Minutes April 2024

The April 2024 NCC meeting chaired by Jeremy Adderley @ Newbattle Community Learning Centre. With Fiona Clandillon, Head of Development, Midlothian Council input specificall on the Pool site. The meeting captured community concerns and on-going issues. Police and Councillor’s reports were offered and discussion regarding the Masterplan, Crawlees, Community Garden, local issues and correspondence.

Members Present In Attendance

 

  • Jeremy Adderley (Chair)
  • Andrew Marshall (Vice Chair)
  • Ross Anderson (Minute Secretary)
  • Linda Anderson
  • Lorna Leslie
  • Sarah Matthews (Secretary) (Zoom)
  • Maureen MacRae
  • Robert Joyce
  • June Robertson
  • Sandy Howden
  • Laura Joyce
  • Rebecca McCosh (Zoom)
  • Bill Hunter
  • Betty Wilson

 

  • Robert Mackie 
  • Ian Hogg
  • Jim Crowe
  • William Darling
  • PC Owen Wilson
  • Clr. Kelly Drummond (Zoom)
  • Pamela Nicolson
  • Ian Nicolson
  • Chris Skedd
  • Fiona Horne
  • Fiona Clandillon
  • Marion Brown
  • Oliver Florence
  • Clr. Douglas Bowen
  • Clr. Ellen Scott
  • James Thomson
See Agenda
  1. Welcome and introductions – 
    1. Apologies: John Muir and Robert Joyce
    2. JA welcomed Fiona Clandillon (Head of Development – Midlothian Council) & PC Owen Wlson 
    3. Request to move Police report & Councillors report up the agenda.
  1. Previous minutes March 2024 minutes : proposed by LL – seconded by WD
  2. Matters Arising –  AM still has action to share community benefit summary with local groups. Confirmation that NCC voted in favour for use of funds in support of the school sign project if required.
    1. N/A
  3. Police report – emailed to members prior to meeting. PC Owen Wilson (Dalkeith/Danderhall) highlighted points of note from latest report: 31/3/24 break in reported which turned out to be the locked out owner. Enquiries ongoing 1/4/24 regarding shed fire in property on 3rd Street. 12/4/24 Police collaborated with DVSA/T.S & DWP on a joint day of action with  road checks of approx. 300 vehicles – Drug and traffic offense charges were the result of the activities. 14/4/24 Damage to three sets of windows on Reid Drive  & 28/4/24 windows damaged on 9th Street.  SM highlighted the the NCC priories for the area : Increased police presence; speeding and parking issues around the school. SM reminded NCC members to contact secretary@newtongrange.org regarding any new issues or omissions. AM asked about who to contact regarding new parking restriction legislation where cars are not allowed to park on pavements? PC Wilson confirmed it is council unless a major obstruction where you should ring 101 for that.
  4. Input from Midlothian Council Executive Fiona Clandillon (FC): FC understood that the community is super eager to finally see proposed plans for the Pool Site and anxious to see improvement and renovation of the derelict sites owned by the council. FC stated that Midlothian Council/Architects not at the point to present plans but intention to bring them back late May TBC (dates to be agreed with architects). FC stated that the architects loved the design of the village houses and were looking to do something good. Plans for this public consultation to be midweek between 5-8pm, unlike 13/9/24. With delivery, planning and contractor installed – mid 2025 at the earliest. Concern raised that this is the third consultation and need to ensure there is no repeat of the hasty ‘Pop-up-park’ decision. FC understands the need to maintain a library presence in the village. The council previously decided against a collaboration with the church/new library due to cost. FC stated that with the church option you would lose the library service for approx. 2 years. Modular units are expensive approx. £200,000 each and this is not financially viable. The access restrictions and temporary storage issues and would want the library to remain located on council land. The plan is for affordable housing to be built in the council owned area where the church hall stood.  Looking at a Community Hub (with library at the heart). The hub would be approx. 180 square metres incorporating the library, post office and community meeting rooms on west side of Main Street. Possibility of inter-linking door connecting a library/community hub next door to retained Leisure Centre. The revised draft plans & potential costs are simply that as there is no governance and needs to be presented to the full council. The leisure centre has had new gym equipment investment and an increased number of new service users. Looking at resurfacing the Leisure Centre car park and making to accessible to residents.  The May public consultation event the culmination of the Newtongrange Residential Neighbourhood Development – Public Consultation Event held on 13/9/23 by the council and architects Anderson Bell + Christie. There had been a delay as the council  wished to look strategically at the whole village Masterplan areas. With decisions required regarding the community garden/Leisure centre/Library site which is on council land. A query was made regarding Welfare Institute/Top Club land ownership but assumption is that it is owned by council. FC confessed current gaps in knowledge regarding the Welfare Park, Tennis/Bowling pavilions & tennis court infrastructure with some areas not in her current remit..The Midlothian Council budget for affordable homes has been slashed with no grant funding for housing this financial year. Hope that in 2025/26 this will be reinstated. With housing above and to the side of the Leisure Centre site. Building re-use considered easier to get funding than a brand new building project. “Top line – make the most of what we have got.” FC believes that the ability to walk through a collocated space is a good thing. Concern raised about the fact the Leisure Centre is over 50 years old. Older buildings can often end up costing more. The rationale for housing is to share costs and make this project affordable. Affordable housing is a key priority for the council. With a growing number of people looking for council accommodation. With a 13% increase on the waiting list. New housing is a statutory obligation. FC stated that she cannot ignore the housing crisis. The potential housing sites at the “pool site” are perfect for the older persons needs. Concern raised over the threat to the community garden. The creation of the garden has been a massive commitment. With the feeling that the Community Garden could remain in situ & alternative location for the Community Hub considered. There was a number of testimonials presented from the users of the community garden. With fresh fruit & vegetables grown for pantry use and a place for children to learn who are not in full-time education. A regular volunteer noted how the garden is a participatory community space. With the goal to participate together. To contribute & build something that helps empower the individual and fosters the feeling of ownership.  All the time and investment approx. £25k in the garden. The impracticability of moving trees, fixed structures and a bat colony were cited (so many assets on site). FC understood the importance of projects such as the community garden for social glue + social capital. Action for FC & LJ to look at an alternative location for the community garden with least amount of disruption. The Vice Chair & Chair wished to thank FC, “incredibly positive someone talking about new developments. As long as the new proposals has a community garden space. The work (in the garden) will never be lost”. An “ensure that the buildings are used in the most efficient way. Need to uncover unused brown space”. Plea by NCC members that the miners statue remains in-situ. SM highlighted to FC that the Newtongrange Local Place Plan was currently with Planning and this document should be part of the considerations. NOTE: This is at pre-planning stage and elected Councillors will be involved on what is actually going to happen with development.
  5. Crawlees Road – Meeting on 16/4/24 described as a “talking shop”, with invited attendees missing and no resolutions offered. 1. Action Councillors agreed to look at safe guarding route. 2. Action for JA to write to Wayne Clark on outstanding issues. 3. Action for AM to help with portal.
  6. Garden competition 2024 – Action AM to lead on this asap.
  7. Sixth Street Parking – FH highlighted that this is still an issue and disabled parking permits needs to be looked at with currently 14 bays on the street. Action for Clr. Scott to look at bays
  8. Previous Correspondence – From March meeting AM emailed council to ensure A7 pavement area near Mining Museum bus stop pavement was to be sweeped.
  9. Correspondence – Bryans Wood bins top, bottom, middle  – Clr. Bowen has requested bins. It was highlighted that a number of areas really require additional bins Top of 9th Street, Line Dyke. Action for SM to report to Environmental Team large scale fly-tipping at Morris Road. Resident had reported on 5/4/24 and no action as of now.  Connor Wright has now resolved xmas lights issue on Main Street property.
  10. Reports
    1. Councillor’s Report –  Clr Bowen  Held meeting with Chairman of Midlothian Council Planning Committee regarding improvements to Crawlees Road. Gorebridge High School proposal is back under discussion with proposed site investigations ongoing. Held meeting with Ben Burbridge, Lothian Estates regarding derelict garages on Morris Road. Aim to get are cleaned up with possibility of fence & gates.  Issues with ownership/current use of garages & asbestos. Unable to do anything until asbestos is removed. Action for Councillors to have a meeting with Peter Arnsdorf regarding NWH planning permission and current actions.
    2. Councillor’s Report –  Clr Scott – Made council aware of flooding issue of water seeping through holes in  Line Dyke wall. Newbyres Village – Care Home is currently looking for permanent staff. Action for SM to share traffic recent survey 
    3. Councillor’s Report –  Clr. Drummond N/A – Action for Clr D to send new Midlothian schools category survey once published.
    4. Treasurer
      1. Financial figure – N/A
    5. MFCCAction for SM to circulate issues to members
    6.  Planning Applications – AM emailed planners regarding NCC concerns over advertisement signs on the A7 roundabout. The proposal has been approved with conditions attached.
    7. AOBAction for Welfare Park Infrastructure to be added to May 2024 agenda
  11. Date of Next Meeting – 28th May 2024 at 6:30-8:30 pm, Location Newbattle Community Learning Centre and Zoom – register here 
Ross Anderson

Ross Anderson

I'm involved with the Newtongrange Community Council because I want to help preserve the unique heritage, character & facilities of the village.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply