Is this the right way to develop along Seafield Road?

There is an online public consultation event on Thursday 28th January, by  Manse (Seafield) LLP, between 3pm and 7pm. You can attend and give your views.

https://seafieldroad.scot

Manse are proposing to submit a planning application for the Peter Vardy Vauxhall site, at 22-25 Seafield Road, where they want to build 2 very large blocks of flats. This is not strictly speaking in the Leith Links area, but it borders on it. Any new development along there will undoubtedly impact upon the Leith Links area. We would urge you to look not only at the plans Manse bring forward, but to think about them in the wider context of what the whole Seafield Road area could become.

Is developing individual segments like this the right way to go? Or could this proposal be be seen as leading to uncoordinated piecemeal development?

Overall, Seafield is a huge site stretching from the Sewage works right along to the erstwhile bus garage at the Portobello end. We all want to see new homes built, but do we want just any old blocks of flats, or could we aspire to more, for this unique seaside site?

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Lockdown again – useful links – Coronavirus information

Well, here we are, locked down again…  These are difficult times for us all, and we wish good luck to you all. Please do everything you can to stay safe and to keep others safe. Please ask for help if you need it.

Our website does not attempt to provide rolling updates on the current Coronavirus situation, as information can change very rapidly, and we do not wish to circulate information that may be incomplete or no longer applicable.

However we can direct you to the following sources of information, which are updated regularly;

Local Situation

Local sources of support

National Scottish and UK situation 

Worried about Brexit?

Information on changes and new rules

Merith House Hotel to become HMO?

A planning application has been lodged by the Merith House Hotel at 2-3 Hermitage Place for a “change of use from hotel to mixed use of hotel and HMO [house in multiple occupation] and erection of a new 2 storey building on land to the rear of the hotel”.

The land for the new building sits at the junction of Somerset Place and Burns Street, EH6 8AF

The application – case number 20/03011/FUL – can be viewed on the city council’s planning portal:

https://citydev-portal.edinburgh.gov.uk/idoxpa-web/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QDYOSWEWGES00

The plans show that the 2 storey building at the rear of the hotel (which already has planning permission but is not built yet) would be altered internally to contain more bedrooms than originally planned  (when it was to be an ‘annexe’ to the hotel). It is now proposed to contain 11 bedrooms intended to be occupied by residents on a long term / permanent basis. Most rooms will be 10.2 square metres in total (including the ensuite bathroom).

 

There would not be any communal space or cooking facilities but the hotel kitchen in the main building would be available to them for cooking, it seems.

It is not clear yet – we are checking this out currently – whether the hotel in the main building is also intended to be changed from a hotel to an HMO, or whether a ‘mixed’ hotel and HMO facility is proposed. We will update with this information asap.

The last date for comments on this application is Friday, 18 December.

Members of the community can submit their responses directly onto the planning portal, as above, and / or you could make your views on this known via the form below. (and we will forward it along with the Community Council’s own response).

If you wish to contact the Community Council on this matter with a fuller response, please email planning@leithlinkscc.org.uk

 


[Form removed on 11/12/21]


 

Next meeting (AGM) of Leith Links Community Council; Monday 26th October, at 6:30pm, via Microsoft Teams.

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will take place on Monday 26th October, at 6:30pm, online, via Microsoft Teams.

There will be the AGM first, chaired by Councillor Gordon Munro, followed by a short ‘ordinary’ meeting chaired by Jim Scanlon.

The link for the meeting will be sent out by email.

Here are

(1) the Minutes of the 2019 AGM

(2) the Minutes of the September 2020 ‘ordinary’ meeting. Both are draft until adopted at next week’s meeting.

(3) the Annual Report (incorporating Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Engagement Officer Reports) (also draft until adopted at next week’s meeting).

(4) the Agenda for the AGM

(5) the Agenda for the ordinary meeting.

(6) the end of year accounts for LLCC Project a/c (£eith Chooses) which is not included in the Annual Report

These will also be stored for access at any time in our online Library.

The meeting is open to members of the public who are resident, or have close links to our local area. If you wish to attend, please email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk and ask to be sent an invitation /link for the meeting.

Big new building plans for Salamander Street – public consultation now open!

Today, 8th October, you can talk (online) to the developers of this new proposed development between 3 pm and 8 pm. After today, until the 29th October, you can view their exhibition online and post comments. The plans can be seen here.  PLEASE click over, have a look and say what you think.

A large site has been earmarked for development stretching from Bath Street along the north side of Salamander Street. The tenement block where the Pond pub is/was) will remain but the rest of the site will be cleared along almost half the length of Salamander Street back towards Seafield.

The proposed redevelopment is for a “residential-led, mixed-use development” which would offer approximately 300 new residential apartments of which 25% will be affordable homes in line with council planning policy.

Currently owned by John G. Russell (Transport) Ltd., the site will be on sale to potential property developers, once planning permission has been applied for and granted. At the moment, things are at the Pre Application Notification stage (PAN) and now is the time to try and influence the designs.

Leith Links Community Council met recently with the agents and architects to hear more about the plans, and to ask questions and highlight (many) concerns. The local community now needs to have a look at these plans, and to express their views.

Think about the designs in terms of suitability for the site, massing and density, building height, green / open space (or lack of), light.  Also think about the main toad alongside – air quality, noise, effects on local traffic, cycle path provision? And think about the local infrastructure – can it accommodate yet more hundreds of residents – public transport, roads, schools, GP surgeries etc.?

You can also comment below if you like and we will try to incorporate your views into the Community Council’s response to the PAN.

Next meeting of Leith Links Community Council, Monday 28th September, at 6:30pm, via Zoom.

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will take place on Monday 28th September, at 6:30pm, via Zoom.

The Agenda for the meeting, and the Minutes of the previous meeting are here, and in our online Library.

A Zoom link will be sent out nearer the time.

The meeting is open to members of the public who are resident, or have close links to our local area. If you wish to attend, please email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk and ask to be sent a Zoom link for the meeting.

Seafield Update

Information received from Scottish Water:

“We wanted to make you aware that Veolia plans to clean the storm tanks at Seafield between Monday 21st September and Wednesday 23 September, next week.  This is the first available opportunity to complete this maintenance task following the recent heavy rainfall in the catchment area, and whilst weather conditions are forecast to be favourable.

In addition, as part of planned maintenance activities at the site, Primary Settlement Tank 1 (PST1) is to be drained and cleaned. This activity has been scheduled to commence today with work expected to take approximately one week.

Conditions are currently forecast to be favourable and every effort will be made to minimise the odour risk when carrying out these activities.

Both SEPA and the City of Edinburgh Council have been informed.

We will issue a further update once Veolia has completed the work.

Note: A link to this communication will be posted on social media and also on our website  – https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/seafield

As always if you smell any sewage it’s important that you complete our report form.

I can assure you that all public bodies and elected councillors sit up and pay attention to every complaint made. Your MSP Ben MacPherson has also worked hard on your behalf to secure a commitment by the Scottish Government to invest no regrets funding to reduce odour emissions in 2020/21 and a new state of the art sewage works will be built on the same site in 2030 hopefully to end the Seafield Stench.

Jim Scanlon

Chair, Leith Links Community Council

Local traffic congestion & Links Gardens closure

At the last meeting of the Leith Links Community Council, the following motion was proposed and carried.

Due to excessive local traffic congestion, with concomitant air pollution and danger to pedestrians and cyclists, Leith Links Community Council proposes that a review is needed of the closure of Links Gardens and of the working of the redesigned junction at the foot of Easter Road. This should be carried out in the context of all the other nearby road closures, roadworks, and diversions affecting traffic across Leith, and should include full consultation with local residents and businesses.

The motion has been passed on to our three local Councillors, and to all members of the Transport and Environment Committee.

At the Community Council meeting (which was held online, but was open to members of the public to attend), the following points were raised in discussion:

LLCC is receiving many emails from local residents about severe traffic congestion problems, particularly relating to the redesigned Easter Road junction and to the Links Gardens closure. Residents are divided: many support the closure of Links Gardens for use by pedestrians and cyclists, while others are deeply upset by the traffic congestion, delays and blocked routes that beset our area currently. Recent online petitions have garnered hundreds of signatures. Currently some streets (eg. East Hermitage Place / Vanburgh Place) are actually worse for pedestrians and cyclists, rather than better, due to nose-to-tail queuing traffic and air pollution. Delays to public transport drives more people back to their cars.

LLCC is not anti-cyclist and is not demanding immediate reopening of the road, but just requesting a review. There was no consultation at the time of the closure.

A recent report from Police Scotland (Community Officer) states that “There are no highlighted concerns from Police Scotland in relation to public safety for this road [Links Gardens] re-opening. From a Police Scotland point of view we have no objections to this road re-opening and resuming normal traffic. This will hopefully alleviate a lot of traffic that is amounting along Vanburgh Place and Hermitage Place due to the new traffic light system on Duke Street.”

It is clear that the traffic problems are not ALL caused by the closure of Links Gardens, but by a ‘perfect storm’ of multiple road closures, roadworks and diversions all over Leith, and also by the new junction at the bottom of Easter road which has never worked well. Re-opening Links Gardens is the one thing that could be relatively easily achieved, and might help somewhat, even just temporarily while the Tramworks are at their most disruptive.

CEC policy is apparently to hope for “traffic evaporation” but it is not clear how this can be achieved.

Cllr McVey noted that the Links Gardens closure, along with early Covid 19 measures on other roads, is due to be reviewed at the next meeting of the Transport and Environment Committee.

           

Rattray statue uncaged at last

After 10 years of fund-raising by Leith Rules Golf Society, amounting to an amazing £120,000 followed by motions to Parliament, Royal Consent and planning applications, the statue of John Rattray was cast by Powderhall Bronze and erected on its current position on the Links last September surrounded by a fence.

Finally, after a further year of negotiations with City of Edinburgh Council, the fencing came down yesterday.

Leith Links and Rattray have an important part in the history of golf. The original 13 rules of  the game were written down by Rattray for a competition on Leith Links in 1744. Those 13 rules were the foundation of the rules of golf up to the present day.

The statue belongs to the people of Leith and we should all be proud of this additional part of our rich history.

I hope we can all respect the statue and protect it from vandalism and I encourage you all, like me, to keep an eye on it to protect it.

Since yesterday there’s been lots of interest in Rattray and we hope it will attract visitors from all over the world who, fingers crossed, will also spend their money in Leith.

Jim Scanlon

Free benefit and debt advice for Edinburgh residents

Free benefit and debt advice for Edinburgh residents

As the coronavirus pandemic hits the economy harder, more people are now dependent on benefits due to job loss and reduced income. Many people aren’t able to pay for essential things like rent and mortgage costs while others struggle with fuel and food costs.

Four of the city’s advice services are still busy working to support residents to maximise their income and support through these difficult times – whether it is helping people to get the benefits they are entitled to, helping manage debt or rent arrears, giving advice on housing problems or budgeting or help with food and bills. All services are currently providing assistance remotely though some are starting to offer limited face to face appointments.

Contact us if you or any of your clients/residents/community/members need help through these difficult times:

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