Skip to content

Maureen Child Update 12 June 2014

Dear All

I have alerted many of you already to the threat of Green Belt releases for housing in the Brunstane/Newcraighall/Milton Road East area. It is a large field leading up to the historic and listed buildings at Newhailes Estate and Brunstane House. The site is bisected by the East Coast Main Line and bounded to the north by the Brunstane Walkway, now part of the John Muir Way. Currently it’s landlocked. If it ever goes ahead, a vehicle entrance would be taken off Milton Road East immediately to the east of the Cemetery, across the Brunstane Burn, and another exit/entrance to the very congested road through Newcraighall to Musselburgh. This is a new potential development threat over the next 20 years life of the Draft Edinburgh City Local Plan which is still to go out for further representations form both developers and members of the public. I first flagged up this further local threat to our Green Belt in my end March Report and repeated last month. Portobello Amenity Society have already written in to the Council, expressing their deep concern. Last December, sites were put in the Draft Local Plan but Scottish Government insisted we needed more sites and others are being added. But the people near many sites in the West of the city have raised a campaign and want their local sites removed from the Draft Plan at this early stage’ potentially leaving all Green Belt and open green spaces vulnerable to the threat of development by unravelling the emerging Local Development Plan. I believe we should all have a level playing field, each locality should get the time, space and equal opportunity to muster their own arguments. The site at Brunstane would cause the most traffic impact of all – well above any of the others. We need the chance in the East of Edinburgh, just like they have in the West, to marshal our arguments against and to be heard properly. I will be fighting that case, and I need you help me do so. This meeting was postponed from this morning for a week until 19 June at 1pm, so we have another week to hone our arguments and get deputations together to represent the views of local people directly to Planning Committee. Papers are here and the contents won’t change between now and 19 June.

Portobello Rowing Regatta between on Saturday 14 June 10am and 5pm on the beach between Bath Street and Marlborough Street. Rowporty will be selling home-made cakes and Finlays finest burgers at the Club’s yard on the Promenade. they will have skiffs coming to compete from St Andrews, Pittenween, Anstruther, Newburgh, S. Queensferry, Newhaven, Musselburgh, Port Seton, North Berwick and Dunbar, so there should be 12 skiffs on the beach with over 250 rowers taking part. There are 65 people from Portobello rowing on the day, including Under 15’s, Under 18’s, Novice, 60+, 50+, 40+ and Open categories with Men, Women and Mixed teams in each race category. The races will start from the beach and row out to individual buoys, turn to starboard and head back to the shore/finish line. One of the races, the Inter Club Mix, will take names out of a hat from all the clubs taking part in an attempt to mix the crews up and to enable people from different coastal communities to get to know each other. We will also be running a Relay Mixed race this year, which will involve doing the course twice with 2 separate crews, the winner will get the Jonathan Bendit Cup in memory of Jonathan, who founded the club.

You are very welcome to come down to the shore, support the local team and buy some lovely cakes, which raises vital funds for the Club, all the work being done entirely by volunteers. They need to buy more oars and another trailer. The Club have started restoring the nearly 100 year old ‘Jolly Boat’ donated to them by Broughty Ferry. The boat is solid wood, copper riveted, beautifully made, and used to be raced off Portobello beach from the early 1890’s until the 1980’s.

The Baton Relay comes to Portobello this Saturday June 14. This is a map of the route. The Dalriada will be serving ‘Regatta Ale’ to mark the occasion, and there’ll be a sea-shanty singing competition and bonfire on the beach in the evening, starting 7pm. The Dalriada’s weekly ‘World Music Session’ starts at 3pm.The Commonwealth Games Baton will be coming along the Promenade from King’s Road at about 4:15pm, so is likely to be passing the Dalriada around soon after, if you want to be part of welcoming the baton to Scotland. See more at:

Towerbank Parent Council’s Playspace Group are doing a great job on improvements to the children’s playground space. See here:

Would you like to be a Friend of Portobello Online? The suggested donation for an individual is just £5 for 12 months. See:

With less than 100 days to go until the Scottish Referendum, Edinburgh citizens are being urged to use their vote on Scotland’s future. People across the city need to register to vote to take part in the much-anticipated election, which will take place on 18 September. But voters could risk missing out if they fail to meet the registration deadline on 2 September, or if they fill out their postal vote or ballot paper wrongly. The City of Edinburgh Council is taking forward a campaign to promote voter registration and voter awareness with a series of road-shows across its neighbourhood offices, in partnership with the Electoral Registration Office. Members of the public can come along and find out more about making sure they are on the register and how and where they will cast their vote. Monday 30 June, 11am – 3pm, East Neighbourhood Office

This is Carer’s Week. An estimated 37,859 carers look after loved ones in Edinburgh. Edinburgh has agreed a strategy to help support them

It focuses on six priorities:

  • identifying carers;
  • information and advice;
  • health and wellbeing for carers;
  • short breaks and respite;
  • young adult carers;
  • personalised support for carers.

Motorbike Menace! Tell the police who they are and where the bikes are being stored and they will act. Tel 101 or Crimestoppers. From the police, here’s a quick & easy way to remember when to use 999 or 101 :

Electric Bungalow Community Garden Benefit Concert on Sunday 22nd June 3-7pm. A family friendly fundraising event:

20mph plans for Portobello High Street and lots elsewhere in Edinburgh:

Fancy taking part in a Fringe art/show on Porty Beach this August? Volunteers needed, see…

Portobello Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) next to Scotmid in Bath Street offer free, holistic advice service by appointment or at drop in sessions. Info here:

Want to watch some great basketball live locally? Scotland Under 18 Men v Sweden Under 17 Men series is on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 June at Portobello High School games hall. See more at:

If you’re going to the cafe in John Lewis Edinburgh, then please put your green tokens in our box for a great cause – Craigmillar Literacy Trust:

The Council is opening up data for everyone to use, see link to Edinburgh by Numbers:

That’s enough for now

Best wishes