Busy Monday …

A busy Monday started at Blackness Library where library staff, community councillors and I took part in drawing the winners of the shoppers’ prize draw and children’s window spotting competition as part of West End Christmas Fortnight – the full winners’ list will be published in the next couple of days.   Photo below!
Jo, Alan and Ann from West End Community Council undertake the prize draw!
The day also included my taking part in today’s Tay Road Bridge Board meeting, immediately followed by my chairing a residents’ meeting at the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge for residents in the area.   The meeting was primarily to discuss with tenants the council’s possible rents options for 2015/16 – two Housing Department representatives addressed the meeting – although we also had a very good discussion about sheltered housing and other issues.
 
After my two Monday surgeries at the West Park Centre and the Mitchell Street Centre, I took part in tonight’s Development Management Committee, which considers planning applications.   In a discussion about the renewal of planning consent (originally granted in 2011) for Tay Rope Works, I sought assurances on a number of issues raised by objectors including avoiding HMO use, parking and boundary walling.     
 
I supported both Western Gateway planning applications that would provide high-quality new housing and local facilities.   One application was lost by 2 votes, the other approved with the Convener’s casting vote.   
 
Oh, and we’re still missing Kevin unfortunately …
 
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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.”

Tay Rope Works – public inquiry decision

Residents will recall that I have twice successfully moved refusal of inappropriate planning applications for the former Tay Rope Works site.   Having won a previous appeal after a Public Inquiry, I was the City Council’s sole witness at a further public inquiry on 13th January.   However, we had great witness contributions from local residents and West End Community Council.
 
I was very pleased to be advised this afternoon that the City Council’s decision to refuse planning permission here has been upheld.
 
As I indicated to the media on hearing the news :
 
“This is a good result as very many people in the local community felt that the application was out of keeping in terms of the inappropriate modern design in a conservation area and use of materials.  Furthermore, it was trying to cram too many buildings onto the site.   
 
“Local residents are not against the Tay Rope Works site being brought back into use and indeed would welcome it being used appropriately, but any future application really must be appropriate in both scale and design for this historic site in the West End Lanes Conservation Area.
 
“I would very much like to thank the many residents who supported the Council’s position on this matter and also to the Council’s legal staff who led the case for upholding the Council’s decision to refuse planning permission.    This is very much a victory for local people”

January 2009 Update to West End Community Council

I have today published my January 2009 update to West End Community Council.

Subjects covered include :

* Graffiti – Magdalen Green and surrounding area
* Speed Limit – western end of Perth Road
* Network Rail Mast
* West End Christmas Week De-Brief Meeting
* Ground at High Mill
* Paint on road and pavements in Thomson Street
* Former Homebase site
* Handrail Seafield Road
* Fencing at rail line
* Hawkhill by-pass at Hunter Street junction
* Tay Rope Works Planning Inquiry

The Community Council meeting takes place this Tuesday at 7pm at Logie St John’s (Cross) Church Hall.

You can download a copy of my update by going to http://www.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+-+January+2009.pdf.

Busy week back …

It has been a busy first week back following the festive period, including meetings involving TACTRAN (the regional transport partnership), the Dundee Health Central project and various meetings with constituents, including a site visit about traffic safety matters at Miller’s Wynd/Hawkhill. 

Today, a useful meeting of LibDem activists in Perth, which a Dundee LibDem colleague and I attended. I’m pictured above with George Lyon, the leading Scottish Liberal Democrat for next June’s European Election, who delivered the keynote address today. You can read more about George and his campaign by going to http://georgelyon.org.uk/.

And … an equally busy week ahead – council committees start again tomorrow and I also have the Tay Rope Works Planning Inquiry to appear at on Tuesday, together with a residents’ association meeting, a meeting at Dundee Airport, a West End Christmas Week de-brief meeting and various visits to constituents during next week.

Latest updates …

  • Tonight I attended two of the stakeholder meetings on parking issues in the West End. A very useful presentation from the consultants and productive discussion thereafter.
  • I recently successfully moved refusal of the Tay Rope Works latest planning application (16th June – click on headline above to view). I learned today that the developer has made an appeal against refusal to the Scottish Government’s Reporter. I will be strongly arguing at the appeal that the planning application is inappropriate for the site and does not have the support of the community.
  • I had another series of phone calls from residents today to express support for my campaign to save the 72 bus service. The support from the West End community has been excellent.

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.