Tollcross Community Council

 Minutes 28th September 2022 19.00BST

Tollcross Community Centre/Zoom


Richard Allen (Chair); Liz Summerfield (Minutes); Iain Black; Andrew Devenport; Tim Puntis; Donald Craig; Roger Colkett (Licensing); Fiona Allen (online)

In attendance

Cllr Finlay McFarlane; Cllr Claire Miller


David Liddle


Gill Martin; Paul Beswick; Cllr Joanna Mowat: Stuart Tooley(Edin. Uni. Community Engagement)

The chair welcomed everyone, and reported that the death of Ann Wigglesworth had recently been announced. Ann was a stalwart of Tollcross and involved in several local organisations. She served as secretary to TXCC for many years, and was also a trustee of the Community centre. LS agreed to contact her daughter on TXCC’s behalf.

There were no declarations of interest.


LS reported that she had heard nothing from the police – their quarterly report is due

Minutes of the last meeting

Matters arising

It had been agreed to remove Laura Hehir and Rahman Mustafizur from the Community Council as neither had attended in person or online since before lockdown.

Tim Puntis was co-opted to TXCC.

At this point, Claire Miller had to drop out because of poor sound quality of our mic.

Walkabouts with local councillors had been discussed at the last meeting, but so far there was no progress. Several issues relating to this were raised:

AD wanted to know which council contact we should be liaising with regarding walkabouts

DL said that although there were 20MPH signs painted on Grove Street, drivers were still speeding down it, and he wanted councillors to see for themselves and agree to put pavement signage up at intervals to remind drivers

LS said she was aware that the area between the bank building and Melvin Walk was in a different constituency from the rest of TXCC’s constituency, so walkabouts would have to include Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart councillors as well as Central, there were issues around waste disposal as the underground bins were frequently left open and un-emptied, sometimes for over a year. Although this stretch of the street has not been adopted by the council, and the owners of the new build are responsible for waste disposal, there are permanent council tax-paying residents in that part of the street, and the council has a responsibility to ensure their environmental protection.

The June minutes were accepted (prop. AD, sec. IB)

TXCC Matters

RA suggested that in future, at least some meetings could continue as hybrid in-person/zoom, especially in the winter months. DL & LS agreed to provide a better microphone to make this easier.

Secretary – as TXCC has been without a secretary for some time, DC expressed an interest in taking it on. There was some discussion about appointing a minute-taker.

Online/social media communications – we still need help with this.

LS & PB to liaise on the twitter account.

RA suggested publishing a leaflet – DL &  LS agreed to help with this. To be published online as well as hard copies.

Tollcross Clock – concerns were expressed about its fate. It was agreed it should be reinstated, and if a position at the centre of the crossroads was considered too hazardous, it could be sited on the pavement or the terrace between Lauriston Place and Earl Grey Street. A public consultation should be held. FM agreed to try to find more details of plans.

Engagement Officer

LS reported that she was still having little success in obtaining feedback from contacts.

Councillor’s report & questions

The Town Plan will be published soon and there are a lot of issues to consider. FM will send us priorities for TX area.

RC asked if there were plans to re-open w. Princes St. gardens. Was told rockfall from the castle was responsibility of Historic Environment Scotland – they must liaise with CEC.


AD asked if we could organise walkabouts with just councillors and no council officials

DL raised the issue of the Fountain which had been proposed some time ago for the Canal Basin. Apparently developers were not supportive. 3  different ideas had been proposed and AD had rough sketched made by the fountain’s designer, the late Chris Wigglesworth.

It was felt he should have his memorial, and this idea should be pursued.

RC asked if there were any plans to replace the tree at the top of High Riggs, felled many years ago by Scottish Water.

IB reported that the West Port Garden was seeking community council funding.

AD asked if anyone had attended St Joseph’s open day, and IB had been there and was impressed by it, though very different from its original purpose.

The meeting closed at 20.25

T&D of next meeting – 26th October @19.00 in TXCC (Zoom TBA?)


Licensing Report July, August & September 2022

Alcohol Licensing


119 Lothian Road (Fresh Mex)
Objection Submitted (On grounds of Overprovision)
Licence awarded but closing time amended from 1am to midnight and outdoor drinking area refused.


95 Lauriston Place (takeaway wanting off-sales licence)
Objection submitted (on grounds of Overprovision)
Application withdrawn at last minute (I wasn’t notified until I attended the Board Meeting)
Withdrawn because of our objection? Probably not but who knows?


27 – 31 West Port (52 Canoes – formally Grassmarket Bar) wanting to add alcohol to deliveries.
Didn’t object as they already had off-sales included in the licence and have reduced capacity (no. of customers allowed at any time) from 100 to 90.

Units 5 & 6, 1 Union Path – New Licensed Restaurant (partly) in area of overprovision but several licensed restaurants in the immediate area have closed in the last couple of years; so, Board would almost certainly regard these premises as usefully filling a gap in the market (justification for allowing exception to overprovision-related presumption not to grant). In fact, it will probably fail like the others in the area. Accordingly, no objection submitted.

16 Home Street (formerly Liquorice – an “adult entertainment” bar) application to change to bar with restaurant facilities.
Objection submitted (on grounds of Overprovision).
These premises have been unoccupied for years; so, effectively a new application. Can anyone remember for how many years it has been closed? My attempts to find out how many from official sources have been knocked back (on grounds of confidentiality).
This application was due to be considered by the Board on Monday 26th September but I was notified on the previous Friday that the applicant had aske to continue (postpone) the application to next month; so, I didn’t attend Monday’s meeting.

Civic Licensing

July     2 West Tollcross (Central Hall) – Public Entertainment Licence (for Festival /Fringe events)
We didn’t object.

August   Unit 4, 2 Fountaibridge Square – application for Skin Piercing, Tattooing Licence.
We didn’t object

85-87 Lothian Road (German Dona Kebab) Late Hours Catering Licence.
We didn’t object.

76-78 Lauriston Place (Ed. Uni. Art College) – Public Entertainment Licence
We didn’t object.

Planning Report July, August, September 2022

Applications (Pending)

  1. Large Student Residence at 23 Yeaman Place – Merchiston CC
  2. Change of use (retrospective) from residential domestic to residential commercial to operate as short term let. at 2F2 2 Drumdryan Street. We have objected.
  3. Change of use from residential to short term let, (in retrospect). at 5B Lauriston Gardens. Own entrance so we have not objected.
  4. Change of use from residential to short term let, (in retrospect) at flat 1, 35 Gilmore Place(Old Drill Hall) – We have objected.
  5. Change of use from residential to short term let, (in retrospect) at Flat 11, 1 B Grassmarket – We have objected – Old Town CC


  1. All applications for removal of phone boxes and replacements by BT hubs seem to be refused.
  2. Refusal of Application to put LED advertising screens on police box in Bruntsfield Place.
  3. Refusal of planning permissions for change of use from residential to a short let at
  4. a)    1F1 13 Upper Grove Place
  5. b)    Flat 4, 35 Simpson Loan
  6. c)    28 Caledonian Place – Dalry CC
  7. d)    14 Caledonian Place  – Dalry CC
  8. Approval of planning permission for change of use from residential to a short let at 423 Webster’s Land
  9. Refusal of Application for student residence at 179A Canongate  –  Old Town CC