Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of Meeting held on

Monday 25th October 2021 at 8pm

in Blairbeg Hall, Drumnadrochit

All attendees were required to comply with Covid guidelines.

1. Present: Dianne Fraser (Chair), Pam Lucas, Iain Riddle, Fiona Urquhart, David Ferguson, Dominic Thierry, Bill Smart and Val Cooper.


Also present: Councillor David Fraser, Susan Clark, GURCA, and 3 members of the public.

Apologies: Stuart McLeay, Tim Frances and Councillors Margaret Davidson and Helen Carmichael.

2. Minutes of the last meeting
The minute of the meeting held on 27th September was approved as a true record (Pam Lucas / Bill Smart).

3. Matters arising from minutes

Community Broadband Issues – ongoing – Action - Dianne Fraser
Police Update – no report received this month.  David Fraser advised that other community councils had requested that any important information in neighbouring areas be included in their reports and it was agreed that GUCC would do similar.  Action - Dianne Fraser
Balnain Speed Limit – Lack of clarity in relation to the 30mph signage within the 40mph area reported to Highland Council and response awaited.  Action – David Fraser

4. Treasurer’s Report

David Ferguson provided the following financial report:

Community Council:  Balance = £9,600.42

£7,211.77 is “ring fenced” for Loch Ness Tourism Strategy / Glen Urquhart Place Planning and Margaret Davidson will advise regarding this.

£1,000 donation from Etape received for the community

£9,600.42 + £1,000. = £10,600.42

Cnoc an Buraidh:  Balance = £12,160.79

Paid £2,659.56 to Calum Fraser for civil works 11/10/21

£12,160.79 - £2,659.56 = £9,501.23


Total balance; £10,600.42 + £9,501.23 = £20,101.65

The application for online banking is progressing.

5. Police Report

The report for 30/08/2021 – 03/10/2021 was received following the last meeting:

Road Safety - On the 7th of September there was a report of dangerous driving on the A82 near to the Clansman Hotel. Positive lines of enquiries are continuing regards the offending vehicle and once concluded a report will be submitted to the PF.

Public Protection – No incidents of note.

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – No incident of note.

Crimes of Dishonesty – No incidents of note.

6. Roads / Drainage

a) A82 Road

David Fraser advised that Transport Scotland would be working on drainage between now and Christmas in the areas between Invermoriston and Inverness.  Warning signage will be installed at Dochfour for otters, and they are looking at installing a north bound layby near Invermoriston.  Resurfacing of Drum Bridge will take place once Scottish Water have finished laying the water main to Druimlon.  Various pot holes have been reported.  From the Post Office to beyond the Drum Hotel and the hammerhead in to the junction to A831 will be resurfaced.  Highland Council will look at the area of road in front of Kilmichael once Scottish Water have completed their work.  There has been a lot of correspondence with Transport Scotland in relation to speed restrictions in the village, and David Fraser will continue to pursue this, a meeting with Kate Forbes is planned to discuss the issues further and hopefully push it forward.  Highland Council guidance in relation to “20 is plenty” is awaited and thereafter Balmacaan and Lewiston will be looked at in terms of speed restrictions.  A new footpath at Altsigh is under construction to provide a safer crossing for Great Glen Way  users to reach the hostel.  

b) A831 Road

No further issues discussed.

c) Other Roads

Cobbs Bakery Car Parking – It was noted that a number of cars were parking in the layby on Blairbeg road and in field entrances etc creating bottlenecks when larger vehicle need access along the Kilmore road area.  David Fraser confirmed that he would raise this issue with Fraser Campbell and suggest that staff might adopt an active travel solution using car parking within the village.  The lock block in the area is also damaged again and has been reported to Highland Council.  Action – David Fraser

7. Planning Applications

a) Active Applications

21/04472/FUL – Installation of glamping pod, Kilmore Farmhouse, Kilmore Road – noted

21/04271/PIP – Erection of house, land 30m NE of Birnam, East Lewiston – noted

b) Timber Harvesting

David Fraser advised that he has a meeting with stakeholders this week, this will include Highland Council representatives with responsibility for Planning, Roads, and Forestry Operations, to discuss the condition of the Bunloit Road, and to understand and agree what controls can be put in, and develop a plan for the road before there are further developments.  Part of this discussion will include the extraction of timber as well as construction traffic and their impact on the road.  The aim of the meeting will be to have clarity on what will be done and who is responsible for each step and area of construction.  David Fraser confirmed that he will look at verge damage caused by construction vehicles in advance of the meeting on Wednesday.  The ideal scenario would be to have a confirmed plan of what is to be done, and ahead of the main extraction works have improvements to the road, layby extension, drainage improvements and overnight parking area for heavy vehicles / machinery, then a road survey ahead of the works, and then a further survey after the works so it can be put back to its starting condition. It is hoped that controls in terms of extraction can also be agreed.  Concerns and frustrations from residents in the Bunloit area were noted and David Fraser confirmed that progress will be communicated with residents to keep them informed.  Action – David Fraser

8. Community Action Plan

Dianne Fraser confirmed that a further meeting had taken place at which the newly appointed consultant had been present.  The next steps will be to draw up what a community action plan could look like, and lots of background documents have been provided to the consultant for this.  A draft will be available to the community for comment, and a variety of events and tools will be used to generate as much feedback from the community as possible.  A further meeting is scheduled for next week and GUCC reps Dianne Fraser and Dominic Thierry will attend and will keep members updated with progress.

9. Flood Prevention Scheme

Bill Smart advised that the first phase below the bridge is well advanced and work is also taking place in the field beyond the Post Office for flood embankment works, all of which are on schedule.  Sheet piling at Kilmichael is yet to be commenced and it is understood that there will be traffic management in the area during this phase of the scheme.  Further site visits have been offered, including to High School pupils.  

10. Consultations

a) Short Term Lets

Members discussed the Scottish Government’s consultation on short-term lets and the regulation of these.  It was agreed that visitors bring a lot to the local area, however it is important to strike the right balance to ensure communities are not depleted due to the number of houses available solely as holiday lets.  Any new regulations should take account of the differences between rural and urban areas, which are not comparable in terms of letting properties, and recognise also the difference between B&B and Airbnb where property owners are living within their homes all year round whilst offering B&B.  The tourism and economy of an area such as ours is important, and the balance needs to be carefully thought out.  It was also suggested that change of use applications for houses to be used as holiday lets, which is not currently required, might be a good way of regulating this, and also through membership of Visit Scotland.  Dianne Fraser will collate and submit a response on behalf of GUCC.  Action – Dianne Fraser
b) National Care Service
– Consultation on adult social care, based around the principles of individuals and their human rights, however the scope of this has now been broadened to include social work areas.  It was felt that it would be more appropriate to scale this back and concentrate on the social care side, aiming to get this right, before taking on further areas.  It was agreed that GUCC would like to take a positive part in this consultation, feeding back that it is important that equitable treatment is provided ie, providing care at home in the Highlands is very different to provision in the central belt for example, and also that this should be considered as a manageable process, not taking on too much in the first instance, and to listen to those with experience of different models of provision, noting that person centric care is proven as the most effective model to work with.  It was agreed that responses could be submitted by individuals and by GUCC.  Action – All  

11. Correspondence

Boundary Commission Proposals Affecting Ward 12 – Note of thanks from Margaret Davidson for correspondence relating to this consultation, which had resulted in the Local Government, Housing & Planning Committee of the Scottish Government voting unanimously against the Boundary Commission SSI proposals affecting Highland Council Ward Boundaries and Councillor Membership.

Chràthaich Wind Farm, Corrimony Farm – details of public consultation events on the 15, 16 and 17 November at Glenmoriston, Blairbeg and Cannich Halls respectively. The upcoming public consultation will include photomontages and zones of theoretical visibility maps, which illustrate a slightly amended layout from what was proposed at the scoping stage.  Further details can be found at  

12. AOCB

GUCC / Strathglass Community Council / Soirbheas Meeting – Bill Smart and Dianne Fraser had attended this meeting as GUCC representatives.  Discussion had included an update from Soirbheas on their funding provisions and application processes, and windfarm updates and the processes involved in applications locally.  It had been a good opportunity to re-connect with these groups and a further meeting will be held in 6 months.   

Etape – Note of thanks had been received from the organisers to marshalls and supporters as well as the £1,000 community payment.  The organisers would be keen to engage more volunteers from local communities for next years event, scheduled for 24th April 2022.  £160k for MacMillan had been raised, and this was not the final figure.  Two bids had been made for the  £1,000 donation:  Bid 1 - Construction of the Affric Kintail Way, a valuable and free resource accessible and used by the whole community.  A Just Giving page is in operation and the project is in need of funding for the third and final section, at the Drumnadrochit end of the route.  Bid 2 – Christmas lighting for the village, further information on this bid was requested before a decision could be reached.  Action – Dianne Fraser

Care at Home – Members were disappointed to note that the company providing care at home had pulled out of the area, however the NHS have been recruiting, and working with the existing provider to ensure a smooth transfer of services.  It is anticipated that homecare will continue to be provided in the area, including up the Glen and Cannich.  

Litter at the Cover & Campervan Overnight Parking - Tim Frances. Local Access Ranger, had advised that recent inspections of the Cover had shown very little sign of litter, however it was generally felt that this was due to locals undertaking regular litter picks in the area, and these endeavours were very much appreciated.  It was also noted that a member of the community had been directing campervans to the tourist information carpark for overnight stays, when this is not permissible.  Instead campers should be directed to Borlum and Dave’s Rest if they want to stay locally.  It was suggested that it might be necessary to include “no overnight camping” signage within the car park.  There was also discussion of campers using the forestry area at Balnain, and the access to this was particularly uneven and potholed, making it unsafe for the many local users too.  It was agreed that David Ferguson would contact Sandra Reid in this regard.  Action – David Ferguson

Surgery Website – It was noted that this had been faulty for some time however a new site was almost ready for launch., and it was agreed that this should be added to the local Facebook page.  Action – Val Cooper

Flu vaccinations and Covid boosters – It was noted that there was a lot of uncertainty locally with regards to the roll out of appointments and it would be useful if updates could be included on the local Facebook page to provide clarity to the community.  David Fraser advised that he would be meeting with the NHS later in the week and would also be able to provide an update on this.  

Loch Ness Homes Site – It was confirmed that R House had pulled out of the site however it was still owned by Loch Ness Homes who are in consultation with another builder.  A further planning application will follow, and David Fraser will advise if he has any further information before that.  Discussions were also underway to ensure that the construction of the path from the Care Centre houses to the shop area would be constructed at the earliest opportunity.  

Affordable Housing at Bunloit – Members were aware of a discussion on Facebook, however there is no associated planning application relating to this.

13. Details of Next Meeting
The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 22nd November at 7pm, in the Craigmonie Centre. Change in start time to comply with Craigmonie Centre closure times for additional cleaning requirements.    

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

2022 Meeting Dates
all meetings commence at 8.00pm

Monday 24th January  Craigmonie Centre

Monday 21st February  Balnain Hall  

Monday 21st March   Blairbeg Hall

Monday 25th April  Craigmonie Centre

Monday 23rd May  Balnain Hall

Monday 27th June AGM Blairbeg Hall

July – no meeting

Monday 22nd August  Craigmonie Centre

Monday 26th September Balnain Hall

Monday 24th October  Blairbeg Hall

Monday 28th November Craigmonie Centre

December – no meeting

            Action List – October 2021