Glen Urquhart Community Council

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

Also present: Councillor Margaret Davidson, Andy Jardine, Snowman Rally, Nicky MacLennan, Soirbheas, and 3 members of the public.  

Apologies: John Duncan, and Pam Poston, Glen Urquhart Care Centre.

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

2. Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the meeting on 26th August 2019 were approved as a correct record (Fiona Urquhart / Peter Macdonald).

3. Matters arising from minutes

Item 3 – Erection of signs for Glen Urquhart – David Fraser, Ken Fraser and Russell Fraser yet to meet to discuss the next steps.  Action – Ken Fraser & David Fraser

Item 3 - Old Kilmore Car Park – David Fraser advised that Tulloch (who currently own the car park) have been asked to install a height restriction bar, they in turn have asked if the local community want ownership of the car park passed to them.  David Fraser has contacted Highland Council to ask if they will take ownership of the area and is awaiting a response.  Action – Margaret Davidson & David Fraser

Item 3 - Community Christmas Trees – It was noted that the Chamber of Commerce have agreed to meet the costs for the supply of the trees and wiring of lights for both Balnain and Drumnadrochit, and thanks are passed to them for their generosity.

Item 3 - Crossing Point on A82 – Margaret Davidson has continued to push for the installation of the crossing point between the surgery and Scotmid and it is hoped that clearance for this from Transport Scotland will be received within the next few weeks and the installation take place prior to Christmas.  

Item 3 - Paths – Margaret Davidson and David Fraser are both continuing to pursue the creation of safe pathways through the beech wood.  Action – Margaret Davidson & David Fraser

Item 3 – Roads / Low Level Cycle Route – GUCC have written to the Transport Minister  in support of the creation of a cycle way from Fort Augustus to Inverness.

Item 7 – Applications for community ownership of red phone boxes has been passed to GURCA to take forward.

Item 7 - Local Defibrillators – The cost of new batteries for the defibrillators at Balnain Primary School and the Fire Station has been shared between the Community Council and Balnain Hall Committee.  

Item 7 - Tourist Information Car Park – Issues relating to the visibility of signage and tidying of branches has been passed to relevant department in Highland Council for action.

Item 7 - A82 Roundabout at Health Centre – A suggestion has been made to Transport Scotland that the road markings on the approach to the roundabout from Lewiston be removed to avoid confusion.

Item 7 – Glen Urquhart High School – The school were pleased to receive the letter of congratulations from GUCC on their recent SQA results, and had asked for GUCC approval to share this via their social media, this was duly approved by GUCC.

Item 7 - OYO Signage – Confirmation had been received from management that the new signage was not permanent.  

4. Treasurer’s Report
Peter Macdonald reported that the balance stands at £14,651.78, comprising £13,277.51 held for Cnocan Burraidh and £1,374.27 Community Council Funds (of which £1340 is in reserve).  This leaves a working balance of £34.27.  Since the last meeting £7,200 has been paid for Cnocan Burraidh stoneworks and £60 for defibrillator costs.  The Highland Council grant is normally paid before the end of August however there has not yet been any information received in relation to this, Peter will contact Highland Council for an update.  Action – Peter Macdonald

5. Policing Update
No report received or officer present at the meeting.

6. Snowman Rally 2020

Andy Jardine, clerk for the 2020 Snowman Rally course was welcomed to the meeting.  Andy advised that the Scottish Rally Championship group was trying to address the issue of low competitor numbers and were looking at the possibility of moving the Snowman Rally from February to April, although this was yet to be confirmed / agreed.  The rally was therefore scheduled to take place on either 29th February 2020 or 18th April 2020 and it was hoped that the Glen Urquhart forest would be one of the stages for the event.  The rally was last in the Glen in 2013, having been cancelled due to icy conditions this year, and the organisers were keen to meet with locals who have knowledge of the event / parking etc to make plans.  It was anticipated that the cars will exit the forest at Corrimony, and so spectator areas will focus around Balnain and Shenval.  The organisers are happy to work with local community groups to co-ordinate parking / catering etc, and were still to liaise with Forest Land Scotland regarding access and felling for spectator areas.  It was agreed that Peter Macdonald would act as local contact for this event.  Action – Peter Macdonald

7. Loch Ness Homes / Springfield / Flood Management Plan
Flood Management Plan – Written confirmation of approval of works has been received from Highland Council.   
Loch Ness Homes – Liaison meetings continue to take place.  Some issues discussed in relation to the paths through the parkland, particularly the steep approach towards the A82 a Lewiston garage where there is a need to install barriers or similar to slow people down at this point.
Springfield – It was confirmed that the application will be going to the Planning Committee at the end of October.  One of the key issues for this application is in relation to how the Local Plan is interpreted, and GUCC is keen that the local councillors who were not present at the last meeting look at the GUCC presentation and understand the comments made in relation to the development, so they are fully aware of the GUCC concerns in advance of the planning meeting.  This has been circulated to them on two occasions and no response has been received, a further request has now been made to the Ward Manager to ensure that the message is passed on again no response to date.    

8. Roads

Drum Bridge - David Fraser advised that a full inspection of Drum bridge takes place every 6 years, and that the inspection has noted that the outstanding pointing work to the outside of the parapets has been recorded as being in a fair condition and the work will therefore now take place by Bear in the next financial year.  David Fraser has requested a copy of the inspection report.  

Clansman Hotel - David Fraser, Margaret Davidson and Fraser Campbell have met with a representative from Transport Scotland to discuss issues around the Clansman.  Cobbs are responsible for the signage relating directly to the complex and are engaging a consultant to see how best to get traffic off the A82 and the signage associated with this.  Transport Scotland will look at the advance warning signage for the area.  Transport Scotland’s Capital Plan includes installation of northbound laybys, and Cobbs have confirmed that they are happy to donate land to create a layby for the service bus.  In order for there to be consideration of imposing a reduced speed limit for the area there would need to be a number of processes to take place including the support of the Police Unit in Dingwall, and for Transport Scotland to conduct two surveys of traffic speed, one out with the tourist season and on at peak season.  Now that there is clarity of the process for this an agreed course of action can take place and an initial meeting will be arranged.  Action – Margaret Davidson & David Fraser

Re-surfacing & Drainage - Plans for resurfacing at the Clansman / Abriachan area have now been moved from October 2019 to December 2019.  Plans are also in place to renew drainage along the rockface at the roadside in the Clansman area where the current drainage is not coping and causing large areas of standing water on the road.


Potholes – Members of the public are encouraged to continue to report potholes and other issues through either via the Highland Council website or for urgent matters by phoning 01349 886601.

David Fraser advised that he will contact John Taylor at Highland Council and request that he have a look at the roads locally, and will include the area of road between Upperton road end and St Ninians Church where vehicles continue to narrow the verges.  Action – David Fraser

9. NHS / PPG / GCP

NHS – The next scheduled meeting is due to take place later in the week.  
Patient Participation Group – The next meeting is scheduled for 3rd October at 7.30pm at Blairbeg, this will include discussion on making Glen Urquhart more dementia friendly and accessible for all.
Glen Urquhart Care Project – Pam Poston was unable to attend the meeting but had provided an update on developments and activities taking place, this was read out at the meeting.
Homecare – Margaret Davidson advised that there continues to be problems securing homecare for the Abriachan area, which had historically been provided via the Glen Urquhart Care Centre.  NHS is currently providing homecare in the Cannich area, and have approached the community there to see if they would be interested in taking this on as a community, and a meeting was scheduled to discuss further.  It was disappointing that NHS are having these discussions in the Strathglass area but not in Glen Urquhart, where it would still make a lot of sense for this to be provided in conjunction with the Care Centre.  Margaret Davidson advised that she would raise this with Nigel Fraser, Convenor, to see if dialogue on the possibilities for provision could be opened up again between the Care Centre and the NHS.  Action – Margaret Davidson

10. Planning Applications
19/03745/FUL – Change of use from shared accommodation to two residential units, alterations to access, The Lodge, Borlum Farm – noted.

19/03970/FUL – Erection of house, Dunromin, West Lewiston – noted and would request a more traditional slate coloured roof.

19/03816/CLE – Bed and breakfast accommodation with ancillary residential accommodation for the owner / manager, Morlea, Drumnadrochit – noted.

19/03903/FUL – Erection of house (renewal of planning permission 16/03262/FUL), Drumbuie Farmhouse, Drumnadrochit – noted.

Red John Project at Dores - Communication had been received from Intelligent Land Investments Group Plc regarding the proposed pumped storage hydro project near Dores, currently known as “Red John”, to which Highland Council had elected to “raise an objection” and for which there would now be a Public Local Enquiry.  GUCC was invited to meeting which the developers were hosting.  It was agreed to respond to the correspondence advising that the development would not be visible from the GUCC area, however it would be highly visible from Abriachan, and in this regard we would recommend that the Inverness West Community Council be invited to attend their event instead of GUCC.  Action – Pam Lucas

11. Correspondence

None received that has not already been circulated out with the meeting.

12. Any Other Business

Community Council Elections / Constitution – Nomination forms are available from the Highland Council website, these should be completed by the candidate, witnessed and returned to the Ward Manager by 8th October.  GUCC are keen to have some new members, as some existing members have indicated that they will be retiring.  The importance of the work of Community Councils should not be underestimated, and without membership / representation the community is unable to participate in discussion / consultations etc on key local issues.  The Glen Urquhart area is well represented, and the tasks are shared due to the ongoing work of groups such as the Community Association, Soirbheas etc, this makes the role of GURCA less onerous than it might be in other areas.  Next year the Local Plan will be renewed, and without full membership the Community Council would be restricted in their ability to respond to that.   Any members of the community who are interested in becoming involved or have any questions are most welcome to discuss these with any of the existing members, and a timetable for the election process is appended to the minute.

Craigmonie Woodland – Woodland Association have met with Forest and Land Scotland to get an update on the progress of works in the Craigmonie woods area.  It is understood that completion has been further delayed until Spring 2020, this will include reinstating the existing path network.  Extraction is almost complete, thereafter drainage works will be undertaken and then the re-creation of the paths.  It is the intention of Forest and Land Scotland to do a phased opening of the area so access to some areas may be possible before the Spring, this would allow the local Woodland Association to do some of their planned Spring planting.  

Historic Environment Scotland – The work of the Liaison Group continues, some results are being achieved however they are still a long way from the community buy out of the visitor centre.  A workshop is scheduled for the Autumn involving representatives of GUCC, GURCA and business representatives to look at ways of moving the process forward.

Inverness Crematorium – It was suggested that signage advising of timings and locations of services would help avoid confusion for those who are attending services and are unsure when access to particular chapels is permitted.  It was also noted that there was often a significant delay between deaths and funerals, and it was queried if this was related to the schedule of grave diggers.  It was agreed that Margaret Davidson would raise both of these issues with the relevant department.  Action – Margaret Davidson

13. Details of Next Meetings
The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 28th October, Blairbeg Hall, Drumnadrochit.  

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.30pm.  




Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of Meeting held on

Monday 23rd September 2019 at 8.00pm

in Balnain Hall, Glen Urquhart