Minutes – 28 February 2011

North Kelvin Community Council Minutes
Monday 28 February 2011 at 6:30pm
St. Charles School

Present: Dave Beavan (DB) (Chair); Janet Andrews (JA); Gordon Barnes (GB) (Website); Peter Blackshaw (PB) (Secretary); Kevin Edgar (KE); Councillor Jim MacKechnie (JMacK); Jane Morgan (JM) (Planning Officer); Douglas Peacock (DP); Kate Wooding (KW) (Treasurer); Kirsty Davidson (KD) (Minute Secretary)

In attendance: Steven Black (SB), New City Vision, Nick Wright (NW), Planning Consultant for New City Vision; Sandra White (SW), MSP for Glasgow; 44 members of the public

Apologies: Ken Andrew (KA) (Vice-Chair)

1.     Introduction and Welcome

DB welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked the members of the public for coming.

DB explained the purpose of the meeting was for the Community Council to engage in dialogue with the developers. DB said he would be asking the members of the public for comments, but these would be put through the Chair.

DB asked the members of the public a couple of questions, to gauge the audience. DB described the area the Community Council represents and then asked the members of the public, who lives in this area? The vast majority of the audience do. Secondly, DB asked, who uses the North Kelvin Meadow? The vast majority of the audience does. Thirdly, DB asked, who has taken part in the pre-consultation process? About 60% of the audience has. Finally, DB asked, has anyone been involved with the planning process on other developments in the area? Only five members of the audience had.

DB informed everyone that there were two corrections to the agenda. Firstly, KW would be giving the presentation on behalf of the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign, rather than DP. Secondly, there will be no representative from Glasgow City Council, despite them agreeing to send someone.

DB asked the Community Council members to introduce themselves and state whether they had an allegiance to another organisation. DB also asked the representatives of New City Vision (NCV) to introduce themselves.

2.     Meaning of the site to North Kelvin Meadow Campaign and their future plans

KW on behalf of the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign gave a presentation about the site. KW explained the site had been a dumping ground, which was needle ridden and covered in graffiti. Whereas now, for example, the site provides raised beds for flowers and vegetables to be grown. There is an eight-year waiting list for Glasgow City Council (GCC) allotments. The site also provides composting facilities for the local community to use.

KW reported that the North Kelvin Meadow has won a Beautiful Scotland Award two years running.

KW stated that GCC’s CityPlan2 advocates building on Brownfield sites rather than Greenfield sites. KW highlighted the fact that 480 trees will be cut down if planning is granted for the development.

KW reported that the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign had hand delivered 1,700 questionnaires in the local area. There was a 6% return rate, where the industry standard is 1-3%. KW said 94% wanted no development on the site and the green space kept; 2% wanted the site sold to the developer; 86% wanted the majority of the land kept as green space and 96% support the North Kelvin Meadow Campaign and want it to continue.

KW said that if the North Kelvin Meadow were allowed to remain the campaign would be able to apply for grant funding to improve the site.

3.     Presentation of 2008 plans and up to date plans

NW on behalf of NCV gave a presentation about the original 2008 plans and the revised plans.

NW started off by saying that NCV have extended the deadline for comments on the revised plans until 14 March. NW said NCV expects to submit a planning application in late March. Once the planning application has been submitted, NW said the public would have 21 days to write to GCC about the application. GCC would then have four months to consider the application.

NW explained that NCV had chosen to focus on the open space during the pre-consultation process, as this was where they felt there was the most scope. As part of the legal agreement with GCC and the development brief, NCV has to build 90-115 houses/flats; have at least 20% open space and the design must be of high quality.

NW stated that most people objected to the development at the Ideas Workshop held on 15 January. The main points raised were – too much development: only develop Sanda Street block; open space too small, too manicured; open space: publicly owned and managed; protect lime trees on Clouston Street.

NW showed everyone the original plans from 2008 and then showed the revised plans. The main differences between the original plans and the revised plans are that the amount of open space is greater, as blocks have been removed on Kelbourne Street. However, as a result, the block on Sanda Street/Kelbourne Street is one storey higher, to reach the 90 houses/flats minimum requirement.

NW reported that 46 questionnaires were completed at the Ideas Workshop, with 10 people for the development, 11 people undecided and 25 people against the development. NW said that NCV have received 65 emails since the revised plans were shown at the public exhibition on 12 February and all but one objected to the proposed development.

4.     Community Council Discussion

The Community Council had a discussion about the revised plans. During this discussion, GB raised the issue of where the money from the sale of the site would go. JMacK said £1.1m was designated for the development of the North Kelvin playing fields, with the rest of the money being used to support capital expenditure. GB said Council Officers had informed him that the money was ring fenced for sports pitches. JMacK said he would seek clarification on this matter.

JM asked the reason why NCV had not considered undercroft or first floor parking instead of street parking. NW explained there is undercroft parking on Sanda Street, which has open space on top. NW said the marked visitor parking bays had been included in the plans, as this was a suggestion by the Roads Department.

NW confirmed, as required by GCC, that there are 1.25 parking spaces per flat/house. Members of the public confirmed that parking is already problematic in the area.

JMacK asked how NCV would feel if GCC made planning consent conditional on the green space being developed first. NW said he imagined that NCV had this down as being developed last so it could be used to house the site compound during development. If this was a condition of planning consent then NW said there would be a financial implication, as NCV would have to explore options for locating the site compound elsewhere. JMacK suggested the site compound could be located on Kelbourne Street, as there are no houses at that point and very little traffic.

DP said the local community do not want the development (strong support in the room for this statement) and he urged the Community Council to object the proposed development outright. JM said the pre-application process is new and not well understood. The pre-application process is a chance to influence the plans and not the appropriate time for the Community Council’s formal objection. JM said she would prefer to say ‘the Community Council is not convinced and here are our comments’, as this is the developer’s plans and not the planning application.

The issue of the height of the proposed flats on Sanda Street was raised. As was the architectural style, Georgian Townhouses rather than Victorian. There was also concern about the semi-private open space behind the flats on Sanda Street. The issue of ownership, control, payment and land liability was seen as very important and a mechanism for dealing with this has to be worked out.

A member of the public asked JMacK as a Glasgow Councillor about where the funds from the sale of North Kelvin Meadow would go. JMacK said the sum that has been mentioned for the sale of the site is £10m, with £1.1m of this designated for the development of the North Kelvin playing fields. JMacK explained the rest of the money would be used to support capital expenditure. SB asked for the meeting to be stopped at this point.

When the meeting resumed, a member of the public urged the Community Council to reject the proposed development outright. JM reiterated that this is the opportunity to make the plans as acceptable as they can be and it is at the planning application stage that a difference can be made. Katy Gordon (KG) said that is was important to try and follow the process. KG asked whether it would be possible to open up the semi-private open space by moving some of the mews houses and creating more continuity with the open space in the centre of the development.

KW proposed the motion – ‘This Community Council rejects the proposed development on North Kelvin Meadow’. DP seconded the motion. JM proposed an amendment to the motion – ‘This Community Council is unconvinced by the proposed development and will submit detailed views to the developer, as well as seek a meeting with Glasgow City Council to ask pointed questions’. JA seconded the amendment. The Community Council voted on the amendment – four were for the amendment, three were against the amendment and the Chair chose not to vote. JM stated the Community Council still has the opportunity to reject.

DB called the meeting to an end. Members of the public expressed their unhappiness that their views had not been heard and that there had not been enough time for discussions. DB reiterated that the purpose of the meeting was for a dialogue between the Community Council and the developers.

DB expressed his thanks to the members of the Community Council.

Next meeting: 16 March 2011 @ 6.30pm, St. Charles School


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