Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of Meeting held on

Monday 24th April 2017 at 8.00pm

in The Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit

1. Present: Pam Lucas (Chair), John Duncan, Ken Fraser, Fiona Urquhart (Planning Secretary), Peter MacDonald, David Fraser, and Val Cooper (Secretary)

Also present: PC Ryan McGill, Police Scotland, Councillor Margaret Davidson and 4 members of the public.  

Apologies: Stuart Ross and Councillors Helen Carmichael and Jean Davis.  

2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 27th March 2017 were adopted as a correct record (David Fraser / Peter Macdonald)

3. Matters arising from minutes

No matters arising not already covered in the agenda.

4. Treasurer’s Report

Peter Macdonald reported that the balance remains at £1815.86, no transactions have been made since the last meeting.  

5. Policing Update

PC Ryan McGill was welcomed to the meeting and provided the following report:

Road Safety – There has been 2 drivers issued conditional offers for speeding offences; 1 injury road traffic collision with enquiries ongoing; 1 injury road traffic collision during etape cycling event, enquiries ongoing; 5 non injury road traffic collisions with no offences; 1 report of careless driving with enquiries ongoing; numerous reports of driving behaviour with some drivers traced and spoken to.   

Public Protection – Enquiry ongoing at Glen Urquhart schools.  Report of suspicious person, traced, spoken to and no concerns.  2 Reports of concerns for persons, both traced safe and well.

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – No incidents of note.

Crimes of Dishonesty – 1 report of vandalism in Drumnadrochit not connected to youths.

Since the last meeting youths in the high school and outwith have been spoken to regarding ongoing incidents of vandalism and antisocial behaviour, since then there have been no reported incidents, however, the longer term issue of a dedicated youth club / centre still requires to be addressed.

With the approach of the tourist season increased visits have been made to local licensed premises.

Members of GUCC are encouraged to contact PC McGill by 101 or by email to report any non-urgent issues of concern over the coming months when the local officers will inevitably be busier with road traffic and tourist related incidents.

6. & 7.  Supported Housing and Loch Ness Homes

It was noted that Albyn Housing and the Highland Housing Alliance had held an exhibition and information drop in session at the Craigmonie Centre and this had been attended by some members of the public.  Arrangements had been made for representatives from these organisations to attend the GUCC meeting but this had not come to fruition and it was hoped that they would attend a meeting in August or September instead once proposals are more advanced.  A number of information leaflets regarding mid-market rent initiatives and the purchasing of equity in a property were available for distribution.

David Fraser advised that markings for the new roundabout had been set out and Compass planned to set up their construction compound in late August with an anticipated start date in early September.  Planning permission for the new supermarket was expected imminently and it was understood that the shop needs to be constructed prior to new residents moving into the housing development.  Work on the houses is likely to start in October with an anticipated entry date of autumn 2018.  Permission for demolition of the old surgery building had been approved and construction of the new development in that area would commence thereafter.  

David Fraser and Gordon Watson had met with Loch Ness Homes representatives to discuss options for the green spaces within the development.   An area of allotments may be a potential option for the development and community interest in this was currently being gauged.  The parkland area will also include a pond which forms part of the system for dealing with surface water from the development, this is called a SUDS scheme (sustainable urban drainage system).  This is a natural approach to managing drainage in and around properties and other developments. SUDS work by slowing and holding back the water that runs off from a site, allowing natural processes to break down pollutants.  This area will not be included in any area of ground the community take over, and the community will have no responsibility for its maintenance.  

In terms of community ownership of the green space, 2 models were suggested to Loch Ness Homes, one being a large dowry, which was rejected, or a scheme whereby Loch Ness Homes set up the factoring and establish green areas and at a time after the last house is completed the community take over the parkland along with a regular income from a proportion of the factoring.  Loch Ness Homes are to provide details of the income and maintenance costs.  

The issue of a Youth Club facility was also raised, and the plans now show a possible location, (near the A82, beside Café 82), this will not be included in the planning application at this stage, and is only one of several sites that the community may wish to consider.  At this point Fiona Urquhart advised that the Hall Committee were currently reviewing their plans for the new hall development and were considering the option of including a youth space as part of this.  GUCC were very pleased to note the positivity and willingness of the community in addressing the issue of providing an area for a youth club.  Margaret Davidson also advised that she had discussed the issue with Brenda Seatter, the local Youth Development Officer who was keen to involve teenagers in the consultation, fund raising and decision making processes.

8.  Renewables

Public Inquiries – Druim Bha and Cnoc an Eas – Outcome of the Cnoc an Eas inquiry awaited.  Druim Bha inquiry to commence next week.  

Following an initial meeting with Strathglass Community Council in May 2016 to discuss the flow of information between Soirbheas and the local community councils, a follow up meeting had never been set, due to other pressures. In order to progress this issue, it was agreed that GUCC and Strathglass CC need to agree the details of the information they would request from Soirbheas.  It was felt to be important to try to restrict the requests for information which Soirbheas already holds and which can readily be made available providing greater clarity without creating significant additional administrative work.  Pam Lucas and Fiona Urquhart would meet with representatives from Strathglass CC to reach agreement for a proposal to Soirbheas.  Action – Pam Lucas / Fiona Urquhart

9. Planning Applications

17/01291/FUL – Erect dwelling, Glenview, Rychraggan, Drumnadrochit – noted

17/01318/FUL – Erect garage with guest accommodation, Marchwood, Balnain, Glen Urquhart – noted

17/01635/FUL – Proposed Jacobite Cruises operating base comprising harbour / berthing and visitor centre including restaurant, retail facilities and office accommodation (Renewal of 14/01559/FUL) – it was agreed to submit a note requesting that all existing planning conditions are retained, particularly those relating to road safety.  Action – Fiona Urquhart

10. Correspondence

Inverness Area Community Council Forum – 6.30pm on 27th April in the Town House, Inverness – any GUCC members wishing to attend were invited to do so.

11. Any Other Business

Pelican Crossing – Pedestrian lights not yet in operation at the new crossing outside Fiddlers restaurant, this was causing confusion for motorists and pedestrians. Action – Margaret Davidson

Glenurquhart Care Project – David Fraser advised that a grant of £910 from the 5p bag charge had been received from the co-op, this was being used to transport centre users for shopping / pharmacy etc errands.  This service used to be covered by NHS payments but this was no longer the case and this grant was a very welcome addition to the Care Project.  There was also the opportunity to receive an additional 1% funding from any local co-op members who link their account to the Glenurquhart Care Project.

A831 – Members were concerned that the condition of the A831 was particularly dangerous in places where HGVs had damaged the verges and caused large ruts along the roadside.  Margaret Davidson advised that the road was currently being scoped for permanent improvements however requested that John Duncan provide details of the worst areas for temporary repair.  Action – John Duncan / Margaret Davidson   

Local Bus Timetables – It was noted that there had been a number of changes to local bus timetables and members of the community who rely on bus transport are advised to check new timetables.  An improved service was anticipated since D&E coaches had won the contract for a number of routes.  

12. Details of Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 22nd May, 8.00pm in Balnain Hall.

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.15pm.