Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council – Approved September 2020 Minutes

Muir of Ord (Tarradale) Community Council


  The Muir Hub, Muir of Ord

Thursday 5th September 2019 @ 7.30 pm

Present:          Jean Davis (JD) – Chair; Stephen MacKenzie (SM) – Treasurer; Frances MacGruer (FM); Mike Atkinson (MA); Carol Blanchard (CB).

Others:            Irene Macleod, Beryl Ross, Sheila Fraser, Liz Bremner, Ian Bremner, Lesley Durdle, Katelynne Munro, Niall Mackenzie, R Morrison, E Morrison, Janis Smith, Margaret Henderson, James Henderson, Moira Towie, Stewart Towie, Katie McMaster, Richie McMaster, Agnes McMaster, Amy Tuach, Gary Tuach, Leonard Fraser, Hazel Sutherland, George Sutherland, Sheila Greene, Ally Reid, Alex Johannsen, Louise Sutherland, Allyson Briggs,  Jo Ellen (Minutes)

1. Apologies for Absence & Welcome
  There were apologies from Duncan Chisholm (DC), Moira Chalmers (MC), Cllr Graham MacKenzie (GM), Cllr Angela MacLean (AM), Sheena Cameron & Joan Munro.   JD welcomed all those present to the meeting.  Due to the large number of local people present to discuss the planning application relating to the Moorings Building it was agreed to discuss this item first.  
  The Moorings Great (Ref: 19/03444/FUL) – Planning Application
  JD introduced the clearly controversial planning application that has been submitted to HC regarding the demolition of the old Moorings Hotel building (on Great North Road) and erection of 6 unit assisted care facility in its place.   She emphasised that the closing date for the Neighbour Consultation was midnight so any comments and objections needed to be submitted by then.   JD reported that the owner had already received planning permission earlier in the year for three houses on the site which had not been controversial.  The new plans were submitted at the end of July 2019.   The strength of feeling against the proposal was demonstrated firstly by the large presence in the room, but also from the submission of a petition collated at the Filling Station in the village by concerned residents.  There were approximately 160 names on this.  The organisers emphasised that many more people would have signed it too if they had more time.   A lengthy and detailed discussion took place with the following concerns highlighted: The potential loss of a parking and amenity area on Fairways Avenue.  It was also unclear who owns this land, but it is not believed to be the owner of the Moorings.Who will be resident in the facility after completion?  Is it an HMO? It is a similar facility to Vulcan Cottage? If so significant concern was raised that there are not enough facilities in the village to cope with more vulnerable people.  The noise and anti-social behaviour emanating regularly from Vulcan Cottage was also emphasised and its close proximity to this development.The site is very close to residential streets with young children and vulnerable elderly residents who will be affected by any anti-social behaviour and additional traffic. A local resident advised that the drainage system in the area is currently old and is prone to getting blocked.  This development will only make the issue worse.It was suggested that some of the aspects of the building plans do not meet building regulations, including the number of parking spaces and visibility from the road. Is there asbestos or bats in the building?  Will this be dealt with properly before the building is demolished?   MA advised that the Planning Department will be concerned about type of building, visual impact etc not its use after completion.  This is an issue for the Licencing Department.  It was emphasised that any objections submitted at this stage should try to focus on details such as parking, design issues etc in addition to stating concerns about the likely use after.   There was vocal frustration in the room that there is not more that can be done to prevent this planning application being successful.  The CC members present emphasised that they are all volunteers with limited time.  They sympathised with the views and stressed that the best way forward is for those present to add to the number of objections.  It was reported that there are ten currently.  The more objections, the greater the chance that the plans will be escalated to the HC Planning Committee and scrutinised further.   It was asked if the four ward Cllrs could do more to help at this stage.  MA advised that if they become involved at this time they cannot participate later in the decision making process and this may be detrimental ultimately to the community.   Following the discussion those present agreed unanimously that they want the CC to object to the proposals.  There were no voices in favour of the project. JD will prepare an objection on behalf of the CC based on the comments tonight.   To help the community learn more about the planning process, JD will also put details of a useful guide to planning on the FB page.   Many of the local residents left the meeting after the discussions at 8.15pm.  
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting
  The minutes of the meeting on Thursday 27th June 2019 were proposed as a true reflection by CB and seconded by MA with the following amendment:   Item 4: Future of SSE Fairburn Windfarm – second paragraph ‘From the Auchmore fund we receive £2000 annually…’ change to ‘£2,500 annually…’  
3. Matters Arising from Minutes
  MacDonald Bequest Update
  There was no update as Cllr AM was not present.  
  Road Sweeper Update
  There was no update to report.  
  Printing options for CC newsletter
  Once the next newsletter is drafted the printing options will be established.  
  Police Drop-In Sessions
  JD advised that there was no update when the first Police Drop-In session planned by PC Maciver will take place.  
  Restoration of path on the Burton Estate
  It was reported that there is still working on-going in the area and the path has not yet been restored. MA will monitor the situation.  
  Update on Big Picture 2
  See item 10.  
  Business Breakfast
  There was no update on the date of the next Business Breakfast event at the Hub.  CB will encourage local business attendance when she is given the details.  
  List for Local Development Plan
  MA circulated the wish list around the village with items that people would like to see developed or improved.  Some comments were received back.  
  Town Centre Fund Application
  JD advised that DC and Ally Reid have worked on this and submitted an application for funding to make improvements to the village square and buy new Christmas lights. HC have taken an initial look at this and have come back with concerns about the cost of the square project.  They have rejected the part relating to the Christmas lights so these will need to be funded by another means. DC has suggested that a subgroup of the CC be formed to take the square project forward as greater technical and building expertise would be beneficial and the MOO Community Development Trust do not have capacity at present to lead on this.   A discussion followed with it emphasised that this is not a straightforward application. If HC agree to provide funding towards this project the timescale for using the money is very tight – it needs to be spent or committed by March 2020.  The total cost will require additional funding and this will take time to source.  It was also felt that some of the improvements, e.g to lighting could be paid for by HC as they fall under their remit.    It was suggested that the plan for the square be split into three options, with one having the most basic requirements (and least cost), through to three with everything that would be wished for to improve the area (with the greatest cost).   A further HC Funding meeting will take place in mid-September to discuss this and the other applications and more will be known then.   A decision will then need to be taken to progress this application or not.  DC will update at the next meeting.  
  Grass Cutting/Hedge Issues
  A discussion took place with it stated that some pavements are becoming unwalkable due to hedges encroaching on them.   It was also queried who mows the grass along the roadside between SGL and the Norpower.  While it is being cut, the trimmings are leaving a significant mess.   MA will check the grass mowing map provided by HC to check the situation.   CB commented that the visibility leaving the show ground road (B9169) left onto the Black Isle Road (B832) at Lily Loch is currently poor due to overgrowing bushes.   MA advised that this can be tackled by the team tidying the area for the forthcoming Cyclocross event this weekend.  Ron Blanchard will hopefully be able to help with this too.  
  Removal/Empty Dog Poo Bins at Black Isle Show Ground
  SM confirmed that the Dog Poo bins have now been removed.  
  Microgrant Update
  JD advised that following discussion with SSE, the amount available to groups for Microgrants will be increased from £250 to £500.  The Auchmore Fund will also increase to the same value.   For information JD advised that the four MOO representatives on the Fairburn Wind Farm Panel are herself, SM, David Cameron and Jem Taylor.  
4. Police Report
  There was no Police report and PC Maciver was not in attendance.   MA will forward PC Maciver’s details to JD so she can urge a Police presence and report for each CC meeting, in addition to a copy of the June report. FM advised that following vandalism at the Football Club a member of the club had tried to contact PC Maciver directly about this and had been told not to use that number and phone 101 instead.  This had resulted in much frustration and it is now not clear if the incident was even logged.  
5. Financial Report
  SM gave an update as of 30/08/19.   Statement Balance:  £11,465.00 Cheques Written, but not cashed: £398.87 Account Balance:  £11,066.13 Unrestricted Working CC Funds: £9,565.39 A discussion followed on the unrestricted balance with those present feeling that this should be reduced.  It was suggested that putting £5,000 towards some new Christmas lights for the village would be beneficial.   FM will check with the supplier Blachere Illumination and report back what is possible, with refurbished lights also to be considered.  
  Microgrant Application
  MOO Community Development Trust had applied for £240 to help run a Halloween Disco for families and residents of the area. A discussion took place with the view expressed that this group should be charging more for entry as the low cost of this event may put people off attending other events with a higher entry fee when the organisers have not applied for funding.   Following the discussion it was agreed to fund in full, but the group will be advised that the CC will be unlikely to support a repeat application in the future.  
6. Update – Planning Issues
  Lochan Corr
  There was no update on the planning application submitted for this development.  
7. Update – Community Groups
  There were no updates.  
8. Roads, Paths & Safety Issues
  A number of issues were highlighted.   There is currently an issue on Friday nights with members of the Model Club parking on the road outside the Drill Hall.  The is causing unnecessary congestion in the area when the designated carpark is not being used.  CB also advised that there is some confusion at the West Road junction turning right onto the new bridge as some drivers (generally not locals) are stopping at the red light on the bridge, when they should be continuing through. There are still HGVs passing through Black Isle Road.  It is unclear when the new restrictions come into place, but it had been hoped that this would have been before school went back in August.JD suggested that some of the white lines at key junctions in the village could be improved.  This includes the West Road junction and at the Cairns.   JD will report these concerns to the local Cllrs.   She did have one positive update that that there will be an additional smiley face installed the village within the 20mph zone, plus the one on Great North Road is being moved from the 30mph area to the 20mph area also.  
9. Community Action
  There were no items discussed.  
10. Local Place Plan (The Big Picture 2)
  MA advised that the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan ‘call for sites’ has now closed so the pressure for a wider community discussion to suggest developments for the area and feed into this has passed.    Following the update it was suggested that this is revisited after the CC elections.  Hopefully then a Local Plan can be drawn up with community support when there is more guidance available.  Although MA does not plan to be a CC member he will be happy to act as a link between the CC and the Development Trust in relation to this issue.  
11. Minutes Secretary
  JD thanked JE for helping with the minutes this evening but confirmed that a permanent replacement is needed.  There were no offers forthcoming from the FB post advertising the post in the summer.  It was agreed that this can be re-advertised after the CC elections.  It was suggested that posters are put up in addition to a Muir Matters article and a post on FB.  
12. AOB
  Stagecoach Bus Timetable Changes
  A couple of members of the public highlighted the changes to the Stagecoach timetables that are negatively affecting residents of MOO who need to travel for work, medical appointments, etc.  There is currently a petition in the village and help has been sought from local MSP Kate Forbes and Cllr MP.  A brief discussion followed with those present agreeing that this situation is not ideal.   JD will offer CC support where possible when it is established what needs to be done.  
  CC Elections
  The notice of for the CC Election will be published on 23rd September 2019 and a copy of the Nomination Pack will then be published on the HC website.  The deadline for submitting nomination papers is 12 noon on Tuesday 8th October 2019. JD urged the current CC members wishing to stand again to complete the necessary paperwork before the deadline when it is available.  JD has contacted Di Agnew for guidance on who should attend the October CC meeting (current or new CC members, if no election is required).  She will advise the current members when a response is received.  
  October CC Meeting
  JD advised that Moo Food would like to come to the next meeting to talk about a new project.  In addition Beauly Fire Service would also like to attend to speak about fire safety.  This will be publicised prior to the meeting.  
  War Memorial Upkeep
  FM advised that Billy and some colleagues from SSE are happy to do more work at the war memorial.  They are keen to tar the path and re-seed or turf an area that has been cleared.   They will donate their time if the CC will provide the money for the materials.   Those present agreed that the work this team have done previously has been very beneficial to the village and were happy to fund this.  The costs will be approximately £800.  Half will be provided by the CC and the other half by the Auchmore Microgrant Fund.  
  Cyclocross Cycle Race
  MA advised that this event which is the first in Scottish Cyclocross series will take place on Sunday 22nd September in the area around the Bowl, BMX track and Skate Park.  It will attract cyclists from all over Scotland.   There will be a team of volunteers preparing the area on Saturday 7th September, meeting at 10.30am at the car park behind police station on Tarradale Gardens.  Additional helpers are welcome to join in.  If anyone can help at the event they should speak to MA.  
11. Date of Next Meeting
  The next Meeting is to be held on Thursday 10th October 2019 @ 7.30 pm in the Hub, Muir of Ord.   
  The meeting finished at 9.35pm  


Ref Who Action When
1 JD To prepare an objection to the Moorings Planning Application and submit to HC Midnight on 05/09/19
2 Cllr AM To update if the MacDonald Bequest will be used to pay for the Tree Officers recommendations for the Urray Cemetery ASAP
3 Cllr AMK To check if there will be a replacement Street Sweeper in MOO ASAP
4 JD To establish the date of the Police Drop-In session in MOO ASAP
5 MA To make informal enquiries about the restoration of the core path on the old railway line –  when works complete. ASAP
6 DC/CB To publicise the next Business Breakfast when the date is established ASAP
7 DC To update on the Town Centre Fund application ASAP
8 MA To check the Grass Mowing Map to establish if HC is responsible for the road section outside SGL  
9 MA/JD To forward PC Macivers details to JD.  JD to make contact and urge a Police presence at meetings along with a report ASAP
10 FM To investigate the cost of Christmas Lights with Blachere Illumination ASAP
11 JD To highlight with the local Cllrs the roads issues discussed at the meeting ASAP
12 JD To advise CC members who should attend the October meeting after the election nomination process closes ASAP