 31st of October.
Date of next meeting:
22nd of May 2019.
The meeting closes at 8:38 PM.