The committee looked at three new planning applications. Two of these were for 6-8 Market Street – the site immediately west of the City Art Centre. The applications are to redevelop this with a seven-storey hotel with commercial use on the ground floor. We plan to comment on, rather than object to, this application. We would be pleased to see this site used and some aspects of the proposal are sympathetic to the surroundings, but others aren't and it is disappointing that there is no residential provision. The third application was for the Police Call Box in West Bow to be converted into a kiosk selling locally produced ice cream. The Committee agreed that this deserved support.
We were pleased to note that an application for change of use for 9 Victoria Street (the former Kushi's, once Byzantium and originally St John's Church) was turned down with strongly worded adverse comments in the Council Officers' report.
The Committee spent some time considering whether we had any proposals to put to Historic Scotland in their annual hunt for commemorative plaque nominations. Now in its third year, the plaque scheme celebrates the life and achievements of significant persons from all walks of life, by placing a plaque on their home or a building that's particularly associated with them. The criteria for nominees are that they should: have been dead for at least 20 years and also have passed the centenary of their birth; be closely associated with a building in Scotland that is still standing – this could be a home or any other type of building; have made a significant contribution to any aspect of life in Scotland. The Committee could not come up with any suitable suggestions but it is open to anyone to make a nomination. The closing date for this year's nominations is 31 January 2015. Nominations can be made online through the Historic Scotland website.