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31 August 2011 Dear Sir/Madam, This is a letter stating my objection to planning application number 11/02696/FUL proposed demolition of the

Gateway Theatre and erection of 155 student flats at the Gateway Theatre 40-44 & 29-33 Montgomery Street and land to rear. I objected to the proposal submitted by Susan Stephen Architects in 2006 at the same location for the demolition of the theatre and erection of shops and 42 flats and townhouses, but unfortunately this was granted planning permission. The revised proposals are no improvement on the original application and are for substantially more (over 3 times as many) residents and an additional storey to the proposed building. I object to the most recent proposals (11/02696/FUL) on the following grounds. 1. There has been no consultation with local residents or the community. This does not meet PAN81 Community Engagement and is not fair on the local residents which could be directly affected by the proposed development. 2. Disruption to local residents during demolition of existing buildings. The planning application offers no information on the activities involved in demolishing the existing buildings. There is no information relating to the method by which the demolishment will occur, when it will occur and over what time period and how the noise and vibration, dust and effects from demolition will be controlled and or mitigated. How will the materials from the existing buildings be reused on site, will they be recycled and where will the remainder will be disposed of? There is no information relating to the sustainability of the proposed demolition. Are there any hazardous materials in the existing buildings, such as asbestos? If so, there could be extremely severe health risks associated with the demolition of these buildings. The effects of deliveries and collections by heavy vehicles on local traffic and pedestrians during this period have not been considered. What are the working hours for the demolition period? Most residents in the block (Elm Row, Montgomery Street and Brunswick Place some 250 + residents) have bedrooms and living areas at the rear of their properties and would therefore experience a lot of disruption during demolition from noise and vibration from heavy vehicles, contractors, the buildings being demolished and removed. The disruption that would be created during the proposed demolishment of the existing buildings is unacceptable for local residents.

3. Disruption to local residents during the construction period of 155 student flats &
associated cinema, gym and social areas The planning application offers no information or method statements for the construction of the development. There is no information relating to: o Duration of construction period o Where construction vehicles will park o When deliveries of materials will be made and how this will impact on local traffic movements o Where the construction laydown area will be o What the proposed working hours are o How many workers will be on site o The methods of construction

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How loud the construction activities will be and if the methods of construction will cause vibration effects o How the effects of noise and vibration will be mitigated o How the effects of construction dust will be mitigated How can this proposal be considered without this vital information? Both bedrooms in my flat and the key living areas in most flats in the block are at the rear of the properties and would suffer directly from the negative effects of construction noise and vibration from the heavy vehicles involved in construction, construction activities, laying of foundations, heavy and noisy machinery etc. The disruption that would be created during the construction of the proposed construction has not been fully considered in this planning application and the impacts created by construction are unacceptable for local residents. o

4. The negative effects of the proposed development on local residents The proposed development has too many flats and is too large and will overpopulate the local area with student numbers. The proposed development is between 3 and 5 storeys high and will house 155 students and a cinema, gym and social areas. This is too large a development for the area. The development should be reduced in size. The cinema and gym are not needed, there are several facilities available in the locality for this, e.g. the Omni Centre (gym and cinema) some 10 minutes walk away, Meadowbank Sports Centre, Leith Victoria Swim Centre, Leith Waterworld, the student gym at Holyrood and the Pleasance to name a few. The number of flats proposed will house 155 students which is over 3 times as many as proposed in the original planning application for 42 townhouses and a 50% increase on the existing residents in the block. The design statement submitted with the planning application makes reference to Policy HOU10 where a 30% increase in student population on an area is too high. The calculation stated for this proposal is 27% which is very close. There is also a large block of student flats for 135 students at 4 - 6 MacDonald Road. The proposed buildings should be scaled down in height, overall size and moved much further away from existing boundary walls & tenements. The proposed development should not be granted planning permission or be scaled down substantially. The proposed development is not in keeping with the existing 18/19th Century architecture of the local buildings and area. The proposed development is not designed to be in keeping with the quality of the materials used in the local buildings and area and are poor quality materials which will not weather well over time. The proposed development is within the New Town Conservation Area and therefore the character of any new builds should be in keeping and sympathetic towards the existing area this proposal is not. Some of the existing buildings are category C Listed Buildings and therefore should be preserved as far as is possible not demolished. The design of the proposed building to fill the gap on Montgomery Street which is completely unsympathetic to and out of keeping with the adjoining Victorian tenement buildings. It has a series of flat floor length reflective glass windows which are not in keeping with the existing bay windows, has wooden sections which are not in keeping with the existing stone tenements and 5 floors at different levels to the existing 4 floor tenements. The photomontages and sections submitted as part of the planning application are poor quality and are misrepresentative of how the proposal might look. The materials proposed; are they sustainably sourced, do they have a lot of embedded carbon, how sustainable are they, is the wood from a sustainable and local source? These issues have not been considered in the planning application how sustainable is this proposal? The proposed development will result in a loss of light and privacy for local residents. The proposed development is just as high and in most areas higher than the existing Gateway Theatre buildings. Currently, no windows from the existing theatre buildings overlook my flat. The proposal would mean that my property (including 2 bedrooms and a bathroom) would be overlooked by the proposed

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development bedroom windows and a full glass stairwell. This is unacceptable as my privacy will be compromised. I do not want to be overlooked and I do not want to overlook a student block of flats. Any glass curtain stairwells should be located on the side of the proposed development which faces the courtyard and does not face the existing tenement flats. All windows should be small not overlook existing tenement buildings. The loss of natural light will occur from the size of the proposals and several existing trees will be cut down. The proposed development will result in increased noise and light pollution to local residents. Once built and housing 155 students the proposed development will be noisy particularly at unsociable hours and there will be light pollution from the proposed buildings and any street lighting in the hours of darkness. The existing area is quiet and dark in the evenings and there is rarely any noise from this area. Any change in this is unacceptable as both my bedrooms are situated at the rear of the building and my quality of life would be severely reduced due to both noise and light pollution in the hours of darkness. Additional noise from student parties, antisocial hours of residents, the cycle parking area, depositing of waste by students (banging of bin lids etc) and collection of waste (large noisy pick up trucks) etc would add to this. The proposed development will result in increased traffic and congestion in the local area as well as more competition for permit holders parking spaces. I am pleased to note that there is only provision for disabled parking in the proposed development and therefore local residents would not suffer the additional noise and light pollution caused by vehicles to the rear. However, some student residents will have vehicles and need to park them somewhere. The local area is already congested and parking is minimal. The proposed development will create additional waste/rubbish in the area and the rubbish area is located against the existing tenements. The location of the proposed rubbish/waste area is directly adjacent to the wall of an existing tenement. This is completely unacceptable. The smell, noise and associated vermin and seagulls associated with the rubbish area should not be suffered by the local residents. The rubbish area must be located in the internal courtyard adjacent to the proposed new buildings. It should also be located near to an exit so that the noise from the collection vehicles is kept to a minimum. It is important to note that the area already has a problem with too much waste and overfilling wheelie bins on the street. This has attracted vermin and seagulls to the area. An increase in 155 people in the area will exacerbate this problem. The proposed development is not made of sustainable materials and has very few in built sustainable measures. This is not acceptable. Surely there is a local planning policy which ensures that every proposed new building has a series of sustainable measures and is constructed of sustainable materials. When the Scottish Government is trying to meet high carbon reduction targets, this proposed development should contribute to this and should include some dynamic measures to increase sustainability and reduce carbon. The design statement submitted as part of the planning application suggests 20% but makes no firm commitments to any sustainable measures. This is poor. The proposed development offers little greenspace. The proposed development shows some area landscaped with grass. There should be a greater area of greenspace, less concrete/cobbles and more grass, shrubs and trees to enhance biodiversity in the local area. The current landscaping proposals are not acceptable. The proposed development offers no community benefit to local residents. The proposed development offers no community benefit to the local residents. It offers only negatives and dis-benefits including noise, light pollution, loss of privacy, increase congestion, disruption during demolition and construction, increased urbanisation, loss of greenspace, overpopulation by a student population, pressures on local services etc. Alternative developments in the area which would enhance the local area and benefit the local community could include a low level community centre for use during the day with community allotments and a park or greenspace. This area should be developed

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into a greenspace for the community and should not be further built upon adding to an already urbanised and overpopulated area. The local area should be preserved as a nice place to live with greenspace and space to enjoy, not overly concreted and urbanised with people living on top of each other and no space.

5. The Planning Application Several documents submitted with the planning application make unfounded claims:

a new use on this site would be welcome welcome by who? The developer and architect who would make a lot of money from the development. It is not welcomed by the local residents who would suffer from the development. o would enhance the area for the local community how exactly? There seems to several things about the proposed development which would not enhance the local area such as 155 extra people in the area, noise, waste, light pollution, loss of privacy etc. o unsafe - this makes reference to the existing site it is not unsafe for local residents, the existing site is gated and locked and inaccessible. At present it is not unsafe. o only viable option the proposed development is not the only viable option for the use of the land. The area could be redeveloped into many uses and as noted above, the area could be developed for community use to enhance the local area, create more greenspace and outdoor space, and benefit several residents. o considerable improvement to their existing situation the proposed development will not considerably improve the existing situation for local residents. The area will become a demolition/construction site for some 2 years and the operation of the finished development will result in noise, overpopulation of the area, loss of privacy, congestion etc etc

The effects on local residents (some 250 + in the tenement block surrounding the proposal) of this proposed development have clearly not been considered. The effects of some 2 years demolition and construction activities and once the out of character, large, ugly and unsustainable student flats are operational the effects of living with 155 additional residents in our backyard will turn an existing quiet area into an overpopulated noisy area with light pollution, loss of privacy, increased parking problems and congestion and loss of greenspace. My quality of life will be lowered as will the value of my property. I strongly object to these proposals for the reasons noted above. Yours sincerely

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