The ‘noise in the night’ explained…

Last Wednesday night / Thursday morning (15/16 May) was the night from hell, with both a loud high pitched continuous whining noise, PLUS a constant ear-splitting siren from Seafield sewage works keeping people awake all night from Bonnington to Craigentinny and all points in between (i.e. mainly, the Leith Links area!). This was a record high for noise complaints, and people in our community are angry and frustrated (and tired!).

Naturally Leith Links Community Council reported the matter, as did many individual residents. We have received this report from City of Edinburgh Environmental Protection Dept.

Veolia have investigated and advised me (Council officer) that they had an alarm activation. Their Sludge Import Tank reached its high level and this triggered an audible alarm.  The tank level is higher than normal in order to minimise the overall odour risk within the Seafield site.  It is rare for this alarm to trigger during the night shift as most tanker imports are limited to the day shift – however an overnight import delivery seems to have triggered the alarm.  The alarm stays on until the sludge level within the import tank is reduced (by the processing of sludge through the sludge treatment centre on site).

Veolia shall be reviewing the arrangements for this alarm further today, and will advise me on progress or future actions.  Scottish Water shall also reduce their road tanker imports to Seafield in the short term, which will reduce the rate of level rise within the Sludge Import Tank.

Veolia have apologised for the inconvenience and disturbance caused within the community, which I agreed to pass on to residents who complained.

To add insult to injury, sleepless people have had to stay indoors and keep their windows closed all day yesterday (hottest day of the year so far) due to the overwhelming smell of sewage pervading the local area. What does Seafield have to say about that? They say – we did warn you we were cleaning the tanks…

We think that while it is good to get warnings and explanations, that is not enough. Action is needed. Change is overdue. This community wants to see our Council standing up to Scottish Water / Veolia, and enforcing its own laws and ‘Code of Practice’, to protect our community’s basic quality of life from the endless nuisances caused by Seafield.

Leith Chooses 2019 seeks your views

Leith Links Community Council have been instrumental in delivering Leith Chooses (or Leith Decides as it was known) for a number of years, as a Community Council we are keen to support our community having a say in how local funds are spent.

This years Leith Chooses was once again a big success, once again building on the success of previous years. But, the Leith Chooses steering group are, as always, keen to get feedback & suggestions to help ensure that future events meet the communities expectations.

Please take a few minutes to complete their survey, whether you took part this year or not, they want to hear your views.

Click on the TAKE SURVEY picture to take part.

 

 

Junction redesign: Easter Road / Duke Street / Lochend Road / Vanburgh Place

City of Edinburgh Council intend to make some changes to the road layout at the Duke Street / Easter Road / Lochend Road / Vanburgh Place roundabout which will provide for:

  • An increase in the number of pedestrian crossings;
  • Footway widening and new street furniture to make the area feel more pedestrian friendly:
  • Traffic signals to assist in managing the anticipated increase in traffic flows during the upcoming tram works;
  • Improved parking and loading facilities on Duke Street;
  • Removal of the eastbound bus stop on Vanburgh Place: &
  • Full carriageway resurfacing and street lighting renewal

They have provided the following information slides to let our community know what is planned.

To submit feedback, or questions you can contact Council officers directly, or you can complete our simple webform.  Our webform will send your questions or feedback directly to Council Officers but will automatically copy circulate it the Community Council and Councillors Booth, McVey and Munro.

City of Edinburgh Council have confirmed that information on the proposals will be made available to the public through local notice boards, community councils and a letter drop to local traders and residents to allow the public to provide comment and feedback.

 

 


Submit your views & questions

You can use this webform to send your questions & views to City of Edinburgh Council (Place Department), with your questions & views automatically copied for information to City of Edinburgh Council (Councillors Booth, McVey & Munro) and Leith Links Community Council.

Proposed changes to Duke Street roundabout
You are now ready to submit this webform. *

 

Update as of 11am on Sunday 19 May 2019

Since we published these proposals a number of members of the community have taken the opportunity to ask questions or provide their views via our webform. Our webform sends peoples views & questions directly to Council Officers, with us and local ward Councillors (Councillors Booth, McVey & Munro) copied in.

Here is a list of the questions asked & views shared as of 11am this morning:

» Read more

City of Edinburgh Council announce road resurfacing programme for Summer 2019

City of Edinburgh Council have announced that a series of streets in the Leith area will be resurfaced over coming weeks.

The roads affected have been prioritised because of their current condition and because the upcoming tram works will prevent any planned resurfacing work from taking place in and around the proposed tram line during the construction period.

The resurfacing works are planned to start on 27th May and will be carried out during weekdays in separate phases in order to minimise disruption to the public. On some traffic sensitive routes, work may be carried out under nightshift to minimise the impact on traffic. Most roads affected will be fully or significantly resurfaced with a select few being only partially resurfaced or patched as required. There will also be some improvements to pedestrian facilities, traffic signal upgrades and renewal of some street furniture.

Listed below are the streets affected along with the proposed month/order of the works and traffic management. Please note this is subject to change following final confirmation from the contractor (MacLay Civil Engineering) next week. Neighbourhood notification letters will be issued to local residents and traders prior to the commencement of each phase.

Street

Month

Treatment

Proposed Traffic Mgmt

Abercromby Place

May

Fully Resurfaced

Road closure. Local diversion

North Leith Sands

May

Fully Resurfaced

Road closure. Local diversion

Albany Street

June

Fully Resurfaced

Road closure. Local diversion

Lindsay Road

June

Fully Resurfaced from North Leith Sands to Portland Street

One-way closure. Local diversion

Broughton Street

June

Full Resurfaced

Northbound Road Closure

Ocean Drive

June

Fully Resurface both northbound lanes from Lindsay Road to roundabout, and southbound bus stop at Holiday Inn

Road closure. Local diversion

East London Street

June

Fully resurface from roundabout to Cochran Terrace

Lane closures

Annandale Street

June

Fully resurface from Haddington Place to roundabout and from roundabout to Hopetoun Street

Road closure in 3 phases. Local diversion

Great Junction Street

June

Fully resurface from Cables Wynd to Henderson Street

Lane closures or Eastbound closure with local diversion

Dalmeny Street

July

Overlay setts in centre of carriageway (retain setts in parking areas)

Road closure. Local diversion

Hopetoun Street

July

Various sections resurfaced

full Road closure. Local diversion

Gordon Street

July

Fully resurfaced and overlay setts on Manderston Street

Road closure. Local diversion

McDonald Road

July

Resurface eastbound bus stop at Papermill Wynd

Lane closure or southbound closure with local diversion

Broughton Road

July

Fully resurfaced from Broughton Primary to Bonnington Road

Road closure in 2 phases. Local diversion

Links Place

July

Fully resurfaced

Road closure. Local diversion

Duncan Place

July

Fully resurfaced

Road closure. Local diversion

Bonnington Road

July

Fully resurfaced from Broughton Road to Corunna Place

Road closure in 3 phases. Local diversion

Academy Street

July

Overlay setts in running lanes (retain setts in parking areas)

Road closure. Local diversion

Newhaven Road

August

Fully resurfaced from Pilrig Street to Pitt Street

Road closure in 2 phases. Local diversion

East Hermitage / Restalrig Rd Junction

August

Fully resurface Junction area

Temporary Traffic Lights and closure of Links Gardens. Local Diversion

Duke Street / Easter Road Junction

August

Fully resurface roundabout and approaches

Temporary traffic lights

Pilrig Street

August

Fully resurfaced from Spey Street to Newhaven Road

Road closure in 2 phases. Local diversion

Easter Road

August

Various sections resurfaced

Various lane closures and temporary traffic lights. Possible road closure required at Albion Road with local diversion

Scheme of Administration for Community Councils, review by City of Edinburgh Council – final phase

You will recall previous posts which detailed the review of the Scheme of Administration for Community Councils in Edinburgh.

 

Today, City of Edinburgh Council have launched another consultation on proposed changes to the scheme.

 

 

(The below text is copied from the City of Edinburgh Council website)

Overview

On 7 February 2019, the Council authorised the Review of the Scheme for Community Councils. Minor changes were made and approved for further consultation on 2 May 2019.

The Scheme, Constitution and Standing Orders set out the rules and regulations governing community councils including election procedures, meeting arrangements, membership, financial provisions and a code of conduct.

The review aims to improve and update the terms and provisions of the Community Council Scheme. A complaints procedure is also proposed for considering breaches of the code of conduct.

Your views are welcome on the draft Scheme and complaints procedure as contained within the Full Council report.

Your opinion matters

The consultation period runs until 3 June 2019.  You can send your comments by

Please include your name, address and postcode.  No personal details will be published.

Further information about community councils and the review is available at on the Council website

ParkLife Project Seeking Community Volunteers (Leith Links)

You’ll recall that earlier this year we brought you news of the Edinburgh ParkLife project, which is seeking to use data & information to improve Leith Links (and three other parks elsewhere in the City).

They are moving forward with their project and require the assistance of some volunteers to help them.

 

 


The ParkLife user research team invites you to be a ‘park blitz’ volunteer. With your help, we will conduct short face-to-face surveys with park users about their experiences in four parks across Edinburgh. ‘Blitzes’ will last for two hours in one park, and volunteers can opt to participate in more than one blitz. We havefurther opportunities to volunteer at two park community events, for two or four hours per event. You will receive a short trainingsession on the survey questionnaire on 7 May at 2pm (if unavailable then, please let us know).

User research is part of the larger ParkLife project, which experiments with new techniques for gathering and analysing park data. For more information go here.

We will provide a packed lunch and refreshments.

Please indicate your availability in the doodle poll below:

https://doodle.com/poll/f8q3rsnpk9b9uuar

The ParkLife user research team is excited to meet all of you!

Morgan & Michaela

Morgan.currie@ed.ac.uk and M.Hubmann@ed.ac.uk


 

Work begins on new Leith Links play park

Leith Links Community Council is pleased to note that work has now began on site as part of the new Leith Links play park.

The new play park is expected to be open by the end of July 2019.

 

Reporting noise nuisance from Seafield Waste Water Treatment Plant

A number of months ago we introduced one handy web from on our website which allowed members of our community to report nuisance & intrusive odours from Seafield Waste Water Treatment Plan to City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Water, Veolia, Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament.

As we have recently received a significant number of complaints relating to nuisance noise from the plant, we have updated our form, allowing you to report smell and / or noise from the plant.

The form can be accessed by clicking here, and can be used any time, any day.

 

 

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

Seafield Update

During 2017 the local community continued to suffer noxious smells and it was clear that the reporting system set up by Edinburgh City Council was ineffective. Difficult to use and response times poor.

In 2018 the CC introduced a reporting tool for the community to quickly report nuisance smells when it became clear that system set up by Edinburgh City Council (COEC) was ineffective, difficult to use and resulted in poor response times.

The link the CC set up is easy to use and we know that our locally elected politicians and public servants are aware of reports. More importantly the public servants we expect and trust with policing our complaints can’t ignore public concerns.

Between 09/07/18 and 19/08/18 there were 123 reports.

Then 09/09/18 to 23/11/18 19 reports.

During the most recent incident between 15/02/19 to 18/03/19 we received 57 reports

Scottish Water issued an update on 15/02/19 alerting the community to urgent work being carried out at Seafield due to build up of sludge. This was followed by an apology issued by Scottish Water on 26/02/19.

SEPA told the community they only received 1 complaint passed to them from COEC and they were not aware that there had been so many.

SEPA said to Leith Links Residents Association

Thanks for your email. I am sorry to hear the community have been experiencing odours. I have logged your email as an environmental event. The event reference number is ENV/0897328 and I can provide the update below.

SEPA did not receive any complaints about the site during the month of February 2019. We received one complaint on Friday 1 March 2019. Two officers attended the site on Friday 1 March and undertook an odour assessment on site and at two offsite locations.

Offsite the officers detected a faint whiff of sewage odour from the site. This was not deemed to be offensive. The odour detected offsite matched the odour detected on-site near the picket fence thickeners, which are unrelated to the activities covered by the Waste Management Licence and located outwith the Waste Management Licence boundary. Our findings were passed to City of Edinburgh Council Environmental Health on Monday 4 March.

The City of Edinburgh Council said

We can advise that we received a total of 83 Seafield odour complaints in February 2019, with 77 of these received between 24 and 28 February. Officers carried out 14 visits to the area, between 24 and 28 February, as a result of these complaints. In addition, four proactive assessments within the community were also carried out during the month and a plant inspection was carried out on 26 February.

We can confirm that mostly no or faint odours and occasionally moderate odours were witnessed on the visits made to the community during February 2019, which would not amount to what you refer to as a smell nuisance.

So although we received 57 complaint reports COEC didn’t think there was a problem. There is a problem for the local residents who have taken the time to report it.

I estimate that for every report made through the CC website there are probably 10 households who don’t

During February the CC has also been contacted by local residents because of noise which appears to have started about the same time that the most recent smell incidents were being reported. Veolia had to bring in mobile centrifuges to deal with sludge levels.

Leith Links CC received the response below from the City Council investigating noise

I refer to your emails below concerning a miscellaneous noise, causing disturbance over a wide area around Seafield / Restalrig. I’m sorry you had not received a reply, however we do not appear to have received your original email. We have now logged your complaint on our system.

With regard to the noise, I have two ongoing complaints in the
Seafield / Prospect Band area and received another from a resident in the Restalrig area yesterday. However, so far it has not been possible to witness the noise being complained off. Seafield Sewage Treatment Works (STW) were also contacted last year, however their investigations did not identify any unusual noise issues from machinery. A noise survey visit to one of the residents had been scheduled for last night, but was cancelled due to the high wind speed; as it affects noise measurements. The noise survey has been re-scheduled for next week.

Information provided from the original two residents who had complained and the fact that another two complaints have been received suggests that the noise is becoming louder and more persistent. Therefore it should make it easier to investigate the noise and determine the source.

I’ll give you an update once I have carried out the noise survey visit next week.

The noise stopped before any further investigation could take place about the same time the work stopped at Seafield.

On a balance of probability these problems are linked to Seafield.

The infrastrucure at Seafield is old and it’s failing on a more regular basis to cope with excessive levels of sludge. 

I also believe that during the most recent incidents there was a crisis at the plant that Veolia were trying to fire fight. Both SEPA and COEC have let the community down again by not investigating incidents properly.

We still have this mistaken belief by public officials that their noses and ears are better than those of the community.

Urgent action and investment at that the plant must be the way forward.

We haven’t even reached the normal smelly season during May.

Leith Links Community Council will continue to work together with the Residents Association and I promise to raise the communities concerns strongly at the next Seafield Stakeholders meeting scheduled for 260419

Jim

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