Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council – Approved September Minutes

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council



Pavilion, Muir of Ord

Thursday 8th September 2016 @ 7.30pm


Present:          Frances MacGruer (FM); Stephen Mackenzie (SM); Mike Atkinson (MA); Wilma Mackenzie (WM); Paul Whitham (PW); Jem Taylor (JT), Carol Blanchard (CB)

Others:            Cllr Graham Mackenzie (GM), Cllr Margaret Paterson (MP), Cllr Angela Maclean (AM), Cllr Alister MacKinnon (AMK), Irene Macleod (IM), Raymond Gordon, Ishbel Brewster, Angela MacGregor, Patricia Macleod, Nellian Graham, Annie Morrison, Jim Henderson, R Morrison, M Fraser, Amy Tuach, Kerry Webb, Jo Ellen (Minutes) 

1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
There were apologies from Cllr Jean Davis (JD)
2. Minutes of Previous meeting (Thursday 9th June 2016)

The minutes were proposed as a true reflection by MA and seconded by PW

3. Matters Arising from Minutes
  Beauly Firth Loop Co-ordinator
  MA gave a brief outline of the Loop Project which is being funded by £25,000 from the Carbon CLEVER fund.   This is being used to pay for 45 road signs along the route, the production and printing of a leaflet and if possible 2-4 larger interpretive panels to provide more information.     Discussion with Transition Black Isle over the appointment of a co-ordinator to support this is progressing.

Later in the meeting JT distributed copies of the Beauly Loop leaflet to those present for information. They are available in a variety of locations throughout the local area.

  New Christmas Lights
  FM thanked Stuart Bruce, Area Lighting Engineer at HC for his help with this. A catalogue has been requested and hopefully progress can then be made on purchasing some new Christmas lights for the village.
  Vulcan Cottage
  FM advised that she had received no information from PC Nicola MacDonald relating to Police activity at this property. She will chase this again and if no response is forthcoming she will contact Cllr GM who will then make contact with the local Police Inspector.
  Community Broadband Project
  SM advised that the situation had changed as his personal broadband had become so bad that he took the decision to install a Wireless Scheme.   Unfortunately this cannot be rolled out to more people until the Fibre Optic infrastructure is improved in the area.


  Forbes Café – Unsafe Chimney Stack
  Cllr MP advised that Tony Miller from the Building Standards Department at HC have been keeping an eye on the situation with the chimney.   It appears that the sale of the building is nearly completed and once the new owner is confirmed Tony will take it up with them.


  Dog Fouling
  FM has emailed the Dog Warden to invite her to a CC meeting to discuss dog fouling near to the Skate Park/Lily Loch area.
  Access to Old Railway Path (off Hawthorn Drive)
  MA advised that he has spoken to Kate Mackay who uses the field in question to discuss the idea of a couple of gates being installed.  They will meet up following the harvest to discuss the situation and an update will follow then. Hopefully a resolution can be found which will help enhance the local network of paths around the village.
  Dan MacRae Trophy for Flower Show
  FM confirmed that she spoke to the family of Dan MacRae who were happy for a trophy to be given out in his name at the Flower show on Saturday 20th August.   This was duly bought and given out at the event. FM congratulated IM on the success of the Flower Show which was well attended and much enjoyed.
  Open Day Plans
  FM confirmed that all the actions were completed and the event had taken place. See item 11.
  Vision of the Square
  MA advised that due to the tight timescale his vision for the square was not able to be drawn up for the Open Day.
4. Police Report
  FM advised that no report had been received from PC Nicola MacDonald. She will make contact with her to try to ensure this does not happen again. It is understood that PC MacDonald is aware of the CC meeting dates.
5. Financial Report
  SM gave details of the account as of 29th July:

·         The account balance at present is £33,023.64

·         The total unrestricted funds for the CC to use for its business is £5,438.64

·         Microgrant funds are due to be received from Auchmore 1 Fund (£1000) and an application is being completed to receive money from the Fairburn Fund (£1000). Auchmore 2 Fund (£1000) will be due in October.


  Microgrant Applications
  FM advised that there were two Microgrant applications to consider from the MOO Bowling Club:

·         One to help pay for a Green Machine

·         Another for additional equipment including brushes.

Those present agreed to award £250 from the Auchmore Fund and £250 from the Fairburn Fund (following the money being received by the CC from this Fund).   

6. Update – Community Groups
Hall & Facilities Company
JT & MA advised that the Hub project building works are progressing well and the facility is still on target to be finished by the end of November.
7. Update – Sale of Properties, High Street
  The Cllrs advised that there is no update with Mrs Beaton’s property Vilmont.

A brief discussion took place on the sale of the Forbes properties on the High Street.   As yet it is not 100% clear what is being bought and by whom. The sale should be finalised shortly and then the situation will be clarified.

A member of the public asked if HC has bought the Ord Arms to turn it into an House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO).   The Cllrs present stated that this has not happened and were not aware that this was a HC plan.

8. Update – Vulcan Cottage
  See Matters Arising
9. Planning Issues – Corrie Road & Lochan Corr
  Corrie Road
  FM stated that plans have been submitted to build 10 flats at the site of the old schoolhouse on Corry Road.     The proposed access to this scheme via Corrie Terrace is proving to be very unpopular with local residents (many of whom were in attendance at this meeting) who have concerns that the narrow road will not be able to cope with the additional traffic during and after the building phase. They fear that the safety of local residents, including the many children who live in the area will be severely affected.   There was broad agreement in favour of the development itself, but the proposed access to it has resulted in 29 objections being lodged with the Planning Department at HC. FM confirmed that the CC are supporting the local residents in their stance and have also sent a letter of objection to HC.


  The Cllrs present advised that they could not comment on the plans, but outlined the process that now follows.   For any planning application with more than 5 objections, the plans go to the Planning Committee for a decision.   The timescale for submission to this Committee depends on the amount of work that the Planning Officer will need to do, so no date can currently be confirmed for this. When it goes to Committee, the Planning Officer will give their opinion on whether the development should be approved or rejected and then the Cllrs present will vote to decide the outcome. There is no right to appeal by the residents if it does not go their way.
  One resident queried why only a few of them had received letters outlining the plans, from HC.   It was confirmed that only properties 20 metres away from the development are legally required to be notified.

A lengthy discussion followed on possible reasons for the access choice by the developers, the current state of the Corrie Terrace road surface and the recent gas works which have caused significant disruption. The considerable upset this planning application is causing local residents was clearly established through these discussions.

In summary FM highlighted the CC’s support for the residents, but confirmed that there is nothing else the CC can do at present. She thanked the residents of Corrie Terrace for attending the meeting.

  (the majority of the Corrie Terrace residents left the meeting at 8.15pm ) 
  Lochan Corr
  FM advised that a public consultation meeting took place on Wednesday 7th September to outline the details of the development of 104 houses at Lochan Corr, Black Isle Road.   FM and a number of other CC members went along. The developer was keen for views on the provision of a safe walking and cycling connection to the village.  Disappointment was expressed that the developer has not made contact with any of the landowners that may be affected by any new route into the village if this was to go ahead.    It was acknowledged that a development on this land is part of the local development plan, but it has previously been rejected due to access issues.
  Those present on the evening were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding this development. FM has emailed this round the other CC members for them to complete also. She urged those to complete this by the closing date.
10. Update – Teaching Support – Tarradale Primary School
  FM was pleased to advise that following the significant concern raised before the holidays, it had now been confirmed that the school will not lose any of its Pupil Support Assistants (PSA’s).
11. Fairburn Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund – Moving Forward
  SM advised that the event took place on Saturday 25/06/16 at the Village Hall. There was a disappointing turnout, but those that did attend were able to see a display illustrating what Microgrants have been distributed over the past 5 years, plus the plans for the redevelopment of the Hall. Those attending were also asked for their opinions on how the Fairburn Fund should be spent over the next 5 years. Following consultation with SSE, the 4 options given were (with % of responses in bold):

1.      All monies are ring-fenced for the redevelopment of the Hall (0%)

2.      The monies are split between the Hall and funding the Community Development Officer (CDO) (0%)

3.      The monies are split between the Hall, part-time CDO & having a larger Fund (distributed by the Fairburn Wind Farm Community Benefit Panel) that community groups can apply to for grants (90%)

4.      100% of funds to be able to distribute to local community groups (10%)

Discussion followed on whether the third option is the best way forward with concern expressed that maybe the community will struggle to spend the money available via larger grants.     Also as the CDO posts are currently funded by a different source to the Fairburn Fund the logic in allocating money to this was queried. However it was ultimately agreed that this was the best option as the CDO posts are crucial to the development of the village and if the current funding for them does not continue, the Fairburn money can then ensure this work can continue.   The continued existence of these posts will also help to promote the use of any larger fund available to community groups.   The percentage split of the funds between the Hall, CDO and grant fund will need to be discussed with SSE. SM to do this and report back.

10. AOB
  War Memorial Update
  Cllr AMK advised that John McLean Stonemasons from Dingwall have been given the contract to do the lighting work at the war memorial. It is hoped that this will be completed by the end of October.

WM also asked if the large tree root near the war memorial will be removed soon. Cllr AMK will investigate this.

  Urray Cemetery
  Cllr AMK advised that following complaints about the state of the Urray cemetery, Hugh Gardener, Amenities Manager, Community Services HC has been out to talk to some families about the elaborate tributes that have been the source of some complaints.   It was hoped that these have now been removed.     It was reported by some present however that this has not happened as yet.   This will therefore be raised by the Cllrs present with Hugh Gardener at their Ward Meeting next week.
  Upkeep of village
  Following complaints highlighted by members of the public present regarding blocked drains, the lack of grass mowing and the failure to remove of grass cuttings, a wide and lengthy discussion took place on ways which this can be helped. PW outlined a new way of working that could see communities such as MOO being given money by HC to take responsibility for certain maintenance tasks such as grass cutting. This would provide more freedom for the community to prioritise and allocate funds to issues that are of local importance.
  PW also reemphasised the Town & Countryside Regeneration Community Initiative which he outlined at the last meeting. If the community would like some of this money it will need to work fast to make an application.  If any concrete plans are established a formal note of interest needs to be put to Ward Manager, Di Agnew. Alterative options discussed were other grant funds, such as the Tesco’s Bags of Help.
  Cllr GM emphasised that if any special events are taking place in the village, HC should be notified as arrangements for extra grass cutting, etc may be possible in this instance.       He also advised that a Gully Emptier is coming to the area for 4 weeks shortly and this should help with any blocked drains.
  PW suggested that a village tidy up day could be organised to help the situation. There was broad agreement for this and Cllr GM advised that the HC should be very supportive of this. They can lend equipment, draw up the necessary safety plans and provide insurance, etc.
  In the meantime it was suggested that inviting Iain Moncrieff, Roads Operational Manager at HC to the next CC meeting would be a beneficial idea to discuss the issues raised.
  Cross Services Meeting
  Following the report of a minor incident in the Tarradale Staff carpark today, MA emphasised the importance of trying to reschedule the meeting that had previously been due to take place in June with various HC departments including, Housing, Education and Community Services. It was felt by all that this is vital to ensure a number of village problems such as congestion around school time and   HGV’s on the Black Isle Road are resolved satisfactorily.

The issue of HGV’s travelling along the Black Isle Road was raised throughout the meeting.   The Cllrs present advised that this was raised with Steve Barron, Chief Executive of HC last year when he visited the area and it was hoped that a weight restriction would then follow.   FM agreed to write a letter to Steve Barron from the CC urging progress on this.

  Query to HC regarding Whisky Barrels
  IM advised that she has been given some whisky barrels by Glen Ord Distillery to put flowers in at a couple of points in the village.     She emailed Di Agnew to ensure that she had permission to do this. Di had forwarded this on to Hugh Gardener, but as yet no response has come back.   Cllr GM will chase this and report back.
  Pot Holes & Other issues
  A number of serious pot holes were highlighted by those present including a number in Corrie Terrace. Another is located outside 21 Highfield Circle.   These have been reported to HC but no permanent repairs have been made. Cllr GM will raise this with the Roads department.

Another issue was raised by WM concerning a manhole cover which has split and become a tripping hazard near the Doctors Surgery. It will need to be established if this is a Scottish Water or HC man hole.

  Access to new Housing Development
  A member of the public stated that Bell Contracts are using the new cycle path to gain access to the Old Urray House site development, at a point where there is not a lowered curb. Concern was expressed that this will cause damage to this newly installed route.   MA will check this with the developer.
  MOO to Conon Bridge Cycle Route
  Cllr AM confirmed that a feasibility study on the potential of an off road cycle path between MOO and Conon Bridge should now have been conducted by HC.   She will check to find out when the report will be issued, so all interested parties can establish if this is a viable option.
  Letter from Ord Road Resident
  FM advised a letter has been received from a resident concerned about the use of the lane at the end of Ord Road by HGV’s. This is a heavily pot-holed lane with no pavements and not suitable in their opinion for such vehicles.   Cllr AM will check the situation with Iain Moncrieff as it was understood that this was on a list of roads to have a weight restriction imposed some time ago.
  Naming of New Housing Scheme
  FM advised that following consultation over the summer with Emma Tayler, the new scheme on the site of the old Urray House will be called either Drovers Court or Drovers Close. The final name will be agreed and notified in due course.
  Public Toilet Charging Consultation
  FM highlighted a questionnaire that has been issued by HC to consult on possible charges for public toilets.   She will email the CC members for them to complete this.   Responses need to be in by 30th September.
  Community Quality Awards 2016
  FM gave brief details of these awards with nominations being invited from community groups or CC’s for the ‘Community Nomination’ category.   This is for HC employed individuals or a team of individuals who have delivered excellent service in their area. If anyone would like to nominate anyone the closing date is Monday 26th September.
  Resurfacing Works – A9 North of Kessock Bridge
  FM advised that she has received notification that works will begin on a 1.8k section of the southbound carriageway on Sunday 18th September for 7 nights. The improvement works will take place during off-peak hours, from 7.00 pm to 7.00 am each night, due to restricted working hours and the high volume of traffic on the route. There will be no works taking place on Friday or Saturday nights and works are expected to be completed by the morning of Tuesday 27th September.
  Award to MA
  Cllr AM congratulated MA on his recent award at the Third Sector Interface Awards.
  Black Isle Show Ground Parking Field
  A member of the public highlighted the deterioration in the surface of the field next to the Skate Park following the Black Isle Show, which is making it difficult for dog walkers.   While not part of his CC remit, SM will investigate this as a member of the Black Isle Farmer’s Society.
11. Date of Next Meeting
  Thursday 13th October @ 7.30 pm at the Pavilion, Muir of Ord
   The meeting finished at 9.30pm 


Ref Who Action When
1 FM To continue to investigate new Christmas Lights ASAP
2 FM To gain statistics from PC MacDonald on Police activity at Vulcan Cottage. If nothing is forthcoming to let Cllr GM know and he will speak to the Inspector.   Also to ensure she provides a Police Report for each CC meeting ASAP
3 MA To meet Kate Mackay regarding the installation of two new gates to allow access to the Old Railway Path ASAP
4 CC Members To complete the Lochan Corr Developers questionnaire (if not already done so) ASAP
5 SM To provide an update from discussions with SSE over the Fairburn Fund future split of money ASAP
6 Cllr AMK To investigate when the tree root near the War Memorial will be removed ASAP
7 Cllrs To establish if the Urray Cemetery issues have been resolved ASAP
8 FM To invite Iain Moncrieff to the next CC meeting ASAP
9 MA To try to ensure the Cross Services meeting is rescheduled ASAP
10 FM To write to Steve Barron and urge help with the HGV issue on BI Road ASAP
11 Cllr GM To check situation with Hugh Gardiner regarding the placing of Whisky Barrels at a couple of village locations ASAP
12 MA To check the access to the Old Urray House Development with Bell Contracts ASAP
13 Cllr AM To check when the MOO to Conon Bridge cycle path feasibility report will be available ASAP
14 Cllr AM To establish a weight restriction will be imposed on the lane off Ord Road with Iain Moncrieff ASAP
15 All CC Members To complete the HC Public Toilet Consultation By 30th September
16 SM To investigate the situation with the BI Showground parking field ASAP