Another mobile phone mast – Ninewells Avenue

At the City Council’s Development Management Committee tonight, I moved refusal of yet another mobile phone mast planning application in the West End – this time at Ninewells Avenue and close to Glamis Gardens (formerly Wimberley Court) and the Hillside area.

I made the point that there is too little co-operation in mast sharing between mobile phone companies.   This application was by O2 and Vodafone, but there are already three Orange/T-Mobile masts off Riverside Drive and another on the water tower in Yarrow Terrace.

My motion to refuse read :

1. The proposed development is contrary to Policy 1 – “Vibrant and Sustainable Communities” of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 as the development is likely to impact adversely on the environmental quality enjoyed by local residents by reason of design and layout. 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 78 – “Location of Telecommunications Equipment” of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 as there is a failure to demonstrate that there are no other viable options in respect of alternative locations. 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 1 of Dundee City Council’s adopted Non-Statutory “Planning Policies in Relation to Telecommunications Masts and Other Apparatus” as the applicant has failed to investigate all alternative sites in order to minimise the visual impact of the proposal.

4. The proposed development is contrary to Policy 2 “Residential Areas” of Dundee City Council’s adopted Non-Statutory “Planning Policies in Relation to Telecommunications Masts and Other Apparatus” as there is a general presumption against the siting of free standing masts in residential areas unless the mast is sensitively designed and sufficient justification is provided.

Unfortunately, I lost the vote 15-11, so yet another mobile phone mast will be erected in the area.

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Hillside Terrace – proposed stopping up order – Public Inquiry

The public inquiry relative to the proposed stopping up order at the west end of Hillside Terrace (next to Wimberley Houses) started at the Invercarse Hotel this morning. I attended the first part of the inquiry this morning.
Details of the case can be read on the Scottish Government Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals website by following this link – http://tinyurl.com/hillsidestoppingup – where the Reporter’s decision will appear in due course.

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 

Wimberley Houses – revised planning application

Tonight, at the City Council’s Development Quality Committee, I moved refusal of the revised planning application at Wimberley Houses.    Back in October of last year, I successfully moved refusal of the previous application.    You can read the background by going to : http://www.dundeewestend.com/2008/10/radio-tay-surgeries-and-development.html.
 
The revised application had some improvements in relation to rendering, car parking and the car access for those living in the Hillside Terrace area, but, in my view, did not fully address the issues, particularly the traffic impact on Glamis Drive/Invergowrie Drive.   The obvious solution was to make access via Ninewells Avenue, but the developer did not pursue that option.
 
My motion read as follows :
 
Application 08/00792/FUL – Wimberley Houses, Glamis Drive
 
Conversion of Student Accommodation to Private Housing
 
Reasons for Refusal
 
1)      The proposed development contravenes Policy 4 of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 by virtue of the failure of the applicants’ to provide the required level of private useable garden ground and off street car parking provision within the curtilage area of each new dwelling house proposed resulting in a standard of development that would not be commensurate with the quality of housing located in the surrounding area.
 
2)      The proposed development will result in a significant increase in demand for on-street car parking in the surrounding suburban streets to the detriment of the environmental qualities currently enjoyed by local residents and the road traffic and pedestrian safety of the area.
 
On this occasion, the vote was lost by two votes, which will be of concern to the objectors, concerned about traffic impact and residential amenity.

Radio Tay, Surgeries and Development Quality Committee

A useful meeting with Radio Tay this morning regarding concerns Alison McInnes MSP and I have raised about evening output on Tay FM;  Bauer Radio has assured us the matter will be kept under review.    Thereafter three busy surgeries – Paton’s Lane Sheltered Lounge, Mitchell Street Centre and Harris Academy.
 
Tonight at the Development Quality Committee, I successfully moved refusal of the planning application at Wimberley Houses, on the following grounds:
 
Application 08/00540/COU – Wimberley Houses, Glamis Drive
 
Conversion of Student Accommodation to Private Housing
 
Reasons for Refusal
 
1)      The proposed development contravenes Policy 4 of the Dundee Local Plan Review 2005 by virtue of the failure of the applicants’ to provide the required level of private useable garden ground and off street car parking provision within the curtilage area of each new dwelling house proposed resulting in a standard of development that would not be commensurate with the quality of housing located in the surrounding area.
 
2)      The proposed development will result in a significant increase in demand for on-street car parking in the surrounding suburban streets to the detriment of the environmental qualities currently enjoyed by local residents and the road traffic and pedestrian safety of the area.

Wimberley site

Last July, the Evening Telegraph featured residents’ concerns about the state of the site of the former Wimberley student housing (click on headline above to view).

I had raised the concerns with the University of Dundee (who at that time still owned the site – it has since sold it) and the City Council as planning authority.

In November, I attended a meeting of residents about the site – held at Menzieshill Parish Church . It had been arranged between the Chair of West End Community Council and the developer who had purchased the site (and their architects), prior to a planning application being submitted.

The architect had invited me as ward councillor and, having sought advice from the City Council, I was allowed to attend only in an “observer” capacity as a planning application could come forward and elected members of the City Council are subject to a Code of Conduct in relation to planning applications. Over 70 residents attended the meeting.
Months later, the site is still in the same, poor state, and I have been in regular touch with City Council Planning Officers regarding residents’ continuing concerns about the site’s condition.

Yesterday, I received the following update from a planning officer:

“I talked to the architect this week on the above subject and have been advised that the applicants are still considering their options for the site and have, to date, not instructed the submission of any formal planning application for the development of the site.”

I have therefore asked the planning officer if the developer can be asked to undertake a tidy-up of the site meantime.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Attended a meeting of residents at Menzieshill Parish Church on Wednesday night. It had been arranged between the Chair of West End Community Council and the developer (and their architects) in relation to the Wimberley Houses site, prior to a planning application being submitted.

The architect had invited me as ward councillor and, having sought advice from the City Council, I was allowed to attend only in an “observer” capacity as a planning application may soon come forward and elected members of the City Council are subject to a Code of Conduct in relation to planning applications. Over 70 residents attended the meeting.
Yesterday was busy with a photocall in the morning to mark the installation of several new helpful information boards along the southern section of the Green Circular Route across Dundee – an initiative by the City Council but funded through TACTRAN. (See photo right).

In the afternoon, was delighted to welcome LibDem Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Carmichael MP, to Dundee. Alistair was primarily here to help our Lochee Ward by-election candidate Chris Hall and he toured the ward and met local residents in Lochee High Street (see below).

After three busy surgeries, attended an administration group meeting at the City Chambers in the evening, with much of today spent on constituent issues (in part arising out of yesterday’s surgeries) – mainly housing, environmental and roads issues.