Saturday, 28 February 2015

SEVEN housebreaking arrests

Police released a press statement yesterday about the arrest of seven people in recent weeks for housebreaking related offences.  Now a word of caution.  Although I know some of these arrests relate to housebreaking activity in our area (I've been speaking with our local officers), the number relates to the whole of Edinburgh.

In the last year for which I can get the statistics, I calculate  housebreaking offences averaged 287 every month throughout Edinburgh.  So the arrest of seven in the last four weeks for 30 offences, good though it clearly is, is not be as impressive as it sounds at first.

The pressure is very much still on to catch and prosecute housebreakers in the South of the city where this crime has been more prevalent that elsewhere.

Anyway, here is the relevant part of the recent media release from Police Scotland about the seven arrests in the last month.
Police in Edinburgh have arrested and charged seven people for over 30 offences related to housebreakings.
On February 25 an 18-year-old man was arrested in connection with 11 housebreakings to businesses and a vehicle theft in Edinburgh. He appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, February 26.
A 15-year-old youth from Edinburgh was charged with over 10 offences following the recovery of a Ford Ka, stolen on January 29, which contained various items linked to recent housebreakings. A report has been submitted to the Children’s Panel.
On February 12, SART and the Domestic Violence Reduction Unit (DVRU) officers executed two search warrants in the Moredun area of Edinburgh where they recovered a large quantity of stolen bicycles, some of which were taken from housebreakings.
A 39-year-old woman and three men aged 52, 35 and 28 were arrested and charged in connection with seven offences and £5500 worth of stolen property was recovered. All bikes were identified and returned to their rightful owners.
A 16-year-old man from Edinburgh was found to be in possession of a stolen vehicle at 9pm on February 24. The vehicle was searched and various electronic items stolen through housebreakings were recovered, and the vehicle seized.
On February 25, an address was searched in connection with these thefts and further stolen items were recovered.
The male was arrested and charged and appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, February 26.

Surgeon's Hall expansion

Hill Place is set to become the scene of a conference and events centre after an investment by the Royal College of Surgeons at the former language school.

Details here.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Meadows: Lady Boys no more?

The Underbelly has won the tender for the Meadows site during the Festival period.

But the Lady Boys promotor may take legal action - alleging a flawed tender process.

Details here.

Smartwater kits

I understand there are some Smartwater kits - for property marking in the event of theft - available at the crime prevention stall at Morningside Library tomorrow.  Police will be there between 1 and 4pm and will also have shed and garage alarms available for purchase.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Causewayside planning update

The update is that the application (see post yesterday)has been continued for two weeks.  Some of the papers were incomplete and the deficient documents will be brought back on 11th March.  I understand the issues lacking related to daylighting and sunlighting.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Causewayside Printing home at Planning tomorrow

The Paramount Printers' building at 195-213 Causewayside is before the Planning Committee tomorrow.   The proposal involves the company finding a new more suitable site and the current site being converted/rebuilt into a student residence with 152 places.

The application  came before the Planning Committee in November when the applicant was asked to consider some modifications to the proposals.  The results of those discussion will be put before tomorrow's 10am public committee.  It can also be webcast.  (Select the Development Management Committee, not the Planning Committee).

Monday, 23 February 2015

War medals stolen in Grange on Sunday

From the BBC report:
"The man woke to discover that five medals were missing, along with a large quantity of cash, two gold wedding bands and three antique watches.
"Police said the medals had "great sentimental value" and appealed for witnesses.
Det Insp Alan O'Brien, of Police Scotland, said: "This is an upsetting incident for the elderly occupant, who is understandably concerned at the loss of several items carrying a great deal of sentimental value.
"We are eager to speak to anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in The Grange area overnight from Saturday into Sunday morning."

Buses changes in frequency

I note Lothian Buses are changing some timetables from 29th March.  As far as I can see the main ones affecting the Southside & Newington area involve slight improvements in frequency of service.  Here are some of the routes affected:
  • No 5: Inter-peak frequency increased to every 10 minutes. Improved early evening timetable
  • No 24: Improved early morning and evening timetable
  • No 41:  Improved frequency at peak times
  • No 47:  On Sundays the frequency will be increased to every 30 minutes
  • Royal Infirmary: All services to start using the perimeter road

Friday, 20 February 2015

King's Buildings proposals invitation

Edinburgh University are inviting local and interested persons to see their proposals for development within the King's Buildings estate just off West Mains Road. The invitation is to visit their exhibition at the Swan Building, Max Born Crescent on Wednesday 4th March between 1pm and 7pm.  Here is description they have sent me:

The University of Edinburgh is planning to redevelop parts of the School of Biological Sciences’ facilities on the King’s Buildings Campus. This will involve the demolition of a number of low scale buildings, the delivery of up to 4 three storey buildings and the refurbishment and re-cladding of the Darwin Tower. Associated landscape works around the site will make this section of the campus more accessible and interconnected to the city.
The exhibition is in advance of planning applications they are contemplating submitting.

The above is for your diary but I will post a reminder nearer the time.   


Thursday, 19 February 2015

Meadows to Innocent cycle route

Work is due to start in March on the route linking the North Meadow Walk cycle route with the Innocent Railway route.  Here is the information passed to me:

 ". . . a tender for the above contract has been accepted and that work will commence on site on or around 9 March 2015. The works comprise footway widening at junctions and widened footways to form segregated off-road cycle facilities and new or upgraded controlled crossings. The contract period will be 12 weeks and the Contractor for the works is Lafarge Tarmac.
A letter, including a location plan on the reverse, is being distributed to residents and businesses on affected streets, a copy of which is attached for your information.
The works will be undertaken between 0930 hrs and 1600 hrs Mondays to Fridays and the Contractor will make every effort to minimise disruption, however some will be unavoidable during the works. We apologise in advance for any delays but hope that residents and businesses will understand the greater long-term benefit of these improvements.
Residents and businesses will be kept informed through on-street signage, letters and personal visits from staff or contractors. "

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

'He believed in the power of the community. . . '

Last week I reported the death of George Pitcher who was 86.  I see there was an obituary in the Evening News yesterday and here is the link.  Here is an extract:
George had a great sense of humour and often told stories and very much enjoyed the company of others. Colin Christison from the Southside Association recalls how George had announced he would be visiting the “holy land”.
He said: “There was great interest and fascination about this, and he told everyone that he went there every year. Someone asked which part of the holy land was his favourite, to which he replied ‘Whitley Bay’!
The funeral is next Monday, 1pm at Mortonhall. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Peffermill Road closed this week-end

From 7pm on Saturday throughout Sunday and to about 3am on Monday morning, Peffermill Road will be completely closed between King's Haugh (Nairn's Oatcakes factory) and Craigmillar Castle Gardens.

This is to allow crane operations in connection with the replacement of the bridge over the South Suburban railway line between these two points.


Thursday, 12 February 2015

A life lived to the full

George Pitcher, a well known figure in the Southside for many years, died yesterday.  He was in his mid 80s and died peacefully at home.

Born a Geordie, he spent much of his life in the Southside where he was active in community affairs.  Sympathies to his wife May and his family.


Friends of the Meadows meeting

The Spring meeting of the Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links will take place on Monday, 16th February at 7:30 pm in the Pillar Hall, Barclay Viewforth Church. The first part of the evening, starting with refreshments, will be a musical programme illustrating the instruments depicted on the new Meadows Mural.  The second part will be ‘any other business’, a general discussion of items raised by members.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Buccleuch Place conversion to sudent flats

In December the Development Management Committee agreed to approve a significant conversion of flats on the south side of Buccleuch Place from offices and teaching areas to student accommodation.  The approval was subject to a couple of conditions which came back to the Committee this morning for ratification.

However, due to conflicting advice from planning officers on whether the accommodation would require House in Multiple Occupation Licenses (HMOs), the final decision was deferred for two weeks pending clarification of that issue.

However, I have received correspondence from the University indicating that they believe HMO licences are required and they expect to apply for them in the normal way.

A bit of a guddle, that one.