Ardchattan Community council minutes – January 2017

ARDCHATTAN COMMUNITY COUNCIL Minutes of meeting held in North Connel Hall 12th January 2017 at 7.30pm
Present: Geoffrey Miller (Vice-convenor), Tim McIntyre (Secretary), Anne Hilditch (Treasurer), Lachie Strathern (CC), Ronnie Campbell (CC), John Campbell (CC), Ashley Stones (CC), Jill Bowis (CC), Sian Griffiths (CC), Colin Morrison (CC), Breege Smyth (CC); Councillors Kieron Green, Elaine Robertson (from 9.05pm); Stuart Findlay & Helen Watt (Forestry Commission); 2 members of the public: Lewis Morrison & Joy Blakeney.
1. Apologies: Margaret Adams (Convenor), Robin Dodman (CC), Tony Dalgaty (CC), Gordon Wood (CC), Cllr Julie MacKenzie, PC Stuart Johnston.
• It was noted that Gordon Wood has submitted his resignation as a Community Councillor with immediate effect as he is starting a new job which will take him away from home during the working week. The Community Council sends its best wishes to Gordon and thanks him for his service to ACC.
2. Declarations of interest: none
3. Minutes of previous meeting: held on 11th November were approved.
Tree felling on Beinn Lora: Prior to the main agenda for the meeting, the Community Council welcomed Stuart Findlay & Helen Watt from Forestry Commission Scotland, who provided information and answered questions on the forthcoming clear-felling work to be carried out on Beinn Lora, due to begin in early February. During an initial civil engineering phase to improve access for harvesting equipment, the footpath network will be open under banksman control for safety. However, once the harvesting begins, the paths and car park will be fully closed off, and this work is expected to take around 6 months. Harvesting will be by a combination of standard harvesting/forwarding machinery and skyline winching on the steeper slopes. The felled area will be re-planted with a mixture of native broadleaf species and natural regeneration. The path network on Beinn Lora is very popular and well-used, with around 12,000 visitors in the past year. The plan has been discussed and agreed with the Council’s Access Officer, and every effort will be made to advertise the path closure and provide suggested alternative walks for visitors. A link will also be provided for the Community Council website. During the period of closure, the Commission will be devising and consulting on a Visitor Experience Plan to be implemented after the work is complete.
4. Police report: none
5. Matters Arising: Airport Business Park – no update; Kieron advised that work is underway to consider ways to make use of the site, as the original funding model (TIF) may not be workable in practice. Agreed that CC should invite council officials to next meeting to update/discuss. Cllr Robertson later advised that David Gunn had already offered to come to the next meeting.
6. Tralee Link Path update: Planning consent, funding and agreement of all but one of the landowners is all in place, awaiting only agreement from the estate of Mr MacColl which had been delayed due to a potential sale of some of the land. It is hoped this final missing element will be resolved shortly to allow a substantial start to be made before the funding deadline in March.
7. Proposed playpark, WH housing association: Geoff, Colin & Breege attended a meeting on 14th December to discuss the provision of a children’s play area in respect of a planning condition attached to the new WHHA housing development behind the Lynn of Lorn nursing home. The association had subsequently written, offering to either provide & maintain a small facility themselves for use of their tenants, or contribute funding to a larger community-run & maintained project. It was agreed that the former option was preferable given the considerable resources and long-term commitment required for a play park and the present lack of any suitable community organisation to take it on. Geoff to write to WHHA.
8. Waste collection & recycling area: There had been some disruption to waste uplifts over the festive break which were due to resource pressures & breakdowns, but services should be back to normal now. Lewis Morrison presented a report on work he has carried out at the recycling area over recent months including removal of a fallen tree and a considerable amount of clearing up of general waste which is still being dumped in the area. He recommended that the front fence be removed to make the area ‘open’ and thus more visible, to discourage flytipping. The skips require some maintenance/replacement and also re-arranging within the area once the fence is gone, and it would help if the concrete base could be extended. Agreed that CC would look at this and report back at next meeting.
9. Viewpoint at Dun-na-Mara: Lewis also reported on maintenance work he has carried out at the viewpoint, and outlined some further work needing done – removal of trees and maintenance of tubs/benches. Lachie to look at this.
10. Treasurer’s report:-
Balance as at 10th November 2016 3,955.97
less: donation to Club na Cairdean (200.00) new noticeboards Bonawe & Barcaldine (480.00) *transfer to new Defibrillator Fund (1,000.00) Closing bal. General Fund 2,275.97
Defibrillator Fund (new) income: NHS Highland grant 1,500.00 *transfer from General Fund 1,000.00 less: purchase of defibrillator & 2 x cabinets (2,233.44)
Closing bal. Defibrillator Fund 266.56
Overall closing balance as at 10 th November 2016 2,542.53
* the sum of £1,000 was received into the General Fund as a grant from MEDCAT for the defibrillator project – see minutes 29 th Sept. 2016
11. Secretary’s report – Correspondence since last meeting:
– 28/11: Letter from MECOPP re. planning application for oil depot at airport 02/12:
(outgoing): letter of objection re. oil depot at airport 21/12: Community Empowerment Event, 11th March
12. Health matters: Defibrillators – There has been good progress on the defibrillator project, with the Bonawe unit expected to be in place in the near future. Oban Hospital: there will be a public meeting in the Corran Halls on 13th January to discuss the Oban hospital which is undergoing a major review.
13. Planning: Glen Creran Quarry: The meeting considered the application for a sand and gravel quarry at Glen Creran. Following discussion, it was agreed that the community council would submit an objection to the application, on the grounds that: there would be a negative visual impact from the valued walking areas on the hills surrounding the application site; the potential for water pollution in Loch Creran from the washing operations; the impact of HGV traffic on the quiet Loch Creran loop road which is popular with locals & visitors as a walking & cycling route; and the lack of any clear evidence that there is a local need or shortage of the materials to be quarried. Oil storage/distribution depot, North Connel: representation had been received shortly after the last meeting from MECOPP on behalf of residents at the travelling persons site adjacent to the Airport. As the planning deadline was imminent, community councillors discussed the application by email and agreed that it would be appropriate for the CC to submit an objection citing the safety and wellbeing of residents on the site and of children walking along the access route to the school bus stop. The objection was submitted on 2nd December.
14. AOB: John: asked on behalf of a local resident about the possibility of creating an access to Beregonium and making it amenable to visitors. Jill advised that contact had been made with ‘Adopt a Monument’ for expert advise and no actions would take place without discussions initially with the landowner later in the Spring. Lewis: asked if there was any further progress with the improvements to the lighting gear on Connel Bridge. It was suggested that Connel CC are keeping a watching brief on this. There has not been any planning application relating to it as yet.
15. Next meetings: 23rd Feb Victory Hall, 6th April Ardchattan, 18th May AGM, Barcaldine. NB change of venues since last minutes.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 9:50pm If you would like to contact the Community Council, please write, email or telephone:- Secretary: Tim McIntyre, Birch Cottage, Barcaldine, OBAN, Argyll PA37 1SG Tel: 01631 720498; Email:

February 23, 2017   Posted in: Community

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