Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of Meeting held on

Monday 27th November 2017 at 8.00pm

in Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit

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

Also present: Councillor George Cruickshank, PC Ryan McGill, Police Scotland, Donnie Fraser with 3 representatives from Springfield Ltd, and 3 members of the public.  

Apologies: Stuart Ross, Councillors Margaret Davidson and Helen Carmichael, Gillian Skinner.

2. Minutes of the last meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 23rd October 2017 were approved as a correct record (Frances Colbron / John Duncan)

3. Matters arising from minutes

Item 13 – Rural Communities Convention – members of GUCC had attended and found the event useful.

Item 13 – Tourist Information Centre – Pam Lucas advised that she and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce had met with Margaret Davidson and Chris Taylor from Visit Scotland to discuss the closure of the Tourist Information Centre.  It was agreed that representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and GURCA would be pursuing this and considering alternative uses for the building which it was hoped would retain a tourist information element.  The building will continue to run in its present form until October 2018

4. Treasurer’s Report

Peter Macdonald reported that the balance stands at £2983.73.  A payment of £7.50 for hall rent had been made since the last meeting.  

5. Policing Update

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

Road Safety – 4 non injury road traffic collisions, no offences.  11 reports regarding driver behaviour, some drivers traced and given advice.  3 vehicle breakdowns, 3 road traffic hazards.  Road traffic offences, 23 x speeding, 2 x no insurance, 2 x no MOT.  

Public Protection – 1 report of vandalism, 1 report of an ongoing disturbance – police attended and one person arrested and charged.  1 report regarding a concern for a person, traced safe and well.  

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – no incidents of note.

Crimes of Dishonesty – 2 reports of theft in the area, enquiries ongoing.  1 report of theft by housebreaking, enquiries ongoing.  Police provided advice / assistance to members of the public for all other incidents.  

During the period the Road Traffic Department had carried out a number of proactive checks along the A831 and A82, these included winter safety checks, advice to drivers and speed checks.

There have been a number of thefts and dishonesties reported specifically in the Drumnadrochit and Fort Augustus areas and member of the public are reminded to ensure their doors and locked and properties are secured.

The vacant position for a Police Constable in Fort Augustus remains unfilled and Police Scotland are looking into alternative ways of covering this shortfall.

6. Springfield Ltd – Presentation on Proposed Residential Development in Drumnadrochit

Stuart Morrison, Kenny Shand and Mark Hamilton from Springfield Ltd were welcomed to the meeting and provided the following information:

- Proposal for application notice submitted for housing development (115 units) in the field area between Kilmore Road and the Fire Station.

- Proposal includes a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom flats, bungalows and houses, comprising both private and affordable housing, the ratio has yet to be decided. The developer will work with Highland Council Housing Team and Registered Social Landlords (eg Albyn and Cairn) to establish demand in the area.

- Traffic studies undertaken and report awaited.  The results of this will influence discussion of access directly on to the A82.  It was noted that transport on Kilmore Road and access to the A82 was already a concern to the community.

- The development will have a green link running through it, and include a park / amenity space.  Upkeep of greenspace would be by standard factoring arrangement which has proved successful on other Springfield developments.

- A strip of land alongside the A82 would be kept separate from the housing development as per Highland Council stipulation.

- It was noted that the rate of build for any new development would be staged and in line with the community wishes to ensure new residents are integrated into the existing community.

- The developer will propose a heating system for the whole development, which is likely to be either gas or air source heat pump, at the point of installation.  Thereafter residents can change provider / system as they so wish.

- Public exhibition / drop in session to be held from 2pm to 8pm in Blairbeg Hall on 5th December.  Members of the community are encouraged to attend this session.  This has been advertised in the local press and it was agreed that Springfield Ltd should post flyers to each of the residents along Kilmore Road adjacent to the proposed development.  The event notice would also be emailed to Pam for circulation and display on local noticeboards and Facebook.  Springfield Ltd advised that they would be happy to attend a GUCC meeting after the drop in session to discuss any issues and updates arising from this.

- The official consultation period runs from 5th to 26th December, this has been extended until 5th January and the developer advised that in reality the application is unlikely to be submitted until February and they would welcome comments from the community at any point until then.  GUCC would hope to have a public meeting and details for this will be advertised.

GUCC reiterated that this is a very proactive community and they would hope to engage as much as possible with Springfield Ltd, with open dialogue and regular updates.   The representatives were thanked for their attendance and presentation of the proposed development.

7. Flood Prevention Project

It was noted that the Highland Council proposal for works to the Balmacaan Road surface flooding issue had been rejected by residents and would not now go ahead.  No alternative solutions or funding was available for this area.

A public exhibition had taken place for the main scheme (1 in 200 yr protection scheme for Drumnadrochit Green and 1 in 10 yr protection scheme for Kilmichael area) had taken place.  It was anticipated that these schemes would be submitted for planning next year with work proceeding in 2019.

8. Loch Ness Homes

The turf cutting ceremony had taken place and work was progressing on the road / roundabout.  Highland Council had noted concern regarding the number of parking spaces associated with the new retail site and may implement a charge per shortfall in spaces to be used to fund car parking, signage and sustainable transport within the village, this was an issue that GUCC would keep a note on.  

9. Supported Housing

David Fraser advised that the access road was being constructed alongside the Glenurquhart Centre at present.  The car park would be reinstated once this was complete and work would stop until late spring at which point it was hoped all the funding would be in place.  

10. Renewables

COBEN - John Duncan advised that he and Frances Colbron had attended a meeting for the COBEN project which was a European and Scottish Government project for Northern European countries to develop local energy plans using existing data plus information gathered at community consultations.  A Steering Group was being set up and both John and Frances would represent GUCC on this.  

Soirbheas – It was noted that meetings had taken place between Soirbheas, GUCC and Strathglass Community Council.  It had been agreed that in the event of communities objecting to planning applications Soirbheas would not proceed beyond agreeing with the developer the statutory minimum amount of community benefit payments in line with Highland Council guidance.  Communications would not progress further until Community Councils have indicated support.  Further discussion was required by the group to establish what would happen in a situation where one Community Council might be in favour of a development while the other is not.

11. Roads

Following the recent spell of wintery weather concerns were noted at the lack of road and footpath snow clearing and gritting.  It was agreed that Pam Lucas would contact Highland Council to request information on the current policy for the area.  In addition it was agreed that a request be made to Highland Council for grit piles to be placed in key areas on side roads.  Action – Pam Lucas and George Cruickshank

12. Planning Applications

17/04952/FUL – Alterations and extension to dwelling and erection of detached home office Riverview, Lewiston - noted

17/04341/FUL – Erection of conservatory to front of house Stags Den, Kilmartin – noted

17/04964/FUL – Erect detached garage and outbuilding Lower Balnaban, Drumnadrochit – noted

17/05008/FUL – Erection of house, formation of access, installation of treatment plant and soakaway Taigh Geal, Bunloit  – note already sent to Planning Department re loss of existing layby and hinterland.

17/05115/FUL – Erection of extension 132C Balmacaan Road, Drumnadrochit - noted

13. Correspondence

None received.

14. Any Other Business

14.1 Glen Urquhart Signage – It was noted that David Fraser and Ken Fraser would decide on locations for signs and advise Highland Council. Action – Ken Fraser and David Fraser

14.2 Drumnadrochit  Bridge – David Fraser advised that he hoped to be able to provide an update on the Drum Bridge signage at the January GUCC meeting.

14.3 Informal Road Signs – It was noted that informal B&B signs for Highmarch had been placed on the A831 for a number of weeks and it was agreed that clarification be sought from Highland Council with regards to the approval of these.  Action – Fiona Urquhart

14.4 Kilmore Road Speed Limit – It was noted that Margaret Davidson was pursuing a request for a reduced speed limit in the Kilmore Road area.

15. Details of Next Meeting

The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 22nd January, 8.00pm in the Craigmonie Centre.  2018 meeting dates have been confirmed as below.  Pam Lucas thanked members for all their support over the year and wished everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Monday 26th February Balnain Hall

Monday 26th March   Blairbeg Hall

Monday 23rd April  Craigmonie Centre

Monday 28th May  Balnain Hall

Monday 25th June  Blairbeg Hall

July    no meeting

Monday 27th August  Craigmonie Centre

Monday 24th September  Balnain Hall

Monday 22nd October Blairbeg Hall

Monday 26th November Craigmonie Centre

December    no meeting

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.35pm.