Skip to content

Maureen Reports - 29. page

Maureen Child Report August 2014

Local Development Plan Consultation
Edinburgh’s population is rising and the pressure is on for Council planners to release land across the city for housing sites and to encourage developers to build more densely on brown field sites. The Scottish Government insists that the Council identify a variety of sites for building houses, sooner rather than later in the decades covered by the emerging Plan. Now is the time to put in formal comments on the sites proposed which include controversial sites at Newcraighall and Brunstane. There will be copies in libraries and meetings are planned. In our area, the drop-in engagement event is on 1 September from 4pm to 7pm in the Kings Manor Hotel, Milton Road East to which all are invited. The consultation period extends until 3 October 2014. More on the Council’s website at this and related links can be found at:

Richard Demarco
The Community Council has organised The Demarco Portobello Lecture on Thursday 11 September, starting at 7:30pm, at the Edinburgh College on Milton Road (formerly the Jewel and Esk College), at which Richard Demarco will talk about his family’s connection with Portobello. Further details plus free registration are at

The Big Vote
The Community Council and Portobello Churches together have organised a discussion evening around Referendum issues, on Wednesday 27 August (tomorrow) at 7.30pm in St Marks Church. See here for more details:

Road Safety
There was yet another road accident at Eastfield on 10 August when an east-bound driver failed to take the sweeping bend at speed and his vehicle ploughed into five cars in the middle of the night. This kind of incident, and the area’s accident history, got the reduction in speed from 40mph to 30 mph in recent years. However, local residents believe more could and should be done. I have asked police and road engineers from the Council to work together on this and they have met on site.

20 MPH Consultation
City Councillors have approved a draft network of 20, 30 and 40 mph speed limits as the basis for consultation. The proposal is to extend 20mph zones to many roads. Whatever your view might be, the Council want to hear from you. Information is available on line at www.edinburgh/gov/uk/20mph and in libraries and there will also be an opportunity to look at maps in person and have your say on 10 September in Portobello Town Hall at 7pm. All comments must be in by 17 October 2014 and the finding swill be reported back to the Council’s transport and environment committee in early 2015.

Big Beach Busk
The Big Beach Busk is this coming this Saturday 30 August on Portobello Promenade, now in its fifth year. People of all ages are encouraged to come along and entertain us on the Promenade. More at Big Beach Busk 2014

Village Show
The Portobello Village Show is a week on Sunday – 7 September form 2-5pm in Rosefield Park. More at

St Mark’s Wall
I was delighted to hear the news from the St Marks Episcopal Church Rector Sophia Marriage that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given the Church £47,800 towards the cost of repairing the east wall. Thanks to other grants through the Church’s own stalwart fundraising efforts, the restoration and archaeological work will start at the end of the August. This is really good news for residents as well as the Church. You will be able to see more on

Dig Portobello
Portobello Heritage Trust has also been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund award to fund a community archaeological project called ‘Dig Portobello’. The dig is happening over the weekend Friday 29 to Sunday 31 August – this coming weekend. There is an opening lecture called Exploring Portobello’s Potteries at 7.30pm on Friday 29 August at 7.30pm at the Wash House Community Centre, 3 Adelphi Grove, which is the ‘base camp’ for the dig. More details at

Portobello High School
Work will begin in the next few weeks to build Portobello High School on part of Portobello Park, once the construction company Balfour Beatty has mobilised, a process that does take a few weeks. The new school building is due to open to open in August 2016. I have responded to a petition form residents in sheltered housing in Hope Lane to the west about improving the links there to Milton Road East and also with resident whose garden back on to Park Avenue about security there.

Brighton Place Rail Bridge
Network Rail confirmed their permission to the Council for the repair to the broken ant-pigeon netting at the south end of Brighton Place railway bridge which they own. A recent meeting at the bridge with pest control manager to establish what will be involved in carrying out the work and see if the in-house Council team can do it. If not, a specialist contractor will have to be appointed, which is a longer process. The work will involve a full road closure of Brighton Place/Southfield Place at the bridge, but this is likely to happen in the dead of night. I am being advised that it’s unlikely to happen before early November. Mean time, the pavement has been cleaned, at least. I have also raised the question of improving the pedestrian environment here in other ways, including repair or replacement of the railings under the bridge and mending the bent post on the ‘Welcome to Portobello – Edinburgh’s Seaside’ sign.

Community Orchard Work Day
For those that want to help maintain the community orchard at Brunstane, they would be made very welcome. The orchard is just past the entrance to Brunstane Station and down on the left before you get to Gilberstoun and is tended entirely by voluntary activity. Please bring something to eat and drink and wear appropriate gardening clothing for the hard graft. A thick pair of gardening gloves would be a good idea and long sleeves to protect you from the nettles. The next work day is this weekend, August 30 between 10am and 2 pm.

Next Portobello Market
The next monthly Portobello Market is on Saturday 6 September (1st Saturday of the month, remember!) between 9.30am and 1.30pm in Brighton Park. There’s always a good selection on food, local crafts and other organic products only 5 minutes from Portobello High Street and all the shops, cafes and amenities there.

‘Piano Man’ Moved to Cramond
The colourful Ben Treuhaft who set up his tent on Portobello beach – first outside the Portobello Swim Centre and then at the foot of James Street – has been forced to move his tent away from Portobello altogether. This followed a substantial number of complaints about anti-social behaviour connected to the tent, the mess surrounding it and neighbourhood disturbance from late night revellers. It was an illegal encampment and while tolerated for the first few days, the Mr Treuhaft outstayed his welcome. The Council was obliged to go to Court to get an eviction order which seemed to take rather a long time as Mr Treuhaft finally exhausted the legal appeal system. The Counicl was granted costs.

Garden Fete
The annual garden fete in aid of a Post-Natal Depression charity takes place at the Gate Lodge Garden, 27 Milton Road East on Saturday 20 September from 2pm to 4pm. There will be teas, and stalls with crafts, gift, jewellery, toys baking and children’s activities. All are welcome to come.

Maureen Child Update 2 July 2014

Dear All

I have sent you two attachments (below). One is the latest issue of Planning News – just out today – which includes a couple of sections on the Local Development Plan (LDP) with useful links. This quarterly edition is not available on the website, for some IT technical reason, so I thought it might be useful to send it to you all direct.

Councillor Ian Perry refers to the real danger to Edinburgh’s green spaces of not having a plan (LDP) and letting the Scottish Government’s Reporter decide by Appeal. A while back, the Council lost to developers in appeals relating to housing on Green Belt land at Burdiehouse and open space at Dreghorn Loan, which the Council had refused and hoped to defend. However, during the preparation of the new Draft Plan, the Council successfully defended recent appeals against the refusal of housing development on green land at Muirwood, Cockburn Crescent and Winton Loan.

People have asked to clarify the planning status of the site between Newcraighall and Queen Margaret University, called Newcraighall East. This site is not in the Edinburgh City Local Plan because that allocation was quashed by the Court of Session. It was allocated for housing in the first Proposed Local Development Plan (from March 2013) and remains in this current Proposed LDP.

The other attachment is further detail on The Wisp. I have had a few local enquiries about the closure of the northern section of The Wisp and attach more information for you about the diversions. Ten years ago, a requirement to widen The Wisp was placed as an obligation on the developer of Fort Kinnaird under the approved 2004 outline application for the redevelopment of the retail park (Ref: 04/03706/OUT). Their contractor is doing the work and paying for it. Work began on Monday to widen the road, just at the junction of the Wisp and Newcraighall Road/Niddrie Mains Road allowing more free flow of traffic. The current eastern boundary wall of the Wisp with Hunter’s Hall Park will be demolished, then rebuilt further over into the Park using the same stone, but further over. That sadly means losing a section of the woodland to create a wider carriageway and footpath. The tree work began first and I saw that was half done when I passed yesterday.

Residents have had some trouble with a missed refuse collection on Monday at Wisp Green but that was sorted yesterday and I hope the problems won’t recur.

It was good to see mention of the statue which celebrates the starting point of the Craigmillar Festival in a Local People Leading publication Helen Crummy Statue The 50th Craigmillar Festival Anniversary is this year and the Festival started off with a highly successful Fun Day last Saturday. It contuse all week with various activities, not least a Craigmillar Showcase on Saturday 5 July at The White House from 6pm to 10pm and a family BBQ at The Venchie on Monday 7 July. Craft Fair and Car Boot Sale at Craigmillar Arts Centre, 58 Newcraighall Road (0131 669 8432) Caring in Craigmillar is running the Tea Dance on Wednesday 9 July at SPACE, Niddrie Mains Terrace. A full programme and tickets for events are all available from the venues – there’s lots more. But all this fun won’t happen again without lots and lots of local volunteers playing their full part. Contact to get involved now for a successful Festival in 2015.

I have has a few complaint from residents about fast cyclists and police cars using the Promenade. I got in touch with Murray Starkey, our local Community Police Inspector. If it’s an emergency call, then a police car presence that is understandable, but otherwise the police officers have been instructed they should park up and attend on foot. They are also actively encouraged to cycle – but at a safe pace. Cycling on the Promenade is legitimate. Excessive speed is not, although enforcement is difficult. Inspector Starkey is proposing that his police officers help spread the message similar to the one used on the canal towpath in the west of Edinburgh: “SHARE THE SPACE DROP THE PACE”. Police officers are briefed on both issues and they can be expected to pass the advice to cyclists about their speed.

Delighted that the Jack Kane Community Centre management committee, in partnership with Council community learning and development staff have succeed in getting a grant of over £100,000 from the Climate Challenge Fund for a community garden growing project in part of Hunter’s Hall Park. A big ‘Well Done’ to everyone involved in putting the successful bid together and winning this substantial funding award. It means that the already excellent youth, children’s, families and community services has been recognised and will be further enhanced. See more at: Climate Challenge Fund Awards Announcement

Local film maker, Graham Kitchener’s film of the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay on Portobello Promenade, featuring young local lad, Michael Gibson is available at: Graham also organises the Portobello Market in Brighton Park and a reminder the next one is on Saturday between 9.30am and 1.30pm. Take your bike along for a service as well!

More than 140,000 Edinburgh residents are set for a new recycling service, which will begin early September. Changes will make recycling easier for residents, increasing the volume, types of materials they are able to recycle and simplifying bin collections, which will be on the same day each week. The new service will be rolled out in phases, with the first stage beginning on September 1, when approximately 20,000 households will have their red and blue boxes replaced by a wheelie bin and a box. Edinburgh currently recycles almost 40% of its waste but needs to continue to improve if it is to meet a target of 70% by 2025. Not only does recycling benefit the environment but by upping rates the Council can save on the millions of pounds of tax payers money paid each year in landfill costs. Some streets in the following Portobello/Craigmillar areas will be affected by the first phase of changes: Cleikimin, Joppa and Niddrie, although not all streets will receive a new service. Those who are included will receive a letter informing them in mid July. Visit the recycling pages on the Council website for more information.

I hope you get a chance to enjoy the sunshine we have been promised!

Best wishes


[wpba-attachment-list open_new_window=”true”]

Maureen Child Report 30 June 2014

Dear All

Please find attached my latest report which I try to do every month just in time for Portobello Community Council Meetings. How do you get your information about what’s going on locally? Facebook? Twitter? Newspaper? Please help us find out: The deadline for responses is 18 July.

I have put a local perspective on this issue in the attached report: Councillors reaffirmed our commitment to giving maximum possible protection to the Edinburgh’s Green Belt when approving the next stage of the Edinburgh Local Development Plan (LDP) project. A capital coalition motion, agreed at Planning Committee on 19 June agrees to continue exploring the prioritisation of brownfield sites before releasing land in the Green Belt. 74% of the homes within the Local Development Plan are expected to be built on brownfield sites. While agreeing the recommendations in the report, the motion further instructs officials to reassess a potential development site in the west of the city called ‘East of Milburn Tower’. Contained within the West Edinburgh Strategic Development zone, its inclusion in the Plan would give the committee more flexibility when considering future representations on the LDP. In order to give us the best chance of preserving the city’s green belt, we decided that none of the currently identified sites were removed at this stage of developing the Local Development Plan. Removing any of the current sites would mean the Council could not meet the housing target agreed by the Government, which could result in the Plan facing a legal challenge. Or worse, because we wouldn’t have an effective land supply, it would seriously undermine the Committee’s ability to prevent ad hoc development in the green belt as the Reporter would have no option but to grant applications on appeal. The new Local Development Plan scheme has info on timescales, how to find out more about the plan and how to comment, click on:

After a very successful Cabaret night in February, Portobello High School’s jazz musicians and singers received an invitation to perform at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. They will be performing at the Tron Kirk on Saturday, 19 July at 10.30 am. Their programme will include songs from the Great American Song Book as well as some Blues from The Nomads. Tickets (£2) will be available at the door. If you fancy a coffee and some music on a Saturday morning, they would love to see you!

Holy Rood RC High School won the final of the 2014 Edinburgh Schools Public Speaking Competition organised by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and held at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, in a debate over the proposition that “Being bullied for being different is part of growing up and is just part of Scottish culture”. Winners Mahnoor Shah and Carina Campanile were presented with their trophy by Solicitor General, Lesley Thomson QC.

Find out about this great community enterprise in Portobello and what they are up to:

Roadworks behind and ahead! Sir Harry Lauder Road had to be closed this week to allow Scottish Power safe access to carry out emergency works on the pylon insulators. I was asked why not wait until the schools were off? It was done co-ordinated this way so as not to conflict with the Wisp road closure for 8 weeks over the schools’ summer holidays. That Wisp work starts today as the bypass comes back into action.

The latest edition of the Communities and Neighbourhood Committee Business Bulletin is available online. Find out what’s happening in local communities and neighbourhoods across Edinburgh area, including a couple of headlines from Portobello/Craigmillar. Click on:

Also lots of good news and information to share from the first quarter review the newsletter online by clicking on the link:

I’ve said a bit about it in the attached report, but find out lots more about how our own local Portobello/Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership works. Click on:

Find out loads of good information about the area you live in based on the 2011 Census:

Make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam. Do get advice online on how to spot and avoid them:

Have you or someone you know have a blue badge? Changes to the eligibility criteria came in recently – 28 June. More info here:

Local campaigners, led by members of Portobello Community Council, Max Blinkhorn and Lawrence Marshall, are hoping to reopen Portobello railway station that was closed 50 years ago. The last train pulled out of Portobello, in 1964 and previous bids to revive the station were derailed by engineering issues and high costs.

First Saturday of the month is time for another Portobello Market! This month we have another record attendance of stallholders, and in addition BG Cycles of Portobello will be there offering a free bike check. So bring your bike along to Dr Bike and listen to the live music by the Caleerie Buskers while you wait. Better still, take a wander and buy something from the wide variety of traders offering everything from handmade soaps, plants, garden furniture and crafts, organic mutton, cheese, condiments, oils, bread to jams, organic fruit & veg, dog treats and African vegetarian goodies! Check out the website for further details of all the stallholders. See you there, Brighton Park, 9.30am to 1.30pm, Saturday 5th July.

A proposed ban on pavement parking has stalled as Holyrood officials doubt MSPs have the power to introduce it, the MSP backing it has said. A spokesman for the Edinburgh’s Worst Drivers website, which “shames badly behaved motorists”, said: “Pavement parking is an issue I am very passionate about, and have actively aimed to discourage through my site. I would urge the Scottish Parliament to reconsider their position.”

Come and find out about Craigmillar Books for Babies and the Craigmillar Literacy Trust’s work at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival: Details at

Brunstane Bowling Club Open Day had a really good turn to our open day on 8th June with approximately 40 potential new members attending and receiving coaching. We had mixed abilities from never having thrown a bowl before to having lapsed and now thinking of taking it up again. Every rink was busy all day. The good weather, of course , was a great help! An Excellent day was had by al. The Club thanks City of Edinburgh Council and Activcity for their help

The piano tuner who set up camp on Portobello beach said he had moved back into his tent in protest at the Council’s Court action against him and I get frequent phone calls and emails about it. Ben Treuhaft appealed the Sheriff Court’s notice of eviction. It is understood that due to Mr Treuhaft’s appeal, the Council cannot act on the original decree to evict him until the appeal is heard. Meanwhile the tent stays on the beach, much to the frustration of many residents living nearby at the foot of James Street, who want very much want to see it gone and soon.

The High Hedges (Scotland) Act empowers local authorities to investigate disputes and order the removal or shortening of problem hedges, defined as a row of two or more 2m-high trees or shrubs which “form a barrier to light”. It also allows parties to appeal to Scottish ministers if they disagree with the council’s ruling. Since the law came into force on April 1, several councils, including Edinburgh, have been asked to use their new powers to resolve long-running disputes

Are you suffering from illegally and dangerously driven motorbikes in your area? Police want to know about this Motorbike Menace! Tell them who they are and where the bikes are being stored and the police will act. Phone 101 or – if you want to remain anonymous – Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

That’s quite enough from me. I was going to say I am going away on holiday early on Wednesday, but those plans have had to be postponed for at least a week. I might well take my foot off the pedal a bit though! (-; Have a good summer!

Best wishes


Maureen Child Update 18 June 2014

Dear All

There are two events in different places today in Portobello:

In partnership, Aldi and Cruden are preparing proposals for a residential development of around 200 new homes and a food store at Baileyfield, Portobello with associated car parking and landscaping. Before submitting a planning application, as a major development, Aldi and Cruden have to consult (by law) with the local community about their proposals. As part of this consultation there will be a public exhibition of the proposals today Wednesday 18 June at Portobello Town Hall between 12noon and 7pm. Members of the development team will be on hand to explain the proposals and answer any questions that you may have.

In a different place, Portobello Baptist Church Hall, 185 Portobello High Street at 7.30 p.m. the visiting speaker, Dr. Andrew Brownlow is the Director of The Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme. He will give an illustrated talk entitled “A Whale Tale – Stranded Cetaceans in the Firth of Forth”. This is clearly a fascinating topic, and Dr Brownlow is making the journey all the way from Inverness to tell us about it, so PAS hope for a good turnout.

Craigmillar Festival Fun Day is on 28 June from 12noon to 4pm. They still need volunteers to help on the day with stewarding the parade, shifting tables , erecting marquees, picking up litter and the many other mundane but essential tasks that make the event successful. Please email the Committee of volunteers on if you can help at all, even in a small way.

Portobello’s ‘Here come the Summer’ Fun Day is this coming to the Prom and the beach this Saturday, 21 June. Details here:
Hope for sunshine both days!

Just off on my (borrowed) bike, having been to SPOKES Bike Breakfast in the City Chambers quadrangle, to Craigmillar Castle and be shown round by the new P7 tour guides from Castleview Primary School. Can’t wait!

Best wishes


Maureen Child Update 13 June 2014

Dear All

Sorry to trouble you again but several people have asked me about who they should write to about the Brunstane site and what kind of issues to raise.

John Stewart, Chairman of Portobello Amenity Society (PAS) has copied me in to a very useful letter that he has sent from PAS to the Acting Head of Planning and the Convener of the Committee, asking that all Planning Committee Members get to see it. This kind of letter is one of the reasons why the Planning Committee has been postponed for a week from yesterday.

Acting Head of Planning, David Leslie’s email and snail mail addresses are follows:
or City of Edinburgh Council, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG

Councillor Ian Perry’s contact details are:
or City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1YJ

– and you have mine!

The official period for letters has not started, but do not let that put you off writing now and having your voices heard – for or against, of course! Other individuals, communities and neighbourhoods are doing so across Edinburgh. Again, I stress this is about the designation of the land as a housing site rather than agricultural land and Green Belt. There is no planning application pending for this particular site either in detail or in principle.

Portobello Amenity Society’s AGM is next week – on Wednesday 18 June at 7.30pm in the Baptist Church Hall. This is the same day that the Baileyfield, former Scottish Power site to West of Portobello is to be consulted upon. That is a drop-in consultation taking place between 1pm and 7pm run by Aldi and Crudens jointly. They have acquired this important local brown field site and are planning to build around 200 houses and an Aldi store. They are seeking people’s views through the exhibition that day and ongoing discussions – no doubt – with and through Portobello Community Council, Portobello Amenity Society and others.

Best wishes and my apologies – again – for bombarding you.

Apart from the above, do have a good weekend!