The Council plans to resurface quite a few local roads and pavements during 2023/24, as a result of the extra £11m from the approved Lib Dem budget. The carriageway on Viewforth has been in very poor condition for a long time, so I’m glad it features in this year’s plans, along with Mardale Crescent, Blantyre Terrace, Morningside Drive, Braidburn Terrace, Abbotsford Park and parts of Balcarres Street and Craighouse Gardens. Pavements to be resurfaced include Leamington Terrace and parts of Gilmore Place and Comiston Road. You can read more about this in the Roads Investment report 7.2 in the Transport Committee meeting agenda for 20 April here.
Over the last few years many residents have come to me to discuss issues they have had getting planning permission to improve the insulation of their homes. Many of these issues have been for homes that are in a conservation area and the limitations on what can and cannot be done and the type of materials that can and cannot be used. Following an initiative by my Lib Dem colleague Councillor Osler, the Council is asking residents who live in listed buildings and/or conservation areas about their experiences of trying to maintain, repair or adapt a property to make it more climate resilient. This will then be used to inform potential changes to planning guidance for adapting homes. The consultation runs till 11 June and is available here.
Earlier this month Houston’s Coaches became the new operators of the 101/2 bus service on the Edinburgh/Dumfries route. This is in large part thanks to the huge efforts of the ‘Stand Up for our Buses’ campaign. More information is available at www.houstonscoaches.co.uk/news
If you are worried about local flooding issues, SEPA’s helpful early warning system might be useful. You can register for flood warning alerts here. My colleague Councillor Osler and I have been pressing the Council for more action on flood prevention measures, given increasingly frequent flash flooding events. The Lib Dem budget, approved by the Council in February, included an extra £2m for flood prevention so we have asked Council officers to recommend how that might best be spent. Our budget also included extra funding for gully cleaning.
The most recent planning application (22/01495/FUL) for Comiston Farmhouse was approved by the Council last month at the Development Management Sub Committee. The plans include six houses and the conversion of the farmhouse into three flats. I hope the site will now be developed and the farmhouse building restored.
The planning application (22/04200/FUL) for a 5G mast next to the JGHS playing field and the former St Margaret’s Convent has been refused. The application for a 5G mast near James Gillespie’s Primary School and the entrance gateway to Bruntsfield House (22/05042/FUL) was refused in January. Both applications were judged to have a significant adverse impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area and the setting of a listed building.
Following an initiative by Lib Dem councillors, the Council has launched a consultation on setting up two new parking permit schemes – one for professional carers and one for unpaid carers. These schemes would make it easier for carers to find, and to afford, parking when carrying out their caring duties. Find out more and have your say on this here (it closes on 30 April.)
The deadline for comments and objections on the ETRO covering the projects S6 Quiet Corridor Meadows/Greenbank, S8 Comiston Road and S9 Braid Road is Saturday 20 May. The email address to write to is Edinburgh.Consultation@projectcentre.co.uk You should give your name and address, quote the ETRO reference ‘TRO/21/29’ and identify any specific issues. I suggest copying in all ward councillors. This may be the last opportunity to object before the Council decides whether to make any or all of these schemes permanent.
In case you are wondering, there is still no news on Midmar Paddock.
If you know anyone else who might be interested to read this, please feel free to forward it. If you have received this via a friend, and would like to receive it direct, you can sign up here.
For more regular updates on my work, please like or follow my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NeilforMorningside