Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of Meeting held on

Monday 26th August 2019 at 8.00pm

in the Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit

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

Also present: Councillor Margaret Davidson and 38 members of the public.  

Apologies:  Councillors George Cruickshank and Helen Carmichael, Ken Fraser, Stuart Ross, Alene Campbell & David Ferguson.

           Chairing duties are currently being shared between Pam Lucas and David Fraser.

           2. Minutes of the AGM and Routine Meeting

          The minutes of the AGM held on 24th June were approved (Fiona Urquhart / John Duncan), and the routine meeting also             on 24th June 2019 (Fiona Urquhart / John Duncan) were approved as correct records.

3. Matters arising from minutes

Item 3 - Erection of signs for Glen Urquhart – David advised that Highland Council had advised that they cannot erect signage at the moment, and David would be meeting with Ken Fraser and Russell Fraser to discuss next steps.  Action – David Fraser

Item 3 - Old Kilmore Car Park – Highland Council have advised that £3-£3.5k would be required to fund the cost of installing a height restriction bar.  David Fraser advised that he would speak with GURCA to discuss this issue.  Action – David Fraser

Item 3 – Old Scotmid Site – It was confirmed that Highland Council have purchased the old Scotmid site and discussion of works to take place in this area would take place at a future meeting.

Item 3 - Cnoc an Eas Anemometer – Confirmation received that this has been removed.

Item 3 - Community Christmas Trees – Notification had been received from Highland Council that the supply of Christmas lighting for Drumnadrochit would be £500 and £150 for Balnain, if they supply Christmas trees this would cost an extra £200 per tree. It was agreed that David Fraser would speak with GURCA / Soirbheas / Chamber of Commerce to discuss the funding of these.  Since the meeting it has been confirmed that the Chamber of Commerce will fund the lighting and the trees for Drumnadrochit and Balnain, and thanks are passed to them for their generosity.  It was noted that the tree lighting at Druimloin is faulty and clarification was sought as to whether maintenance of these would be undertaken by Highland Council.  It was agreed that David Fraser would liaise with John Allan at Highland Council for information.  Action – David Fraser

Item 3 - Loch Ness Homes Development – It was confirmed that Bear Scotland and the Loch Ness Homes developers were yet to confirm installation of the A82 crossing and Margaret Davidson and David Fraser would continue to pursue this issue.  Action – Margaret Davidson / David Fraser

Item 3 - Paths – GUCC were pleased to note that the Loch Ness Homes developer has now installed a pathway through the parkland area to the shop.  It was also confirmed that the entrance ways to the path through the beech wood from Kilmore cemetery to Coiltie Crescent would be improved for access, and Highland Council were providing advice to the landowner on liability issues. Action – Margaret Davidson / David Fraser

Item 3 - Stone wall at Free Church – Repair work has taken place.

Item 8 - Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan – David Fraser confirmed that GUCC had responded to the call for sites and core paths.  The draft plan will be passed to Community Councils in early 2020, this will include details of all the sites and a consultation period.    Details are available on the Highland Council website, and the main sites suggested can be seen there.  The early 2020 consultation will include discussions on the Springfield and Loch Ness Homes / R House proposals.

Item 10 – Roads – David Fraser advised that a meeting with Transport Scotland is scheduled for 4th September.  Work on the outside of Drum bridge parapet has still to be undertaken.  Margaret Davidson has written to Transport Scotland regarding the creation of a low level cycle route from Fort Augustus to Dochgarroch and GUCC will want to support that letter. Action - Pam Lucas

Item 14 - Snowman Rally – Representatives would be attending the GUCC meeting at Balnain in September.

Item 14 - Occasional Alcohol Licence costs – It was confirmed that the Scottish Government had undertaken a consultation of the licence costs.  Highland Council had responded to this advising that the current £10 cost did not cover administrative costs, and proposed the increase to £50, from the available options of £50, £75 or £100.  The Scottish Government will review the responses received and make a decision.  

4. Policing Update

No report received.  The number of break ins in Fort Augustus, and more recently in Drumnadrochit, was noted, and Margaret Davidson advised that she had written to the Chief Constable regarding the thinness of police cover for the local area.   

5. Planning Application 19/02761/FUL – erection of 94 houses (including 25 affordable homes) and associated works – land at Drum Farm

David Fraser provided a comprehensive overview of this application, including a PowerPoint presentation (Click here to download).  This is attached as Appendix 1.

The following points were also noted / discussed:

- This density of houses is not in keeping with the village atmosphere and will be noticeable from many different aspects.

- If an upgrade of the sewage system is required the developer will be required to contribute.

- Publicity would indicate a shortage of housing, when in fact this may be a shortage of affordable housing.  Lots of younger people commenting on this development on social media and it is disappointing that they have not attended the meeting to discuss the issues.  

- There is the potential risk of isolating those more vulnerable people who are in the village or might move in to the village if the infrastructure to support the increase in capacity is not in place.

- Glen Urquhart Primary school is very close to capacity and there is a standard contribution payment which a developer would be required to pay if additional school facilities are required.  Highland Council would inevitably have to pay much more than the cost of the developer contribution in order to build a new school.  

- It is important that Highland Council recognise the thinking and ethos behind the local plan, recognising that some of the officers responsible for the current plan are no longer with the Council, and GUCC will ensure that is made clear in the response sent.

- The Childcare Centre is currently at capacity and is considering 3 possible sites for development, the Centre is also trying to secure funding for a Project Manager post to move the project forward.  To date there have been no discussions between the Childcare Centre and Springfield.  It is a requirement of the Local Plan that the Springfield site includes mixed use, and currently shows a nursery as part of this.  Don Fraser advised that he would request that Tim Stott, Springfield contact the Childcare Centre to discussion options.    

GUCC members confirmed that they were satisfied with the basis of the objection, and thanks were passed to David for the huge amount of work he has done on this.  

6. Other Planning Applications

19/03047/FUL – Siting of LPG Storage Tank, land 100m NE of Drumnadrochit Health Centre, Drumnadrochit - noted

19/03119/FUL – Erection of Hut, land 445, south of Goshem Studio, 3 Grotaig, Drumnadrochit - noted
19/03437/FUL – Erect extension,123 Balmacaan Road, Drumnadrochit - noted

19/02762/FUL – Formation of mixed use village core of nursery, office space and retail (food and non-food) Land 125m SW of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Drumnadrochit – as above.

7. Any Other Business

Community Council Elections – Nominations open on Monday 23rd Sept and close on Tuesday 8th October – details will be on Highland Council website.  There are a number of members of GUCC who will be stepping down and it is important that new members come forward to carry on the important work of the Community Council.

Phone Boxes – Communication had been received from BT regarding community ownership of the red phone boxes in Lewiston and Milton, and it was agreed to pass this to GURCA to progress.  ACTION – Pam Lucas

Forestry – A request had been received to place warning signs for pedestrians in the forestry and Balnain.  Notification had been received that the works at Craigmonie which were due to be finished by the end of August were now scheduled for an October finish.

Local Defibrillators – The defibrillators at Balnain Primary and the Fire Station were now due to have their batteries replaced.  Eric Trelfer, on behalf of Soirbheas, advised that he would progress funding for this.  Post meeting note Soirbheas unable to provide funding so Community Council and Balnain Hall will replace the batteries subject to Committee approval.

Tourist Information Car Park – Signage is obscured by branches, and tidying this may alert more holidaymakers to the parking available.  It was also noted that the public toilets, which are now under a cleaning contract with Highland Council are in very poor condition.  Margaret Davidson advised that she would report this issue.  Action – Margaret Davidson

A82 Roundabout – It was noted that direction signage on the approach to the roundabout may help prevent some of the issues currently being encountered, and David Fraser confirmed that he would discuss this at the forthcoming meeting with Transport Scotland.  Action – David Fraser

Glen Urquhart High School – GUCC were delighted to note that the school was the best performing in the whole of the highlands with regards to SQA results. It was agreed that a letter of congratulations be sent.  Action – Pam Lucas

OYO signage – Discussion of the large signage at Drum Hotel, while it is understand that this is not permanent, David Fraser advised that he would raise it with Fraser Campbell at future meeting.  Action – David Fraser

8. Details of Next Meetings
The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 23rd September at 8pm in Balnain Hall.

             There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.50pm.