New MasterPlan to improve Leith Links – your views? Urgent!

Leith Links is a great park and we all love it –  BUT it could certainly be EVEN BETTER!
In
recent months, a new 10 year ‘concept MasterPlan’ for improving the Links has been developed, by a team led by the City of Edinburgh Council’s ‘Thriving Greenspaces Project’ and including representatives from a number of local organisations; ourselves i.e. Leith Links Community Council, Earth in Common / Links Activity Park group, Leith Councillors, some local residents, and consulting a wide range of ‘stakeholders’ such as Leith Athletic, Leith Franklin Cricket Club, Duncan Place, local Primary Schools etc.

The final draft has now been published and it is open to public consultation  RIGHT NOW (closing on 22 July 2022).

        
You can see the plans and give your views via the Council web site
If you don’t like using the Consultation Hub with its usual forced route through leading questions, then please feel free to write / email in with your thoughts and ideas to thrivinggreenspaces@edinburgh.gov.uk (and it’s a good idea to copy to your local Councillors),  and/ or use the comments facility below to record your thoughts and we will forward them to the project team.
Whichever route(s) you choose, please do it NOW, before the holidays, otherwise you might forget, and miss your chance!
The draft master plan is based on the conversations we have been leading and facilitating  over the past year, about what local people need and want. It lays out a vision of what could happen in the future, but there is no guarantee at this stage that it will actually happen; significant new funding is still to be found, and support from the local community is vital (if there are objections or new suggestions, there is plenty time for these to be taken into account, the details of the plan are NOT a ‘foregone conclusion’).
  
The plan includes lots of great ideas (yes, including permanent toilets!), such as nicer benches, better bins, improved lighting, wheelchair accessible picnic tables, cycle parking, wildflower meadow, use of surfaces for heritage mural, arboretum (started already), ping pong tables, a ‘trim trail’ and 3km fitness loop and a ‘natural play area’ at the east of the Links. Also a modern bandstand (or ‘outdoor performance space’), and many other upgrades.
         
To bring the old bowling greens area back into productive use, there is a proposal for an ‘Activity Park’ that could incorporate a bike pump track and a skatepark.
A skatepark came out as a very popular suggestion, in last year’s surveys that we carried out, and is likely to be heavily promoted by its supporters – but there are also issues to be explored about what impact it might have on near neighbours.
Please make sure YOUR voice is heard!
 

LEITH CONSULTATIONS

Just like when you’re waiting on a 16 bus stuck in a traffic jam three arrive at the same time.

The City Council have added three really important consultations for the future of Leith to the consultation hub on the city council webpage.

LEITH CONNECTIONS PHASE 3

Leith Connections: Phase 3 west – east proposals – City of Edinbu

Leith Connection Phase 3 has some lovely graphics including one of Salamander Street with a new cycle lane and narrowed road space for cars and trucks that I’m sorry to say do have to use our roads every day on one of the main arterial routes East to West through the city.

I also find it strange that the graphic doesn’t show the CPZ plan for the same route which had permit holder and pay and display parking on Salamander Street at the same view in the graphic so I do wonder IF these teams actually communicate with each other.

The Leith Connection Phase 3 consultation is open until 17 July so please, please make your thoughts known.

 

ETRO Go Home?

The next consultation is on ETRO which we may remember in a previous life was known as Spaces for People. Love it or loathe it,  the road coning and closures project introduced to make streets safer for cycling, walking and wheeling during the pandemic is now finally up for public consultation. This is your opportunity to comment on the future plans. Do you want them kept or ditched? Have your say now or you could be stuck with them permanently.

 

LEITH LINKS MASTERPLAN 

Finally, the Leith Links Master Plan is also open on the consultation hub for your positive or negative comments. Please use this opportunity to add your views on how you would like to see Leith Links developed for all residents in the future.

The Leith Links Masterplan Team had a stall at Leith Gala and many members of the public visited the tent to find out more and to share their views, so now it’s your turn to do the same.

You can see more about the plans here.

Leith Links Masterplan – City of Edinburgh Council – Citizen Space

You can also comment here, on the Hub, but you’ll only find a very limited set of leading questions. If you have more to say on any specific point, you should email directly to Miles.Wilkinson@edinburgh.gov.uk

The deadline for this consultation is 31 July. Please also be sure to copy your email also to our elected Councillors:

Chas.Booth@edinburgh.gov.uk

Cllr.Katrina.Faccenda@edinburgh.gov.uk

Adam.McVey@edinburgh.gov.uk

 

 

Street Traders Licence Application – Leith Links

We have been informed this week by City of Edinburgh Council that an application has been made for a Street Traders Licence in relation to a food & drinks unit on Leith Links.

Any person can make a representation with regards to the application but they must present that to City of Edinburgh Council by 3 May 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 area below. Please avoid only writing that you support or object to the application, please tell us why you object or support etc in the comments section below.

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

Please note that we have published all the information relating to the application that we have been provided with.

Leith Links Boules Court under refurbishment in preparation for re-launch

Refurbishment work is currently underway to prepare to the Leith Links Boules Court for an upcoming re-launch.

The boules court which is located next to the Leith Links Tennis Courts will shortly be suitable for use. The court is fenced in and we hope to be able to add proper signage, playing guidance, and seating shortly.

Work is currently underway to clear & level the court, before the dressed top surface layer is added. However, the court has been getting used over recent years as a place for people to take their dogs which is damaging the court whilst refurbishment is taking place. We do think this is partly due to there being no signage on the gates or railings to let people know what the court is for. So until we get some new signage we have added some temporary signage to the court to let people know what is going on. Whilst the refurbishment works are taking place we would kindly ask that people do not use the boules court.

To help re-launch the Leith Links Boules Court we will shortly be arranging some mini events including taster sessions for those who want to get involved. Boules is a great game that is accessible for people of all ages and experience.

We’ll keep you updated as works progress.

 

 

Additional / improved street lighting for Leith Links?

We have learnt that City of Edinburgh Council took the decision last week to fund street lighting improvements in parks, with a budget of £150,000.

It is clear that citizens across Edinburgh will hoping for some of that funding to be spent in various parks, and it is highly likely the Council officers and Councillors will already have some intentions about which parks will benefit from the cash.

Therefore, if you feel that Leith Links requires additional or improved street lighting, it is important that you make that view known as soon as possible by emailing parks@edinburgh.gov.uk, and also emailing one of the Leith Ward Councillors;

When emailing them it is important that you are specific about your request (for example, just saying the whole of Leith Links is unlikely to receive support but if you identify a particular route through Leith Links that requires lighting for example that may be better received.  You should also say why you feel the additional  or improved lighting is needed perhaps share your feelings when walking through the route currently).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leith Links Community Council next meeting Monday 28th February 6:30 online

Hello

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 28th, February at 6:30pm, online (Microsoft Teams)

Papers for the meeting can be found here:

1 Agenda 28 February 22

2 January 2022 LLCC Minutes draft

 

(These are also stored for access at any time in our online Library.)

If you have any questions  / issues about the communal bins near you, that you would like to raise with our local Councillors (and, hopefully, a relevant Council official), please email these in advance to contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk

As always, our meetings are open to interested members of the public. If you wish to attend, please email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk and you will be sent an invitation / link for the meeting.

You’re invited to join a Microsoft Teams meeting

Title: Leith Links Community Council
Time: Monday, 28 February 2022 18:30:00 GMT

Join on your computer or mobile app
Click here to join the meeting

Leith Links Community Council next meeting Monday 28th February 6:30 online

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 28th, February at 6:30pm, online (Microsoft Teams)

The Agenda for the next meeting and minutes of January’s meeting will be issued shortly

As always, our meetings are open to interested members of the public. If you wish to attend, please email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk and you will be sent an invitation / link for the meeting.

Thank you for your support

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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