Peebles Civic Society
Annual Report 2011
The Peebles Civic Society is now in its’ 38th year. The Committee met eleven times this year on the third Tuesday of the month to deal with matters that fall within the Society’s terms of reference. As usual many of the issues that the committee has addressed in the past have continued to need attention. You might find it useful to refer to our last annual report. This can be seen on our website www.peebblescivicsociety.co.uk . Ronald Ireland continues as our Chairman, Graeme Murray has stood down as Vice Chairman and is now our Treasurer and Alistair Robertson has taken over as Vice Chairman, Stephen Scott has been co-opted onto the committee and he is a welcome addition. I continue as Hon Secretary.
Liaison with Councillors and other groups.
We have not found the need to meet formally with the Tweeddale East and West Councillors this year but we have kept them up to date with any issues and have met individually on occasion for specific issues. We have liaised with the Community Council on resolving remaining issues of the Common Good Fund with Scottish Borders Council. We are also represented on the Peebles Borders Forum.
The downturn in the economy continues to be reflected in the number of planning applications dealt with this year being down from some 52 last year to only 41 this year with only one significant application for new housing being for 57 houses at Violet Bank on Rosetta Road that now has received Council consent. This is welcomed but we are still concerned about the provision of houses in Peebles above the allocation in the Structure Plan and Local Plans. We have continued to monitor the planning consents for new houses in Peebles and have kept our version of the housing Land Audit up to date and have sent copies to Scottish Borders Council so that they know our concerns. This communication has had effect as SBC have reflected this in the revised Local Plan. We have attended two working parties with SBC in connection with the ongoing revisions to the Local Plan. We visited the public exhibition and have responded to the public consultation for the STAG1 report on the second bridge for Peebles and have questioned implications of the potential increase in housing and its affect on the town and especially the town centre. We continue to follow events here.
Peebles Conservation Area.
The Conservation Area boundaries are now finalised by SBC and we are pleased that they have adopted our recommendations made in the Peebles Conservation Area Appraisal 2001 that we undertook and sent to SBC.
Peebles Common Good Fund.
As reported at last years AGM, Scottish Borders Council appointed a legal officer, Mr Roddy McGeogh, to investigate and report to the Council on all Common Good assets. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman met with Mr McGeogh in March and made him aware of the issues about which the Society had concerns. Mr McGeogh issued his report in September and this is currently under consideration by the Council. The main issues of interest to the Society are 1) that Mr McGeogh supports the view of the Society, that Glencraig, which now forms part of Kingsland School is in fact part of the Common Good. 2) He does not however, agree that Whitestone Park is Common Good, although his report is not clear as to the boundaries. During the year a Joint committee was formed with representatives of the Community Council to discuss these matters. This group is currently considering Mr McGeogh’s report and its implications. In particular it is seeking further clarification of the situation in relation to Whitestone Park and the properties listed under the Gytes and Walkershaugh which are associated with it.
We continued to pursue the issue of the management of the Institution through a formal application to the Scottish Information Commissioner under the Freedom of Information provisions without success. However we and are now aware that the Trust has been finally established and registered and we understand that there will be further trustees appointed from the wider community in addition to the Councillors at present constituting the management board.
Postcard for Peebles.
This event took place again this year and again we must thank Peter Norris and all the competition entrants for their enthusiasm and photographic skills.
In the past we have made commendations for good design and practice and we are pleased this year to reinstate this activity. We are pleased to commend Eildon Housing Association for the correct replacement of timber sash windows in their properties in the Old Town, Messrs Bain and Irvine for good traditional design of the extension and conversion to residential use of their premises at 80 High Street and Mr and Mrs Roberts for the interesting modern new house that they have built at 35a Edderston Road on a small infill site.
The society website is at www.peeblescivicsociety.co.uk and has our planning application responses and other information posted.
Membership and <딌ɻ>AGM
Membership stands at 261. Again this year we have been active in recruiting new members. We are always looking for new members so please pass this report on to friends and neighbours and ask them to join. The annual subscription is only £2 payable to the secretary Gerard Bakker, 13 Drovers Way. Peebles Tel 721985.
The AGM this year is on Tuesday 29 November at 7.30pm in St. Andrew’s Leckie Church Hall, Peebles. Two further meetings will be held: Tuesday 28 February 2012 and Tuesday 27 March 2012, both again in St. Andrew’s Leckie Church Hall at 7-30. Please see notification of the speaker and the subject for these meetings which will be published at a later date. Please see local press and displayed posters for full details.
Peebles Civic Society
A new programme of Public Meetings will be published in October / November 2013.