Pitt Street PBSA

Posted on: July 19, 2024

This site should not be not ‘flipped’ to PBSA accommodation

This site should not be not ‘flipped’ to PBSA accommodation

Cockburn Response

Approval has been granted for the construction of a residential complex comprising 98 apartments for mainstream housing on this site.

The proposed development is set to include 80 student apartments, consisting of seven studios and 73 beds within 16 cluster units. It will also feature associated amenity spaces, cycle parking, and landscaping, all located on the same site.

Considering the City of Edinburgh’s and the Scottish Government’s declared Housing Emergency, it is our stance that this site should be developed for mainstream housing as initially intended, rather than being ‘flipped’ into Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA).

Castle Street Hotel

Posted on: July 18, 2024

More heritage and access detail is required

More heritage and access detail is required

Cockburn Response

This proposal may represent a sustainable use of an A-listed former office in the New Town.  However, clarification of and expanded detail on a number of important issues is required.

As it stands, the application fails to make completely clear which elements of internal heritage interest are to be retained, restored or removed.  It is particularly concerning that remaining items of original heritage interest may be at risk.

In addition, given the nature of the change of use proposed, details of servicing arrangements and of visitor access provision should have been included in the application.

Fringe Hub

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There is broad stakeholder support for the redevelopment

There is broad stakeholder support for the redevelopment

Cockburn Response

The Cockburn Association agrees with the broad stakeholder support for the redevelopment of a B-listed building, aiming to create a centralized, modern, and accessible facility for the Fringe Society.

The removal of non-original extensions, the installation of energy efficient windows and the internal cladding of external walls are not of concern.

However, it is unclear whether DDA compliant accessible parking will be retained the remodeling of the former playground.  This  is a real concern given the effort being made to improve accessibility to and within the former resource centre and the lack of publicly accessible DDA compliant parking spaces  in the local area.

The layout of the playground, as proposed, is a lost opportunity to introduced more climate-ready greenspace into this part of the city.  Much more could be done in terms of low cost, low maintenance urban greening.

Moving forward, the modernization of heritage buildings poses numerous challenges. The Fringe Society must adopt best practices and innovative solutions to sustainably utilize their new headquarters. Striking a balance between modern requirements and the conservation of historical charm and ambiance necessitates meticulous planning and inventive strategies. Specifically, meeting energy efficiency standards affordably while preserving the building’s historical integrity will require innovative  methods, especially as the city broadens its low carbon energy infrastructure. Nevertheless, the Fringe Society is in an excellent position to set a precedent for the sustainable adaptation of historic buildings.

 

Inverleith Row Telecoms Mast

Posted on: July 12, 2024

Proposed telecommunications installation  in  a conservation area should be located in an inconspicuous location

Proposed telecommunications installation  in  a conservation area should be located in an inconspicuous location

Cockburn Response

Proposals for prominent telecommunications installations in conservation areas continue to come forward and generally result in  significant local concern regarding their siting and their potential negative impact on the character and amenity of  individual conservation areas.

Local planning authorities are under a duty to formulate and publish proposals for the preservation and enhancement of conservation areas . Policies need to be developed which clearly identify what it is about the character or appearance of the area which should be preserved or enhanced and the means of achieving that objective.

Given the frequency with which telecommunications  installations are proliferating across the city.  The need to clarify if, when and how such installations  can be sited within a conservation areas is urgent.

It is our view that such proposals  should not add to street clutter on busy pedestrian thoroughfares or in vicinity of  busy road  junctions.  Applications in conservation  areas should certainly be refused if it is determined that the benefits of the proposed installation are deemed not to outweigh the harm caused to the unique character  of the conservation area and if there is insufficient evidence that alternative sites or mast sharing opportunities have been adequately explored.

We understand the essential requirement for modern telecommunications infrastructure in our city and its importance to residents, visitors and businesses. However, we believe that, in consultation with local stakeholders, any  proposed telecommunications installation  in  a conservation area should be located in an inconspicuous location, dis-aggregated into smaller, less conspicuous arrays or co-located on an existing installation if this is achievable.

Granton Development

Posted on: July 11, 2024

More information is required on affordable housing

More information is required on affordable housing

Cockburn Response

The Cockburn supports this application.

Members of our Policy and Development Committee benefited from an in-depth presentation on this development by the development team during the consultation phase.

In relation to this planning application, in our view it is essential that community infrastructure is delivered in a timely manner in support of the planned residential development.

Surprisingly little information is provided in relation to the affordable housing component of this proposal. There is no affordable housing statement, only a broad statement of intent. As a result, it is unclear what specific housing needs are to be addressed and if affordable family homes are included, for example.

The proposed district heating scheme may be a viable, low carbon energy resource for future residents.  But it is not clear it this can be guaranteed to be an affordable option for future residents in the long term. More information on energy affordability is required.

Proposed Jesus The Homeless Sculpture

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This sculpture has promoted public discourse on homelessness

This sculpture has promoted public discourse on homelessness

Cockburn Response

The Cockburn supports this application.

Many of the statues around the city centre are large and imposing and celebrate the lives and achievements of prominent citizens.. Jesus The Homeless is more down to earth and speaks of the fragility of the human condition.  It seems an  evocative and appropriate addition to the cityscape, especially in the current Housing Emergency.

Its proposed location is consistent with the positioning of duplicate statues in relation to prominent building and churches in other major cities.

Around the world, this sculpture has promoted public discourse on homelessness and motivated action towards its eradication. It is to be hoped that the same will be true in Edinburgh.

Princes Street Advertising

Posted on: June 28, 2024

We consider it highly likely that it have a negative impact

We consider it highly likely that it have a negative impact

Cockburn Response

The Cockburn objects to this application.

The proposed advertising will have an extremely prominent position in the World Heritage Site and Conservation Area.  It  will be in place for an extended period of time.

We accept that the proposed shrouding will incorporate an image of the building’s façade.  Nevertheless, given  the scale and prominence of the proposed advertising we consider it highly likely

that it have a negative impact on the perception and experience of  Edinburgh’s historic city centre and one of its most iconic streets by many visitors and tourists to the city.

Carlton Highland Hotel

Posted on: June 14, 2024

Significant and welcome improvements

Significant and welcome improvements

Cockburn Response

The Cockburn supports this application.

North Bridge is an important and high traffic thoroughfare. The proposed unification and upgrading of retail units along the hotel’s façade will result in a significant and welcome aesthetic improvement to the street.

The introduction of new retails units into Jeffrey Street is also to  Jeffrey Street is also welcome.  In addition to an aesthetic improvement, this should encourage more street activation and support pedestrian security along the street.

Filmhouse

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All essential steps towards re-establishing this venue

All essential steps towards re-establishing this venue

Cockburn Response

The Cockburn supports this application associated with re-establishing Filmhouse.

The proposed improvements and essential internal maintenance projects  should make the Filmhouse a more comfortable, accessible and welcoming venue for people to come together to watch films and to talk about them.

Upgrading seating, improving movement across foyer areas and the building more generally, refurbishing  toilets, improving support for the less able and general redecoration are all essential steps towards re-establishing the Filmhouse after a difficult hiatus in its availability to Edinburgh residents and visitors.

 

 

 

Caledonian Brewery

Posted on: June 7, 2024

Considerable potential as an attractive and liveable residential community

Considerable potential as an attractive and liveable residential community

Cockburn Response

The Cockburn Association supports this application.
This application was the subject of a recent presentation to our Policy and Development Committee  by the development team and the proposals were well received  by our committee members.
In our view this is a good scheme which demonstrates the successful and sustainable reuse of a range of heritage buildings for residential purposes and the sensitive infill of the remaining site with new or rebuilt accommodation.  It has considerable potential as an attractive and liveable residential community.
However, it is disappointing that little information is  provided relating to affordable or accessible housing provision or  accessible parking provision.  It is to be hoped that this oversight is addressed.