Minutes of Marchmont & Sciennes Community Council
Meeting of Wed 22nd September 2021, 7.30pm by Jitsi Meet.
Present: Brian Gilmore (Chair, MSCC), Rhianna Robinson (Minute Secretary), Nigel Ayton (Grange Association), Susie Agnew (MSCC), Alison Service (MSCC), Anne Laing (MSCC), Cllr Melanie Main, Alastair Philp (Resident), Christopher Cowdy (Resident)
Apologies: Cllr Dickie, Cllr Ross.
Minutes have been circulated; approved by Alison and seconded by Susie.
Has been circulated.
Points of note include continuation of regular vehicle and foot patrols around the area and the operation of number of speed checks locally including Grange Drive and Melville Road.
Meadows and Bruntsfield Links:.
Provision of New Water Tank
Discussion of the new water tank to be installed in Bruntsfield Links, with work to begin in January/February 2022. Scottish Water have planned to install this new tank to combat the terrible issues with water overflow in the sewage system which has been noted to be particularly bad on Marchmont Road and Marchmont Place. The sewer system will run the length of Marchmont Crescent and feed into the new tank which is deemed a sensible solution to the ongoing problem. Three main issues with the project were discussed. Firstly, the ‘Motor Control Centre’ (MCC) will sit above ground in a kiosk which is 6m x 3m and concern was raised over its visibility as its location was suggested at the top of the hill. The issue of the visual profile of this has been acknowledged by Scottish Water who will re-evaluate. Secondly, the issue of preserving the Wildflower Meadow was raised with the hope that Scottish Water’s laydown areas can work around this to prevent minimal damage. Thirdly, residents of Marchmont Crescent have expressed concern regarding parking, which will have to be reviewed by Edinburgh Council. The bus route ‘41’ will also be diverted during the course of this work.
Edinburgh World Heritage Trust Board
Alison expressed concern regarding the expensive and appearance but is liaising with them.
A donation of £4000 was made by Forbes Nursery. Planning permission is still required.
The Meadows Cricket Pavilion
Considerable work required to prevent leaking and damage. There is discussion of a community asset transfer to become a community hub. Edinburgh Council have expressed interest in this which is promising but subject to ongoing discussions.
City Councillor Report on topical local issues:
Short-term lets: ongoing issue raised in Marchmont.
Waste: concern raised regarding the collection of rubbish and recycling and the ongoing presence of overflowing bins. Discussion concluded that there may be a rise in this due to the student population returning to the area. However, a concern of a potential missed route near the Sick Kids Hospital demolition site was raised which Cllr Main will investigate.
Council Meeting: Upcoming meeting on 23rd September to discuss care home provision and provision of intermediate care homes which would be facilitated with IGB, not The Council. Impactful due to the substantial elderly population in the area. The outcome of this meeting will affect many residents.
Electrical car charging points: Query of how this will be adopted and accessible for tenements. Cllr Main to forward additional information to Nigel and Alistair regarding location and dates for charging points.
Continuation of AGM – Election of Chair and Secretary
Chair: Brian was nominated and has accepted.
Secretary: Anne was nominated and has accepted. Alison to provide additional support to Anne during her role.
Sick Kids Hospital Site Redevelopment
Anne detailed a group of residents to liaising with Downing Group to form one point of contact, of which she is lead. Downing Group has been responsive to all issues. At present, demolition has been halted to clear all demolishment scraps, a lot of which is being recycled. The rest of the property has been on for sale since late June/early July with the stipulation of following current plans.
Cllr Rose in contact with Downing Group. Cllr Rose has received correspondence from Steve Burges who is attempting to gain further clarification regarding the selling process and future plans for the site. The deadline of sale is 13th October 2021, indicating they may have a buyer in mind.
Astley Ainslie Hospital Redevelopment
Nothing to update, with Nigel receiving confirmation there is currently no further progress.
The Bruntsfield Links sewer tank is the main topic of interest, as discussed above. The Grange Association Website has details of all proposed planning applications in the area.
Café Artista: There is a lack of planning permission, however work has started to build a staff room in the back garden of the café. Concern was raised by a neighbour as it is very close to their boundary. Held that this work should be halted instantly, with the importance of work being stopped before construction commences. An enforcement request needs to be raised with The Council. Cllr Main will email David Givan regarding these issues, copying Alison in as a matter of urgency.
Nigel: Paper has been circulated. The key things to note are that the open day is this weekend (Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th September). Always looking for volunteers for Friends of the Cemetery which can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
A tree trail laid out with a few dozen trees with descriptions. Wall graves walk and walk around notable burials. Upcoming projects include standing up fallen gravestones, which the Grange Associations have partially funded. This work will be carried out imminently.
Monthly report has been circulated. The bank balance is currently £1774.11. Alison has also calculated a forward financial projection until year end in April 2022.
Noticeboard Keys: Anne has received keys back from Adam and plans to make new notices, advertising upcoming meetings and points of interest.
Planters: The Council Nursery will provide plants when required for free going forward.
Future Meeting Location: The church hall would be available for the next meeting if desired. Nigel raised the potential of a ‘hybrid’ style where a live stream could be set up to offer both virtual and in person attendance. Decision held to remain online for the present, but this is to be reviewed again in January 2022.
Resignation: Shane Voss has resigned.
Date of next meeting: Wednesday 27th October at 7.30 – Planned to be held on Zoom via two 45-minute links.