Attended by: Tam Coyle (Chair), David Cowan, Peter Hayman, Robin Jones, Eileen Mills, Scott Thornton, Councillor Eva Bolander, DF, TD, TMcK, GM, Police – PCs Rob Wilson and Sean McFadden
Apologies: Carla Arrighi, Gary Atkinson, Niall McColl, Ros Wardley-Smith; Councillors Philip Braat, Christy Mearns and Angus Millar,, GW.
1. POLICE REPORT
PC McFadden reported that police would be taking part with other agencies in a ‘Week of Action’ in w.b. 20 March to make the Trongate area safer and cleaner. This would include ‘awareness’ sessions for food delivery cyclists. Tam said he would ask City Centre management to include himself and the two MCTCC Vice-Chairs (Gary and Scott) in briefings. ACTION: Tam
Police are being issued with Naloxone nasal sprays for use to counteract the effects of heroin overdoses.
Tam will take up with PC Wilson the issues of buskers and Delmonica’s. ACTION: Tam
PC Wilson said Parking Enforcement had stepped up patrols in the Candleriggs area but police recognised that retailers were often just trying to run their businesses which included loading and unloading. Tam said that if the 109 flats were built on the NCP car park in Ingram Street parking problems would become even worse.
Connolly’s bar has publicised its spend of £15k on soundproofing following complaints from neighbours. Councillors were unsure whether this money had been spent but no complaints had been received in the past week.
TD showed a video of a taxi going the wrong way up Candleriggs.
2. WARD COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
Eva said Miller Street is included in the (non-funded) ‘Avenues Plus’ plan connected with the re-design of George Square. It would be part of an important walking route.
She had been working with young people on art projects and helped avoid the Merchant City Festival being made bi-annual in the recently passed Council budget. Culture was one of the larger employers in Glasgow.
GCC has approved (renewed the approval of?) the complete demolition in a conservation area of 4-8 Dixon Street to make way for a proposed 21 storey building (serviced apartments?). Peter said such a tall building would create a major wind tunnel.
Parking strategy – Gary due to have attended a meeting on 25 February and to report to MCTCC. ACTION: Gary
Scott is due to meet the project team at the Briggait about its re development plans. ACTION: Scott
Scott asked Eva what was happening with waterfront developments as all had gone quiet recently. Eva said she would check the latest situation and advise. ACTION: Eva
Neighbouring Calton CC has invited MCTCC members, especially those keen on developing green spaces in the city centre, to a public meeting in Havannah Street on 27 March at 7 pm. There may be an opportunity to convert vacant land next to student accommodation blocks into a community park.
Eva said she had been taken aback by a report that Glasgow Council may approve the opening of all pubs to 1 am. It had taken no such decision.
Tam said he had no objection to the application by Bar 91 in Candleriggs to extend its operating hours to 1 am seven days a week. Deadline for objections is (was) 2 March.
Scott reported that GCC’s film office had declined Filmy Locations Ltd’s application to film car and motor bike chases in Cochrane and Montrose Streets on 17 March.
However, it planned night time shooting (with a chase and fight between two actors) in Tontine Lane between 5 pm and 4 am on 7/8 March. The Film Office said it could not stop this since Tontine is a private gated lane. Scott will contact Filmy’s Location Manager about whether it had received owners’ permission. ACTION: Scott
5. OSBORNE STREET PBSA
Teri Porter of Porter Planning, Ahsan Afzal of Ambassador/Nova Living (developers and investors) and Neil Haining of Mosaic Architects gave a presentation on their proposal for Purpose Built Student Accommodation in Osborne Street/Old Wynd and were questioned by attendees.
The plan comprises 270 studio units in a building stepping up from 7 to 11 storeys with an external roof terrace and is part of plans to double the city centre population of around 20,000 by 2035. Mr Haining said the mural of Billy Connolly (’75 BC’) would be covered up but it was only meant to be a temporary exhibit.
A public exhibition was held on 20 February. Deadline for feedback is 7 March. Details can be viewed on novaosborne.co.uk.
MCTCC Councillors and other attendees expressed concern at an over-concentration of student accommodation in the city centre, noted that students did not pay Council Tax and that it was important that services (e.g. doctors’ surgeries) kept pace with population growth. Eva said there should be proper proportionality between student and other accommodation.
Eva asked if the applicants had looked at non-student accommodation. Peter asked if the project could include accommodation for tourists but Mr Afzal said this would not be manageable. Robin said a proportion of developments should be ‘normal’ residential. Porter Planning said the site was too small to accommodate residential such as would comply with planning regulations. Attendees expressed support for more social housing but Eva said the Council could not force a private developer to build this, especially in view of high city centre land values.
Ms Porter said she would share a report by Savills on projected student accommodation shortfalls and another study on the benefits which students bring.
6. ‘MERCHANT CITY PARK’
Scottish Ministers have written to GCC to require the planning application for the site bounded by Candleriggs, Ingram Street and Albion Street to be referred to them – a process known as ‘calling in’ – for determination because of the possible impact on the future of the adjacent City Halls and Old Fruitmarket music and entertainment venues. This was welcomed by Community Councillors.
7. FRIENDS OF RAMSHORN
A meeting is being arranged to approve the draft constitution. A Website needs to be set up. More than 20 members representing half a dozen organisations have already agreed to take part. ACTION: Tam/Eva
8. TREASURER’S REPORT
Treasurer not present. Carla to update. ACTION: Carla
9. GRANT GIVING
Scott reported that a sub-group of MCTCC had compiled a plan (including criteria, scoring matrix and application form) to set up the Community Council’s first grant giving scheme, making use of some of the almost £10,000 in its funds, mostly from donations from film companies.
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
MCTCC is taking part in a Ward 10 Litter Pick on 15 April. ACTION: Niall
11. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING ON 31 JANUARY
Adoption proposed by Eileen Mills, seconded by Robin Jones. Approved.
NEXT MEETING (subject to confirmation): Monday 27 March, 6.30 pm in City Chambers.
Niall to be asked to issue a reminder 48 hours before the next meeting that it will start at 6.30 pm. ACTION: Tam /Niall