The Shrubbery – 200th Anniversary

Celebrating the 200th anniversary of The Shrubbery, Elaine Kuwahara is opening her beautiful garden on Magdalen Yard Road for three days, with all proceeds to charity, including Friends of Camperdown House and Scotland’s Gardens.

The opening will be on Friday 26th May by former Lord Provost John Letford and the event will run until Sunday 28th May.

Home of famed Dundee artist McIntosh Patrick for many years, the garden and house were the subject of several of his paintings. The Georgian townhouse was designed and built by Dundee architect David Neave in 1817.

The garden has been sympathetically restored to McIntosh Patrick’s time and features mainly herbaceous perennials and shrubs. It also includes surviving fruit trees from its original layout as a working garden. There is a pond with goldfish and koi carp.

Don’t miss it – more details here.

Getting things done – Magdalen Yard Road

Residents remarked to me how pleased they are that the council’s unadopted pavements programme is now upgrading the muddy path round the north edge of Magdalen Green to create a proper tarred footway.
 
As vehicles are unable to be parked in a number short sections of the road during the works, I have asked the council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership to take the opportunity to properly clean out the road edges (months of compressed leaves and dirt!) and unblock the drains – see right :

Loose masonry concern at Tay Rope Works

I was contacted by a concerned resident yesterday about loose masonry on the facade of the former Tay Rope Works on Magdalen Yard Road.
 
I immediately contacted the City Council and am pleased to have had the following very prompt response from the Team Leader Building Standards:
 
“I refer to your earlier communication regarding the above and would like to update you as follows.    Following an inspection of the property Building Standards have taken emergency action in order to reduce the immediate danger to public safety, barriers have been erected.
 
The marketing agent has been contacted and advised of the situation however no formal response has yet been received regarding their intentions.
 
We will contact the agent tomorrow in the hope that they can urge the owners to instruct the necessary remedial measures and we will also remind them of the owners obligation under the Building Scotland Act to maintain their property in safe condition.”

Getting things done … Magdalen Green fencing

Some years ago, at my request and those of local residents, the City Council erected some fencing at the east end of the Green, near to the Riverside Approach/Magdalen Yard Road junction, to stop a minority of irresponsible drivers from parking on the Green edge and damaging the grass.

The fencing has worked pretty well, but some of it has fallen – see right – so at the request of residents and the Friends of Magdalen Green I have asked the council’s Environment Department to have it sorted.

The Department’s Head of Environmental Management has kindly agreed to get the fencing re-erected.

Temporary Traffic Order – Richmond Terrace and Magdalen Yard Road

Although the following Traffic Order will come with it the inconvenience of temporary loss of parking for a limited time, I am very pleased that Scottish Water is undertaking flood prevention works at Richmond Terrace. I raised the matter with Scottish Water some time ago, having visited residents to see the effect of flooding at their properties. I am grateful to Scottish Water for its proactivity in working to resolve this matter.
Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating Scottish Water flood prevention works. The Order is expected to be in force for nine weeks from 11 January 2010 . Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to temporarily suspend all parking in (a) Richmond Terrace from Windsor Street for a distance of 45 metres or thereby west and (b) Magdalen Yard Road from Windsor Street for a distance of 45 metres or thereby east.

Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, City Development Department, Tayside House, Crichton Street, Dundee, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date. If you have any queries please contact the department on 433082.

Progress on West End Bus Shelters

 

As residents are aware, I have long campaigned for more bus shelters in the West End. Earlier this financial year, finance became available for an additional 16 shelters across the City and, as Planning & Transport Convener of the Council, I supported a fair dispersal of these across the city – 2 per city council ward.

The two new West End Ward ones are at Perth Road (south side near Seafield Road/Lane) and Magdalen Yard Road (north side near Servite Housing) – as you can see from the photos above taken yesterday – work is now in hand to build these.

Bus Shelters

Dundee City Council News Release

Almost £200,000 could be spent in the next few months on expanding the number of SmartBus passenger waiting shelters in Dundee.

Councillors on Dundee City Council’s policy and resources committee, which meets on Monday (June 23) will be asked to approve funding for 16 new shelters across the city.
Convener of the planning and transport committee, Fraser Macpherson, said, “The demand for these shelters to be installed at more locations has been very high as passengers who have used them experience their advantages.
“The plan is for two locations in each of the council’s eight wards to have a new shelter provided during this financial year.”
The SmartBus shelters feature a covered passenger waiting area, seating, real time bus information, a timetable poster, lighting and CCTV capability. The total installation cost is expected to be around £192,000.
Installation will be carried out by a combination of contractors through an existing partnership agreement with Tayside Contracts and by specialist suppliers.

Note : West End new shelters are :
· Perth Road at Seafield Lane
· Magdalen Yard Road at Step Row

Tay Rope Works : Development Quality Committee

Last night, at the City Council’s Development Quality Committee, I successfully moved refusal of the latest application to develop the former Tay Rope Works site. I was pleased that the majority against the proposal (the main application was defeated 14-8) was greater than last time, showing committee’s understanding of the community’s concern about the proposal – there were no fewer than 50 letters of objection to it.

Here’s the motions I moved at committee :

DQ Committee 16 June 2008 : Reasons for Refusal

08/00292/FUL Land at former Tay Rope Works, Magdalen Yard Road, Dundee

1. The proposed development is contrary to Policy 1 – “Vibrant and Sustainable Communities” of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 as it fails to minimise the effect on the environmental quality enjoyed by adjacent residents by virtue of design, layout and parking and traffic movement issues. There are no material considerations of sufficient strength to justify the granting of planning permission contrary to the policy.

2. The proposed development is contrary to Policy 4 – “Design of New Housing” of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 as the proposals fail to adhere to the design standards in Appendix 1 by the provision of too many flats. There are no material considerations of sufficient strength to justify the granting of planning permission contrary to the policy.

3. The proposed development is contrary to Policy 61 – “Development in Conservation Areas” of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 as it fails to preserve or enhance the Conservation Area because the proposed housing bears no relation to the style and character of the adjacent housing in the Perth Road Lanes Conservation Area. There are no material considerations of sufficient strength to justify the granting of planning permission contrary to the policy.

08/00293/LBC Land at former Tay Rope Works, Magdalen Yard Road, Dundee

1. The proposed development is contrary to Policy 60 – “Alterations to Listed Buildings” of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 as it fails to have regard to preservation or enhancement of a listed building by the removal of the second storey. There are no material considerations of sufficient strength to justify the granting of planning permission contrary to the policy.

Paton’s Lane

I have been in discussion over the past 24 hours with both local residents and the Police about the signage at Paton’s Lane as the gas replacement works move eastwards along Perth Road. There was some confusion about signage, but now resolved.

Here’s the latest update from Scotland Gas Network’s contractors Turriff :

“The problem was caused by Paton’s Lane being open from Perth Road and the signs at the bottom of the lane still in operation, the No Entry Signs were blanked off and a special sign on Magdalen Yard Road informing traffic that Paton’s Lane was open from Magdalan Yard Road, hence two way traffic.


“The signs have been removed this morning therefore Paton’s Lane is one – way down from Perth Road to the existing two way section.”

West End Bus Matters …

There have been quite a few bus related queries this week.
Firstly, with regard to the roadworks at the roundabout at Blackness Road/Glamis Road/Glamis Drive (see right), residents had contacted me to complain that, although there was a temporary bus stop in location on the inbound route at the roadworks, no such facility exisited for outbound jorneys (ie to Ninewells Hospital, etc) leaving some residents a lengthy walk from either end of the roadworks after coming off the bus.

I am pleased to say that, following my contacting the Planning & Transportation Department about this, an outbound temporary stop has now been arranged.

The other issue raised by residents was the lack of diversionary signage marking clearly how to get to the Hillside area. I have now had the following feedback from the Director of Planning & Transportation :

“My staff in Road Maintenance and Road Network have reviewed the signage for the diversion to the Hillside area. Two extra temporary signs have been ordered and will be placed on Perth Road either side of Invergowrie Drive junction by this afternoon. The good news is that the works are due for completion by early Wednesday morning ahead of schedule.”

Nearby, in Ninewells Avenue – another issue. On 8th April, the bus routes for the 9X and 13 services changed slightly, meaning they now miss out this street. Residents in the area east of Ninewells Avenue have contacted me given the inconvenience of fewer services now serving the area and I have had the following feedback from the City Council :

“With regard to the Service 9x and Service 13 they have diverted onto Tom McDonald Avenue from Ninewells Avenue primarily to follow the most direct route to Ninewells Hospital and to provide additional drop off points within the Ninewells Hospital estate which offers a large number of work and health destinations. Ultimately these are commercial decisions made by the bus operators. At this moment the half hourly 42 and 96 will continue to serve Ninewells Avenue.”

The feedback has also gone to the bus companies, with whom I have also raised this concern. Meantime, if you look below, you can download the timetables for the 42 and 96 services, which still serve Ninewells Avenue.

And the next issue – residents have, in the past, raised with me the lack of bus services to Ninewells Hospital on a Sunday, for those living in Perth Road west of Blackness Avenue. Until recently, there was no Sunday service (except for services going via Blackness Avenue) but in the recent timetable changes Stagecoach Strathtay introduced a service via Ninewells Hospital several times on Sunday (approximately every two hours) serving the western part of Perth Road.

It is badged as the 16B service and you can obtain the full 16 service timetable from the Seagate Bus Station or by clicking on this link : http://www.stagecoachbus.com/timetables/16pckttt07042008.pdf

Lastly, I recorded an interview with Wave 102 earlier today regarding the impending roadworks on Perth Road that start on Monday. Part of this covered residents’ concerns over bus services and I paste below part of my most recent news release on the subject. I should add that clearly labelled notices should by now be placed on all affected bus stops on Perth Road, and you can see a copy of these by clicking on the headline above :

Following concerns expressed by constituents over the potential effect of impending gas main replacement works in Dundee’s Perth Road, West End Councillor Fraser Macpherson today advised that he has sought assurances regarding residents’ concerns about the need to keep local bus services as accessible as possible.

The roadworks – starting Monday (21st April) – will see no through traffic along Perth Road east of Sinderins, resulting in bus diversions.

Councillor Macpherson said, “During the period of no through traffic getting right along Perth Road, I have been advised that the main bus services will be re-routed via Hawkhill. I have spoken with transportation staff in the City Council about ensuring there is good information posted on bus stops along the affected route, clearly advising of alternative arrangements. There are also bus timetables affixed to bus stops on the diversion stops on Hawkhill, to aid public information.

“Many residents have also asked about the 72 local bus service as it runs south of Perth Road on Roseangle and Magdalen Yard Road.

“I have been assured that it will be able to cover most of its route one way or another for all of the roads disruption period. This is particularly important as many elderly people can’t manage the full uphill walk to Hawkhill. At a meeting earlier this week with Scotland Gas Networks, I was also advised that access to the sheltered housing complexes for the Friendly Bus Shopping Service would also be maintained.”

Perth Road – Scotland Gas Networks mains replacement

The advertisement in today’s Courier from Scotland Gas Networks (also to appear in tonight’s Evening Telegraph – click on the headline above to view) advising that part of Perth Road will be closed for many weeks, will be of concern to many residents and businesses.

I recently met with Scotland Gas Networks and City Council officials in my capacity as City Council Planning & Transport Convener to discuss the proposed closure, to look for ways of ensuring works are carried out as quickly as possible and also to ensure the continuing running of all public transport.


As I indicated in the Courier and on Wave 102 this morning, there is no doubt that there will be a very significant impact by this work and, whilst Scotland Gas Networks has explained that the work is absolutely necessary for safety reasons, I am anxious to ensure that the work is carried out as quickly as possible and that the impact on the local area is minimised as much as possible.

We have, of course, already had experience of this sort of disruption in Perth Road back in 2001, when the then North of Scotland Water Authority closed the road for many weeks for work it was then undertaking. I was anxious therefore to meet with Scotland Gas Networks and City Council officials to discuss all aspects. I have been assured that works will progress as quickly as humanly possible, but clearly in the lead up to August, the closure of the through route on Perth Road between Roseangle and the Sinderins will have significant adverse impact.

I have been advised that access for pedestrians and delivery vehicles will be maintained and that public transport will run to the normal timetable, although the main service buses will have to run via Hawkhill during the works.

In 2001, one of the difficulties elderly people who live south of Perth Road – in the Perth Road lanes such as Thomson Street, Paton’s Lane and Step Row – had an uphill climb to Hawkhill to catch the bus.

It is therefore essential that the Number 72 smaller bus that runs along Roseangle and Magdalen Yard Road runs throughout the period of the work. During the second phase when the roadworks are on Perth Road/Nethergate between Roseangle and South Tay Street, there will be through traffic one direction, so the 72 can do its eastbound journey as normal.
I asked for assurances that the westbound route in the Magdalen Yard Road area is maintained and I have been given this assurance. It will be achieved by the bus making an outward detour along Hawkhill then back to the Magdalen Yard Road/Roseangle area but at least the service will be maintained throughout.

I have updated West End Community Council and those of my ward councillor colleagues currently available, about the works.

Scotland Gas Networks has promised me that it will be writing to affected households and making contact with all businesses. I am extremely anxious that any concerns from local businesses and residents are promptly addressed.

TEMPORARY TRAFFIC ORDER PERTH ROAD ISSUED BY DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL

Dundee City Council propose to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating works for the replacement of gas mains. The Order is expected to be in force for twenty four weeks from 21 April 2008. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months.

The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in Perth Road and Nethergate, Dundee as follows:

Full road closure (between Paton’s Lane and Roseangle from Monday 21 April 2008 to Monday 11 August 2008 (16 weeks). During these works there will also be a full closure of the junction of Roseangle and Nethergate for one week.

Westbound road closure in Nethergate (between South Tay Street and Roseangle) from Monday 28 July to Monday 29 September (9 weeks). During these works there will be a suspension of parking on the north side of Perth Road/Nethergate between South Tay Street and Roseangle.

Paton’s Lane/Westfield Place/Greenfield Place; the rescinding of the existing one-way traffic orders on these three streets for the duration of the works.
These three streets will be closed for the duration of the works except for resident’s access and deliveries.

All roads (on the south side only consisting of Paton’s Lane, Thomson Street/Seafield Lane/Seafield Road/Westfield Lane/Westfield Place/Westfield Avenue/Greenfield Place) between Paton’s Lane and Roseangle will be closed at their junction of Perth Road.

Suspension of parking on Roseangle between Monday 21 April 2008 and Monday 29 September 2008.

The complete project will be carried out in phases to minimise any disruption.

An alternative route will be available via West Marketgait, Hawkhill and Perth Road.

Please forward any comments you may have regarding this proposal to the Network Management Team, Planning and Transportation Department, Tayside House, Crichton Street, Dundee, no later than five working days prior to the commencement date.

If you have any queries please contact the City Council on 433168.

Variation of Waiting Restrictions

Below is the Notice of Proposal relating to a Traffic Order – the full schedule for the whole of the City will appear in tonight’s Evening Telegraph, but I have indicated those parts of the schedule that cover proposals in respect of streets in the West End Ward :
DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL (VARIATION OF WAITING RESTRICTIONS) ORDER 2008

Dundee City Council propose to make an Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of varying the provisions of several Waiting Restriction Orders affecting the City. The effect of the Order is set out in the Schedule below.

Full details of the proposals are contained in the draft Order which together with plans showing the lengths of road affected and a Statement of the Council’s reasons for proposing to make the Order may be examined during normal office hours and without payment of fee during a period of 21 days from 22 February 2008 at the following addresses: –

1. Dundee City Council Offices, 4th Floor Reception, 21 City Square, Dundee.
2. Broughty Ferry Neighbourhood Library, Queen Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee.

Any person may within 21 days from 22 February 2008 object to the proposed Order by notice in writing to the Depute Chief Executive (Support Services), Dundee City Council, 21 City Square, Dundee. Objections should state the name and address of objector, the matters to which they relate and the grounds on which they are made.

PATRICIA McILQUHAM
Depute Chief Executive (Support Services)
Dundee City Council

SCHEDULE (insofar as it covers West End Ward)

1. To improve sightlines at junctions and accesses in Hyndford Street/Speed Street, Ninewells Avenue, Perth Road, Shaftesbury Road.
2. To relieve congestion in Perth Road, Shepherd’s Loan.
3. To relieve congestion and obstruction or damage to verges in Magdalen Yard Road/Richmond Terrace.
4. To adjust waiting restrictions to suit new developments or road layouts in Long Wynd, Brown Street.
5. To adjust restrictions to accommodate a taxi rank in South Tay Street.
6. To relax unnecessarily severe restrictions in Brewery Lane.
7. To allow patient transfer vehicles to use James Black Place.

Blackness Library’s 100th birthday!

In October of this year, Blackness Library celebrates its 100th anniversary (as does Coldside Library elsewhere in Dundee).
I have been in touch with the City Council’s Leisure & Communities Department already to ask what plans are being considered to mark this important milestone and I am pleased to learn that plans are well advanced. Here’s part of the response I have received from the department :
A number of library staff have been tasked to plan appropriate celebrations for these events and will be holding their first planning meeting shortly to discuss initial proposals for a programme of activities.

As both are Carnegie libraries, contact will be made with the Carnegie Trust for any relevant information to use in exhibitions. Other local groups, together with parents and children will be included in the celebrations for the library.

Publicity for the celebrations will be prepared and issued at an appropriate time.”
I’ll keep residents updated with the details as I hear them.
On another matter, pleased to see the Evening Telegraph promoting Dundee’s latest “Monopoly” board bid (and a brilliant picture of the LP in tonight’s paper – click on headline above to view!)
Last year, I ran one or two items on the blog about the city’s previous (and successful) Monopoly board bid (see – for example – http://frasermacpherson.blogspot.com/2007/05/vote-dundee-and-last-word-on-election.html) and I again hope everyone will “Vote Dundee!” by going to http://www.monopolyworldvote.com/en_GB/world
Lastly, I recently received residents’ complaints about the road condition at the Riverside Approach/Magdalen Yard Road junction. I have now had the following feedback from the City Council :
“An order for the filling of a pothole at the junction of Riverside Approach and Magdalen Yard Road has been raised with the contractor.”

Magdalen Green, Seafield Lane

Again, a beautiful day! Whilst campaigning earlier on, came across bags of rubbish dumped besides waste bins and dog bins on the edge of Magdalen Green next to Magdalen Yard Road (see right) – I have reported this to the City Council.
Now trawling through my e-mails and note feedback from Home in Scotland regarding my request for a further “Residents’ Parking Only” sign residents in Seafield Lane had requested given the extent of other cars parking in the narrow lane:

“…we will arrange for a sign to be put up as soon as possible. Hopefully this will help to alleviate the problem.”

Latest West End & City Centre news

An extremely busy week dealing with issues right across the West End and City Centre areas.
On Tuesday, we had a site visit to Magdalen Green with residents, representatives from the embryonic “Friends of Magdalen Green” group, the Police and Leisure & Communities staff to look at the parking problems.
Additionally, good news – the Planning & Transportation Department has agreed to my request for a further speed/traffic safety survey in Magdalen Yard Road, following up on that last one carried out in 2004.
I also asked that the bus shelter on Perth Road at the Invercarse get side panels as the current shelter (at an exposed site) affords little protection from the elements. Here’s the positive response back from Planning & Transportation …
“We adhered to ensuring a remaining footway width of 1500mm at all sites, however we have been given clearance to reduce this to 1000mm at certain locations and intend to revisit all shelters with no side panels (which also means no seats!) and consider installing small 600mm returns. The shelter maintenance contractor has been asked to provide quotations and we will take it from there …I will ask … to ensure that this location is considered early days.”
And with regard to the need for real time bus information in the Commercial Street shelters that I had requested, the department continues …
“Also as a brief update, Adshel (Clearchannel) have now been approved by P&T committee as advertising shelter partners and I have asked them to consider the Commercial Street shelters for inclusion of Real Time Information and poster panels.”
Lastly, a very useful meeting with Stagecoach Strathtay and Planning & Transportation on Thursday about the No 72 bus service (along with Cllr Nigel Don, part of whose ward – Gowrie Park – is served by the service as well as my own West End area). It is hoped to review the service later in the Spring – I am very keen to see it serve Richmond Terrace/Court and that the mid-afternoon ‘gap’ in the service issue is resolved.

Sinderins and Recycling Update

Following yesterday’s site visit to the Sinderins junction (pictured right) – see story immediately below!- I was advised last night that the Planning & Transportation Department arranged for the detector at Shepherd’s Loan to be replaced yesterday afternoon and the new, different style detector, is functioning much better.
Pleased to also advise that a new waste bin has been placed at the Ryehill Lane/Perth Road junction following a resident mentioning this need to me and my raising the matter with the Waste Management Department.
Waste Management is also progressing a resident’s suggestion I passed on to them that bollards need to be placed round the recycling site at Roseangle to improve access. And whilst we are on the subject of recycling, following a resident’s enquiry to me about improved household recycling arrangements needed in Magdalen Yard Road, a positive response from the department :
“There is currently a review being undertaken by the dept to assess areas of Dundee where there are currently no wheeled bins provided. The aim is to introduce wheeled bin collections wherever possible (including for paper and garden waste). I have received confirmation that Magdalen Yard Road will be assessed as part of the review. Unfortunately I am not able to provide a date by which the review will be finalised (Management Services are currently re-programming their work load) but it will be complete by the end of this year.”
I will continue to press the case for improved recycling facilities right across the West End.