Minutes March 2021

The third digital NCC meeting of the year capturing community highlights and on-going issues. The large Springfield development proposal was central to discussions, with the Welfare Park and noticeboard improvements discussed. Latest developments for Community Development Trust, rollout of the second issue of the Newtongrange Flyer and sadly no attending Councillors.

Members Present In Attendance
  • Jeremy Adderley (Chair)
  • June Robertson
  • Andrew Marshall (Vice Chair)
  • Ross Anderson (Minutes Secretary)
  • John Muir (Treasurer)
  • Linda Anderson
  • Fiona Brooks
  • Annie Lord (AL)
  • Clare Hyatt
  • Chris McLeod
  • Kevin Robertson
  • George Oxley
  • Diane McDonald
See Agenda
  1. Welcome and introductions – 
    1.  Apologies on behalf of Liz Wilson, Connor Wright and Clr. Muirhead
    2. JA welcomed the six attendees who all wished to attend due to the Springfield development item. JA asked NCC members to introduce themselves to attendees.
    3. AL expressed concerns for development with regards the environmental impact on rivers and sewage.
    4. FB expressed her determination to keep the park & village looking good.
  1. February minutes formally approved after one correction (proposed AM; seconded JR)                 
  2. Police Report
    1. RA emailed report to NCC members 23/02/21, total calls below and full report attached.  NEWTONGRANGE COMMUNITY COUNCIL FEB2021

      Total Calls 140

      COVID related – 4

      Assistance required / Concern for individual – 24

      Missing person – 0

      Domestic related– 3

      Youth calls – 3

      Road Traffic incidents- 14

    2. PC Jason McFarlane is the new Community Police Officer for area (replacing PC Brian McGuff). PC McFarlane unable to participate in zoom calls at current time.
    3. Regarding Police Report RA felt that due to the continual bike theft an awareness campaign & possible covid compliant Community Police event at ‘The Pool’ should be arranged.
    4. AM gave attendees an overview of how NCC works with the Community Police officer with ongoing speeding issues, speed trap areas & crossing points. “We get good response”
  3. Newtongrange resilience – update from Jeremy
    1. JA mentioned next ‘The Pool’ event is on Saturday 10th of April (likely to be 11AM-1PM 
  4. Springfield Development 
    1. JA/AM action to update page  to keep it live.
    2. AM opened the discussion with comment that this is “clearly a large development” but reminded us that there are 4 separate areas earmarked by the council as designated housing in local development plan c.2010. This could be a development of 500-1,800 houses. The houses could be built in a 5-7 year plan. 
    3. Springfield had previously looked at developing in 2008 and have now submitted a pre-application notice. This triggers a 12 week consultation & development period where the developer needs to make the community aware and gets meaningful scrutiny for public consultation & comment.
    4. Due to covid restrictions the public consultation will be on Wednesday 28/04/21 online. Whenever we get full details we will let community know by social media/noticeboard. NCC April meeting Tuesday 27/04/21 the day before 27/4/21consulttion. 
    5. AM reiterated that after consultation on 28/04/21 developer is expected to address all comments and take on board what they can do & what they cannot. The developer needs to be held to account throughout consulatation and in the end have a bespoke plan, not generic that really understands local communities need. JM to pass notes on to AM after meeting.
    6. Due to the overlap of Community Councils. JA & AM from NCC are working with and having online meetings with representatives from Mayfield & Easthouses and Gorebridge CCs. With the intention to having meaningful discussions to coordinate a collective approach moving forward.
    7. Springfield has already asked council whether an environmental impact assessment survey is required since last one was done in 2010. All participants in the meeting felt a new survey was needed. AM felt that since 2010 the environmental impact will have evolved. AM on a private capacity has already written an email on matter as land, tracks, wildlife and climate change on area needs considered. AM also suggested lobbying the local councillors which will be considered.
    8. JA expressed caution with his feeling that we are unlikely to stop the development in its entirety. The previous development objections are no longer tabled. The public need to also consider how we can positively benefit from any potential development?
    9. JA has action for the joint Community Council group to write to three Councillors in ward & Council itself.
    10. JM highlighted  a point that was made when attending an online National Planning meeting last October. Point 4 – must have local connections and local architecture i.e mining villages. JM felt new developments tend to destroy green space and public recreation areas, turning them into an urban desert. Another requirement is decent shops within 15-20 minutes walk of development.
    11. LA questioned whether the many specified walks which have been enjoyed by generations will be protected? AM reiterated that as a community we should not come out with less green space, amenities and services. The worry of the continual coalescence and loss of identity of Newtongrange, by no clear green space with neighbouring towns of Mayfield, Easthouses, Gorebridge, Bonnyrigg needs addressed. The building typology for this heritage area needs special consideration.
    12. The local ecology by-law of areas with badgers, bats and newts needing special consideration.
    13. AM highlighted road and drainage concerns. The development would need a new road, separate square, address foul water and effluent water run-off into the South Esk. At previous NCC meetings we have highlighted previous developments impact, on drainage and flooding in Welfare Park. This development will only make this worse.
    14. The need for employment opportunities, new or improved schools and the stresses on medical services of Newbattle and Newbyres medical centre of possibly 2,000-2,500 extra patients. The development could have a zone for new primary, GP or retail.
    15. JR and FB asked about 1percentage of affordable housing and council rentals within the development. As Easter Langside and old St David’s school development had to be for social provision.
    16. Planning reference numbers
    17. AM to consider option of a designated springfield@newtongrange.org address for community to help have a “united front” decision by 6th of April. 
    18. MFED meeting Wednesday 21/04/21
    19. JA informed attendees NCC is looking for a permanent Secretary. 
  5. Newtongrange Development Trust (NDT)
    1. AM informed attendees of NDT. The group that originated from Newtongrange Resilience Volunteers as a reaction to the first lockdown, now has charitable status and a Board of Directors. The group is currently at the early stages of a branding/logo exercise & have a website set up within the multi-use newtongrange.org. 
    2. JA added that NDT has received its first tranche of funding and aim to expand activities at ‘The Pool’, “social distanced – socialization”.
    3. NDT are looking for ideally local groups who supply surplus fresh fruit & vegetables.
    4. JA/JD to meet up regarding Todd the Snake and other possible projects for a contractor Thomas Joyce who helped with ‘The Pool’ last summer.
  6. 2020-21 Year Aims for NCC– On agenda for reference during wider discussion
    1. Protecting and improving services:
      1. Noticeboard – JM has ordered metal replacement  £760+vat and the old wooden frame has been removed by council. JA asked JM to get invoice emailed to secretary@newtongrange.org. JM asked whether the noticeboard could be vat free if payment made by fellow organisation?
      2. Welfare Park – LA let meeting know that the new seats are in the park and seem well received. LA provided a picture for newsletter of a family group using seat, consent has been given to use photo and names. JR/LA met Justin Venton, Countryside & Land Manager, Midlothian Council,  for walk round of park and issues and concerns were raised, especially the need for drains to be cleared and water pumped out. The priority is to improve the park for the centenary in 2026. It was felt the company currently meant to be clearing drains are clearly slacking. JA informed meeting of the Town Centre funding for park which Keith Slight MC confirmed  was £130,000 for new SMART  (energy saving)  confirmed lighting area to be confirmed by JA); £25,000 for drainage operations and additional £25,000 for updating playpark. JA asked group if an avenue of cherry trees should be considered as an alternative of a few lights and phased cutting back trees around old tennis courts to improve conditions? The group was asked to email JA comments after meeting. AM keen on introducing more wild areas in bid to improve biodiversity. The ambition is to have neglected Old tennis courts/football astroturf cleaned out and groups who use facility for football/keep fit or tennis approached by RA (LA informed meeting Little Tiger Cubs/Cubs already use area and suggested leaf blowers should clear are too). An improvement would be a ‘No dogs sign’ to be incorporated on old tennis court gates, as dogs still seen in area. JR asked the meeting if Justin Venton’s suggestion of a seasonal refreshment (coffee/tea) van, similar to the popular trader in King’s Park, Dalkeith might be an option. It was well received and only concern was the additional litter.
      3. FB to chase Connor Wright regarding planters plan. 
      4. JA has put Newtongrange Emergency Plan/Asset register back to NDT for consideration
      5. AM ordered new defibrillators pads sending invoice to JM. 
      6. JA action to get grit bin locked until next cold snap. 
      7. Codesign – JA informed the meeting of the sessions he has attended were “thinking out loud about neighbourhood services”. How Community Councils can have more input in local decisions How the thinking needs to change and that Councillors have been made aware of this. 
      8. NWH Group Crawlees Road environmental spillage issue – JM has passed matter to Mayfield/Easthouses CC.
    2. The Newtongrange Masterplan: ensuring community development remains at its heart and engaging business and the village in its progress
      1. AM said there was nothing further to report from last meeting
      2. JA informed attendees that NCC must be ready to get all community groups involved when the Masterplan becomes a priority once more.
    3. Engaging the community: positive solutions for inclusivity, village pride and achievement.
      • Twin town – RA asked NCC whether Newtongrange had twinned previously and garnered opinion regarding Paul Johnson MC sent email regarding COSLA Brussels office twinning query from German/French counterparts to see if Scottish towns/villages were interested. Midlothian Council could not contribute so it would be down to the Community Council, so a lot of work involved. LA mentioned German/Polish mining connections and Newtongrange Silver Band, Musikcorps Würm e.V., Germany connections. Request get Councillors opinion next meeting. 
      • Newsletter – JA thanked everybody for the material sent to him for second newsletter sent and aimed to workup newsletter this weekend.
      • Queens Award for Voluntary Services – RA informed meeting that application starts in April 2021.
  7. Council Reports N/A
  8. Reports
      1. Treasurer –  JM informed he is still the only signatory for the cheque accounts. 
      2. JA informed meeting of the Federation exploring an online Royal Bank account portal, which would make banking much easier in the future.

      3. The current balance is £2,750.25. Although JM informed meeting a number of payments still to come out of account leaving £910 in bank. 
      4. MFCC (N/A) 
  9.  Correspondence – A resident contacted NCC messenger, who has regularly litter picked expressed shock about how much rubbish is everywhere & if there was a big communal waste bin. It was felt communal bin would be targeted by vandals/unwanted waste added. RA to get back in touch with correspondent  regarding next community litter pick. Lorna mentioned playpark fencing and dogs roaming in playpark. JA working with Justin Venton on new messaging for playpark. Nathan Mayes suggested Ormiston Play Park as model for play park upgrade.
  10. Date of Next Meeting – Tuesday 27th April 2021 at 7.00 pm Zoom TBC – 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.

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