Next Meeting of Leith Links Community Council – ONLINE – 6:30pm Monday 26th February

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 26th February, at 6:30pm. This will be an ONLINE ONLY meeting (Teams).

Agenda available here.

Minutes of previous meeting available here.

The meeting is held in public,to allow interested local residents to participate.
Email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk if you wish to attend, and you will be sent a link.

What’s happening in Leith Links?

Monday 26th February – next Leith Links Community Council meeting, 6:30pm. This will be an ONLINE ONLY meeting (TEAMS). Agenda available here.

Email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk if you wish to attend, and you will be sent a link.

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£EITH CHOOSES Results night 22th February 

The results of which local charities / community groups have been successsful in winning funding will be announced ‘live’ at 6:30 pm at Leith Community Centre (cafe area). All welcome, do come along to hear the news, and for refreshments and a chat. Short meeting.

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February  – Leith Links Community Council survey about traffic and parking changes. Have you filled in this survey yet? Please do so, to have your voice heard, regarding how your life as a local resident, is affected – positively and/or negatively – by all the recent changes to traffic and parking in our area. Timing is key, as some of the changes which were temporary (such as the ‘bus gate’ on Links Gardens / Links Place) are about to be made permanent unless people report that they are not working well.

Give your views via the Community Council survey here

You can also make your views known direct to the council via this link:

edinburgh.gov.uk/leithconnections

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Events on the Links 2024 

We have just been informed that the City of Edinburgh Council has REFUSED permission for the proposed event FLY Summer Of Love’92 to take place on the Links, in May 2024. This is good news, as the community council and many local residents had objected to the application, feeling that this particular large scale, long and very loud event and Leith Links, so close to residents, were not a good fit for each other.

Music Encounters March 2024

Provided by the Council, there will be some live music on the Links for all local residents and ‘ordinary’ park users to enjoy, free of charge, on Saturday 16th March, from 1300h to 1500h. More details to follow later.

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Do you want this event on the Links?

This is the response that the Community Council has sent in to the Council, with regard to a proposal to hold an electronic dance music festival event on the Links, across a weekend in May 2024.

If you wish to send in a comment yourself, whether in support or as an objection, please do so as soon as possible, as consultation is closing very shortly. Email parks@edinburgh.gov.uk

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The Leith Links Community Council is writing to formally OBJECT to this proposed event on Leith Links in May 2024.

It is not that the Community Council and local residents object to all / any concerts on the Links -general nimby-ism – actually, we have received lots of extremely positive comments about the Proclaimers concert organised by Regular Music last year, and an indication that more of that kind of event might be very well received locally – it is that the majority object to this particular event. The reasons for objection follow below, and basically focus on time scales, scale and noise. We believe that Leith Links and this event are not a good fit for each other. This is basically a two day festival and Leith Links is too close to a densely populated residential area for such an event.
Time-scales – Is this too close to the 8 June date for the Gala Day, in terms of letting the grass recover? And in terms of blocking off access to a large section of the park for local residents and park users?
Length of the event –  This plan would apparently block off a large section of the Links for 10 days – in stark contrast to the the Proclaimers concert which was done faster, within about 4 or 5 days.
 Also the weekend days of the proposed concerts are too long – much longer than the Proclaimers concerts. FLY would be 12-11pm  and 12-10pm – with loud electronic music playing from three different sources, more or less continuously (whereas the Proclaimers was only 3-10 with music only playing between 6 or 7 – 10)
Finish time – It has previously been agreed with the Council that 10pm is an absolute deadline for amplified music, whether it’s a Saturday or any other day. This is so that local residents, especially those with young families, can sleep. 11pm is not acceptable
Scale –  the scale of this would  be similar to the Proclaimers concerts in terms of numbers of  tickets sold, but the type of music would not be as universally  acceptable to local residents as the Proclaimers were – it will be very loud electronic dance music. 12,000 inside the fences and potentially many other young people flooding the Links outside the enclosure might be very different to the intergenerational crowds who came for the Proclaimers.
 
Noise -This sounds like a 2 day non stop  ‘Festival’ not just two concerts.  As we know from the Proclaimers (who only played for 4 hours max per night), everyone locally can hear  amplified music on the Links. Continuous loud electronic music for 11/10 hours a day would not be acceptable. This type of electronic dance music is famous for being particularly loud and penetrating. We would anticipate endless complaints from locals.
We particularly object to the three different sound sources, meaning that music would presumably be continuous. And specifically to the Landrover Defender ‘background  music’ source as this is not protected by a tent, so will be even louder than from the other stages. 
Location – There was a reason the festival was held previously at Hopetoun House – i.e. it was as far away as possible from residents. That would be a much more appropriate locus for this kind of event. Or a bigger park in Edinburgh further away from local residents e.g. Inverleith?
On the Links, the proposed location of the tents looks wrong, this should be as far away as possible from residential properties. (There is actually nowhere on the Links that would be far enough away!)
Traffic and Parking – There are already major parking problems around the Links. Due to the new parking restrictions on the north side of the Links, local residents on the south side of the Links now get swamped with irresponsibly parked cars mainly due to commuters on week days. In spite of public transport links nearby, there would obviously also be many cars flooding into the area for this large scale event, with resulting chaos (like a Hibs match but lasting 48 hours instead of 4 hours!!) and this would cause major inconvenience for local residents.
The Principle – The Community Council and many local residents believe that concerts should only be located on Leith Links if they bring positive benefit to the local community. We are opposed to events occupying public space that simply bring profit to the council and the event organiser, and we vigorously wish to protect Leith Links from such events. We particularly do not want to see Leith Links turned into a regular ‘cash cow’ for promoters instead of a peaceful and health giving green space available to be enjoyed by local people and visitors. 
We have taken time to consult members of the local community via our website. The comments we received back were mostly negative although there were positive views mixed in with these. However, most of the positive ones seemed to be based on a belief that the event would be very similar to the Proclaimers concert last year, whereas reading the details of this application it appears to be very different to that event. Comments submitted by local residents include the following:
I strongly object to the FLY event. It’s too big, will run until late both days, will cause parking issues and will be extremely noisy. It’s not possible to have quiet electronic music! We must stop the council from presuming that they can use the Links as a full- blown concert venue and close the facility off for entire weekends. That’s not its intended purpose.
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The FLY festival is too big, too long and potentially too noisy. We don’t want these sort of events, otherwise the Links will end up being a full-scale music venue and none of the residents will ever get a decent night’s sleep! 
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I agree with the objection to the FLY Summer of Love ‘92 two day event. Living directly on Leith Links, and with a young child, loud music and lots of visitors late at night is extremely disruptive for our family.
Thank you

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As a public space it  (ie the Links) should cater to all age groups and tastes….The LLCC should be representative of the whole community. Let the young people have their fun also.
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We had a great time during the Proclaimers, but that was because folk could sit outside the tent and enjoy the music. If the whole place was cordoned off then that wouldn’t be good. Looking forward to more events this summer.
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I would fully support … The Proclaimers were amazing.
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Events on the Links in 2024? YOUR views, please!

The Community Council has been informed of some applications to hold events on the Links this spring / summer, and we are seeking local residents’ views on these.

We have to respond to these proposals asap, as far as possible representing the views of the local community.  At the moment, we are minded to object to one and approve of three others, as follows, but this is not ‘cast in stone’ and we could perhaps change our responses if local people feel strongly.

City of Edinburgh Council ‘Music Encounters’ – Saturday 16 March 2024 – LLCC  currently minded to approve

FLY – Summer of Love ‘92 – 2 day weekend, May 2024 – LLCC currently minded to object

Leith Festival Gala Day – Saturday 8th June 2024 – LLCC currently minded to approve

World Orienteering Championships (WOC) 2024 – Friday 12 July 2024 – LLCC currently minded to approve

Please can you use the comments below, or email us on contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk to make YOUR views known on each of these.

Student Accommodation in Manderston Street Bingo Hall?

This is not technically in the Leith Links Community Council area, but it sits right on the boundary.

Developers are proposing to redevelop the old Bingo Hall in Manderston Street into purpose built student accommodation. (The current Bingo operators Club 3000, will move to new premises in Ocean Terminal, summer 2024.)

The building is not a historical listed building, but it is part of the Leith Conservation Area, and is an iconic building and local public institution.

Is student accommodation what we need in this location? If not, what does the Leith community need / want to see there?

Please go along to the public exhibition this Wednesday 17th January, between 4pm and 7:30pm to hear and see what the developers are proposing. And please make your views known to them, at this early stage, before they actually put in a formal planning application. This is what they have to say:

Former Leith bingo hall to be redeveloped – Public Consultation Event – Wednesday 17th January, at McDonald Road Library

Developer Longstone Limited has unveiled plans to conserve and redevelop the existing bingo hall on Manderston Steet into new student homes. This is in response to a local desire to preserve the building, located in the Leith Conservation Area, and address a chronic undersupply of student accommodation in the capital.  

The existing building is in poor condition and is extremely energy inefficient. 

The conservation and retention of the property does restrict its uses and following the building’s inclusion in the Leith Conservation Area, the potential to use the site for housing was explored.

However, the building is not well-suited to a residential conversion and a viable scheme would fail to comply with many of the Council’s planning policies for new housing (for example, dual aspect dwellings and minimum open space requirements). If housing were to be delivered, it would require the demolition of the building.

The proposed use as student homes allows for the creation of a high-quality development that complies with the Council’s student housing policies, while also retaining and enhancing the elements of the building that contribute to the surrounding Conservation Area.

The use of the space for student homes, will also serve to free up residential properties that otherwise would have been used by students, whose numbers in Edinburgh’s universities have grown by over 25% between 2016/17 and 2021/22 (Cushman & Wakefield Student Needs Assessment, July 2023).

While a public consultation event is not a statutory requirement, a newsletter promoting this has been circulated locally and can be accessed here. This consultation event will take place on Wednesday 17th January 2024 between 4:00pm and 7:30pm in McDonald Road Library, 2-8 McDonald Road, Edinburgh EH7 4LU. 

Exhibition boards detailing the project will be available at the event, as well as from the project website (www.manderston-street.co.uk) on the day of the event. 

Orbit Communications

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Some previews of their plans are available elsewhere:

https://www.urbanrealm.com/news/10814/Historic_Leith_bingo_hall_to_declare_a_full_house_.html

https://www.scottishconstructionnow.com/articles/student-accommodation-planned-at-former-leith-bingo-

Leith Local History Society, The Northern Light House Board

The next meeting of Leith Local History Society takes place on Tuesday, 16th January .

We meet in Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirgate at 7pm

Free to members and £2 for visitors.

This months event is a talk by Mike Bullock about he Northern Lighthouse Board who control and maintain all the lighthouses round the coast of Scotland.

You may have walked past their offices and control centre based in George Street and wondered about the flashing small lighthouse above the door,

I’m sure Mike’s talk will give an insight into the history and continued work of the Board.

LIGHT HOUSE TALK

Hope to see you there.

Have YOUR say on recent traffic changes around Leith – do it now!

Leith Links Community Council has created a survey to find out how the traffic changes recently introduced to Leith are affecting local people. We really want to hear from everybody – please fill it in!

You can access the survey here:

Please don’t delay, fill it in now. We will be collecting this information throughout January and February and will collate the information received and pass it on to the Council so that they have detailed information from real people who live and work here. The next few months are crucial. Not all of the changes are permanent yet – some, such as the bus gate on Links Place, and the blocking of Tolbooth Wynd, have been carried out on a ‘Temporary Traffic Regulation Order’, so feedback from local residents could help to determine whether or not they are made permanent, modified, or dropped.

Other changes are meant to be permanent, but if there is enough evidence to suggest they are not working well, there should be scope for them to be reviewed.

We’ve included both the low traffic neighbourhood and the controlled parking zone, because although these are the responsibility of 2 separate departments in the council, we know that both these schemes interact with each other in affecting our lives as local residents. Equally there is space for free text so you can add other comments.

Some people don’t bother with ‘consultations’ because they feel that the Council ‘always just does what it wants, whether people support it or not’. But this survey is different – it is NOT a Council consultation – we are your neighbours, and we WILL do our very best to use the information you supply to make the Council listen. The basic survey does not take long to complete, although there is scope within it to go into details about each different street, and specific changes, if you want to.

Thank you!

Oh, and, please pass the link on to your neighbours and ask them to fill it in too.

https://forms.gle/EinHqiXkak4hj6Ly7

or via QR code