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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARNING Seafield Update for plant maintenance

The Community Counci received the following message from Scottish Water regarding work starting tomorrow, Monday 13th December. If you experience any odour issues please report them through the community council webpage and to Scottish Water.

Dear Stakeholder,

We wanted to let you know that Veolia, the operator at Seafield WwTW, will be commencing significant planned maintenance to one of the Primary Settlement Tanks on Monday 13th December. This will involve draining and cleaning the tank over the next week.The current weather forecast suggests favourable conditions during this period.Both SEPA and the City of Edinburgh Council have been informed.We will issue a further update once Veolia has completed the work.

 

 

 

 

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;

 

 

 

CONTROLLED PARKING ZONES ABBEYHILL, LEITH WALK, PILRIG, LEITH AND NORTH LEITH NORTH

Important! The City Council have reached the next step (Traffic Regulation Order, consultation stage) in the introduction of Controlled Parking Zones for Abbeyhill, Leith Walk, Pilrig, Leith and North Leith, which were first proposed and discussed back in 2019.  This covers some (but not all) of the Leith Links area (which apparently counts as ‘Leith’ in this scheme) see map below, and will definitely also affect other parts of our area that are just on/beyond the boundary, as parking will ‘migrate’ from the controlled zone to the nearest free parking. The boundary is along the edge of the Links, so there will be increased demand for parking on Vanburgh, Hermitage & East Hermitage Place, Gladstone Place and Claremont Park, and other streets nearest these.

NB. This is different from and not to be confused with the proposed CPZ for our area earlier this year (for the area inaccurately referred to as ‘West Leith’) which has been paused / postponed until later in 2022. Final plans and consultation of that are still to come, next year.

Comments on this first TRO/21/03ADY have to be made in writing by 12th November so there is not much time.

INTRODUCTION OF NEW CONTROLLED PARKING ZONES (CPZ)

AREA 1 ABBEYHILL, LEITH WALK, PILRIG, LEITH AND NORTH LEITH

AREA 2 GORGIE, SHANDON, MOAT, CHESSER AND HUTCHISON

To view detailed plans and further information regarding the proposals, please visit the consultation website:

http://pclengagement-hub.co.uk/en-GB/folders/parkingreviewph1

With comments on the proposals or any details of them, please email by 12th November the team at Edinburgh.Consultation@projectcentre.co.uk 

Click on the project link and then scroll down and click on EDINBURGH AREA N8

This takes you to the ’tile’ maps which shows existing and proposed changes

It’s not easy to drill down to the important pages, and then you have to look at each numbered tile, then look at existing and proposed for each section

For example tiles 930,989,871 and 830 are closest to my house on the LEITH map tile grid for Links Gardens. (There’s also a North Leith tile map)

Having looked at each section you have to print off the legend map at the top of the page so you know what each colour indicates. For example pink is resident parking, brown is pay and display/resident parking, shared  – and on and on it goes.

Finding the pages to make comments is not easy and may put people off commenting. (I’m sure the City Council will deny that it has deliberately made it complicated to put people off commenting. However, I feel that  it could have been much better designed IF the council really wanted local people to engage…).

But please do try to have a look and make comments, it’s our only chance to affect the final decisions.

 

 

Edinburgh Climate Festival,Leith Links(East) Saturday 14th August 12pm-7pm

Edinburgh Climate Festival will be coming to Leith Links on Saturday, 14th August

The event will be held on Leith Links East, 12-7pm, they have an exciting day planned. Highlights include an art installation by artist duo Bibo & Brian Keeley, upcycling workshops, sewing repairs, seed swaps, planting workshop, ebike and cargo bike trials, free bike repairs, a free shop, a live DJ and more!

There will also be some scheduled activities throughout the day:

* 12:00 Circle Dancing

* 13:00 Hatha Flow Yoga

* 14:00 Storytelling

* 14:30 Tai Chi

* 15:00 Yoga

* 16:00 Storytelling

* 17:00 Circle Dancing

* + Upcycle Bicycle Inner Tube Workshop (drop in anytime 12-15:00, 16-19:00)

Location

The Festival will be held at Leith Links East, Links Gardens EH6 7EB (grey pin on the map).

Unfortunately, they are not able to offer food, drinks or toilet facilities on site, but these can be found within walking distance from the venue. Staffed public toilets are available on the links by the tennis court here.

COVID-19 measures

Restrictions and precautions will be based on Edinburgh’s COVID-19 level (currently level 0) and the Scottish Government events sector guidance 

The organisers ask that you:

* Not to attend the event if you have COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19.

* Organisers encourage you to wear a mask.

* Respect social-distancing.

 

The open day is a public event and photographs and films will be taken for use for marketing uses.

 

 

Public toilets empower our community

Seems everybody enjoyed our community picnic on Leith Links on Saturday (hurrah!). Yes, we were very lucky with the weather (phew!), but what actually made it possible was the public toilets.

You simply couldn’t organise any public event without toilets –  but only big commercial events can afford to buy in ‘portaloos’, not small community groups. So public toilets are not just vital for individuals, they are enabling and empowering for the community. A local community is a life force, not just a ‘place’. Feeling part of our community can help our mental health and well-being.

Thanks for our toilets, City of Edinburgh Council! (And thanks to Steven for manning them nobly on Saturday.) Please can we keep them?

Community Picnic on the Links – all welcome – Saturday 17th July, 1-3pm

           

You are invited to a Community Picnic on Leith Links, Saturday 17th July 2021
1 – 3pm, on the old bowling greens area  – entry from Links Place gate 
….. weather permitting …..

Please do come along and join in a community get together.

Please bring your own food and drink (no barbecues, sorry).

Bring your own rug, cushions, folding seats, whatever.            

Bring musical instruments if you fancy doing a ‘turn’.

For covid safety reasons, this has to be a ‘low key’ event, but there will be a wee bit of a community vibe; fun activities for children, an opportunity to catch up with folk you may not have seen for a while, and a chance to discuss and ‘cast a vote’ for your favourite ideas for the future of the former bowling greens area.
                 Numbers on the bowling greens will be limited, and free snacks and juice may run out, so come early if you want to get a spot!

For more info: contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk

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.

 

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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