Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 4th May 2023 at Beauly Bowls Club starting at 7.30pm.
Present: Steve Byford(Chair), John Stewart(Vice Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham, Mark Hedderwick, John Graham(Secretary), Cllr. Emma Knox.
Apologies: Cllr. Chris Balance, Cllr. Helen Crawford, Cllr. David Fraser
Guests: Roy Templeton
Meeting Commenced at 19.35hrs (7.35pm)
Minutes of Meeting 13th April 2023: Proposed: Steve Byford, Seconded: Duncan Fraser.
- Written report circulated as well as Police Newsletter for Inverness and District.
- Duncan raised some issued not covered in the report and will provide the Secretary with a written comment which will be forwarded to Sarah Patterson, Police Scotland.
- SSEN -Beauly to New Deer Consultation – a wide and varied discussion took place again commenting on quality of maps and paucity of information. Certainly the view was that many residents were extremely unhappy and concerned at these proposals. As it has limited impact on Kilmorack CC area excepting that the preferred route goes straight through the Groam of Annat and the ‘Node’ is vague and impossible to identify who will be impacted most we may choose to await more detailed information. The routes are still too wide to determine the individual impact. Essentially all were most concerned but more information is required. In regards to Beauly-Spittal and Beauly to New Deer we have been invited to a public meeting by Edward Mountain MSP and Jamie Halcro-Johnston MSP at Strathpeffer Pavilion on the 26th May. The Chair asked that we accept the invitation. All agreed. As regards these consultations the Chair, with the support of all the Community Councillors, objects to how SSEN are proposing these projects to us in the public consultations. In March the consultation was about the Spittal-Loch Buidhe-Beauly overhead pylon line as well as a new HVDC substation and switching substation related to the Western Isles line which was not shown, recently the public consultation was regarding the new Beauly-Peterhead pylon line, SSEN are asking for feedback on each of the projects but they are interconnected and should be shown as such, this is not showing ‘transparency’ and the Chair feels confuses residents.
- SSE Speed Cameras – Update – Sally informed us that they are awaiting the poles from THC and then they can get their contractors to install.
- SSE Renewables proposed Fairburn Extension Wind Farm – We are in communication with Gareth Shields to arrange a meeting and to organise a Consultation event at Kilmorack Hall. The fact that the less intrusive Option E2 for the 400Kv line goes straight through the proposed wind farm was duly noted and the fact that was not the preferred option became apparent. SSE Renewables has little detail on their web site but a full scoping document is available on the ScotGov Energy Consents web page. The height and quantity (14x200m) caused much concern. At present host areas are Marybank, Scatwell and Strathconon which will be out of site and sound of the proposed extension, albeit access due construction will be via the original Fairburn Wind Farm, Kilmorack, which stands likely to be impacted most, needs to be involved.
- Braes Bus Route – Mark Hedderwick reported that the new route was pretty well received. A few issues in that the THC buses requires the driver to dismount the bus to extend the access step each stop. MH will see if he cannot publicise the rout better by notifying the residents. Not perfect but getting there. MH to update Cllr. David Fraser on the practical application of the route.
- SSEN possible Community Benefit – This was handled in item one but the general opinion of all Community Councils was this was little better than a bribe. JG reported the difference between Wind farm Community benefit and that proposed by Ofgem is that part would be Voluntary Direct Compensation to those closely impacted by proximity to the line. However this a proposal and the operators will probably be at pains to get that option removed,
- Kilmorack Cemetery – Fence repairs. JG has chased Hugh Gardner and John Maclean and today noted that two posts have been reset. Hopefully the fence will be re-instated in the next few days.
Chairman: WB noise issue has yet to be addressed and JS and JG will liaise with Gregor to get something in train. Certainly from those present noise is still an issue. There was some concern that THC as a Statutory Consultee has suggested siting the Fenallen substation and HVDC converter station in the WB Quarry. Emma Knox to look back on her notes and get back to the Chair.
Vice Chairman: JS referred to the issues getting an internet bank account. Will liaise with JG.
Secretary: After confirmation of the maintenance grant for the next five year, JG has been in touch with Simon Dakin and Robertson’s. Simon is planning for the next week or so and Robertson’s are waiting our instructions. SB suggested the Altyre will be needing attention soon.
- Balance stands at £3695.66
Planning: No applications
- DF commented on pot holes along the Leanassie Road and also tree cutting recently undertaken.
- Roy Templeton advised the Council of some question on the site for the Aigas Dam transformer update. It would seem that the ground by the river may not be suitable. Ongoing.
Meeting Closed: at 20.58hrs (8.28pm)
Next Meeting: Thursday 1st June 2023 at Beauly Bowls Club starting at 7.30pm