Keeping up with Nick

In order to reach a greater number of constituents and Edinburgh residents, I have migrated my online presence to a Facebook page, which is where local news updates will be posted going forward.

In addition to ward news from Morningside, the page will also have updates from me in my roles as Conservative Transport & Environment Spokesman.

Please give the page a ‘Like’ by visiting www.facebook.com/CouncillorNickCook

And please do consider following me on Twitter at @CllrNickCook too!

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Broomhills Application Hearing – December

Clicking the link below will allow you to see myself and other local ward councillors address the council’s development management sub-committee urging them to reject the Broomhills planning application. Regrettably, despite our appeals, the committee granted the application.

Video here: http://bit.ly/1TI4xBz

Should the link not work, simply copy and paste the link into your browser.

Trams extension ‘too expensive’ and a ‘huge mistake’

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party press office

Thursday, November 19, 2015

FAO: all newsdesks

Embargo: for immediate release

The Scottish Conservatives have blasted other parties on Edinburgh City Council who today decided in principle to extend the Capital’s tram project to Newhaven.

Despite the controversy surrounding the initial phase of the work and the huge public scepticism, every party except the Conservatives voted in favour of the proposals presented by the council administration.

It will cost at least £162 million and take up to six years to complete, while there could be a negative impact on the city’s Lothian Buses service.

The Conservative group’s transport spokesman warned it would cost too much, and that projected costs were already rising.

He added that the city council was not well placed to take on the work given the chaos of the original scheme, adding that it was a mistake to do anything before the findings of the current trams inquiry were published.

Scottish Conservative transport spokesman on Edinburgh City Council, Nick Cook, said:

“Conservative councillors have consistently led opposition to the proposals presented to extend the tram line – we did so again today.

“The proposals are too expensive and projected costs are already rising. This is a huge mistake.

“They are based on an extremely high level of assumption and are estimated to take a staggering six years to complete.

“As an organisation, Edinburgh City Council is not well-placed to deliver a project of this scale.

“It has repeatedly refused to take the decisions needed to get its finances in good order and is in the midst of significant restructuring.

“There is the issue too that the trams inquiry remains in its early stages – it is essential this is allowed to report back and that lessons are learned from the original project.”

Ends

Full Council – Tram extension

The proposed extension of the tram will be further considered at the next meeting of the full council, this coming Thursday at 10.00 am.

Full meeting papers can be accessed here:

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/meetings/meeting/3806/city_of_edinburgh_council

you can watch me lead opposition to the tram extension at the June Council meeting here:

http://www.edinburgh.public-i.tv/core/share/open/webcast/0/0/560/149036/0/0/start_time/9732000

Planning Application 15/04790/FUL

Many residents have contacted me with concerns over the above planning application for 11 houses directly behind Liberton Brae.

I have been actively assisting residents with their concerns and have met with many of those immediately affected.

I will be formally objecting to this planning application.

LIDL – purchase of land

I am pleased to confirm that the Council have rejected a request from LIDL to purchase a strip of housing account land at Ferniehill.

LIDL were proposing to extend the car park of their Gilmerton store, however this would have impacted upon the amenity of nearby residents.

I am pleased to have supported and assisted a very active residents’ campaign to ensure the Council did not sell this land.

I am pleased to have been able to help in formally voicing my objection to the proposal. I am glad common sense has prevailed.

Liberton Grange – Local Residents Meeting

Please find below the text of a residents’ letter kindly forwarded to me by CALA Homes.

The letter addresses a number of concerns discussed with residents relating to traffic management and access arrangements for works vehicles entering and leaving the Liberton Grange development on the former water works site at Alnwickhill.

“Further to our site meeting on 1 October 2015, I would like to update you on some of the queries and questions raised and confirm CALA’s traffic management proposals for accessing the site during the construction phase of the development. Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to attend the meeting, which I believe was of benefit to all parties. I would also like to offer my apologies in the time taken to respond to you on the below matters. We have been awaiting confirmation on a number of the points raised. In no particular order, please see noted below a list of the questions raised at the meeting and our responses following discussion / feedback from Barratt/DWH.

  • Rear access (Alnwickhill Road) to be used for operatives and general deliveries.
  • Time restrictions at rear (Alnwickhill Road) – no deliveries before 9am and no deliveries after 4pm to reduce the construction traffic on Alnwickhill Road as much as possible during school in/out times.
  • Gates (Alnwickhill Road) will open at 7am and will be closed at 6pm where possible.
  • Larger vehicles / deliveries (timber kits, brick, block) will access site from the front (Liberton Gardens).
  • Anticipated completion date of Barratt/DWH development June 2020. Any new house building site is subject to the sales rate for the area so there can’t be a fixed date.
  • There is an existing footpath which runs through the Barratt/DWH part of the development and leads on to Liberton Gardens. Will this be utilised and open to the public once construction is complete so that locals from Alnwickhill Road can use it to access Liberton Gardens? At present, there are no current plans to accommodate a link footway from Alnwickhill Road to Liberton Gardens.
  • What will the specification of the bollards to the emergency footpath be?The specification for the bollards to be fitted at the emergency access path are to be collapsible and lockable. The emergency services carry keys to allow usage of the path in the case of an emergency.
  • Can you confirm the ridge heights of the houses/flats on the Barratt/DWH area o fthe site facing Alnwickhill road? The ridge heights to the development have not changed since the final planning approval for the development, the details of the ridge heights are available on the CEC planning portal.

As discussed at the meeting, it is our intention to issue a quarterly news letter to the local residents informing them of general information relating to the site. Further resident meetings may also be arranged as and when required to keep the local community up to date with our proposals.

I hope that the above information answers the questions raised at the meeting and relieves any concerns you may have had in regards to construction traffic accessing the development however if you need to discuss any of the issues further or have any other questions which arise, then please contact CALA directly on the below noted telephone number or email our Customer Service department. Please be sure to advise our Customer Care team that your issue is in relation to the Liberton Grange development so your call/email can be forwarded to the relevant person.

Contact Number                      01324 600 000

Customer Service email          customerservice.east@cala.co.uk

Kind Regards

Billy Hamilton

Site Manager – Liberton Grange”