Getting things done – Richmond Terrace #dundeewestend

Residents have complained to me about the state of the roadway in Richmond Terrace, including potholes.
 
I contacted the council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership about this and have now been advised as follows :
 
“The Road Maintenance Partnership inspector has carried out an inspection of this area and has raised orders for pothole repairs to be done with a timescale for repair of approximately one month or sooner.”

Getting things done – Richmond Terrace #dundeewestend

At the request of residents, I raised with the council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership the condition of the road surface in Richmond Terrace.
 
I have now received the following response :
 
“A number of potholes in Richmond Terrace have been repaired within the last few days. 
 
Richmond Terrace is provisionally included in the 2021-2022 Carriageway Programme. 
 
In the meantime it will continue to be inspected on a regular basis and any actionable defects noted will be repaired to ensure safety is maintained.”
 
I am anxious to see resurfacing earlier than this and will continue to pursue this.

Getting things done – Richmond Terrace and Fort Street

Having contacted Dundee City Council back in March to improve the road surface in Richmond Terace – following complaints from residents about its extremely poor surface – I obtained assurances that action would be taken to improve the roadway.
 
I was therefore pleased last week to note that work had commenced to undertake repairs – see photo below:
I have now also raised with the Roads Maintenance Partnership the need to improve nearby Fort Street, which is in a badly in need of road surface improvement.

Getting things done … Richmond Terrace

Residents have rightly complained to me about the poor road surface in Richmond Terrace:
I asked the City Engineer if the roadway can be considered for a future thin resurfacing programme and have now been advised as follows :

“Richmond Terrace will be considered for inclusion in the updated 2015-18 carriageway resurfacing programme which is currently being reviewed.”

Meantime, I am assured that current potholes will be attended to by the start of April.

An update – Fort Street and Richmond Terrace

Earlier this month, I highlighted the poor road surfaces in both Richmond Terrace and Fort Street (see right) and reported these to the City Council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership (RMP).
 
I have now received a response from RMP as follows:
 
“An order has been raised by the Road Maintenance Partnership inspector to repair a number of potholes in Fort Street/Richmond Terrace with a timescale for completion of twenty eight days or sooner.”

Getting things done – Fort Street and Richmond Terrace

Residents have complained to me about the deteriorating state of the roadway in both Fort Street and in adjacent Richmond Terrace.   The Fort Street road surface is pictured – below:

I have reported this to the City Council’s Road Maintenance Partnership (RMP), requesting improvements.

 
Updates on other road repairs required that I have recently raised on behalf of residents :
 
Norwood Crescent :   RMP has responded – “With reference to your email, an order has been raised to fill a number of potholes in Norwood Crescent with a timescale for completion of twenty eight days or sooner.”
 
Seymour Street :   RMP has replied – “An order has been raised to carry out pothole repairs at this location with a timescale for completion of twenty eight days or sooner.”

Potholes repaired at Richmond Terrace

At the start of the month, I reported to the council residents’ complaints about potholes in the road surface of Richmond Terrace, near the junction with Windsor Street.
 
In reply, the council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership advised:
 
“An order was raised on 2-12-13 for the repair of a number of potholes along the length of Richmond Terrace with a timescale for completion of twenty eight days or sooner.”
 
I am pleased to say that the potholes were filled in last Saturday morning.

Friendly Bus Sheltered Shopping Service – new timetable

The Friendly Bus sheltered shopping service is a great – and free – service for elderly folk to get to local supermarkets, have a good period of time for shopping, and get the bus back home.

Having campaigned for the inclusion of Morven Terrace/Ancrum Place sheltered housing and Richmond Court to be included in the service, I was delighted that they were added to the timetable last year.

There are new timetables in operation from week commencing 5th March – Tuesday remains the day that the West End is served.   You can download the new timetable by going to http://tinyurl.com/friendlybus2012.

Changes to the Friendly Bus sheltered shopping service

From Monday 15th August, there will be changes to the Friendly Bus – the shopping service for sheltered housing residents.


The service will still run on a Tuesday in the West End (and on other days in other parts of the city) but the good news is that at last Richmond Terrace/RichmondCourt finally has some bus provision – this will be a boon to several elderly residents there – and the Ancrum Place/Morven Terrace sheltered housing will now also be covered by the Friendly Bus.    

I have a meeting with the tenants at the Morven Terrace/Ancrum Place sheltered housing area on Monday and it will be a good opportunity to update residents about the service – whilst discussing a number of other issues of concern to the tenants – fencing and maintenance of the grass areas in the estate being amongst them.

You can download a copy of new Friendly Bus timetable for the West End by going to http://tinyurl.com/friendlybus.

69 bus service – an update

Back in April, I reported that Stagecoach Strathtay had agreed to my request on behalf of constituents that it slightly extend the 69’s bus route to cover Richmond Terrace and Richmond Court (pictured right) – this will be a boon to elderly residents in the area.

The route revision has yet to be implemented and I have queried this with the City Council.    The Council’s Sustainable Transport Team Leader has advised me as follows :

“We’ve got some on-going development work with Stagecoach to improve the bus services into Broughty Ferry. It looks like it will involve the re-registration of the Service 69 and if it does, it may offer the opportunity to address the Richmond Court extension at the same time.

The delay in getting this extension introduced is primarily caused by my desire to keep costs under control. There are significant costs involved in changing a route – staff time / printed material / real time system updates and as previously stated, I was waiting for the right moment to bring the changes in so that additional costs were minimised.

There was also the major ‘diversion’ brought about by the NXD network changes in the summer and this sucked up a lot of staff time.

Hopefully, I will have a positive update for you in the next couple of weeks.”

Magdalen Green – grass restoration work to start

I am pleased at a commitment from Scottish Water and Dundee City Council that a large damaged section of grass on Magdalen Green will be restored, with the work starting this coming week.

A significant area of the Green, towards its western end, was subject to drainage works by Scottish Water to improve the drains serving the Richmond Terrace area – some months ago.


Scottish Water has advised me, “Our contractor has been able to confirm that they have received a quotation from Dundee City Council for the reinstatement works at Magdalen Green. This has now been authorised and we were advised the council plan to start the works on Monday.”

69 bus – good news!

Last month, I mentioned the site visit to Richmond Court and Richmond Terrace by Stagecoach Strathtay and City Council officials and myself to look into the viability of extending the 69 bus service there.

I have now received good news from the City Council’s Sustainable Transport Team Leader :

“Stagecoach told me that they have identified a little slack in the timetable and reckon the Richmond Court extension can be accommodated without having to take out any other parts of the route. They have already done some work to retime the service and we should therfore be able to re-register the service some time over the summer (with an implementation date to coincide with other service changes).”

Latest updates

I recently mentioned that Stagecoach Strathtay was giving consideration to my request, on behalf of residents, to extend the 69 bus service to cover Richmond Terrace and Richmond Court (see above).
This morning, I took part in a site visit with the bus company and a City Council officer to ascertain if the bus can safely turn to allow it to cover the area. Conclusion – no problem – it can.
The next step is to see how the additional 4 minutes needed in the timetable can be achieved. Stagecoach Strathtay will investigate this and I will update residents when I hear further.
I also participated in today’s City Council Scrutiny Committee, at which Care Commission and HMIE inspection reports on educational establishments in the city were discussed.
This evening, I attended the latest meeting of the West End anti-graffiti group, where we progressed our graffiti removal initiative, planned for the last weekend of May. A really positive and productive meeting.
Lastly, it was with great sadness that I learned earlier today of the death of Ann Caird of Thomson Street. A former community councillor and active member of the West End community, Ann will be sadly missed.

Scottish Water work completed

As residents have noted, the work by Scottish Water at the west end of Magdalen Green – to hopefully resolve flooding concerns in the Richmond Terrace area – was completed at the end of last week.

Scottish Water has now updated me as follows :

“Work finished on site on Friday, 2 weeks ahead of schedule. We have met with the council to discuss reinstatement works to the park area and they will provide a quotation to carry out these works when the weather permits. The contractor has now removed everything from site apart from the fencing around the area disturbed with the construction works as this section of the park is very soft underfoot.”

69 bus extension being considered

Back in 2006, I raised with both the City Council and Stagecoach Strathtay the suggestion that a small extension to the then 72 (now the 69) bus service route to include the west end of Richmond Terrace and Richmond Court would be a boon to the residents there – particularly the elderly folk who find it difficult to walk to Windsor Street/Magdalen Yard Road, currently the nearest point on the current route.

At that time, the bus company did not take the suggestion forward, but I recently raised the matter again, following further discussions with residents. I am pleased to advise that the Operations Manager of Stagecoach Strathtay has updated me as follows :

“I have forwarded your request to Douglas King our Network Manager to see if anything can be done in any future changes to our services.”

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.

May 2009 West End Community Council Update

I have today launched my May 2009 update to West End Community Council.

Issues covered include :

 
• Riverside Drive – Homebase site

• Wheelie Bins

• Wimberley

 • Bollards at Taylor’s Lane

 • Seagulls

 • Hotel planning application

 • Proposed Riverside Nature Park

 • HMO Policy

 • Richmond Terrace

 The Community Council meets next Tuesday (12th May) at 7pm in Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall.

 You can download the Community Council Update by going to :  http://dundee.prai.co.uk/resources/sites/82.165.40.25-4354cb46e84541.81564487/West%20End%20Ward%20-%20Various%20Resources%20Directory/West%20End%20Community%20Council%20Updates/West+End+Community+Council+Update+-+May+2009.pdf 

Development Quality Committee

Tonight, at the City Council’s Development Quality Committee, I move refusal of another modern house proposal south of Richmond Terrace & Court , but I unfortunately lost the vote narrowly.
 
The decision was unfortunate, given that committee had previously supported (on two occasions) to support my objections to inappropriate planning applications in this area to the immediate west of Magdalen Green.
 
Here is my motion to committee tonight :
 
Application 09/00065/FUL
 
Land at Richmond Terrace, Dundee.
 
1)      The proposed development is contrary to Policy 1 of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 by virtue of the design, layout and associated traffic movements of the new house being inappropriate in this location resulting in an adverse impact on the environmental qualities currently enjoyed by the surrounding residents.  There are no material considerations of sufficient weight that would justify the approval of the application contrary to the development plan.
 
2)      The insertion of a large modern house in the prominent location proposed would not protect or enhance the character or the appearance of the West End Suburbs Conservation Area contrary to the terms of Policy 61 of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 and the statutory duty set out in Section 64 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.  There are no material considerations of sufficient weight that would justify the approval of the application contrary to the development plan.
 
3)      That the erection of a new house in the location proposed would have an adverse impact on the existing trees within the site contrary to the terms of Policy 72 of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005.  There are no material considerations of sufficient weight that would justify the approval of the application contrary to the development plan.

Planning Appeal Decision – Land west of Richmond Terrace

A busy day, on which I’ll report over the weekend, but, having earlier today received the outcome of the Planning Appeal in relation to the land west of Richmond Terrace, this is yet another example of the Scottish Government Directorate of Planning and Environmental Appeals (“the Reporter”) flying in the face of concerns about residential amenity and, indeed, showing a marked degree of inconsistency in decision-making.
 
This is the second application I have moved refusal on here and both bore great similarities in terms of the planning proposal.   Both were opposed by a number of local residents and, whilst the first Appeal was refused, this one has been granted.
 
I have been amongst the most vocal of Dundee councillors in expressing concern about the present appeals arrangements and this decision reinforces concern about the current system.

Flooding issues …

Flooding Issues

Flooding Issues

Since getting back from the West End local community planning partnership meeting at Balgay Church Hall last night, I have been inundated with calls and e-mails from constituents on flooding concerns – Roseangle, Riverside Drive, Richmond Terrace and Osborne Place in particular.

 

Apart from the issues in the West End, as City Council Planning & Transport Convener, I spoke with the “Evening Telegraph” and Radio Tay on the general flooding issue and the situation in the City Centre. The City Council issued a news release on the matter this afternoon and I reproduce this below :

CITY CENTRE FLOODING

A city council spokesman said: “The flooding experienced in Dundee city centre yesterday was the result of an extreme rainstorm coinciding with a high tide. This meant that the existing old Victorian sewer system was totally unable to cope with the sheer volume of rainwater caused by this flash flood.

“The worst affected part of the city was in the Dock Street area, but many other locations around Dundee experienced unusual flooding events due to the drains and sewers backing up.

“Responsibility for the sewage system in Dundee lies with Scottish Water, but Dundee City Council is very concerned about the impact of these ever more frequent flooding incidents on property and the road network.

“Dundee City Council is planning to install a completely new sewer system in Dundee Waterfront as part of the area’s redevelopment. The project is seeking to design this system in a way which has enough capacity to resolve the flooding problems being experienced in Dock Street.

“In order to achieve this, the Council needs the cooperation of Scottish Water to design and implement a drainage system in the Waterfront which not only provides for its redevelopment, but also assists the flood affected areas in the city centre to the north. We have had dialogue with Scottish Water on this matter, but we need greater commitment from them if we are to grasp this opportunity to tackle the flooding problems in the centre of Dundee.”

Last night’s Development Quality Committee

At last night’s City Council Development Quality Committee, I successfully moved refusal of a proposed application to build a property on the wooded area south of Richmond Terrace, near the allotments west of Magdalen Green. The application had been recommended for approval by planning officers.

This was the second time I moved refusal of a planning application here – the previous, remarkably similar application was refused by committee early last year, and that decision to refuse later upheld by the Reporter.

Two deputations representing local residents opposed to the development were also heard by committee last night.

My reasons for refusal were :

Application 07/01118/FUL

Proposed House at Richmond Terrace, Dundee

1) That the pruning and felling of trees for a new house in this prominent location will have a significant adverse impact on the appearance, character and setting of this part of the West End Suburbs Conservation Area contrary to the terms of Policy 61 of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 and the statutory duty set out in Section 64 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997. There are no material considerations that would justify the approval of the application contrary to the development plan.

2) The insertion of a large modern house in the prominent wooded slopes as proposed would not protect or enhance the character or the appearance of the West End Suburbs Conservation Area contrary to the terms of Policy 61 of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 and the statutory duty set out in Section 64 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997. There are no material considerations that would justify the approval of the application contrary to the development plan.

3) The proposed development is contrary to Policy 55 of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 by virtue of the design, appearance, scale and materials of the proposed dwelling house being inappropriate in the location proposed resulting in an adverse impact on the visual quality of the local environment. There are no material considerations that would justify the approval of the application contrary to the development plan.

4) That the proposed development has the potential to displace bat roosts and habitats resulting in an adverse impact on a European protected species of animal which is contrary to the terms of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended.

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.

Trees vandalism west of Magdalen Green

Many residents have been in touch over the past couple of days expressing concern about the unauthorised removal of six mature sycamore trees south of Richmond Terrace. Below is the news release I have issued on the matter:

News Release : Councillor slams “wanton vandalism” of trees in conservation area

West End City Councillor Fraser Macpherson has today hit out at vandalism that has occurred on land near to Richmond Terrace, west of Magdalen Green, which saw the destruction of six mature sycamore trees.

The trees, situated in part of the local conservation area, were felled over last weekend and the councillor hit out at the damage done, which has aroused strong criticism from numerous West End residents.

Cllr Macpherson said, “Following concerns residents have raised with me about this dreadful act of vandalism, I have spoken with the City Council’s Forestry and Planning Enforcement Officers. I have been assured by council officers that Tayside Police are investigating the matter. I further understand that one of the owners of the two parcels of land here has expressed her concern about this vandalism and has raised the matter with her legal adviser and with the Wildlife Liaison Officer at Tayside Police.

“I have spoken with a number of residents who have expressed great concern at this wanton vandalism of mature trees in a conservation area. I would urge anyone who saw anything in connection with the felling of the trees to contact the Police,” concluded Cllr Macpherson.

Land west of Richmond Terrace

I received details late yesterday of the outcome of the appeal in respect of the planning application I successfully moved refusal of at the Development Quality Committee some months ago.
I am pleased that the Reporter has agreed with the decision to refuse planning permission, particularly as the planning application had been of concern to residents nearby; and note that, in upholding the decision to refuse permission, he writes:
“… as I consider that greatest weight requires to be attached to the adverse effect on the conservation area, contrary to Policy 61, I find that, overall, that the proposal would not be in accordance with the relevant provisions of the local plan.”

Blackness Road, Richmond Terrace, Lollipop Patrol

A busy day today, with a site visit in Richmond Terrace relative to a planning appeal (I moved refusal of an application here back in January – click on headline above to read original story).
A busy night at the City Council tonight, with no less than 21 agenda items on the Planning & Transport Committee that I now chair. At Policy and Resources Committee, agreement was reached regarding the issue of properly tackling the unadopted pavements across the City, despite the opposition of the Council’s one independent member. Firstly he criticised me for (sic) “pie crust promises” (promises made to be broken) only to find the promises were not to be broken. Tonight, he queried the affordability in relation to the capital programme, then suggested spending it all anyway, but not all on unadopted pavements! Anyway, after the independent failed to find a seconder to propose not fully funding unadopted pavements, the good news is that the increased priority for unadopted pavements being properly made up is going to happen.
Feedback from the City Council about the speed/safety survey I asked for in Blackness Road near to the Kelso steps. I have said “yes” to the helpful suggestion of the traffic safety island:
“The survey has been carried out.
The period covered the times of school activity i.e. 8.ooam to 9.ooam and 3.30pm to 4.30 pm.
There is little pedestrian activity other than a short period when Harris School pupils cross the road. The survey showed about 50 pupils crossing within a 15 minute period. There is no recorded injury accident history at this location. It is near a footway link via the Kelso steps. I have arranged for a pedestrian refuge island to be designed, shown between No 331 (north side) and No 380 (south side) Blackness Road. The scheme will be added to the list of works to be implemented subject to finance, but I would hope to provide the island this financial year.
Although there is presently no confirmed timescale to implement the works I can arrange for the island to be set out at an early date and marked on the carriageway to increase awareness, if you wish.”
Lastly, I have been back in touch with the Education Department about the continuing lack of a school crossing patroller in Hawkhill near to Blackness Primary School. I have asked that all steps be taken to resolve the issue in time for the start of the new term.