Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Update Report for March 2020, complied by email correspondence

Due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19, and in line with government guidelines, the GUCC business was discussed and agreed via email correspondence.  Until restrictions are lifted the Community Council will aim to produce a monthly agenda and report using the standing timetable.

1. Present and Apologies


2. Minutes of the last meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 24th February 2020 were approved as a correct record.

             3. Matters arising from minutes

Glen Urquhart Signs – Planning permission has been applied for – cost £101 (50% of standard fee)

Old Kilmore Car Park –

Access path – Ward funding received and the contract awarded to MC Fraser, work likely to be delayed by movement restrictions

Craigmonie Woodland – see item 7b

Etape Community Payment – Event now postponed and re-scheduled for 13th September 2020.

Old Scotmid – Sale completed to Highland Housing Alliance on behalf of Highland Council; one condition of the sale is that the land is only developed for housing.  HHA developed the first 20 houses on the Loch Ness Homes development and the old surgery replacement.

Drumnadrochit Village Flood Scheme – confirmation received from the Scottish Government that planning permission has been granted.  Detailed designs are now being completed.

4. Treasurer’s Report

The balance at our last meeting in February, stood at £13,988.19.  Since then, we have had no money going out / bills to pay.  From Highland Council, we have received £1,159.  Part of this, £400 is for Community Council funds, to cover our annual grant shortfall.  The remaining £759 is for work carried out at the entrance to the Beech wood, by Calum Fraser.  We have received £4,000 from Chris Grant for Cnoc an Burraidh burial chamber restoration works.  (Our Bank account also holds funds for Cnoc an Burraidh burial chamber restoration works.)  So our new balance stands at, £13,988.19 + £1159 + £4000 = £19,147.19.  This figure is confirmed by latest Bank statement, issued 13th March 2020.  Whilst this sounds a lot, £16,649.51 of this figure is for Cnoc an Burraidh burial chamber restoration works.  So, the actual balance the Community Council holds is £2,497.68 (£19,147.19 - £16,649.51).  This is made up of, £1,757.68 in useable funds & £740 in reserve.

A donation of £215.00 has been received from Balnain Primary School, Glen Urquhart Care Centre, and Balnain Community Hall, this being part of the total raised through car parking & refreshments at the recent Snowman rally. This was paid into the account on 20/3/20 & does not appear on the March bank statement.  Community Councils new balance is therefore £2497.68 + £215.00 = £2,712.

5. Police Report

The following report was submitted:

Road Safety – A woman has been charged and reported for a speeding offence in the Drumnadrochit area.  There have been several minor non injury road traffic collisions in the area with advice and extra attention being given where possible.  On the 5th of March police received a report of a man driving a vehicle in the Invermoriston area who was potentially under the influence of alcohol.  Police were able to trace this driver who provided a sample of breath.  It was found the driver was not under the influence and appropriate advice was given around driving.   Please do not hesitate to contact police should you suspect someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or an unknown substance.  On the 18th of March police received a report of a speeding vehicle on the A82 at Drumnadrochit. Police were able to trace this vehicle and appropriate advice / warning was provided.  In the near future it is planned to conduct a static speed check area during times / dates identified as being problematic.  If anyone has concerns re speeding in particular areas please contact your local officers so activity can be focussed on the problem areas.

Public Protection – No incidents of note.

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – No incidents of note.

Crimes of Dishonesty – A man has been charged with several shoplifting offences throughout the Highland area, including an incident of shoplifting at the Clansman Hotel. He is currently remanded in custody until the court case.  There has been a report of a theft of a pedal cycle (x2) in the Drumnadrochit area.  Bike 1 is described as a blue giant full suspension mountain bike and a red front sprocket.  Bike 2 is an orange specialised full suspension mountain bike with a blue clip on the front handlebar (that would fit a Gopro device).  Enquiries are ongoing into this crime.  Any information please contact the below email and it would be greatly appreciated.  On the 15th of March 2020 police received a report of a male sleeping at the bus shelter near to the Post Office in Drumnadrochit.  Police traced this male and found him under the influence of alcohol and apparently homeless.  He was conveyed to Hospital as a precaution to be checked over and a report was sent to the appropriate agencies in order to house him and provide further support.

Any issues / concerns can be reported to

6. Loch Ness 360 Challenge – Postponed until 2021

7. Forest and Land Scotland

a) Vehicles on A831
Note from FLS “Our harvesting operations are continuing in line with the plans discussed by FLS at the April Community Council meeting; please see the attached map. We have passed on the concerns raised about timber haulage to our contractors and hauliers but would appreciate if any specific concerns about the felling areas highlighted on the map or around haulage are raised with our local harvesting forester Ian Allsopp. Ian can be contacted by email at

a) Craigmonie Woodland

Note from FLS “Our tender process for rebuilding the trails has completed and have been awarded to the contractor which is Hitrak who will start to move to site W.C.30/03/2020. The completion date on the project is 29/06/2020. Hitrak are the same contractor that worked on the same site about 20 years ago.”

               b) Snowman Rally Feedback

The local volunteers raising funds for Balnain Hall, Shenval Bus Shelter, Balnain Primary School and the Glen Urquhart Care Centre had a very successful day of fundraising.  Shenval raised £307 through car parking, Balnain Hall raised £408 through car parking (£58 of this has been donated to GUCC), Balnain School and Glen Urquhart Care Centre raised £1257 from car parking, this was split 50/50 with £550 for each group and £157 donated to GUCC.  The Glen Urquhart Care Centre raised £472 on their catering stall, with unsold snacks being donated to Glen Urquhart Shinty Club for re-sale on match days.  Thanks are passed to all those who gave up their time to make arrangements and volunteer on the day.  Particular thanks are passed to Peter Macdonald and Val Cooper for all their organisation and co-ordination.

Note from Andy Jardine, Snowman Rally “Well done for all your hard work. The event has been a great success for us and went very well on the day. It’s such a relief to have a drama free day.  Your teams must have had a long day and we are enormously grateful for all your efforts which contributed to the success of the event.  It’s great to be back in Glenurquhart and our competitors enjoyed the two runs of the stage.  If there is any feedback from the CC about how we could do things better in the future then please drop me some notes”. ACTION - ALL Any feedback for Andy? Setting the date further in advance would enable organisations to get involved at an earlier date

               c) Balmacaan Flooding Update

Note from FLS “Following on from our meeting on site with David Fraser GUCC, Ken Carmichael (HC), Ross Watson (Woodland Trust) and Sandra Reid about the Balmacaan flooding issues Forestry and Land Scotland are happy to work with you in finding a solution to the problem. If you can get funding for an overflow pipe from the pond to stop it flooding down the road we are happy to support that idea”.

It was agreed to review the 5 options previously considered by Highland Council and from that 3 options are to be considered further.  A note to residents will be issued once we have further clarity on funding for the feasibility study. – ACTION D Fraser / M Davidson

               1. Discussion with HC Exec Chief Officer Infrastructure & Environment – Malcolm Macleod

a. Feedback on existing Local Development Plan

i. Affordable Housing

ii. Housing numbers / development creep

b. Capacity constraints

i. Primary School

ii. Scottish Water

c. Update on New Local Development Plan

i. Place Planning / Community Action Plan options (how do we as a community shape our future).

Prior to the CC meeting date we held initial discussions with Highland Council on the above issues and ideas on how matters could be improved in the future so the community has a greater input and understanding of how our area develops.

The following note from Scott Dalgarno the Development Plan Manager outlines a proposed way forward

“In light of the ongoing situation you will not be surprised to hear that this is likely to have an impact on the timescales for the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan.  However, further to our recent positive discussion together with Margaret, I look forward to discussing how best the Planning Service can collaborate with the Community Council (and indeed other partners that we are keen to meet) in preparing the Plan once things settle down again.  In particular, I note the community’s keenness to explore options for preparing a plan of their own outlining their ambitions and proposals for the future.  We talked about the potential value of engaging wider Council services in such an approach and that a discussion between Margaret and the relevant Executive Chief Officers Liz Denovan and Allan Gunn might be a useful next step”

Action – take forward the idea raised by Scott once current crisis is over Margaret Davidson / David Fraser

d. Roads / Drainage / Flooding Prevention improvement

A meeting was held with Margaret Davidson, John Taylor (Highland Council Community Services) and 3 representatives from Scottish Water.  We discussed a number of issues and concerns that new developments already approved would exacerbate issues.

Items agreed with Scottish Water included:
1.       Scottish Water to share Strategic Drainage Impact Assessment (sDIA) outputs with Glen Urquhart Community Council and Highland Council (Stage 1 currently expected by the end of April; Stage 2 (including mitigation options) by the end of the summer (Mike Allen / Gavin Steel)

2.       Scottish Water and Highland Council to identify who can lead on exploration of opportunities for surface water removal to follow sDIA outputs (Fraser Mackintosh and John Taylor)
3.       Scottish Water to provide an update on its current assessment of investment requirements to support growth for drinking water and waste water (Mike Allen / Gavin Steel)
4.       Scott Dalgarno and Mike Allen to follow-up about development and infrastructure planning (Scott Dalgarno and Mike Allen)

In addition Highland Council were embarking on a campaign to tackle the worst of the potholes and improve drainage offlets on A831.

A meeting had been held with Highland Council staff regarding Pitkerrald Road drainage and Highland Council are looking at solutions

ACTION – Ensure above actions are followed through when conditions allow – David Fraser

2. Coronavirus – Community Response

A helpline has been set up based around the Glenurquhart Care project and our thanks to Pam Poston (GCP) Susan Clark (GURCA), Carol Masheter (Soirbheas), Mhairi Marshall (NHS) and Margaret Davidson (HC) for making this happen. Our thanks also to all health staff and others supporting the community at this difficult time.  For further details see community websites.

               3. Planning and Licensing Applications – including Springfield Appeal

20/00646/S42 – Amendment of conditions 2 and 3 (07/01108/FULIN) (Access arrangements) Land to the east of Milton Croft, Milton, Drumnadrochit – noted

­­20/00999/FUL – Alterations and extension, Forest Cottage, Drumnadrochit – noted

20/00617/PIP – Erection of house at land 30m SE of Oakbnk East, Milton, Drumnadrochit – Application withdrawn, revised application expected in the future.

Springfield – an appeal has been lodged for the housing development at Drum Farm The details of the appeal can be found at  The Community Council will respond to the appeal.

4. Correspondence

No additional correspondence.


13. Details of Next Meetings
The next meeting was provisionally scheduled for Monday 27th April in the Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit.  It is likely that no meeting will take place but we will endeavour to issue an agenda and community update.

Action List – March 2020