Leith Links event application: Community Council responds to application for circus Extreme 2020

Earlier this month we let you know about plans being considered by city of Edinburgh Council for an event to be held on Leith Links by Great Russian Circus Limited, click here to view our original post.

We asked for your comments, and we have now submitted them to City of Edinburgh Council to consider alongside our own comments, which are copied below for your information.

We are not sure when the City of Edinburgh Council plan to make a decision, what information or views they will take into account or when we will be notified of their decision, but we will make a further post about the decision as soon as we know.

Please remember that comments, suggestions, questions etc relating to parks can be submitted to City of Edinburgh Council at any time by emailing parks@edinburgh.gov.uk.


Please find attached the comments from those members of the public who responded via our website. As you can see, the majority of the comments were negative towards the Circus being allowed to use Leith Links.
As for the view of the Leith Links Community Council, while we are aware that these comments are only representative of a very small number of those in our area entitled to a voice, we have concerns regarding transport, the area of the Links that the Circus may use and the need for reassurance that the Links is restored once the Circus takes place, if it does. So while we are not against the Circus using the Links, given the short time it would be there, we do need these concerns addressed.
We do not wish to be seen as ‘NIMBYS’ regarding every application that comes in. However have real concerns over the lack of information provided to ourselves to enable us to make a fully informed decision on applications to use the Links for commercial purposes.

Responses from members of the community included in our response:

“I think, given the current disruption around the area with the tram works etc, this event should be held elsewhere. Parking and traffic are already chaotic, and will be only be increased by the event.

If it weren’t for the current disruptions, I’d have no problem with the event.”

“Think this is fine, since the application is only for two weeks use and is appropriate for all ages.”

“I would rather not see this happen on the links. A full week of the summer with lorries etc on the grass. This will always wreck the turf, be an eyesore and obvious noise pollution. Leave the parks alone, send these sorts of things out of residential areas, ridiculous!!”

“Concerned by noise as I live in close proximity, also not happy about the restrictive nature of this for the public links space during peak summer time”

“This application should be refused. The amount of vehicles on the links will cause damage to the grass, many of these vehicles will sit on the grass for over two weeks. This is also the the part of Leith Links where the school children from the local school do PE, games etc. The area is also used for Cricket and football.

The volume of traffic around the links area is already a problem for local residents. Having up to 1400 more people coming into the area on a daily basis for 11? Days would cause more congestion.

This is also a commercial concern, what benefit will local people receive from this organisation. Public spaces should be used for events for local folk not commercial organisations who come and go and give nothing back to the people of Leith.”

“I don’t see a problem with this event. A circus aimed at families is a good thing upholding a fine tradition”

“Please reject.

Leith Links is for mostLeith residents the only green space left. Everything else is in vicinity is gone. I enjoy Leith Links, its green, calm and its a place where I can look around and don’t see human made things. It’s a place for kids to play, an older person to sit on a nice day, a stroll with the dog or a nice picnic. It’s a park where I charge my mental well being. It’s home to an amazing mixture of wildlife and nature. So no, leave Leith Links alone.

In addition, with the current tram works construction and many diversions etc. The infrastructure would not cope with 1400 performances. 30 vehicles on site would trash the park.

Its bonkers even considering this.”

“No Thank you, No Thank you, No Thankyou…it’s right in front of my home.”

“There is currently a lot of disruption around the leith links area due to property building works, tram construction, and other roadworks. I strongly believe the council must refuse this planning application. The cumulative effects of these construction works alongside the impacts associated with the circus events (noise and vibration, traffic and transport, local amenities, impacts on the flora and fauna in the links) would have a severe detrimental impact to the local area. Having a circus in this area with associated parking for up to 1400 attendees would put extreme pressure on the already busy and difficult to find parking for local residents. The council surely already is aware of this having proposed parking charges for locals. Furthermore the main routes required for emergency services to gain access are already diverted for to the tram works so I would put the question back to the council of what the emergency evacuation procedures would be? Can the roads around this support this? This is a predominately residential area, the links are used for sports teams, dog walkers and families and whilst the circus is present for a short time the longer term impacts on the grass of the links due up to 30 vehicles parking on the grass, toilets and the tent itself would leave a lasting impact.”

“I think this is a great idea and good use of the massive public space available.”

“I think its a great idea. Would bring a lot of people down to Leith who don’t usually go. I do however think there could be potential issues if people were to drive down because of the ongoing works on constitution street.”

“As I live within spitting distance of this event with my bedroom on the main road i feel this would be detrimental to my quality of life both in terms of noise, lights and additional cars.

As there is a metal fence running the length of the site, vehicles will need to traverse the pavent at the bottom or top of the field, causing more damage.

As people will be living on the links for the period this will be an issue 24/7. I strongly object to the site location”

“I object to this event taking place on the links across from my family home due to the detrimental affect it will have on our enjoyment of our family home (noise level, volume of traffic etc ) and also our enjoyment of that part of the links during the schools summer holidays.”

“I am against this as it will destroy the grass and the community. Look at the mess of Princes St Gardens.”

“Self contained” with generators, that means 14 days of permanent generator noise to provide power for the accommodation of the 60 people on site. No thanks. Where are the visitors going to be parking their cars? Give or take call it a 1000 capacity, say 60% come by public transport. 4 people to a car that’s still 100 cars in an area where I even struggle to park my car during the summer months due to the increase of vehicles from B&B visitors.

“I think losing the ocean terminal red gravel site has left the council with a dilemma of acomodating requests like these, but leith links is completely unsuitable due to the close vicinity of residential property as well as there being no additional parking capacity to cope with the increase in demand.”

“The traffic conjestion around Leith is already at gridlock without further inconvenience. We are quickly losing trees/ green space as a result of development and trams integration so it would be dissapointing to have further space taken up with a circus.

Leith Links should not be used to house large-scale events of this sort.”

“Pollution from the cars. Noise from the event. What are the times of operations night? Does the money charged for the rent come back to the links?. Will the park be left in the same condition that it was before the event?”

“Please reject.

Leith Links is for mostLeith residents the only green space left. Everything else is in vicinity is gone. I enjoy Leith Links, its green, calm and its a place where I can look around and don’t see human made things. It’s a place for kids to play, an older person to sit on a nice day, a stroll with the dog or a nice picnic. It’s a park where I charge my mental well being. It’s home to an amazing mixture of wildlife and nature. So no, leave Leith Links alone.

In addition, with the current tram works construction and many diversions etc. The infrastructure would not cope with 1400 performances. 30 vehicles on site would trash the park.

Its bonkers even considering this.”

“Would the pressure of stages, stands and vehicles not ruin the football pitch? There have been shows like this in previous years, but were they not restricted to areas not used for football, cricket or rugby?”

“Parking, noise, rubbish, traffic, damage to 3 well used football pitches ect This is very close to lots of housing and is possibly the worst place in the links where it could be situated Links Gardens is already a traffic nightmare during peak hours and this will seriously exacerbate the issue”

“More than enough traffic issues in the area already with various, unneccessary roadworks. This will make things worse to the point of being unbearable. Presumably the council will be removing the disgraceful caravans parked there as a present to us who have to put up with a circus we have no interest in? No, I thought not. Use area for dog-walking and general escaping from the stresses of the city. Instead CEC is bringing the city here. Would want to know what the council’s approach to animal welfare is as well if there are animals. Likely to be parking hell for the duration of the event. Once again, no regard for the people who pay their council tax only to be faced

by yet another event the money from which does not seem to be spent on anything other than the city centre or some other vanity project. Disgraceful.”

“Hi, I’m concerned that, yet again, parks and land that is there for all to use, is being commandeered for a commercial enterprise. This will take over a significant amount of the links for two weeks in the summer, while kids are off school. No doubt the grass will be all chewed up, and they estimate 1400 attendees daily; how many will use public transport? I’d guess not that many, so parking, in an area where this already an issue for residents, will be even worse. I’m not sure how any of this is a benefit to the Leith community.”

“Totally oppose this. Will destroy accessibility, usability and peace that the park destroys in one of its most popular months for residents. Terrible proposal.”

“Public space and heavily used in the summer by local residents. This is not acceptable in such a built up residential area, noise, pollution and damage to the gardens themselves. What about the wildlife? Stop commercialising green space. Have this out in Islington.”

“I am against this application on the grounds,of my business, mike English food and stacks,will be serviley affected and not to mention the mess it will make on the two football pitches that have been very well looked after over the years.may I sergest the very far end of the links,towards portobello, you whoud not have to put up with cast iron fenceing that runs alongside your proposed site, and much better access for the cars,Van’s, and hgvs that it will be needed to sett up.thankyou”

“I would hope that planners have given consideration to visitor parking. When The Mela was held in this park last year vehicle traffic was not controlled and most roads in the area came to a standstill.”

“For the past two years the Mela has resulted in dangerous parking in he streets around the event on Leith Links / Claremont Park. Pavements were blocked, forcing pedestrians onto the roads, particularly those with prams; lines of sight were blocked at junctions by cats parked on yellow lines, meaning cars had to pull out into moving traffic without looking properly. The requested capacity for the event is far too big for associated cars to be accommodated nearby, even with significant event staff directing traffic because they can’t be on every corner, and every set of double yellow lines all the time. The Mela has shown us this to be true, two years running.”

“this is a ridiculous commercial use of public space and ought not be allowed. Noise will affect nearby residential premises, and cars on the grass will affect it long term.”

“On principle, I feel that we need to keep making the point that the Links is a public space, and we need every inch of our green spaces. I am strongly against colonisation / privatisation for commercial purposes! Also this area is really struggling just now with road closures, diversion, and generalised traffic and parking hell, so it does not seem sensible to add ANY extra burden to this chaos.

Having said that, this proposal is for a fairly short period only and I have no particular problem with this family friendly show, provided that there is a curfew (for noise) of about 9/10pm, and of course the necessary toilet and litter control provision. But The large number of vehicles proposed, to drive across and then park on the Links is completely unacceptable. They need to reduce this number drastically and park /‘camp’ elsewhere. And only have the smallest possible number of vehicles for set up and take down only, and basic support.

Also the location is wrong. This site overlaps with the school playground, and an area of known defective drainage. And there is no easy or short vehicular access – they’d have to drive the full length of the Links from Seafield to get here. I would suggest putting the circus in the middle of the west Links where it traditionally always used to go. It is outside the football season, so hopefully could be accommodated.”

“In principle I’m supportive of the events being held on Leith Links but the reality is that for large commercial events there just isn’t the parking capacity to enable them to operate. There are no car parks within the vicinity so it just isn’t viable.”

“strongly oppose this”

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