Minutes February 2022
The second NCC meeting of the year capturing community concerns and on-going issues. Springfield development, Welfare Park improvements and Liney Dyke conservation status discussed. Latest developments for Community Development Trust, revision of the second issue of the Newtongrange Flyer and Police and Councillor reports tabled.
- Welcome and introductions –
- Apologies on behalf of Jeremy Adderley, John Muir, Liz Wilson (due to be later)
- Rebecca McCosh completed forms and is now a new NCC member.
- Matters Arising from January 2022: Action for AM to discuss security of 5-11 Murderdean Road property with Clr. Muirhead.
- January Minutes – JR proposed seconded AM.
- Police Report – RA sent to NCC members prior to meeting.
- AM gave summary: PC Jason McFarlane through local knowledge and extra time in the community arrested & charged suspect responsible for numerous stolen property in the village. Further items of note speeding, dog attack, noise pollution, derelict building trespass, theft/disturbance in shops on Main Street and traffic incident on Galadale/Abbey Grange.
- Matters arising: Sensory garden proposal for Newtongrange Welfare Park – Clr J had meeting to consider sensory garden with regards environmental budget. Talked to Gary Fairley about proposal. It is getting the go ahead. The budget needs to be signed off before May elections. NCC’s LA & JR to be first point of contact regarding sensory garden.
- Springfield Development
- AM taking on lead liaising with the community, collating discussions on the street and leading agenda item on the last four NCC meeting. This stage is now the planning application in principle. He has read all the documents on MC planning portal and will send response to Mr Hugh Shepherd (MC Planning Officer) on behalf of NCC after this meeting.
- AM considerations: Affordable housing, NWH expansion Environmental Impact Assessment should be updated to reflect this major change. Ecological Assessment – the importance of avoiding hedgerow loss. AM noted inconsistencies in document regarding mature trees. 4.4.7 ‘LOTS OF MATURE TREES’. 3.18 ‘RETENTION OF EXISTING TREES & WOODLAND’ Developer pledges a significant green space, with community orchard which is well received. Public Art locations and type is something NCC would wish to be involved in. 15 Years ago approx. a ‘Geo-environment report’ and ‘groundwater routes’ were produced. These reports are now outdated. Drainage Assessment – running and surface water run-offs. AM expects this will have an impact and is a CRITICAL ITEM*. Action for all NCC to photograph areas of flooding and communicate with Councillors. Midlothian Council, SEPA and Scottish Water will now be consulted regarding the planning in principle documents. Currently plan only carried out for 920 houses. AM mentions we need to consider and challenge for Developer Contributions for facilities. Any individual can challenge simply query with case officer. AM current concerns surface water running down 6th street (Scottish Water input required). Massive impact on Crawlees Road with NWH expansion and Springfield development. Design & Access Statement – Developer uses ‘colonies’ and ‘villa’ property terminology. These type of houses not appropriate for heritage area. ‘An Clachan’ concept an attempt at leaving pockets of green. What about the increased traffic to exsisting roads and possible Crawlees and Lingerwood Road ‘rat-run’ connection. From new plans the inclusion of retail units a positive. However primary school proposal is still very little for the local area with such an increase in population.
- Sharon & Roddy Ferguson worried about the size of potentially building 3 storey houses. Changing topography and would dwarf existing housing and block all daylight- natural light. They are really concerned about number of houses. Coalescence concerns as areas should not join up & lose identity. It appears developer building on or close to old ‘mine shaft’ areas.
- Clr(s) can listen and be contacted with positives and negatives regarding development, but cannot express an opinion.
- Next steps comments NCC comments due in 23/02/22. Planning Determination meeting in May. Developer to now speak to SEPA, Scottish Water, Roads, Environmental Health.
- JR/FB concerned that the 25% social/accessible housing policy is being ignored for larger unaffordable housing that will simply make the developer a lot of money.
- 2020-21 Year Aims for NCC– JA asked for next September meeting to think what we really want to take forward.
- Protecting and improving services:
- Liney Dyke – JM sent letter to Grace Vickers. Clr. M has action to check if Liney Dyke is inclusive of Newtongrange Conservation area. JM requested a map of conservation area in communications. To ensure planning consent is required and a deterrent for future issues. JM passed note to RA stating “Planning wrote to me saying no paperwork in dept. defining conservation area”. JM has now wrote to Chief Executive reagarding original legal paperwork. To be on agenda for Mar 2022 meeting.
- RA mentions that the Active Travel Survey consultation ends on Friday 25/02/22. Paper copies in Newtongrange Library
- Abbey Lands container – JR discussed container issue with Michael McCran (Dalkeith Thistle) regarding the proposed new container (football changing room facility for Dalkeith Thistle F.C youth teams). It appears that it is the storage of football equipment i.e goals, nets etc that is required. It is possible that using existing pavilion resource behind fencing would be acceptable to team. Action for meeting with Michael McCran. NCC do not want a container in the park and clean to explore using existing tennis pavilion. Gala Committee have used the facilities in the past.
- Queens Jubilee (QJ) June : JR mentioned that Gayle Taylor announced the Church are doing a tree planting on 2nd of June to celebrate and wondered if NCC want to do something alongside on the day. NDT opening ‘The Pool’, planning to serve ‘cream teas’. AM contacted Newtongrange Silver Band to perform at ‘The Pool’ the same day.
- RA mentioned latest plan for Newtongrange Star to get floodlights replaced and looking for grant to have environmental friendly LED lights. NCC consensus approved and action for Chair JA to write to club offering our support.
- QJ – The Beacon – Action for JM to approach Mining Museum and find out if there will be a national beacon trail. Discuss March meeting
- Lothian Buses routes – AM looking into correspondence regarding bus connectivity for Bogwood to Crawlees.
- RM has been in contact with Rebekah Sullivan, Community Planning Development Officer regarding MC’s food & growing strategy. Community Planning Partners. Local grown produce in biodiverse setting, with the possibility of increasing possible food production in highlighted areas of Newtongrange. The Former pool site and area left of the Leisure Centre has been recommended. Land at Butterfield Estate and space next to the existing library also suggested.
- Clr. J addressed correspondence from Kenny Hunter regarding flooding resulting in road side guilles and clear flow checks required in Newtongrange and along B6482 and A7. Clr. J also mentioned flood puddle by Newbattle Abbey entrance. A7 works carried out in the evenings. MC only currently have one sucker wagon for priority basis. A further wagon is due in the coming months.
- FB to deposit money with paper trail for Newtongrange Guerrilla Gardeners (NGG) village planters project into NCC account so funds will be accessible for group when work begins in the coming months. NGG will advertise on social media when starting for the season.
- LA attended a Zoom meeting with JA & Justin Venton, MC Land and Countryside Manager regarding Newtongrange Park. LA/JA has action to meet Sharon Lynch, MC Business Development Manager to see inside tennis pavilion along with Michael McCran, Dalkeith Thistle. to check the facilities and see what can be offered regarding tennis proposal. Rent free period?
- LA informed us that as part of the planned park improvements from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Capital Fund the war memorial circular surround and main entrance wall will be resurfaced with the same red brick colour. The Art Nouveau ironwork gates will get stripped, repaired and put back.
- SA wonders what projects can be available for bored & energetic teenagers to avoid the vandalism that has happened in the area. Who has a link with the secondary school – NCC link up with Newbattle High School prefects?
- RA mentioned that the old tennis courts are due to be cleaned and lines painted. Justin to confirm date. Looking to use equipment from Newtongrange Primary School and work with local groups.
- Research Study for Advanced Care/Flourishing in Older Age, Liz Wilson kindly volunteered to lead on this study. LW has action to email Clr J to collaborate. It was suggested to get in touch with Fiona NC1 & LA’s Friendship Group.
- Action for JM to contact Rebecca McCosh regarding cutting down of trees near the A7 wheel at top of the village. A large number will be re-planted but something to be aware of.
- JR mentioned the current state of ‘The Coop’ recycling centre in the car park. Space for items in containers just bags upon bags strewn around. JR who is directly responsible for this – The COOP?
- JR has taken photos of car parking on grass verge in the park. Concern about all the flower bulbs in the park,
- RM mentioned the Lingerwood Tree removal. Photographs have been taken to log further down the line.
- The Newtongrange Masterplan: ensuring community development remains at its heart and engaging business and the village in its progress
- AM – No new developments.
- Engaging the community: positive solutions for inclusivity, village pride and achievement.
- Petanque piste – RA has action to get in touch with Sandy Howden.
- Research Study for Advanced Care/Flourishing in Older Age, Liz Wilson kindly volunteered to lead on this study. LW has action to email Clr. J to collaborate. It was suggested to get in touch with Fiona NC1 & LA’s Friendship Group. This will be on agenda for March meeting.
- Protecting and improving services:
- Councillor’s – Clr. J gave verbal reports. Clr J: Newtongrange Play Park equipment installed, earth mound still to be developed. The fence painting will be starting soon. Clr J. mentioned Danny Harvie as contact. JR has been dealing with Stuart Pratt. Great news that all three Councillors agreed to each put £12,000 (£336,000 total) of environmental funds to the construction of a sensory garden in the park. Clr. J advises to be careful when walking near the ‘wild floor meadow’ next to the Abbey Lands football pitch. It was mentioned that the wiilllow tree damaged by storm was approx. 180 years old. Clr. J continues to liaise with MC Roads department regarding bottom of village junction and ScotMid car parking space. Regarding difficulties on crossing to from The Sun Inn. The garage does not have a pavement. Active Travel will be the catalyst for change for a possible resolution. Still have Gladhouse Reservoir parking issues. MC to continue virtual meetings due to Covid. Covid numbers still high. Gorebridge Leisure Centre still main vaccination site in Midlothian. Looking to transfer back to leisure centre in near future. Clr J. receiving numerous complaints about Virgin broadband boxes not tucked in to the edge of the pavement. Full council agreed 2.4% council tax increase and looking to use reserves for funding gap. Dog fouling complaint.
- AM asked if this was the Coucillors before election. Clr J said last Full council meeting of current councillors will be in April. Councillors will be in new election mode from 25/03/22
- Treasurer – JM in absence passed note to RA that £2,256.78 in bank, still waiting on £500 return from COOP JA chasing up this.
- MFCC – N/A.
- Planning Applications – N/A
- Correspondence – Kenny Hunter discussed 5.IX
- Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 29th March 2022 at 7.00 pm Zoom TBC – register here