Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Inaugural Meeting held on
Monday 23rd November 2015 at 8.00pm

Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit

1. Present: Pam Lucas, Peter MacDonald, Ken Fraser, John Duncan, Fiona Urquhart, Dick Beach, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Dan Luscombe, Margaret Luscombe, Cliff Green, PC Euan Murray and Val Cooper (Secretary).

Apologies: David Fraser and Cllrs Helen Carmichael and Jean Davis.

Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed everyone to the meeting and congratulated those who had been elected as members of the newly constituted Glen Urquhart Community Council.  

2.  Call for nominations for the appointment of Chair

Pam Lucas, nominated by Ken Fraser, seconded by Fiona Urquhart.  Pam accepted this position, thanks were passed to Pam for accepting this position and for all the work she had undertaken in her role as chair in the past.  

3. Handover to duly elected Chairperson

a. Call for nominations for appointment of Vice Chair – Ken Fraser (nominated by John Duncan / seconded by Peter Macdonald)

b. Call for nominations for appointment of Secretary – n/a Val Cooper undertakes the role of Secretary as a non-member of GUCC.

c. Call for nominations for appointment of Treasurer – Peter Macdonald (nominated by Ken Fraser / seconded by Fiona Urquhart)

4. Set the date / time of the next meeting

Establishment meeting concluded and there then followed a routine meeting of GUCC.

1. Present & Apologies

As above.

2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minute of the meeting held on 26th October were adopted as a correct record (John Duncan / Ken Fraser)

3. Matters arising from minutes

There were no matters arising which would not be covered by the agenda.

4. Treasurer’s Report

Peter Macdonald advised that an audit fee of £30 had been paid and the Highland Council grant of £1419.03 had been received.  The balance currently stands at £2260.18.

5. Policing Update

PC Euan Murray, the new permanent officer based at Fort Augustus, was welcomed to the meeting and provided the following report:

Road Safety – As part of Operation Route, 4 fixed penalty tickets were issued for various offences.  There were 2 non injury road traffic collisions and one slight injury collision.  One person had been reported for drink driving.  There had been an increase in issues of debris on local roads as is expected at this time of year, plus one incident of a car hitting a deer.  

Public Protection – There is a growing concern about driving around the two schools in Drumnadrochit at the start and end of the school day.  This is to be addressed by an increased Police presence where possible at these times.  

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – There have been a couple of instances of alcohol related vandalism in the area and one drink driving offence.

Crimes of Dishonesty – Thefts of note relating to the highly publicised incidents where plant machinery had been taken from wind farm and hydro sites resulting in arrests of individuals from an organised Eastern European group.  

It was noted that some instances of unauthorised entry had taken place at the new Medical Centre, however the facility was now alarmed and would shortly be occupied which it was hoped would deter any further instances.

GUCC were pleased to note the full quota of permanent officers now based in the area and thanked PC Murray for his attendance and report to the meeting.

6. Renewable Energy

Pam Lucas advised that there was two weeks remaining in which to respond to the Highland Council consultation on the Local Draft Plan which included Highland Wide Local Development Plan – Main Issues Report, Local Housing Strategy, and Draft Onshore Wind Energy Supplementary Guidance.  David Fraser and Pam Lucas would be drafting a response on behalf of GUCC.  It was requested that the response made includes reference to the proximity to houses for Wind Farms. Action – Pam Lucas & David Fraser

Cnoc an Eas -  It was noted that the planners were currently awaiting an addendum from the developer, the content of this was unknown at present, however the decision making had now been postponed until February / March.

Druim Ba – Documentation relating to the re-submitted Druim Ba had been received, with a deadline for responses by 4th December.  It was agreed that Pam Lucas would draft an objection which would be circulated around GUCC members for comment.  Action – Pam Lucas

7. Flooding

Kilmichael – Margaret Davidson advised that she would try and get an update on plans for Kilmichael flood prevention before Christmas.  Action – Margaret Davidson

Balmacaan – Margaret Davidson reported that John Cameron and Kenny Carmichael had met to discuss the issue and planned works to construct a bund above Balmacaan which would divert run off in to an existing pond.  Members were concerned that the capacity of the pond was not sufficient to hold the amount of run off from the hill and suggested that an open drain connected to the underground drain behind Duncan MacDonald’s house might be a better solution.  Margaret Davidson advised that she would request diagrams for the current proposal.  Action – Margaret Davidson

8. Roads

A82 – No progress has been made regarding a reduction of the speed limit through the village and past the new Medical Centre.  

A833 – Margaret Davidson advised that following further discussion of the revised gritting schedule due to budget cuts, Rychraggan and Achtemarack, Balbeg and Shenval had been reinstated in the schedule as secondary routes.  The other roads, Torcroft, Upperton and Buntait would be treated thereafter if there was no pressure on the machines to be elsewhere.  It was accepted that this was not an ideal situation and every effort was being made to provide as good a service as possible resulting from the budget cuts.  Members of the public were asked to contact Margaret Davidson with any information and concerns as soon as they arise.  It was noted that piles of grit and salt had been left in a number of sites along local minor roads for residents to use as required. Comment was made that the drop sites had been well chosen with regard to areas known to become icy.

9. Loch Ness Homes / Drumnadrochit Medical Centre / Amenity Housing

Loch Ness Homes – no update, Loch Ness Homes are still in discussion with Transport Scotland regarding the construction of a roundabout on the A82 for access to their development and to the Medical Centre.

Drumnadrochit Medical Centre – the official opening was scheduled for Friday 11th December, Pam Lucas and David Fraser would be attending on behalf of GUCC.  

Amenity Housing – A decision on the business case proposal for amenity housing was expected in early December.  

10. Planning Applications

15/03998/FUL – The construction and operation of a wind farm with a total installed capacity of up to 30 MW, comprising 10 turbines each with a maximum tip height of 126m and internal transformers, together with associated infrastructure including a new vehicular access onto the A833 public road; a permanent anemometer mast (100m); access tracks (9.5km, of which 3.2km will be new); crane hard standings for each turbine; an electricity substation and control building; control, telecom and electrical cabling and ducts; a borrow pit, a temporary on-site concrete batching plant; a temporary construction compound (Druim Ba Wind Farm) Land 1810m south of Blairmore Farm Kiltarlity – objection letter to be submitted.

15/03890/FUL – Erection of new boathouse / launch slipway and crew facility.  Land 150m west of Temple Pier West Drumnadrochit – it was noted that fuel was being stored within the building and members were concerned of the safety issues involved.  John Duncan advised that he would seek further information / clarification.  Action – John Duncan

15/03982/LBC – Alterations Kilmartin Hall, Glen Urquhart, IV63 6TN – noted.

11. Correspondence

- Scottish Natural Heritage quarterly magazine – passed to John Duncan

- Glen Urquhart Care Project – Open Annual Meeting and AGM, Wednesday 9th December – Pam Lucas and Peter Macdonald attending

12. Any Other Business

Community Website – Members discussed the ongoing need for a community information website.  Dan Luscombe had offered to construct a site for GUCC and this offer was accepted.  The GUCC site would include details relating to GUCC only, it was agreed that information on local events, links to other local organisations etc would not be included.  A community website was still very much required and Margaret Davidson advised that the Chamber of Commerce had funding for this.  It was hoped therefore that the Chamber would use the funds available to appoint someone to a part time position for this role.

Community Council Membership – it was noted that GUCC could appoint up to 9 members, currently 5 members were appointed and GUCC would warmly welcome and other individuals from the community who would like to be involved.

13. Details of Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 25th January in the Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit

Pam Lucas thanked those present for their contributions and wished everyone a Happy Christmas.  There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.45pm.