Luna Place – proposed Stopping Up Order

From the City Council :
Dundee City Council hereby give Notice that they have confirmed an Order under Sections 207 and 208 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, authorising the stopping-up of lengths of roads, footpaths and footways situated at Luna Place, Dundee.
A copy of the Order and relevant plan specifying the lengths of roads, footpaths and footways to be stopped up may be inspected at the office of the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Dundee City Council, 20 City Square, Dundee, by any person free of charge between 8.30 am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday inclusive during a period of 28 days from 16/11/18.  A copy of the plan can also be viewed by searching for “Traffic Regulation Orders“ in the Roads and Travel section of our website.
Any persons wishing to question the validity of the Order or of any provisions contained therein on the grounds that the Order is not within the powers conferred by the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, or on the grounds that the applicant interests have been substantially prejudiced by a failure to comply with any requirement of the said Act or of the Tribunals and Inquiries Act 1992 or of any rules or regulations made under these Acts, may within six weeks from 16/11/18 make application to the Court of Session for this purpose.

Disused office block at Dundee Technology Park – an update

As residents know, I have on many occasions expressed concern over the deteriorating state of an empty prominent office block in Luna Place in the Technology Park that sits beside the Riverside Avenue Ambassador Route, a key entry road into Dundee, with many thousands of vehicles passing every day.
The office block has lain empty for some time and it is understood the owner lives in Ireland.    Late last year, with planning authority, new fencing was erected round the site which I felt was a positive sign, but thereafter there had been poor workmanship including trenches around the site and also significant vandalism.
I took this up with planning officers at the council and the selling agents who are local and I asked them to advise the owner to take steps to rectify the situation and properly restore the building.      
The council’s Planning Enforcement Officer advised me in November 2017 as follows :
“(The owner has) confirmed the trenches outside were dug to allow electricity providers to put in cables.  However when they arrived on site they were unable to supply the required amount of power needed for the building.     Work then come to a standstill.     The transformers have been paid for last week but it takes 6 -8 weeks to get on site.  When the electricity providers arrive on site, the other workmen will also start on site to enable to building to be leased again.  The owner hopes the work will be completed by the end of January 2018.”
However, that works has not happened by the end of January and I therefore asked the council’s Planning Enforcement Officer to intervene.     She updated me last week as follows :
“I managed to get hold of the owner today.  He has been chasing Scottish Electric but the transformers still haven’t arrived.  The owner has chased the manufacturers.  Once the transformers arrive they will be given a two week window for when the work will commence on site.  I advised the owner to let me know when he receives the two week time slot and I will keep you updated.”
The deterioration of this building is very obvious on such a prominent site.   It is a terrible advertisement when visitors enter the city, so removing the eyesore as soon as possible is vital.

Xplore Dundee Bus Service 10

I have received a number of constituents’ concerns about the reliability of the Xplore Dundee Service 10, particularly running from the Technology Park.
I took up the matter with the Managing Director of Xplore Dundee who has responded as follows :
“We are actively working towards a solution to the No. 10 Service, we are aware of the issues and are also unhappy that our customers are having problems with the service. We have had a number of staff monitoring the service to identify specific pinch points along the route to allow us to be sure any fix resolves the issues permanently.
We have had issues around a number of areas on the back half of the route, road works, faulty traffic lights and problems traversing the Forfar Road. All of these have simply compounded our passengers difficulties. 
Our scheduler is currently working on a resolution which should alleviate the problem long term.
Despite recent press suggestions we do not care, we have offered to engage with customers who have issues with service provision and always respond to complaints. Our aim is to resolve the issue permanently however we can not guarantee to increase levels of service in areas where there are insufficient customers to make a service viable.
Time scales for any permanent change will however be subject to legal constraints or at short notice if supported by Dundee City Council.”

Bus services to the Technology Park – an update

Last week, I updated residents about the problems the recent Xplore Dundee bus changes had made to people working in the Technology Park and the fact that I had contacted the bus company about this – specifically seeking an improvement in evening services.
I was pleased to have been advised by Xplore Dundee management that, following a meeting between Xplore Dundee and HMRC who have over 600 staff working in the Technology Park, the bus company has applied for registration for the following evening services to be re-routed to cover Explorer Road in the Technology Park:

It is hoped to be able to start these services from Monday of next week.   The bus company advises :

“We are aiming for October 26th. Our scheduler is checking daily for the go ahead from the traffic commissioners so once this is received we will implement the change.”

Bus services to the Technology Park

I have been contacted by a number of people who work in the Technology Park about the recent National Express Dundee (now Xplore Dundee) bus service changes and how they detrimentally affect services to the Technology Park.
As one person put it :
“I am currently employed by HMRC at Sidlaw House in the Dundee Technology Park, part of a team of approximately 650 people.   Unfortunately recent changes to the bus timetables & routes servicing my workplace have been reduced, and during some times removed.   Both myself and my colleagues have been detrimentally affected.    I am now concerned about those of us with mobility issues to reach the nearest bus stop, and concerned over the personal safety of colleagues making the same journey.”
I have already pointed out the negative impact of removing the Service 5 from the far west part of Perth Road and this also impacts on services to the Technology Park.
I appreciate the detailed points the staff have made, particularly the safety issue in the evenings, and contacted the Managing Director of Xplore Dundee about this.     She has confirmed that a meeting between HMRC and Xplore Dundee has taken place to discuss the concerns and the bus company is “currently putting plans in place to address the main issues.”
I have asked to be advised of the detail of these once available.

Ground at the Technology Park

Overgrown area – Summer 2011
In the past, I have highlighted complaints from constituents about the state of the ground on Dundee’s Technology Park at the entrance to the City particularly in the summer months.
Over the past few years each summer, I have received many concerns about the untidy state of the ground running along Riverside Avenue, just east of the Swallow Roundabout.   It is important that it is kept looking good as it is a prominent entrance to Dundee and often looks unsightly in the summer months because of lack of regular-enough grass cutting/maintenance.
In advance of this summer, I again highlighted the matter to the City Council’s Director of City Development who advises:
“The area highlighted at the Technology Park is a matter that has been investigated previously.   It was established that the area where there is a lack of maintenance to the front of the commercial buildings is in multiple private ownership.    A meeting is being organised with the marketing agents for these properties to their consider their future use and the issue of maintenance will be raised.”

Caravans at Technology Park

Residents have contacted me about the appearance of a group of caravans at the old call centre site in Luna Place (see photo below) :
I contacted the council’s Housing Officer/Traveller Liaison Officer who has update me today as follows :
“… we have made contact and the Land owner has been made aware of the encampment and we now wait on the land owner(Graham and Sibbald) to instruct legal action.
I visited both groups of travellers today and provided bin bags and will organise a collection to keep on top of any waste.   Also the dog warden came along checked all dogs and advised accordingly. She also handed out dog litter bags to control dog waste.”

Former GA Call Centre site – another encampment

As reported in last night’s “Evening Telegraph”, a group of travellers have re-occupied the former GA call centre site, following the previous occupation.   As I indicated in last night’s paper, I am anxious to see a swift resolution to the situation and hope the travelling community will henceforth use the official site at Balmuir Wood.
The council’s Housing Department advised me yesterday:
“There is a new illegal encampment of 4 caravans at the old GA call centre on Explorer Road.    We visited the site this afternoon with the Police to speak to them and take their details.  The wife of the boss said they will be gone by the weekend as they are only passing through from Aberdeen back down south.   I will contact Jones Lang & Lasalle to let them know they have another encampment & advise them to block the access from Riverside Drive.”
With regard to the dumping of rubbish (see photo from the previous encampment above), the council’s Head of Democratic and Legal Services has also advised me:
“Further to previous correspondence I met with Chief Inspector McKillop on Friday 10th May and he confirmed that he would consider using the Mobile CCTV Unit in appropriate cases in the future.”

Concern over mess left at former GA Call Centre site

Further to the recent occupation of the former GA Call Centre site, I am extremely concerned at the mess left at the site.   See some photos below:
A constituent contacted me over the weekend concerned at the mess left behind.   The constituent who regularly walks his dog around the grass areas in the Technology Park said:
“There’s piles of brickwork, and what looks like the excavation of driveways or the spoil of some serious tunnel digging elsewhere but dumped here.    Also bikes, scooters, nappies, and even a small shed or dog kennel.  Unbelievable!”
I visited the site yesterday and have contacted the City Council to ensure the site is cleaned up.
It is totally unacceptable for a site to be left in this terrible mess – there’s a huge volume of rubbish been left.   In this case the site owners will have to meet the cost of the clean up, but on previous occasions on publicly owned land, the council – and therefore the council tax payer – has been saddled with the clean up cost.   Constituents are rightly furious at the mess and the cost of having it cleaned up.
I was advised last week by the council’s Head of Democratic and Legal Services that he and the City Council Chief Executive will be meeting with Police Scotland about the issue in the near future.