Proposed Aldi At Dock Street

Most of you will know by now that the Planning application was refused by the Council.

The reason for the decision was as follows

“The principle of a foodstore of this size is acceptable at this location to meet the requirements of a growing population. This is because the site is accessible by public transport and has a significant existing and future walk in population. The excessive parking provision undermines this position and therefore the proposal is contrary to both retail policy and the parking standards for this area.”


Leith Decides – Online Voting In Libraries


The 7th £eith decides is  here and, for the first time, local people will be able to score projects online.

The voting period opened  at 12.30 pm on Saturday, 8 October 2016 at the Marketplace event at the Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirkgate.  There are 16 projects with a total value of £11,445 looking for a share of £8,000 in grants of up to £1,000. There are also 39 projects with a total value of £102,268 looking for a share of £36,184 in grants of up to £3,000.

Anyone 8 years old and over, who lives, works, volunteers or studies in the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership (NP) area is asked to give every project a score out of 5. The projects with the highest scores will be given a grant award. Remember, the Leith NP area also takes in Pilrig, Bonnington, Restalrig, Broughton, Lochend, Seafield, Easter Road, Hillside, Canonmills, and Abbeyhill.

Voting will continue until 5.00 pm on Saturday, 22 October 2016. Dedicated computers are available in McDonald Road Library and Leith Library for £eith decides voters.

Results will be announced at 5.30 pm on 1 November 2016 at McDonald Road Library. Come along and join in the fun – all welcome.



Waterfront Plaza


Waterfront Plaza – Response To CALA Planning Application 

Planning Application by Cala

I would like to register our support for the detailed comments and petition submitted by  The Moorings residents association, about the Cala Development at “Waterfront Plaza”.   Our comments have been put together with input from the aforementioned residents and colleagues in the Friends of the Water of Leith Basin (FOWLB) and Leith Civic Trust

Affordable Housing

In particular we would draw attention to the proposal for all of the affordable homes to be located in one corner of the site. I understand that developers are encouraged to distribute the affordable dwellings throughout the site.  We appreciate that this is an advisory issue.  However we would wish to make the point that the LDP states that affordable housing should be integrated into developments but in this development affordable housing is segregated from main site by a road. The argument for this is apparently that the RSLs prefer to keep all together as easier to manage.

It is also stated in official documentation that affordable housing should be built across all stages of phasing but it is identified as being planned for stage 4, Cala did say at a recent residents meeting that they may have to bring in another builder to enable this.


Building Height

We are concerned that the plans remain committed to 6 storey buildings, though supposedly reduced to 5, adjacent to The Moorings. This is still creating a great deal of stress to residents of that development. It is appreciated that Cala are trying to address some of the issues raised by those residents, but the height of buildings is a major issue –the Cala proposal is not, in addition, sympathetic to listed buildings in the Conservation area.

Green Space

We would also like to express our regret that the recreation area that was created around the Victoria Dock is to be built upon with the loss of 43 trees.  We have also noticed that according to CEC Planning Processing  Agreement –ref 3415511 , 6 September, other Consents required relating to Conservation Area Consent have  not been addressed. We are aware Cala are not planning within that area but should it not still require impact assessment?

This area of Leith has very few green recreational spaces and analysis shows that local residents only visit parks or green spaces within a 10 minute walk of their homes.  Consequently all the benefit of exercise for the local community will be lost together with the attendant well- being that is generated by such spaces. We would be grateful for your advice as to whether the landscaped area and path is a public right of way as has been in place since 1996 meeting 20 year requirement.

Air pollution

This development is going to add a further 426 homes to Leith and it already has the highest density housing in Scotland.  There is apparently no provision in the application for any development of the infrastructure the will be needed to support the new residents. Car parking is already an issue in many areas of Leith and this development is going to make things worse. The provision for parking within the planning guidelines is wholly inadequate because it does not reflect what happens day to day.

Parts of Commercial St already fail to meet the air quality standards this development can only make things worse.

We would urge the planning committee to significantly reduce the number of dwellings allowed thereby retaining the green space and all the benefits for the community as well as reducing the impact on the already stretched infrastructure in Leith.

Wider Infrastructure

RCGP Scotland has commented recently that house building plans must consider GP practice capacity.  Patient care could be undermined and practices could buckle under pressure if plans to build new housing do not consider the impact on GP services, RCGP Scotland has warned.

The RCGP warned that local planners should have an obligation to ensure ‘the continuation of the safe provision of healthcare’. Failing to factor in the impact of new homes on GP services could undermine patient care and leave practices unable to cope.

This and other areas of wider infrastructure development such as education need to be considered carefully when planning housing developments of this density.

In closing, Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council understands the urgent need for housing in Edinburgh as a whole.  This does not though in any way obviate the need to ensure that development is sustainable or for house builders and the council to consider the issues raised above. We do not object per se to the principle of building on brownfield sites like this one, but we are concerned that what is built should be attractive and sustainable while meeting the urgent need for new housing.

Allan R Mackie


Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council

28 September 2016

Leith Neighbourhood Partnership News: Autumn 2016

(adapted from an email from Loraine Duckworth, Partnership Development Officer)

£eith Decides

The 7th £eith decides is almost here and, for the first time, local people will be able to score projects online. More information is available online at £eith decides. Continue reading

Community Council Elections

Nominations for Edinburgh’s community council elections opened on 5 September and will close on 26 September 2016.  If needed, elections will take place on 27 October 2016.  If you want to become a community councillor, Information and nomination forms can be downloaded from the elections page.

To find out about community councils near you, and how to contact them, use the community council boundary map and list of office bearers, available in the pack below, or get in touch with the Community Council Liaison Officer.



Community Councils

Community councils are groups of people who care about their community and want to make their area a better place to live. They have an important role in local democracy. They represent the views of local people on Neighbourhood Partnerships and convey these views to the Council and other organisations. They are governed by the Scheme for Community Councils, which you can download in the information pack below.

Community councils are always keen to hear from local people, and want more people to get involved in their work. They usually meet once a month and, between their meetings, many organise local projects that help the community or improve the area.

The Neighbourhood Partnership website lets you find out about their role and which partnership you live in(external link).

How to get involved

There are different ways to get involved in your local community council

  • attend your community council’s regular public meetings
  • email your local community council or visit their website
  • become a community council member.

Find out more about the recent Community Council Induction(external link) on the Neighbourhood Partnership website.

Contact your community council’s secretary for more details.

As part of the Scottish Government’s work in collaboration with COSLA to enhance the role of Community Councils, the Improvement Service has developed a Community Council website(external link).

Community Council Liaison and Development Officer


Tel: 0131 469 3838


Diversity In Community Councils’ work

(Adapted from a post on Tower Wharf Residents’ Association‘s website)

Community Council elections start on Monday, 5th September. Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC) has organised a workshop on Wednesday, 7th September (6pm to 8:30pm) followed by drop-in sessions to encourage members of Edinburgh’s ethnic population to become involved with their local community councils.

Community Councils are for everyone, and Leith Harbour & Newhaven CC would welcome new applications to become a CC member for our area. Nominations open on Monday, 5th September and forms can be obtained from the returning officer, Cllr Adam McVey (email or downloaded from Edinburgh Council’s website from next week.


Waterfront Plaza

Cala has recently submitted a planning application for this development. In the accompanying press release, Cala says:-

  • The 425 home development will provide a range of one, two and three bedroom apartments, colonies, studios and townhouses on brownfield land in Leith’s former docklands, opposite Ocean Terminal.
  • Cala has addressed concerns about loss of green space by reducing the planned density and by proposing a prominent area of publicly accessible open space as well as a café building, overlooking Victoria dock.
  • It is clear that there is a demand for a range of high quality properties to include desirable apartments and family homes in the area. This development not only helps address the substantial shortfall in housing that typifies the Edinburgh property market, but it will also provide excellent affordable housing in a project with high quality design appropriate to the waterfront location.
  • The Leith development will further embody CALA’s commitment to developing on brownfield sites in central Edinburgh.
  • Subject to securing planning permission, CALA hope to be in a position to commence development in early 2017.

There will be more information to follow on LHNCC’s website, on Cala’s website and on Edinburgh Council’s planning portal. (Enter the application reference 16/03684/FUL.)

However, Leith Harbour & Newhaven CC members are concerned that the current proposal has serious faults, such as high density of occupants, the height of the proposed buildings, poor design quality, lack of leisure areas for families, segregation of affordable homes and effects on nearby conservation areas. A full list is at the bottom of this post.

LHNCC wants your views!

Please let us know what you think of the proposals, no matter whether you support them, oppose them or simply want to comment on any aspect. Email LHNCC via

Full list of planning concerns

  • Contravenes current policy for site use
  • High density (425 units)
  • Height of buildings (Up to 6 stories)
  • Design quality
  • No leisure/play area for families
  • Removal of landscaped green space
  • Removal of established trees
  • Segregation of affordable homes
  • Not sympathetic to Conservation Area and listed buildings in Commercial Street
  • Impact on Schools and Health Service provision
  • Traffic and parking
  • Environmental concerns