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Cockburn Association Newsletter

The Cockburn Association (Edinburgh's Civic Trust) has been working to protect & enhance the beauty of Edinburgh since 1875.

We support, enable and promote:
  • Excellence in new design
  • Sensitive regeneration on appropriate sites
  • Sustainable transport systems
  • Maintenance of existing and the creation of new civic and green spaces

Cockburn News

Edinburgh Doors Open Day
Saturday 26 & Sunday 27 September

This year's Doors Open Day, organised by the Cockburn Association in partnership with Edinburgh Trams, is taking place over a whole weekend for the first time. With more buildings than ever before - and more time to explore - there is something of interest for all ages, interests and tastes.

From guided walks along the Union Canal, a mock jury trial at the Sheriff Court to tips on Georgian etiquette at Edinburgh World Heritage and panoramic views from Corstorphine Tower, Nelson Monument and the roof garden at Tanfield this is your chance to explore Edinburgh's past, present and future - all for free.

For those with a keen interest in residential and interior design must-sees include new housing designed by Gordon Duffy at Peffermill Road, Duddingston House and private homes at North Fort Street, Orchard Road South, Mansionhouse Road and Lauder Road. There is also another chance to visit two highlights from last year - Dovecot Studios by Malcolm Fraser Architects and the Informatics Building by Bennetts Associates.

The programme has now gone to print and a copy will be posted to all Cockburn members in mid August. Copies will also be available in Edinburgh public libraries, the tourist information centre and public buildings after the Festival, with an online version available in late August. More details here.

Haymarket Public Inquiry
The Public Inquiry into the proposed 17 storey Tower at Haymarket ended last month after two weeks of detailed evidence and cross-examination. The Association, the main objector to the proposal, was represented by John Campbell QC and fielded expert witnesses on planning (Charles Strang), World Heritage (Professor Herb Stovel), visual impact (Mark Steele) and urban design matters (Neil Simpson). Vice Chairman Bill Cantley also gave evidence on behalf of the Association.

It is expected that the Reporter will submit his findings to Scottish Ministers at the end of July or in early August.

Many thanks again to our witnesses, volunteers and members who supported us during the Inquiry and to the many members, residents and businesses who donated to our fighting fund. The public response has been terrific, demonstrating not only widespread concerns about the development of a Tower in this location, but the importance of protecting Edinburgh's skyline, character and much loved views.

Lille Study Tour
From 19th - 23rd March, 13 members of the Cockburn Association travelled to Lille for a self-funded reconnaissance of the city. The trip began with a tour of St Pancras before boarding the Eurostar to explore the Old Town of Lille with Agnès Pascal of Renaissance du Lille Ancien. Highlights of the four day visit included an overview of Lille Métropole by Thierry Baert, Head of International Relations & Culture, Agence de Lille Métropole, a tour of an Organic Recovery Centre and exploring the public realm improvements at Tourcoing. Report here.

The next Study Tour will be to Oslo in May 2010. Tours are open to all with an interest in urban development, transport and design but numbers are limited. To register your interest please email Heather Hall.

Edinburgh Civic Forum
The next meeting of the Edinburgh Civic Forum is on Tuesday 15th September. Papers will be sent to all Community Councils, street associations and affiliate members of the Cockburn Association in August. The Civic Forum is an opportunity for groups to keep up to date with planning news and to discuss matters of common interest with the City Council's planning department. All Community Councils and local associations are encouraged to attend. More information here.

The Annual General Meeting of the Association is on Thursday 1st October in the Scottish Storytelling Centre. After formal business, Malcolm Cooper, Chief Inspector at Historic Scotland, will give a talk on the work and changing role of the organisation.

The AGM is open to all members of the Association who are up to date with their subscription. Papers be will sent out at the beginning of September. If you are interested in standing for election to Cockburn Council or would like more information please contact Moira Tasker.

Can you help?
Last year, thanks to member donations, we purchased a computer and software, and moved to electronic accounting. The accounting information supplied to Chiene and Tait for audit and inspection has been produced using this new system and will be submitted to the AGM in October.

This software also enables us to generate reporting information on a monthly basis. From this, management accounts are produced to assist the Management and Finance Committee.

We are seeking a volunteer, ideally a Chartered Accountant, to assist with monthly monitoring of these figures. Time commitment is three to four hours per month including attendance at the monthly Management and Finance meeting. For more information please contact Moira Tasker.

Events Working Group
Thank you to James, Regina, Sarah, Alastair and Tony who have volunteered for the newly created events working group. Preparations are underway for a series of events in the Autumn and the programme will be posted to all members in August.

Cases Roundup

The Cases Committee meets to consider and comment on planning applications of interest to the Association. This month, the committee has reviewed applications at Ocean Drive, Kew Terrace, Gracemount and Riccarton Mains Road.

For more information on the work of the Committee, or if you are a member and wish to draw an application to our attention, please contact Yvonne Holton.

Policy & Publications

Plewlands Conservation Area
The City Council are considering designating Plewlands as a Conservation Area. The area under consideration incorporates the residential area to the west of Comiston Road, north of Greenbank Drive, east of the Napier University Craiglockhart campus, and south of Craighouse Gardens and Balcarres Street. The area also includes Morningside Cemetery. It is bounded to the east by the Morningside Conservation area and to the west by the Craiglockhart Hills Conservation Area. The Association has written to the Council in support of the designation, with the caveat that there must also be local community support.

Modernising Planning
On 3rd August changes to the Planning system come into force. These include alterations to the scheme of delegation, changes to the length of time planning permission remains extant, the City Council taking responsibility for neighbour notification and the establishment of a Local Review Body to decide appeals. More information here.

The Scottish Government has produced a series of planning circulars on the implementation of the new legislation:

Scottish Planning Series Circular 4: Development Management Procedures
Scottish Planning Series Circular 5: Hierarchy of Developments
Scottish Planning Series Circular 6: Planning Appeals
Scottish Planning Series Circular 7: Schemes of Delegation and Local Reviews

Also of importance is the official withdrawal and replacement of the Memorandum of Guidance on Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas. The Memorandum has been replaced with Scottish Historic Environment Policy (SHEP).

National Planning Framework 2
With the aim of guiding Scotland's development until 2030, the second National Planning Framework was published in July.

Renewable Heritage
Earlier this year, the Association assisted Changeworks with the drafting of guidance to homeowners seeking to integrate renewable energy systems into listed and traditional homes in a sympathetic way. Renewable Heritage, a sister publication to Energy Heritage, received funding and support from Edinburgh World Heritage, the EAGA Charitable Trust and the City Council. More information here.


Ancient Monuments & Listed Buildings Bill
The Ancient Monuments and Listed Buildings (Amendment) Scotland Bill is out for consultation until 14th August. The Association will be submitting a response and comments from members should be forwarded to Moira Tasker.

City Centre Kiosks
The City of Edinburgh Council will shortly be consulting on proposals to bring a coherent approach to kiosks for traders in central Edinburgh. The Association will be participating in the consultation and comments from members are welcome. Planning committee report here.

Listed Building Consent
Historic Scotland is inviting comments on the proposal to remove the duty of local authorities to notify them of planning applications affecting certain types of listed buildings. The consultation follows a pilot scheme in Edinburgh at the end of last year. Info here.

In Brief

Quality of Life in Cities... A new report by the European Environment Agency exploring urbanity and environmental challenges.

Sandy Stoddart at the Hunterian... the renowned sculptor is currently exhibiting the drawings and models that lie behind his finished works at the Hunterian Art Gallery until 12th September.

Saluting the Suffragettes... an exhibition examining the votes for women movement at the Museum of Edinburgh.

A Hope Unbroken... an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden in honour of seminal Regius Keeper John Hope.

Refuse collection... news on the ongoing refuse dispute here.

Next Update: Thursday 27th August

Previous Updates available here

Register for the next Cockburn Newsletter here.

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