Glen Urquhart Community Council

Glen Urquhart Community Council

Minutes of meeting held on

Monday 28th March 2022 at 7.30pm

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, and 9 members of the public.

Apologies: Councillors Margaret Davidson and Helen Carmichael, Stuart Ross, and Nicky MacLennan, Soirbheas.

2.       Minutes of the last meeting
The minute of the meeting held on 28th February was approved as a true record (Bill Smart / Fiona Urquhart).

3.       Matters arising from minutes

West End Garage Hut – still awaiting information on purpose / planning.  Action – Iain Riddle

Post Box at old Scotmid Site – David Ferguson contacted Royal Mail, who confirmed that relocation will require planning permission and a contractor to undertake the removal, this is in hand.   

4.       Treasurer’s Report

David Ferguson provided the following financial report:

In the last month, there has been some activity in our account, details as follows;

Community Council: £7,211.77 is ring fenced for Loch Ness Tourism

Strategy / Glen Urquhart Place Planning; £1000 was received from Etape for a local Community cause; £2,500 was received from Historic Environment Scotland for Community Action Plan funds.

1/3/22, paid Soirbheas £2500 for Community Action Plan funds.

1/3/22, paid Glen Affric and Strathglass Marketing group £1000 from Etape for the Affric / Kintail Way development.

18/3/22, received donation of £100 from Balnain and Shenval car parking, raised during the Snowman Rally.

New balance = £12,438.92 – (£2,500 + £1000) + £100 = £9,038.92

Cnoc an Burraidh: 25/3/22, paid ABC Video £1,450 for film work.  

New balance = £4,489.11 - £1,450 = £3,039.11

Total Balance in our account = £9,938.92 + £3,039.11 = £12,078.03

Cnocan Burraidh - David Fraser advised that a series of short films with information on the history of the site were being screened at the Craigmonie Centre on the evening of 29th April, with two viewings; 6pm and 7.30pm.  Admission is £2.50.  Information booklets will be printed and available for purchase in the Hub, and folders are being prepared for the local schools.  Once the project is complete it will be handed over to GURCA for the long term.  

5.       Police Report

The following report was received in advance of the meeting:

Road Safety – In the Invermoriston area there was a collision between a van and an ambulance. This collision was minor but is a reminder that poor lane discipline can cause accidents. A similar incident occurred in Fort Augustus but luckily no collision occurred. This becomes more of an issue during the tourist season with a mix of people not accustomed to driving on the left and tourists distracted by the scenery. Further to that as we approach motor bike and cycling season this brings other factors into play when tackling the bends.

Drivers should be aware of the changes to the Highway Code in relation to cyclists and


There were a number of incidents where Police were required to provide cover for the

removal of fallen trees onto the roadway.

Officers were required to provide cover to vehicles that had broken down in the live lane on

the A82.

One call was made to Police about a suspected drink driver on the A82. This vehicle was not traced. If you suspect a vehicle is being driven by a drink driver then contact Police on 999 if it is safe to do so. If a drink driver is reported to Police it is useful if the Registration is

provided along with the make model (if known) and colour. This allows Police to attend at

the home of the registered keeper as being in a rural area Police resources are not always

there to catch up with the vehicle before they make it home.

Public Protection – There were 2 calls where Police Officers were required to assist with the wellbeing of members of the community.

Drugs / Alcohol Misuse – There was one incident of an intoxicated male being found on the street. This call was dealt with by Ambulance staff.

Crimes of Dishonesty – There was one fraud incident reported to Police involving paying for items online.  There are a number of websites that can assist with fraud prevention giving tips and advice and what to do if you believe you have been the victim of fraud.  It was agreed that Dianne would add information / advice links to the community Facebook page.  Action – Dianne Fraser

Other Crimes – There was one incident of vandalism to the Co-op in Drumnadrochit.

It was further noted that there were continued break ins in the Cannich area.  Members of the community are reminded to be vigilant.  

6.       Roads / Drainage

David Fraser advised that Highland Council are preparing to do this coming years work.  Funding is divided according to the roads within each Ward, with Ward 12 having the most roads in the Highland Council area.  A list of works has been submitted to John Taylor.  Any potholes should continue to be reported through the Highland Council website.  Funding has been added to the revenue budget for next year, and this should start to see more work getting done on drainage in the future, over time this will make a big difference.  David also confirmed that he had written to Transport Scotland about rockfalls and drainage.  Transport Scotland might apply for a clearway order to stop cars parking on the verges a mile either side of the Clansman.  Improvements are also planned for the junction to long stay carpark and a different route for pedestrians.  More information will be available at the next meeting.

20mph Zones – It was confirmed that the new Springfield development included a condition that the whole development would be 20mph.  A response is awaited from the Scottish Government in relation to a wider change, and if this is not forthcoming this will be undertaken in a more staged process through Highland Council.  

Water Mains Replacement – The traffic lights have now been removed from the A82, and are currently only on the A831.  A large pothole has formed on this Drum Bridge area and this should be requested for repair as soon as possible.  A request will also be made to reinstate the pedestrian lights at Fiddlers.  

The A831 will be closed from 7pm to 11pm on Tues, Wed and Thurs evening for connection works.  This had been poorly advertised with mixed information causing a lot of confusion locally.  There would be pedestrian access during this time.

There were ongoing problems with the traffic lights, particularly at weekends, and the emergency number is not always answered.

It was agreed that Dianne Fraser would contact the contractor regarding the pothole / resurfacing at Drum Bridge, pavement clearing, the forward schedule of works, and a request for a representative to attend a future meeting of GUCC.  Action – Dianne Fraser

Cycle Safety – Members were in agreement that the erection of HiTrans signage advising of the space required for cyclists, as well as horseriders, would be a good addition along the A831.  Action – Dianne Fraser

Balnain Sign – The flashing sign between Hazelbrae and Balnain House is still flashing for 30mph within the 40mph limit.  A software update was awaited and Dianne would request an update on this.  Action – Dianne Fraser  

7.        Planning Applications

A)       Active Applications

22/01094/FUL – Erection of decking platform (in restrospect), erection of garden room, The Glebe, Drumnadrochit – noted

22/01005/FUL – Erection of portal frame shed, installation of office unit, formation of access, hardstanding / parking, land 285m south of Culnabrae, Culnakirk – this application was discussed in some detail, and the applicant was present at the meeting, members were content that any areas of concern had been addressed with the Planning Authority – noted  

Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan – GUCC has until 7th June to provide their response to the Plan.  It was agreed to invite Planning representatives to the next GUCC meeting and thereafter work on the response to the Plan.  The major developments in the village include Springfield which has now been approved, the Loch Ness Homes extension which is now on the Highland Council website, and the old Scotmid site for which Highland Housing Alliance will be resubmitting a proposal following refusal by the Reporter to their appeal for their first planning application.  In this regard GUCC were pleased to see that the response to their application from the Reporter had been very similar to that of GUCC, it was good to see community views being upheld.  Action – Dianne Fraser  

Springfield Development – Planning consent has been given.  Part of this consent includes a community liaison group and it was hoped that their representative would be making contact with the community very soon.  Consent also includes a £70k contribution to community facilities, and works to drainage issues before works commence on site.   There are no updates on the commercial area or nursery at present.  David Fraser confirmed that he has requested minimal impact to the A82 during the summer months.

8.       Community Action Plan

Members of the community are reminded to submit their comments.  Paper copies will be available at the Market on the Green next Saturday.  

There was a general discussion about community engagement, which was recognised as an age old problem, and which had not been helped by Covid restrictions.  Consultants had been employed for the Community Action Plan consultation period and they should be engaging with all stakeholders and demographics in the community.  The stand at the Market on the Green, which would include the consultants and other members of GUCC and GURCA, would be a good opportunity for anyone with a particular interest in engagement to discuss these issues.  It was recognised that there is a need for local solutions, but in order to help identify these, and show community backing, the Community Action Plan would be the vehicle for laying out the bigger picture, and from there smaller more manageable projects can be picked up.

9.       Flood Prevention Scheme

Bill Smart advised that most of the works are now complete.  There is some planting to be done, stone cladding to be pointed at Kilmichael, and confirmation is required regarding the cladding at Morlea.  School visits have taken place and been very successful.  Action – Bill Smart

Confirmation was requested regarding the reinstatement of the fencing around the water meters at the entrance to Kilmichael House.  Action – Dianne Fraser

10.       Consultations

Proposed Fly Tipping Bill (responses by 23rd May) – It was agreed that Dianne Fraser would respond on behalf of GUCC in support of the Bill.  It was also agreed that a list of contractors would be helpful ie those who had been found to be flytipping, and that it was also important to make it easier for people to get rid of rubbish, eg increased opening hours at the recycling centres.   Action – Dianne Fraser

Forest Management – Consultation document including Clunemore Forest in the GUCC area, no issues were noted.  

11.       Correspondence

No items of correspondence.

12.       AOCB

Snowman Rally – 5th March – David Ferguson reported that the event had been very successful.  In terms of funds raised from car parking, Balnain Primary School had received £849, Glen Urquhart Care Centre had received £849, GUCC £100, Cannich Primary School £150, Glen Urquhart Primary £150, and Balnain Hall £550.  Any comments / feedback on the event should be collated and sent to the organisers.  David Ferguson was thanked for all his work in co-ordinating the community groups involved.  

Etape – 24th April – Concerns re condition of Drum Bridge road surface (to be reported as per item 6 above).

Ultra X – 7th & 8th May – Date noted.

National Park Creation Group – Pam Lucas advised that the work of the group is progressing to plan, they are presently trying to assimilate as much information as possible, and positive reactions have been received from Local Councillors, MPs and MSPs.  

Loch Ness Challenge Event 20th – 23rd May – Visit Loch Ness event, aid station to be located at the Hub.  More information to follow.  

Youth Issues – David Ferguson advised that he noted Cromarty Community Council agenda had included “Youth Issues” and suggested that GUCC should perhaps give more time to discussing issues affecting younger members of the community.  It was noted that GUCC had in previous years been very supportive of both the Youth Club and Skate Park, both of which had then been overtaken by the Craigmonie Centre which now housed the Youth Club under Highlife Highland.  Senior pupils have been invited to attend GUCC meetings in the past but this can not always be possible for them.  It was agreed to send a reminder to the High School that senior pupils are always most welcome to attend meetings, and David Ferguson will contact Cromarty CC to enquire what steps they are taking.  It was agreed that Youth Issues remain a standing item on the agenda.  David Tulloch advised that the Bunloit Project had feedback from their school visits and it was agreed that he should feed this in to the Community Action Plan consultation.  Action – Dianne Fraser / David Ferguson / David Tulloch

Forestry buildings and base at Balnain – David Ferguson advised that he had recommenced liaison with Forest and Land Scotland (FLS) regarding the possibility of a Community Asset Transfer of their Balnain Depot following their move to Shenval, as an ideal location for the Men’s Shed which was still eagerly looking for premises.  David Fraser advised that he and Margaret Davidson had also met with FLS to note Highland Council / community interest in this site.  It was agreed that GUCC should write to FLS confirming serious community interest in developing the site for the best use of the community.  Action – Dianne Fraser

Review GUCC meeting timing – It was agreed that where possible future GUCC meetings would start at 7.30pm.  

Patient Participation Group – David Fraser confirmed that meetings of this group will recommence with a meeting scheduled soon.    

13.       Details of Next Meeting
The next meeting was scheduled for Monday 25th April at 7.30pm in the Craigmonie Centre, Drumnadrochit.  If timing restrictions are still in place within the Craigmonie Centre for additional Covid cleaning requirements, an alternative venue will be found.  Action – Dianne Fraser

GUCC Members agreed to meet on either Monday 11th or Wednesday 13th April to discuss and agree their response to the Community Action Plan.  Venue TBC.  Action – Dianne Fraser

There was no further business and the meeting closed at 9.20pm.