Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minute of Meeting held on

Monday 22nd August 2016 at 8.00pm

in Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit

1. Present: Pam Lucas (Chairman), Fiona Urquhart (Planning Secretary), Peter MacDonald (Treasurer), David Fraser (Vice Chairman), Stuart Ross, Ken Fraser, John Duncan, and Val Cooper (Secretary)

Also present: Councillors Margaret Davidson and Jean Davies, Constable Aros Matheson, (Police Scotland), Cliff Green, Donna Green, Dan Luscombe and Margaret Luscombe, (STAG), Carol Masheter (Soirbheas), Jayson Drummond, Sam Hesling and Rob Smith (Green Highland), Richard Haworth (Glen Hydro), Iain Brown (FCS) and 1 member of the public.  

Apologies: Councillor Helen Carmichael, and Gillian Skinner.

2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the AGM and routine meeting held on 27th June 2016 were both adopted as a correct record (Fiona Urquhart / Ken Fraser)

3. Matters arising from minutes

No items not already covered by the agenda.

4. Treasurer’s Report

Peter MacDonald reported that the balance stands at £2731.83.  Since the last meeting £10 had been paid in hall rent, and following submission of the annual audited accounts for the last financial year, the Highland Council grant of £1312.26 had been received.  The audit fee has yet to be paid.

5. Policing Update

Constable Aros Matheson was welcomed to the meeting and provided the following report:

Road Safety – There have been no serious accidents but a number of reports of poor driver behaviour as expected in the tourist season.  One report of road rage.  Two fixed penalty tickets have been issued.

Public Protection – No incidents of note.

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – No incidents of note.

Crimes of Dishonesty – There have been three crimes of dishonesty.

Constable Matheson was thanked for attending the meeting.

6. Renewables

Hydro Projects – Presentation by Green Highland / Glen Hydro / FCS

Copies of the presentations for each of the developments are attached to the minute for information.

Corrimony Reserve Scheme and Corrimony Farm Scheme (presentation by Richard Haworth, Glen Hydro (on behalf of DHG Hydro)

Shared grid connection with Shenval development

Reserve scheme – single intake, land owned by RSPB and Girvan family, existing access to be used.

Farm scheme – 2 intakes, land owned by Girvan family, existing wind farm road used as access.

Both schemes have full planning consent.

The adjacent quarry (with nearby badger set) would not be used.

Confirmation of the revised route for the right of way footpath to be provided to GUCC.

DHG to provide GUCC with information on the community benefit from these schemes.

Alt Seanabhaile Hydro Scheme at Shenval (presentation by Sam Hesling, Green Highland, with Iain Brown, FCS

Tree harvesting to commence 29th August

Completion of development Autumn 2017

Grid connection cabling commencing February 2017 (10.5km underground – combined with Corrimony developments) and runs through until commissioning

Noise restrictions in place, no Sunday or bank holiday working, and no working outwith 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm Saturday.

Construction traffic to enter and leave site via A831 into Shenval and accessing site via forestry track.

Local diversion tracks and signage will be in place.  Temporary closure of the high level core path will be required.

Contruction traffic to avoid A831 during school opening / closing times and additional times where pupils cross the road to Balnain Hall (Times to be confirmed – Action – Stuart Ross)

Tilhill Forestry contractor for timber extraction (1750 tonnes / 73 lorry loads) 75-80% will be removed to Inverness via Cannich / Struy (also an approved timber transport route and the same restrictions to transport times will apply to Cannich as to Balnain)

Information sheet and contact information to be provided to Shenval residents.

River Coiltie Hydro Development (presentation by Rob Smith, Green Highland)

2 intakes, above ground power house and one outfall.

Existing Scottish Water weir to be removed during construction.

£10k per year community benefit.

Work commencing mid-September 2016.

Top end of site and majority of construction traffic accessing via existing forestry track via A831 at Balnain.

Connection to grid and commissioning end of 2017.

All timber extracted to be transported out through the forestry and onto A831 at Balnain.  12 loads (maximum) will require to be extracted and transported down Balmacaan Road.  GUCC agreed that residents in Balmacaan be contacted regarding the best time for removal of this timber.

Existing FCS quarry to be used.

Tilhill Forestry contractor (3000 tonnes / 125 lorry loads) 60% to Inverness and 40% to Fort William via A831 and A82.  

General Comments / Actions

Transport management plan with timeline of HGV activity for all schemes to be provided to GUCC.

Confirmation of the revised route for the right of way footpath at Corrimony to be provided to GUCC.

DHG to provide GUCC with details of community benefit from the Corrimony schemes.

Construction traffic timing restrictions (to avoid school activity) to be confirmed by Stuart Ross and Carol Masheter.

Green Highland to work with Balmacaan residents re timings for removal of 12 lorry loads of timber.

Thanks were passed to the representatives for their attendance and the information provided to GUCC.

Cnoc an Eas – Appeal lodged by the developer and comments to this had been submitted by GUCC.  Frustrations were being encountered by a lack of communication and it was suggested that this may be due to a lack of resources at reporter level within the DPEA.  There remained a concern that the Cnoc an Eas proposal might be joined with the Druim Ba proposal for consideration by the Scottish Government.  Conversations had taken place between STAG and  Kate Forbes, SNP MSP and it was hoped that a local meeting could be set up with her, STAG members and GUCC members, Pam Lucas advised that she would pursue a date for this.  Action – Pam Lucas

Druim Ba – No further information at present.

Soirbheas – Carol Masheter advised that Soirbheas were still in discussions with Green Highland regarding the Shenval hydro development.  GUCC were in agreement that clarification was required from Strathglass Community Council in relation to the rulings applied for the distribution of community benefit from local developments.  If payments from developments in the Strathglass area are being paid only to Strathglass then a similar system should apply for the Glen Urquhart area.  Pam Lucas advised that she would contact Strathglass CC for clarification.  Action – Pam Lucas

Construction Traffic – Margaret Davidson advised that the increased lorry activity on the A831 had been transporting rock from Tomich to Glen Moriston where pylon re-stringing work was taking place.  This activity had now ceased whilst a retrospective planning application is processed. While it had been a legitimate activity the unintended knock-on effects to communities should be taken into consideration whenever applications are made.


7. Flooding / Roads

David Fraser provided the following update on flooding developments:

Main Scheme for Drumnadrochit Village – Funding had been agreed with additional monies secured from the Scottish Government.  A consultant had been appointed, the consultation, design and tender schedule had been agreed and it was anticipated that construction would commence in 2018.

Kilmichael – A contractor had been appointed, finance secured and a SEPA license provided for the removal of stone for this year and next year if necessary.  It was intended to lower the level of the river, and open up an old tributary to act as a relief for any overflow.  Land access permission had been received from one landowner but was awaited from the second, this was currently being pursued and would be progressed by Margaret Davidson if necessary.  It was anticipated that work would commence in September and be completed by October.

Balmacaan – The preferred solution for the flooding at Balmacaan was to use the old pond to catch the water, allowing it to percolate naturally, with a valve for the relief of excess water.  Permission had been received from the Woodland Trust, and all but one household.  Margaret Davidson and David Fraser would be visiting this resident to advise of the importance of resolving this situation for the benefit of all those living in Balmacaan and Lewiston.

Thanks were passed to David Fraser for all his work in pursuing these resolutions.

A82 –  Some repair work had been undertaken but further work was required.

A831 – Ongoing issues with potholes and verges / vegetation.

8. Cnocan Burraidh

David Fraser advised that he had made contact with the Grant family, who own the Cnocan Burraidh site, and who are also pursuing restoration of the area.  The site has been cleared in order to make an assessment of the work required, Historic Environment Scotland had been contacted for advice, and funding of over £10k had been secured along with pledges from the Grant family and their associated regiment for the repair work.  Documented evidence of those buried there had been recovered from the National Library of Scotland.  Further discussions would be taking place prior to the commencement of work on site.  GUCC passed on their thanks to David for the time he had taken to investigate this and progress the approval for restoration.

9. Loch Ness Homes

A public exhibition was scheduled for 3pm to 8pm on Tuesday 30th August in Blairbeg Hall.

10. Supported Housing

David Fraser confirmed that the Glen Urquhart Centre now own the land for the construction of 12 supported houses, the spec for the houses was yet to be decided but it was anticipated that these would be constructed as one development with a planning application submitted later in the year.  Further details for these would be available at the public exhibition on 30th August and input from the community was needed to help establish exactly what would be required in terms of use and specification.

11. Planning Applications

16/03185/FUL – Erection of dwelling house and garage, land 50m east of Drumalin, Balnain, Drumnadrochit – noted

16/03308/FUL – Revised design of extension (14/03883/FUL) Fir Tree Cottage, Balnain – noted

16/03410/FUL – Erection of house and associated buildings (log store, timber shed and steel portal shed) Wester Kilmartin, Glen Urquhart, Drumnadrochit – further information regarding commercial use / purpose of sheds required – Action – Fiona Urquhart

16/03454/FUL – Erect extension lower chalet No 9 Achmony Wood, Drumnadrochit – noted

16/03580/FUL- Amendment to increase footprint, change in timber cladding to harling, and revised roof arrangement Millness Croft, Glen Urquhart – noted

16/03531/FUL – Erect extension upper Chalet No 9 Achmony Wood, Drumnadrochit – noted

16/03729/FUL – Amended design (planning permission 15/02595/FUL) land at Corbay Wood, Glen Coiltie, Drumnadrochit – noted

12. Correspondence

No items of correspondence.

13. Any Other Business

Members of GUCC met in private following the meeting to consider a request for a funding contribution from GUCC to STAG.  It was agreed that £100 be provided.  Action – Peter MacDonald

14. Details of Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 26th September at 8.00pm in Balnain Hall.   

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 10.00pm.