Noise Nuisance from Seafield Sewage Works – Update

For over a month now, local residents have been plagued (on and off, but mostly ON) by a distressingly loud, continuous noise, 24/7. It is driving people crazy, and making them angry. Many residents are especially distraught because they cannot sleep, even with earplugs. It is usually a continuous high pitched whine, although it can on occasion be accompanied by, or replaced by, a low pitched rumbling/pulsing.

Leith Links Community Council has been following this up vigorously, and has had (albeit slow to get started) good support so far from City of Edinburgh Council Environment Protection Dept.. Luckily noise – unlike smells – can be measured objectively, so they could not pretend it does not exist. It has been established definitively that the noise is emanating from Seafield Sewage Treatment Works, from a defective compressor on Primary Settlement Tank (PST)1, and to a lesser extent from PST Compressor 8, possibly with other ‘potential contributing factors which are being considered by the operator’.

Environmental Protection say (over a month after the first complaints)  ‘I can confirm that this matter is already under investigation. We are in dialogue with Veolia at the Seafield Waste Water Treatment works in relation to the noise. … I can advise you that Veolia are treating this as a priority and are actively looking to put short term and longer term measures in place in order to address this concern.’

The Council has requested a full report from Veolia, who run the Seafield plant, detailing what exactly is wrong and what actions they will take to ‘minimise’ (hhmmm..) the noise in the community. They expect this soon and of course we (LLCC) are urging that pressure is kept up on Veolia, for swift action!

This is just one more sign that Seafield is not fit for purpose. Since January, via this LLCC website form, there have been 76 reports of bad smells (70 of which came in between 24 February and 31 March). It is still smelling, today. Reports of the noise have been coming in since 5th March, continuing steadily until now, from at least 20 different people.

John Telfer, Head of PFI, Scottish Water, says “In the first instance I apologise for the fact that …members of the community have been inconvenienced by recent odour and noise issues….Can I assure you that Veolia are working to address the noise related issues that you and other stakeholders have made reference to. Veolia are fully aware of the inconvenience this is causing and are looking at what could be done in the immediate short and longer term to deal with these noise emissions…. Again please accept my apologies for the inconvenience these issues have caused and be assured that Scottish Water is taking steps to address your concerns.”

Is this good enough?

How come Veolia / Scottish Water didn’t start dealing with the noise problem much earlier? Would anything have been done at all if the community had not kept on reporting this? How come the Council does not seem to treat this noise nuisance as non-compliance with the Code of Practice they are supposed to ‘police’ and hold Seafield to account on?

What can residents do?

Now that the Council is finally ‘on the case’, there is no point in reporting the same noise repeatedly. That just means that the Environmental Protection Officer’s time is taken up replying to individuals, when we actually need him to spend his time  keeping up the pressure on Veolia and Scottish Water. BUT we (LLCC) would like to ask you to report it anyway – only via the form on this website. We suggest that you report the noise when first you hear it, and at daily intervals if you can be bothered. Currently the form is really only set up for smell reporting (we ARE updating it asap) but there are boxes that you can complete anyway saying something like ‘Along with the smell’ (or, ‘Not smell but’)  ‘continuous high pitched whining noise nuisance experienced’ & how loud, what effect it has on your quality of life.

Reporting via the form (see top of this page, or sidebar) means we can keep an accurate record of all complaints and compile these at intervals to keep the Council updated, without wasting their time on an hourly/daily basis.

However, just in case you want a personal response, or want an officer to visit your house, these are the correct contact points for Environment Protection:

Email – asknoise@edinburgh.gov.uk

Or use the general help lines on Tel: 0131 200 2000 or Twitter – @edinhelp

Edinburgh TVL Consultation (Transient Visitor Levy)

The City of Edinburgh Council is running a formal consultation concerning the best possible arrangements for introducing a Transient Visitor Levy (TVL) / Tourist tax in the city.

If you have not already done so, we would appreciate if you could take the time to complete the online Edinburgh TVL consultation survey.

In addition to the online survey the council is planning to host three further consultation events for residents, these will be held at Waverley Court on:

  • Monday 3 December 2018:- 6pm 7:30pm
  • Tuesday 4 December 2018:- 6pm to 7:30pm
  • Wednesday 5 December 2018:- 2pm to 3:30pm

These have been promoted previously in a number of ways but any further promotion you might be able to do would be appreciated. We ask those interested in attending send a confirmation by email to strategyandinsight@edinburgh.gov.uk.

Leith Neighbourhood Partnership meeting – 3 December 2018

The next meeting of Leith Neighbourhood Partnership will be held on Monday 3 December 2018 at 6pm in McDonald Road Library.

The meeting is open to members of the public and will include an update on £eith Chooses (which is currently open for applications).

The papers for the meeting can be downloaded here in three parts:

Leith Links Community Council is an active member of the partnership, this month we will be represented on the partnership board by Community Councillor John Tibbitt.

 

Leith’s WW1 Commemoration – Sat. 10th November – 2pm in the Malmaison Square

  

Leith 100 -The War’s Over Event

Special

Commemoration

Service

to mark the Armistice of

the Great War 1914/18

Open invitation to all on The Shore,
in front of the Malmaison Hotel, Leith,
with Quintinshill 1915 Memorial Railway Carriage as focus

Saturday 10 November

Commencing at 13.30 hours – Service at 14.00 hours

Conducted by Revd. Iain May, attended by the Lord Provost, and supported by the citizens and families of Leith

 

Trams to Newhaven – extra time – please respond!

Breaking News! Leith Links Community Council is pleased to announce that the Tram Design 2 Consultation has been extended from 28th October to 11 November. This gives everyone time to respond with their views –PLEASE FILL IN THE SURVEY if you live near the tram route, because it WILL affect you. This extension was requested by the coalition of community councils along the proposed tram route in Leith.

We also welcome that the final decision by the Council to go ahead with the tram extension, or not, has been put back to March 2019 (instead of 13 December 2018). This will allow for much-needed time to work on the many detailed questions that remain – not least, in our area, regarding Constitution Street. And all the arrangements needed during a 2 year construction period.

Trams Update – 23 October 2018

Councillors will make the decision on whether or not to proceed with the Trams to Newhaven project in March 2019.

Tenders for the project were received in early September and evaluations are ongoing.

The final stage in this process is to seek best and final offers from the bidders which will then be used to complete the Final Business Case for consideration by elected members.

It is important for the Council to have sufficient time to undertake due diligence and comprehensive evaluation of the final submissions and the Council has therefore decided to take extra time to allow this process to take place.

The Council has undertaken extensive consultation with residents and businesses in Leith and Newhaven to inform the final design of the proposed route and has proposed a £2.4m Support for Business package during the construction period.

You can view the Trams to Newhaven project designs and plans, which have been updated thanks to public feedback from consultation earlier in the summer, until Sunday 11 November on the Council’s Consultation Hub.

Tram Consultation Saturday, 13th October Ocean Terminal 12-5pm

If you want to have your say on the proposed Tram extension you will be able to view the plans at Ocean Terminal next Saturday,13th October between 12 and 5pm.

This is your opportunity to comment on the latest plans.

Love it or hate it the final decision will be made later this year so make your voice heard.

I’ve attached plans for the section from Constitution Street to Ocean Terminal to get your vocal chords warmed up!

 

Tram plan

 

 

 

Leith Neighbourhood Partnership Meeting 27th September

Members of the local community are welcome to attend the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership meeting, to be held at 18:30, Thursday 27th September, Nelson Hall, McDonald Road Library. Meeting papers here.

What price Local Democracy?

The investigative  / fact checking online journal The Ferret recently researched just exactly how much Councils invest in its Community Councils. It seems City of Edinburgh Council invests 7p per head of local population per year, to hear views from local people. The least was Dundee – 1p – and the highest was Shetland – £6.81)  Read the full article here.

What does this mean for local democracy?

Community Councils are statutory bodies tasked by local authorities to “ascertain, co-ordinate and express to the local authority for its area…the views of the community it represents”. All Community Councillors are volunteers.

So what does your Community Council do? A fair question. One short answer is (slightly facetious, yes, sorry!) – we do our best….

CCTT – JOINT STATEMENT on TRAMS

Community Councils Together on Trams

Leith Links Community Council is one member of a group of four community councils who have issued a joint statement urging the city council to reconsider the wider implications, the detail, and the timeline of the controversial proposed extension of the Edinburgh tram to Newhaven.

Read the joint statement here from the Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) –(i.e. Leith Central, Leith Links, Leith Harbour & Newhaven, and New Town & Broughton, through whose wards the extended tram will run, if given the green light by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC).  These bodies approve the proposed extension of the tramline in principle,  but urge caution and highlight a number of concerns on which they are seeking reassurances from the trams team and CEC. The joint Community Councils are seeking improved communications/consultation, as a matter of urgency.

Read the joint statement here

COMMUNITY COUNCILS TOGETHER ON TRAMS – PRESS RELEASE

Community Councils Together on Trams

29 June 2018

Leith Links Community Council is one of a group of community organisations who are urging the city council to reconsider the wider implications, the detail, and the timeline of the controversial proposed extension of the Edinburgh tram to Newhaven.

A joint statement urging caution and seeking improved communications as a matter of urgency has been issued by a coalition of the four community councils through whose wards the extended tram would run, if given the green light by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC).

The statement released by Community Councils Together on Trams (CCTT) – which includes the community councils of Leith Central, Leith Links, Leith Harbour and Newhaven, and New Town and Broughton – says that while all four groups approve the proposed extension of the tramline in principle, if it is to be done well, they highlight a number of concerns on which they are seeking reassurances from the trams team and CEC.

The statement says: “The communities that we represent are understandably extremely eager that the mistakes of the previous tram construction works should not be repeated. We think all sides can agree on that. Consequently the community is seeking a high standard of solid evidence that this time the work will be better planned and implemented.”

While the document says that the community council coalition views the proposed extension as “an important opportunity for the broader social and economic development of the Leith area and beyond”, it adds the caveat that there is “an unavoidable impression that issues are being rushed or key information is not being shared”.

It continues: “The result is that, as of the present time, the four CCs which are party to this submission do not have the level of confidence and standard of evidence that our communities seek.”

Their key areas of concern focus on the design philosophy of the extension and the route, the consequences for the local economy, the desire for a realistic appraisal of the environmental benefits of the extension, and the entire readiness of this enormous project to get the go-ahead at this time.

The Outline Business Case for the tram extension was approved by CEC last September, and the city council is scheduled to make a final decision on whether to proceed with the project, or not, towards the end of this year. If approved, preparatory works could begin next spring.

In the meantime, as the consultation process continues and the project leaders await the bids from the four joint ventures vying to win the contract to build the extension, details of which are due at the end of July, the findings of the Hardie Inquiry into the original trams fiasco are yet to be presented, although they are due to emerge in the autumn.

Sally Millar, Secretary of Leith Links Community Council, said: “Leith has seen an enormous amount of development in recent years and with more to come; we need to be increasingly mindful of all the design considerations relating to the tram extension and how these impact on the local community. And we are determined to do that.”

Carol Nimmo, Chair of New Town and Broughton Community Council, added: “The design of the tram extension should be aligned with the city’s over-arching transport and design priorities of environmental improvement, reduction of traffic, and people-led ‘place-making’.”

Charlotte Encombe, Chair of Leith Central Community Council, noted: “The proposed tram extension passes through a unique eco-system of distinct communities, businesses, cultural spaces, cafes, pubs and restaurants, and spontaneous meeting places. It is vital that a realistic compensation scheme is agreed well in advance of the tram extension project being approved by the council.”

Rob Levick, Chair of Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council, added: “Inevitably there will be disruption to community life during the construction phase. Everyone understands that, but in order to keep that to the minimum we’re looking for evidence that the key milestones have been identified and each will be achieved before proceeding to the next stage, that the community are not left with open construction work that unnecessarily impacts them any longer than is absolutely necessary.”

      

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