Thursday 3rd May 2012

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 3rd May 2012 at the ‘Kirk’, Wester Balblair at 7.50pm

Present: Steve Byford(Chairman), John Stewart, Duncan Fraser, John Graham, Mary Graham, Mark Hedderwick(8.30pm)

Apologies: Cllr. Helen Carmichael, Cllr. Margaret Davidson, Cllr. Drew Hendry, Clare Caldwell

Minutes of the previous meeting Thurs 5th April 2012 were taken as read and accepted as a true and accurate record. Proposed by Steve Byford and seconded John Graham – Approved.

First Responders: Duncan Mackintosh and Alan Hogan demonstrated the Heart Start apparatus and fully briefed the committee on the workings and capacities of the First Responders service. The local unit comprises of 12 volunteers who commit a minimum of four hours per month and three hours training. They have attended around 160 call outs per year which makes it one of the busiest services in Scotland. They stated that the main concern was the poor signing of houses locally, which causes delays especially on a winter’s night. The organisation was also hoping to bring on Heart Start/CPR courses within the Communities it serves. First Responders are sponsored by the British Heart Foundation and supported by NHS Scotland. The Chairman thanked them for their attendance and for their service to the Community.

Matters arising:

  • ·        Kilmorack Cemetery Car Park: awaiting response to WDF application. John Stewart opinioned that should funds be forthcoming we should proceed as soon as possible.
  • ·        Lights and Bollards – TEC services have confirmed that unlit reflective bollards will be provided before the Autumn. We have suggested an earlier date would be welcome.
  • ·        Glen Affric Parking Charges – No action until after the elections. SB had collected a number of signatures in the Kirk.
  • ·        Druim Ba: John Graham passed around copies of our statement of case that has been provided to the Reporter. (available on the web site)We are preparing the case for the three community councils, Kilmorack, Kirltarlity and Inverness West. Glenurquart may well join us. Abriachan Forest Trust is providing a forestry assessment of the practical application of key holing and possible wind blow.
  • ·        New Scottish Government Planning Charges: JG briefed members on the increases to charges for houses, Planning in Principal and farm buildings that would affect local development. A briefing paper was circulated. These are only proposals at the moment and the committee considered the cap on wind farm and large scale development was too low. Costs over those, which are often incurred on large projects, would fall on the ratepayer.
  • ·        Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan: Duncan Fraser, John Graham and Mary Graham had attended the presentation at Phipps Hall and had expressed some concern to the proposal by Hatfield Farms to build 38 houses at Ruilick and a further four by Dunmore Lodges. In essence this is only a wish list delineating where HC would prefer development, whether housing or recreational. It was felt that HC’s approach had opened a bit of a wasp’s nest and encouraged land owners and developers to put forward land for inclusion that may not be suitable. Access to both these sites is poor, facilities non existent and opposition strong. As these are simply suggestions we shall address those issues relevant and wait future applications. On the more positive note the majority of KCC is addressed as hinterland and fairy well protected.

Chairman’s Business:

  • ·        The Chairman felt that it would be appropriate to recognise Alisdair Stewart’s input to the Community Council and it was proposed that he be appointed our Community Payback Liaison Officer. SB proposed, JG seconded. This was approved.
  • ·        First Responders: The Chairman suggested that we ought to support the scheme as possible. Primarily we could provide an accurate annotated map of the area and use what influence we could bring to bear to persuade homes in the area to improve signposting. He expressed concern that the volunteers were paying for their own petrol and mostly used their own transport. The Chairman also supported the principle of Heart Start/CPR courses in the local community. Should funds become available from Community Benefit (Fairburn) this would be an ideal area to support.

Secretaries Business:

  • ·        Mary Graham briefly reported on a Scottish Government proposal for Rural Parliaments. Whether this is an election ploy from the First Minister or a serious proposal is yet to be proven. A somewhat sceptical committee felt unsure of any advantage.

Planning Matters:

  • ·        The Hatfield Farms proposal has yet to be brought forward as a planning application and must be considered should that happen. Concerns were expressed by Community members at the round table discussion and the Architect for the plan suggested that any plans may be of a smaller scale than originally suggested. We are however advised that construction work on the road to the approved Shooting Lodge for Hatfield Farms is to commence shortly. This is to support the re-issue of the existing planning permission.
  • ·        Robbie Short has applied for Planning in Principle for a 1.5 story house 400m NW of Waterfurrows adjacent to his workshop and a summerhouse. No member expressed opposition at the meeting.

Finance: No report





  • ·        Steve Byford and John Stewart will be meeting with the Aggregate Industries Quarry sub committee.
  • ·        The possibility of benches by the war memorial was discussed and representations will be made to Lovat Estates.
  • ·        Concerns were expressed at the high traffic speed through Westair Balblair after the 30mph limit on the Altyre Road. Contact with TEC services to see if improvements could be made

Meeting Closed: 10.00pm


Signed:   SB