MCTCC Meeting Minutes – 25 February 2020

25th February, 2020, at 7pm, Glasgow City Chambers

Attending

Community Councillors:

Dr Duncan MacLaren (Chair), Tam Coyle (V/C), Peter Hayman, Robin Jones, Niall McColl, Eileen Mills, Chris Murphy and Gerald Hirst.

Residents:

TM; GS; TD; DM;EL;KM;DH

Ex-Officio Attending:

Seargent Philip Showell (Police Scotland), Lisa Russell (Turley Ltd) and Antony Rosindale (Urbanite Glasgow Ltd)

Elected Representatives:
Lord Provost Philip Braat, Cllr Eva Bolander and Cllr Angus Millar.

Minutes

  1. Welcome by the Chair and other matters
  • The Chairman, Duncan MacLaren, welcomed everyone, especially Lisa Russell and Antony Rosindale, representing the planner and developer of the proposed student accommodation site at Jocelyn Square, and who had travelled from Edinburgh and York to attend.

  • The Chairman reported that the appropriate office of the GCC had approved the two candidates, Daniel O’Malley and David Cowan, to have fulfilled the requirements to be full community councillors for MCTCC. Daniel, a PhD student, and David Cowan, a Trongate resident, have increased the diversity of MCTCC. The Chairman asked for proposers and seconders of the two candidates. Tam Coyle proposed Daniel and Chris Murphy seconded him. Eileen Mills proposed David, seconded by Gerald Hirst. Both were congratulated.

  • David Cowan, normally our minute taker, was on holiday and therefore the Chairman tried to take notes. Niall McColl helpfully sent his notes to Duncan subsequently.

  1. Apologies:
  • AP, AC, David Cowan
  1. Minutes of the last meeting (28th January 2020)
  • Two small corrections were suggested and accepted and would appear in the final version. With those amendments, Tam proposed the minutes and they were seconded by Niall.
  1. Matters Arising not in the Minutes
  • There were none.
  1. Report from the Treasurer
  • Gerald Hirst reported that the cash in MCTCC’s account had not changed and remained at £1,786. Gerald proposed Clifford Most of Montrose Street as auditor of our current financial year (ending 31st August) accounts. This was seconded by Tam Coyle.
  1. Police Report
  • Sgt Philip Showell gave the apologies of PC Hannah Mitchell and asked for clarification about the name of the Chief Inspector mentioned in the Action Points of the last months Minutes. It was Chief Inspector Campbell, not Henderson, the minutes will be amended to show this. The Chairman would still like the email address of the Inspector to follow up some remarks he made at a Community Council Training session in the City Chambers in January.

  • Sgt Showell reiterated that it was not possible to give detailed statistics of crime in MCTCC’s area, however he could speak about trends. Tam Coyle said that, given the paucity of the information, it was not possible to see trends. There had been an upsurge in shops being broken into, particularly where felons had smashed through glass doors to steal from tills. Despite careful surveillance of the Trongate area, drug use and dealing remains commonplace and the police intend to tackle it head on.

  1. Presentation on the Jocelyn Square site
  • The Chairman welcomed Lisa Russell and Antony Rosindale (see 1 above). They gave a power-point presentation on their plans for the site – to construct accommodation for 169 students in a building which would be mostly 4-5 storeys high, stepped up to 6. There had been a previous application for student accommodation which was approved by the Council and so Urbanite and their planners, Turley, have taken on the application which ends on 3rd March, the pre-application deadline. According to their research, there was a demand for good quality, well-priced and affordable student accommodation. They plan to open the development, if approved, by 2022.

  • Local residents noted that the original application in 2006 for the site, 06/03725/DC, had been refused by GCC. This was due to the objections by local residents in relation to height/scale, the effects of overshadowing, loss of privacy as well as noise, additional traffic and the associated parking problems.

  • The current application (16/02539/DC) has attempted to respond positively to the residents’ previous comments as well as those made by the Glasgow Urban Design Panel. Residents still pressed their objections regarding loss of privacy, noise etc. and the possibility of car parking, although assurances were given that there would only be a few disability parking spaces. Antony Rosindale was asked if the flats would be used as short-term lets in summer, he indicated there were no plans at present, however he could not rule this out at a later date.

  • After the guests left, the MCTCC meeting discussed strategy. No formal planning application has been submitted by the developer; however it is expected in the next week or two. Once it is published online by GCC, there will be 21 days for residents and bodies, such as MCTCC, to submit a statement of their views. The Chair noted that it equally important for individuals, as well as organisations, to lodge objections if they were of a mind to do so, because if there are seven or more, the application is passed back to the planning committee for review.

  • Cllr Millar offered his help in framing an objection if required. He advised that it should not be in the form of a template text. The Chairman asked the community councillors to vote whether they should put in an objection as a group, given the traditional opposition of the community council to student accommodation. As previously noted, MCTCC advocates creating a larger local population. The result of the vote was: 5 in favour of submitting an objection to assist the residents, 3 abstentions and 1 against.

  • Cllr Eva Bolander said that she may become a member of the Planning Committee and therefore could not comment on the strategy. The Chairman said he would be in touch with one of the residents, Eileen Lowe, in terms of carrying what had been discussed forward. The consultation form left by the guests was distributed.

  1. MCTCC Website and Social Media Presence Update
  • Community Councillor, Niall McColl, gave a succinct presentation on plans for launching a new website as well as presence on social media though it was suggested not to start an Instagram account. Niall would work on establishing Twitter and Facebook accounts.

  • The new website’s social and privacy policies shall be in accordance to GCC guidelines. It is anticipated this will become ‘live’ at the start of June, 2020. Niall was applauded for his work and his determination to provide the Community Council with more dynamic and relevant ways of communicating with the residents of our area.

  1. Councillors’ Reports
  • Owing to the lack of time remaining, the Lord Provost Philip Braat said he would leave the reports to his colleagues.

  • Cllr Eva Bolander spoke of the forthcoming meeting to explore the idea of setting up a Friends of Ramshorn Graveyard group on 2nd March with Duncan and Tam attending as well as relevant officials. It is hoped that, if this group comes about, it will improve the state and opening times of this historic graveyard as well as publicise it as a venue for residents and tourists alike.

  • Cllr Angus Millar reported that the proposed development at the corner of George Street and High Street would not now go ahead. That meant Greyfriars’ Gardens could remain where it was currently sited. A conversation would ensue as to the future and the possible move to the site overlooked by the mural of St Mungo on High Street.

  1. Merchant City Park Update
  • Community Councillor, Eileen Mills is awaiting review request responses from GCC and GPCI to the second round of GOI responses from them. These are due on the 3rd of March, 2020. Peter Hayman reported he is working on a business plan.
  1. Planning Applications
  • Community Councillor, Peter Hayman, reported that one of the planning applications in Fox Street and on Clydeside, which originally was for student accommodation but had been changed to the construction of flats. They were not to revert to student accommodation but to remove the planning for retail and other amenities on the ground floor.

  • Mr Hayman reported that the unfinished block at 236-246 Clyde street, which had been intended for Student accommodation, had an Obligation to include Amenity Space. As the structure now has full planning permission to become an Hotel, the developers are looking for a Modification of Planning Obligation (MPO) to have this requirement for Amenity Space removed. The building alongside at 260 Clyde street looked to be included similarly, although the web page was corrupted and not clear.

  • Mr Hayman also distributed an alternative to the High Street/George Street plan allowing, however there was no time to discuss these but it would be on the agenda for the mid-monthly meeting. The Chair suggested the other planning and licensing applications be taken to the community councillor-only mid-monthly meeting and reported at the next meeting.

  1. Conclusion
  • Duncan concluded the meeting at 8:45pm, as requested by security staff, and thanked everyone for attending. He apologized for not being able to complete the rather ambitious agenda. The next meeting would take place at 7pm on Tuesday 31st March 2020.

Action Points

  1. PC Hannah Mitchell to supply the Chairman with the email of Chief Inspector George Campbell (PC Mitchell)
  2. To follow up strategy regarding the Jocelyn Square development, particularly with affected residents. (Duncan and other Community Councillors)
  3. Take forward the plan to establish a new website and social media presence (Niall and all Community Councillors)
  4. Report to the MCTCC the results of the meeting on a putative Friends of Ramshorn Graveyard (Duncan and Tam)
  5. Ensure time for a more detailed discussion on the Merchant City Park project at the next meeting (Duncan)
  6. Report to the MCTCC in March on planning applications, licensing etc. (Peter and other Community Councillors).
  7. Place Peter Hayman’s alternative to the George Street/High Street development site on the agenda of the mid-monthly meeting (Duncan).