Leith Links Community Council voices support for street trading licence application relating to former Police box on Leith Links

A few weeks ago City of Edinburgh Council informed us that it was considering an application it had received from someone seeking a street traders licence in relation to the disused former Police box on Leith Links. Representations in relation to the application could be submitted by any interested party, including our Community Council.

We have not yet been advised whether the application has been granted, or not.

In response to the application we submitted the following representation;


Dear Sir,

Representation relating to Street Traders Licence application 48396.

On 7 December 2021 we were informed by you that a Street Traders License application (48396) relating to the Leith Links Police Box area was being considered, and that representation could be made by 4 January 2022.

Having considered the application notice & site map before us I can advise that Leith Links Community Council SUPPORT this application.

In doing so we offer the following comments;

 

  1. As is customary with civic licensing matters very little information has been made available to this Community Council, or the wider community. As such, it is difficult for the Community Council, or indeed other respondents, to be able to fully understand the situation or fully consider the benefits or implications for our community. We would take this opportunity to encourage City of Edinburgh Council to ensure that on every occasion it engages with our Community Council that it does so meaningfully, and ensures that both parties are privy to any information required in relation to the topic being considered.

 

  1. We understand that it is the intention of the applicant to trade hot & cold drinks and snacks. There are of course number of other businesses trading near the former Police Box, some of whom sell similar products however we do not believe that this application should result in an overprovision, based on the operating hours of nearby businesses which are very different from the proposed trading hours permitted by this application.

 

  1. The Police box has previously attracted vandalism, in the form of both graffiti and fly posting. Since the 1980s is has been well established that graffiti and vandalism, as well as being unsightly, can cause people to feel unsafe and can negatively influence how people conduct themselves in an area with such occurrences. As such we feel that bringing the Police Box into meaningful use will deter any further graffiti & fly posting, but will also provide the prompt removal of any which does occur.

 

  1. Three well used footways converge at the site of the Police Box, where there are also two signalised pedestrian crossings crossing well busy roads. These footways and crossings are used by a wide spectrum of community members, including many who benefit from having the publicly owned footway kept clear of obstructions. The Council should appropriately monitor the locus for any such obstructions, and have in place provision to deal with any such non permitted encroachments promptly and effectively. It should also be noted that due to the close proximity of two schools, there are often children using the pavement in front of the applicants site to make to their way to and from school.

 

  1. The business operations of the Police Box should not encroach onto the common good land of Leith Links, in example the grassed areas or the footpaths within. This should include not using the greenspace for the storage or any other positioning of refuse, stock, tables and chairs etc.

 

  1. It is likely that a large number of Police Box patrons will carry their purchased goods into the Leith Links greenspace for consumption. We are concerned that this could generate additional waste, which may be in significant amounts, especially during periods of sunny and or hot weather. As such we would ask that consideration is given as to whether there is enough litter bin capacity within Leith Links, or whether there are additional litter bins needed, and also whether current litter bins require to be moved position within the greenspace. We would request that appropriate monitoring takes place over coming months, particularly during hot and or sunny weather periods.

 

  1. As the Police Box is located directly adjacent to a busy road, near a junction, the operator should take appropriate steps to ensure that no vehicle servicing the Police Box, such as the operator, their staff or suppliers utilise the pavement or roadway in such a way so as to cause a nuisance or safety risk whilst parking or loading/unloading, including ensuring that no such vehicle mounts of the footpath or greenspace. Consideration should be given by the Council as to whether the current yellow lines are appropriate or whether it requires to take further measures to make them enforceable, and of course regular monitoring of this location should take place.

 

  1. Leith Links can generally be described as a busy and well used greenspace, for a variety of purposes. Visitor numbers can grow considerably during periods of significant sunshine & heat, and during organised events such as Leith Festival Gala Day. It is our view that it is important that appropriate visitor amenities are provided within the Leith Links greenspace area such as adequate litter bin provision, toilet facilities and seating. The provision of drinks & snacks being available from the Police Box we will add to the visitor experience in a positive manner.

 

  1. We are aware that in November and December 2021 the applicant has undertaken business activity at the locus, similar to that for which the license is sought, without any complaints or concerns being raised with us.

 

  1. Council waste bins provided in Leith Links, and in the streets adjacent to the Police Box are provided for non-commercial usage, as such the applicant will require to have in place their own trade waste removal arrangements. We would seek to request that all trade waste is kept off the greenspace or public footway at all times. And that should trade waste be left on a pavement for collection that the business has in place proper arrangements to keep control of such waste to ensure that it is not unsightly or becomes scattered across the footpath or greenspace. Where such refuse becomes scattered, either by seagulls or misdemeanour of passing persons, that the applicants assumes full responsibility and clears any such debris promptly and without any costs being incurred by the local authority.

 

  1. We would suggest and encourage the applicant to minimise the use of disposable and single use packaging where at all possible.

 

  1. The locus is adjacent to busy roads, no doubt there are fumes being produced by many of the vehicles using those roads which may render seating at those locations as being unpleasant, however the level of exposure would not be greater than a person standing at the nearest bus stops, as such we have no serious concerns relating to this matter, and view this as a matter of choice for the patrons themselves to consider whether they may use of such a facility or not.

 

  1. We would encourage the City of Edinburgh Council to include this applicant, as well as other businesses operating within or very nearby to Leith Links to be considered stakeholders and to be consulted/notified of planned events on Leith Links as well as be involved in any discussions about the future of Leith Links.

 

We hope that you, and any other appropriate City of Edinburgh Council colleagues will read, consider and record our comments, and where appropriate undertake any necessary follow up activity.

It would be of interest to us to be notified of the outcome of your deliberations, such as whether the license is granted, and any applicable terms & conditions which would apply.

Should you wish to discuss this response with our Community Council please do not hesitate to contact Community Councillor Sally Millar, Secretary, by emailing contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk.


 

 

 

 

 

University of Edinburgh seek volunteers to observe users of Leith Links

The University of Edinburgh is seeking volunteers to observe users of Leith Links, and to record such observations so that the information collated on park users can be used by them (and others such as City of Edinburgh Council) to improve the park and strengthen any funding bids.

Volunteers are asked to record information such as how many people are using a certain area of the Links, what activities are happening and other characteristics such as age & gender).

If you would like more information please click here.

If you would like to volunteer please click here.

if you would like to ask any questions or submit any comments please contact l.deniz@sms.ed.ac.uk.

 

 

 

This Behaviour Observation Studies area of work is being undertaken as part Thriving Greenspacesof the Thriving Greenspaces Project, which is a partnership of six bodies including City of Edinburgh Council, University of Edinburgh, Greenspace Scotland, Edinburgh Greenspaces Forum, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspaces Trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Street Traders Licence Application: Leith Links Police Box

We have been informed this week by City of Edinburgh Council that an application has been made for a Street Traders Licence at the Leith Links Police Box.

We understand the applicant intends to use the Police Box as a ‘coffee shop’ type business selling hot & cold drinks, and snacks. Potentially with some outdoor seating. The applicants business can be viewed online by clicking here.

Any person can make a representation with regards to the application but they must present that to City of Edinburgh Council by 4 January 2022. Leith Links Community Council will be submitting a representation, and should you have any comments which you feel should be considered as part of that representation please let us know in the comments are below. Please avoid only writing that you support or object to the application, please tell us why you object or support etc.

Below is a map of the location, and the formal notice of the application being considered;

 

 

 

Leith Links Community Council responds to City of Edinburgh Councils Leith Connections consultation on a Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood

Leith Links Community Council has now submitted its response to the City of Edinburgh Councils Leith Connections consultation on their planned changes to how we move around Leith.Leith Connections

Our full response can be viewed by clicking here.

Previous website articles by us can be viewed by clicking here.

 

 

Leith Links public toilets due to open on 23 June 2021

The City of Edinburgh Council intends to open the temporary public toilets on Leith Links from Wednesday 23 June 2021. Although it should be noted that this is subject to the Council having staffing in place, adequate supplies and that all connections are in place.

 

The toilets are located next to the disused bowling greens & derelict building will be open from 10am until 6pm each day until September 2021. The toilets will be staffed whilst they are open to ensure cleanliness and also that Covid-19 related social distancing is observed.

 

Reminder: Leith Links arboretum consultation closes on 18 June 2021.

Earlier this year City of Edinburgh Council began planting an eighty four tree arboretum on Leith Links as part of partnership working involving The Mushroom Trust, Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust and The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

This image shows the site of the Leith Links arboretum, note that planting has already began on the site.

Their consultation on their plans closes on 18 June 2021, so if you have not yet taken the time to complete the consultation survey please do so over the next few days. It is important that as many people in our community as possible are involved in deciding whether there should be an arboretum, where it should be, how it should be used and the way in which it should be managed.

McDonald Road Library prepares to open as Covid-19 testing centre for those without symptoms

City of Edinburgh Council has announced that those living in the Leith area without Covid-19 symptoms will be able to pop into McDonald Road Library for a Covid-19 test.

The tests take around fifteen minutes, with the results known within the hour.

The Library will be used as a Covid-19 testing centre from 14th June 2021 from 9am until 6pm, up until 20th June 2021. No booking required, just pop in.

Click here to read more information about community Covid-19 testing.

It is worth noting that almost 1 in 3 people infected with Covid-19 don’t have any of the usual symptoms but are potentially passing on the virus unknowingly to family, friends and others in the community. By getting tested people can find out if they are positive and self-isolate at home to stop spreading the virus to others. People who have been vaccinated are also encouraged to take a test as they may still carry the virus.

 

 

 

 

Leith Connections: Public meetings to be held in relation to Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood and segregated cycle route between the Foot of the Walk and Ocean Terminal

City of Edinburgh Council have today published full details of their two planned virtual public meetings about Leith Connections.

The virtual public meetings are not mentioned on the leaflets currently circulating in our community so please do help us to spread the word.

Meetings will be held on the following dates & times;

If you are unable to go to one of the meetings due to them being fully booked please email anna.mcrobbie@aecom.com to register your interest in attending as they may hold further meeting/s.

Leith Links Community Council would encourage you to fully participate in the Leith Connections consultation by filling in the project teams online survey and attending one of the public meetings.

 

 

Public meeting information from Eventbrite website:

Join the project team to discuss the concept designs and proposed interventions of the Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood

About this event

We are hosting public co-design workshops so that residents can share their views and help inform the designs of the Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood. In these sessions we aim to:

  • gain local insight into the study area
  • listen to community feedback on the proposals
  • involve the community in helping to develop the designs
  • provide background to the project
  • raise awareness of the project and its objectives
  • summarise engagement and data findings to date

The first session will be held on Wednesday 23rd June and the second on Thursday 1st July. Both sessions will be held between 6.30pm-8pm.

Further details on how to access the meeting will be issued along with an information pack in advance of the meeting upon registration.

 

Leith Connections – Consultation launched on Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood and segregated cycle route between the Foot of the Walk and Ocean Terminal

On Friday 4 June 2021 City of Edinburgh Council launched its consultation on the proposed Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme. This latest consultation follows community engagement activity earlier this year.

Leith Connections consists of two areas of development;

  1. Development of a high quality segregated cycle route between the Foot of the Walk and Ocean Terminal
  2. A Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) to create streets that are safer for walking, cycling, wheeling and spending time by ensuring lower traffic conditions across the area.

The City of Edinburgh Councils consultation survey says – ‘Leith Connections will create a safer and more comfortable street environment for residents and visitors walking, cycling, wheeling and spending time in the local streets and outdoor spaces of Leith. The project will build upon the City of Edinburgh Council’s current cycling and waking projects, our Active Travel Action Plan, the QuietRoute network and also the cycle and walking improvements that are part of the Trams to Newhaven project.’

 


Promoting the proposed developments

City of Edinburgh are/have been delivering leaflets to local residents and are planning on displaying leaflets & posters within the local community. Social media is also being used to spread word on the proposals. Photographs of the leaflet are at the end of this post.

Public meetings

City of Edinburgh Council have informed us that they plan to hold two online public meetings regarding Leith Connections on 23rd June and 1st July 2021. As of the date & time of this blog post we have not been given details such as the time of the meetings or details as to how people can sign up.

As soon as we hear from City of Edinburgh Council what time the meetings are taking place and how people can sign up to attend we will post details in a new blog post on our website, and share on our social media.

 

Consultation survey

City of Edinburgh Councils consultation survey is online until 4 July 2021, click here to read about the plans and submit your views.

If anyone wishes a version of the survey in braille, large print, paper, audio or another language please email miles.wilkinson@edinburgh.gov.uk, telephone him by calling 0131 332 1122 or by writing to him at – FREEPOST RTRS-YLCY-EAEA, Community Engagement: Leith Connections, Clocktower, Unit 1 Flassches Yard, South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9LB.

Paper copies of the survey can also be requested from Leith Links Community Council by emailing contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk.

Please note that if comments not submitted via the consultation survey, such as on social media, may not be viewed, recorded or considered by City of Edinburgh Council.

 

Local Councillors

There are three City of Edinburgh Council Councillors representing Leith Ward 13, in addition to completing the survey you may wish to communicate with your Councillor.

If contacting Councillors please do so respectfully.

 

 

Arboretum planned for Leith Links

Four organisations are working together to develop part of Leith Links as an arboretum, with work already having began some weeks ago when planting of the arboretum began at the Seafield end of the links.

City of Edinburgh Council, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspaces Trust are working together to develop the arboretum on Leith Links, with some funding provided by The Mushroom Trust.

An arboretum is a specially designed area of different types of trees for scientific, educational and ornamental purposes. Eighty four trees are planned for the Leith Links arboretum.

We are encouraging citizens with an interest in Leith Links to take part in the consultation, and to make their views known.

 

Citizens may also leave comments below for the Community Councils information, and they may also wish to email Councillors Booth, McVey and Munro who represent Leith Ward 13.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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