Questions raised for Seafield House developer, Robin Ghosh, Director, econstruct design & build, post 5th FoSH AGM

Questions were raised for Seafield House developer, Robin Ghosh, Director, econstruct design & build, in the discussion post 5th AGM of 14 May 2018. Put to him by letter from the FoSH Chair on 23.05.18. Answers received from him by email 3.09.18:

At the public exhibition, the developer did not make absolutely clear that SH would be conserved and converted into apartments in the first phase of the development. This is the agreed FoSH position and was agreed by those present at the AGM.
Q. Will the developer confirm that SH will be conserved and converted into apartments in the first phase?
A. I can confirm that it is our intention, and this is proposed as part of our panning submission, to restore and convert Seafield House into apartments immediately on receipt of planning approval as part of the initial stage of works on site.

On the developer’s drawings, the lane from Seafield Crescent into the SH grounds is shown as pedestrian, however the lane provides road access to adjacent houses.
Q. When will the error of the lane showing as pedestrian only be corrected?
A.It is not our intention to use the land noted on the proposed site plan leading to and from Seafield Crescent as a means of vehicular access to the Seafield site. This will be part of the proposed pedestrian link from the site to the surrounding area. It is noted that this land is currently used as a secondary vehicular access to adjoining properties. I can confirm it is also not our intention to change this situation and such properties will still be afforded access however this route will be predominantly to encourage pedestrian movements.

The Fort, Seafield & Wallacetown Community Council (FSWCC) has written on more than one occasion to the developer asking for clarification on ownership of the SH boundary wall. To date there has been no reply.
Q. When will the developer respond to FSWCC?
In terms of the site boundary wall, I can confirm this falls within the ownership of Econstruct. It is not our intention to alter the wall other than at the proposed new access point with Doonfoot Road. The remaining wall be checked and repaired where required.

Queries also were put on the listed status of the boundary wall.
Q. Will the developer now confirm its understanding of the listing status?
It is our understanding and interpretation that the wall forms part of the listed status of Seafield House.

A number of questions arose on the tree belt with concern expressed on the extent of loss proposed.
Q. Will the developer now confirm the extend of its proposal for tree removal?
In terms of the existing trees within the site, we have undertaken a detailed tree survey of all trees and groupings. In order to facilitate the new residential development many trees within the grounds are proposed for removal. However the tree survey makes reference to the quality of the existing tree planting scheme and with a lack of maintenance over the years and the self-seeding nature of many of the trees, the general health of much of the tree grouping is not great. All trees to the south of Seafield House (front area) are proposed for retention along with groupings to the perimeter of the site. As part of the application submission a landscape architect has been appointed to design an extensive mature planting scheme for the redeveloped site.

Also on the tree belt, the maintenance of which has been lacking since econstruct took on ownership.
Q. Will the developer confirm when tree maintenance will commence?
Some minor tree works have been undertaken to help with overhanging branches to some properties along Seafield Crescent. On receipt of planning approval tree work will commence within the site including a management scheme and pruning of those trees remaining. Further extensive management and maintenance will be agreed and in place for the enhanced landscaping scheme and in place for the completion of the development.

It was noted that despite a commitment in publicly-available pre-planning communications with South Ayrshire Council, the developer has not attended FoSH AGMs.
Q. Will econstruct – with its joint-venture partner CALA Homes – communicate directly their plans with FoSH before submission of their planning application?
I can confirm that I will make arrangements to meet with FoSH prior to the formal planning submission to present the proposed scheme and discuss our proposal in more detail. A date for this can be arranged. *

*This date has now been arranged. The FoSH Committee will meet Robin Ghosh on
4 October. An update will be posted on our website and communicated by email to our mailing list shortly afterwards.