September 2019 Chairman’s Update

We have been very quiet on the website of late but in fact an awful lot has been going on. 

The headline news is that there is a new planning application on the ECC planning portal regarding the Accies shopping development.

The reference number is 19/03680/FUL and is listed under the address 11 Portgower Place. It relates to “proposed installation of external wind screens to shelter external seating arrangements to the restaurant”. The application also includes the installation of a parasol and an external awning.


A copy of Save Stockbridge advisor Nick Evan’s response is provided below which details a number of points of concern relating to this new application. If you share our concerns then please take a moment to submit your own comments opposing the proposed installation.

You can access the council’s planning portal here:

In other news, we have had a very positive meeting with Andy Wightman MSP. This lasted over 90 minutes and most of the issues concerning the development in Raeburn Place were covered. Andy gave us some good advice. The various leases at Raeburn Place do not appear to have been registered—this is now well overdue and if confirmed that this is the case, he will contact OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator) who could remove the Charitable status from them. A Freedom of Information Request has been submitted by Andy so that we can assess the current situation.

We have also been delving into the licensing side of things and it may be that there are some infringements here.

In addition, we have been liaising closely with Douglas Lowe, director of Leafrealm, the company which owns the six foot strip running along Comely Bank Road in front of the shops currently being built. The ownership of this strip has recently been argued in court and we are awaiting the decision of the judge, which hopefully will be before too long. This story was recently covered in this Evening News article:


Save Stockbridge supports Mr Lowe’s actions to the full.

I will be in touch again soon but please oppose this application as soon as possible.

Bruce Thompson,
Chair Save Stockbridge

Save Stockbridge Concerns regarding application 19/03680/FUL

  • We are not aware that planning permission has been specifically granted to use the newly created area of public realm for tables and chairs as part of a licensed restaurant. The Committee report in 2013 referred to “spill out space for the users of the commercial units” but the current application goes far beyond that.
  • The current application does not include the tables and chairs, or use of the public realm as a licensed restaurant. Even though a licence has been granted, planning permission is also required.
  • The area enclosed by the screens is proposed as a licensed premises. Surely the application should be advertised on site?
  • The use of the land in front of these Units for external drinking and dining was not addressed in the noise study which accompanied the original application nor the conditions attached to the planning permission. Noise impact on the amenity of the surrounding residential area has to be considered.
  • These screens would create areas of private space and are contrary to the LDP which says: “Public Realm – The parts of the city (whether publicly or privately owned) that are available for everyone to see and use without charge 24 hours a day, including streets, squares and parks.” CEC Local Development Plan 2016
  • Comely Bank Road is quiet for most of the day and especially after dark. Approving these screens and awnings would bring hours of misery to residents. The area is likely to be especially noisy all day on Sundays when tourists will be attracted into this residential area after visiting the Sunday market in Stockbridge.
  • The creation of a new area of public realm was given as a significant reason for approving the original planning application in the Report to the Committee in 2013. (See pages 19 and 20 of the Report in 2013). You should now defend it.
  • The question is whether it is in the long term public interest to grant permission for some 60 people to socialise outside while they eat and drink and make whatever noise they wish in this residential area.
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