About Dougal Quixote

Slightly mad. Always believes a cup is half full so continues to tilt at Wind Turbines and the politicians that seem to believe it is their god given right to ruin Scotland for a pot of fool's gold.

Minutes of Meeting Thursday 9th June 2022

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 9th June 2022 by Zoom starting at 8.00pm.

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham,  John Stewart(Vice-Chair), Graeme Mackay, Mark Hedderwick, John Graham(Secretary), Cllr Emma Knox, Cllr Helen Crawford, Cllr Chris Ballance.

Apologies: Cllr. David Fraser

Guests:

Meeting Commenced at 20.00hrs (8.00pm) SB welcomed our new Ward Councillors and introduced our Community Councillors to them.

Minutes of Previous Meeting Wednesday 3rd May 2022 – Proposed DF, Seconded JS. Passed.

Police Scotland: Written report had been circulated in advance but the Secretary read out the salient points. SB referred to some recent cases of attempted fraud via Gumtree and asked that warnings be posted on the Hall FB page and the KCC web site as well as making the local Police aware.

Matters Arising:

  • Ditches and Drains – SB spoke of the online reporting feature which was addressed later under Chairman’s Business but it was agreed that GM and SB would do a recce of the area and list the problems to THC.
  • SSE has provisionally agreed to supply speed awareness cameras subject to the agreement from THC.
  • ACF is pleased to confirm that the new composting loo, with disabled access, is now installed and operational. Road closure for felling by the A831 is pending but yet to be confirmed. Contractors are presently clearing windblow.
  • Picnic area now cut with the new Forest tractor and verge mower. Originally purchased to clear the roads and paths in the forest but available to cut the grass in the car park which adjoins the forest. Machinery worked fine but operator needs a bit of practice!
  • Beauly Cluster Consultation notified for the 22nd June at Kilmorack Hall and virtually on the 28th June.

Chairman’s Business:

  • SB reported on the CLG and expressed some dissatisfaction on the way SSE chose four sites to comply with Ofgem of which obviously only one is their preferred option. This causes much stress to the local populace not helped by off-site mapping (Google flat earth) that takes no account of the topography and practical consideration of the other sites.  The minutes of the CLG meeting had only arrived that afternoon and had yet to be considered.
  • SB had tried the online reporting of road issues and was awaiting to see how long it would take to address the corner up by Charlie Barclay. SB and GM to list the problem areas when SB returns from holiday.  

Vice Chairman:

  • JS and DF attended then Wester Balblair(Breedons) Quarry CLG meeting with Chris Bremner which commenced with a tour of the quarry. Whilst the quarry is scheduled to close by 2026 there are ongoing discussions regarding an extension with test bores planned [these we are informed by MH have been cancelled without explanation at this time]. Any extension would need planning and it is likely that there would be strong objection from those living over the river. Phase one Regeneration is progressing well with phase two due to commence in twelve months. Dust damping is available this summer should conditions dictate. Breedon will consider support the speed awareness signs if required. SSE is presently addressing the bell mouth to the quarry prior to the sub station extension. JS again referred to the flooding and asked that this be considered with the bell mouth improvements.
  • JS mentioned the difficulty contacting Simon Dakin for his latest invoice. He is working away and only back at weekends and his digs have no internet connection.
  • JS informed the Community Council of a plaque of rats in Wester Balbair. THC Pest Control office have been informed. It was questioned whether someone keeping chickens and not properly securing the feed store may be the issue.  

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence: Nothing to report

Treasurer:

  • DF confirmed the balance stood at £3917.71 but we are still awaiting two outstanding invoices.

Planning Applications: None

ANOB:

  • MH mentioned that some sightlines were compromised and needed attention. Some of the younger drivers are not driving with consideration to the roads. Cllr Emma Knox to contact John Taylor. It was noted that last year they were addressed quite early. There has been an explosion of growth over the last few weeks.

Meeting Closed: at 21.10hrs (9.10pm) SB thanked our new Councillors for attending.

Next Meeting: Thursday 8th September (Time and location to be confirmed)

Signed:

Minutes of Meeting Tuesday 3rd May 2022(Draft)

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 3rd May 2022 by Zoom starting at 8.00pm.

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham,  John Stewart(Vice-Chair), John Graham(Secretary), Cllr Emma Knox

Apologies: Graeme MacKay, Mark Hedderwick,Cllr. David Fraser

Guests:

Meeting Commenced at 20.00hrs (8.00pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Wednesday 7th April 2022 – Proposed SB, Seconded DF. Passed.

Police Scotland: Written report had been circulated in advance.

Matters Arising:

  • Ditches and Drains – JG had met Alan Johnstone by chance and was able to discuss the bitumen shortage which had now been resolved with supplies from Venezuela. SB will try the potholes hotline to expedite the more urgent areas. Otherwise the situation is ongoing.
  • SSE Community Resilience Funding – KCH had been informed but no response as of yet. JG to contact them for an update.
  • Kilmorack Cemetery – A complaint had been received regarding the condition of the Cemetery and the Secretary had visited. Recent grass growth had rather overtaken the graves and Hugh Gardner (Project Manager, Bereavements) has been made aware. He is sending a team to address the problem.

Chairman’s Business:

  • Quarry – The Chairman had received a noise complaint from a resident outwith Kilmorack CC area but had addressed the issue by contacting the EHOs and Gregor McCormick. It is likely the noise issue has been aggravated by the crusher being in the quarry and Breedon has apologised for failing to advise us of that fact. It is felt that the clearance of trees to the River area will continue to exacerbate the issue. There is a CLG meeting with Breedons on the 19th May to which John Stewart and Duncan Fraser will attend.
  • Battery storage application. Local residents had been asking what is happening with that and SB asked Cllr Emma Knox if she was aware of any movement. No one seems to have heard any news from that area.  

Vice Chairman:

  • JS’s new neighbour had complained about the speed of some cars coming down the Altyre. JS commented that, especially in the evening, it has become a bit of a race track. She has a young daughter and is concerned for her welfare. SB suggested the option of a Radar Speed sign which we had proposed to SSE for the main road. SSE have yet to respond and may need chasing. Will be brought up at the next Beauly CLG meeting.

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence:

  • The Secretary reported on three options for meetings. KCH may be available for alternative week Monday meetings, Beauly Shinty Club had offered their committee room which seats ten foc. (Thursday is training night so there may be some external noise), The Tarradale Room at the Muir of Ord Hub is available at £12 per hour. Tea and coffee and audio visual equipment is available. It was felt the next meeting will be Zoom which leaves us the summer to make a decision.
  • The provisional dates for the rest of this years meeting had been circulated and after some modification were presented to the Council. Subject to a decision on meeting venues these may change.

Treasurer:

  • DF confirmed the balance stood at £3917.71.

Planning Applications:

  • House at land 100m NE of Tor View House, Torgormack, Beauly  application has been granted.

ANOB:

  • The Osprey/Peregrine situation has taken a turn for the worse with some eighteen cars there over the Bank Holiday Sunday. As the situation had been under some control until then it was somewhat frustrating. Sir JLK has written to NatureScot, the Police and other bodies remonstrating that something has to be done less we lose these Red List birds. SB brought the subject of trail cameras and that will be explored.
  • Aigas/Kilmorack Dam upgrades – Received today new places of interest for siting the substations. Neither sites featured on the original options. The preferred option seems to be on SSE land below the dam. 

Meeting Closed: at 21.03hrs (9.03pm)

Next Meeting: Thursday 9th June at 8.00pm (by Zoom).

Signed:

Minutes of Meeting, Thursday 7th April 2022

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 7th April 2022 by Zoom starting at 8.00pm.

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham,  Graham Mackay, John Graham(Secretary), Cllr David Fraser,  Cllr Emma Knox

Apologies: John Stewart,Cllr. Helen Carmichael, Cllr Emma Knox

Guests: Iain Stewart

Meeting Commenced at 20.03hrs (8.03pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Wednesday 3rd March 2022 – Proposed DF, Seconded SB. Passed.

Police Scotland: No report.

Matters Arising:

  • Ditches and Drains – Meeting with John Taylor has yet to take place but the situation in Russia has meant a shortage of bitumen which will seriously impact on road repairs just when funding was available. However this should allow concentration on ditches and culverts which could be to our benefit.
  • Ukraine – Three donations/fund raising events from Aigas Community Forest, Aigas Golf Club and Ffordes Photographic have shown the Community generosity and Steve Byford has made one of houses available for refugees but had found the system cumbersome and frustrating. Cllr Margaret Davidson said both the Home Office and Scottish Government had been cumbersome and a lot of red tape needing cutting out. However as these were women and children proper checks were necessary and that was understood. Hopefully the system will improve shortly.
  • Beauly Kilmorack Trust – SB reported that he had been contacted by Beauly CC and had asked for further details. GM had been in some discussions but was still awaiting more detail. Cllr. Margaret Davidson commented that there are considerable grants available but as CCs are not corporate bodies they must establish a trust to access them. ACF and KCH are trusts and may provide an avenue to access funding. However they have defined objectives. GM to liaise with Beauly CC and further discuss options.
  • SSE £1million Resilience Fund. The Secretary reported he had suggested to KCH to revisist the option of making the hall ready for connection to a generator and made them aware that funds are available. SB commented that since the winter storms and potential climate changes we should address this issue with a mind that funding is available. A register of qualified Chainsaw operators was one suggestion. SB asked that the Council apply there thoughts to measures that would benefit the Community and the Secretary liaise with KCH.

Chairman’s Business:

  • The Chairman expressed some regret but understanding that Cllr. Margaret Davidson was retiring as a Councillor at the forthcoming May elections. He thanked her for all her support over the years and this was fully supported by the rest of the Community Councillors. MD said that she would still be around and had enjoyed her relationship with Kilmorack CC. She remarked that Energy Security had become the latest Government edict and that will impact Wester Balblair. There were grand schemes for Scotland and we will need to address these directly and make our voices heard. The Chair joined the rest of the Community Council in wishing Cllr Davidson the best for the future.

Vice Chairman: No business

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence: No business

Treasurer:

  • DF confirmed the balance stood at £3919.71.

Planning Applications:

  • One planning application had been circulated to the Council but no issues identified.

ANOB:

  • Kilmorack Cemetery is looking to extend and the Chair requested that the Secretary contacted Hugh Gardener of the Cemeteries to arrange a meeting to discuss options.

Meeting Closed: at 20.57hrs (8.57pm)

Next Meeting: Tuesday 3rd May at 8.00pm (by Zoom).

Signed:

Minutes of Meeting Thursday 3rd March 2022

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 3rd March 2022 by Zoom starting at 8.00pm.

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham,  Graham Mackay, John Graham(Secretary), Cllr David Fraser,  Cllr Emma Knox

Apologies: John Stewart,Mark Hedderwick

Guests: None

Meeting Commenced at 20.03hrs (8.03pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Wednesday 3rd November 2021 – Proposed SB, Seconded DF. Passed.

Police Scotland: No report.

Matters Arising:

  • Ditches and Drains – Access to the Quarry will be improved by SSE as part of their development but temporary repairs have been made by The Highland Council. Croyard Road  has had the road sweeper which has improved the surface a little but blocked drains has pushed water on to the road and resurfacing is now urgent. A site meeting with John Taylor or his deputy is still on the cards but demands on his department has delayed this, Junction on Altyre by Charlie Barclays is now in need of quite extensive repair but SB will address this at meeting with Community Services(Roads). SB referred to the online potholes and lighting notification line and congratulated The Highland Council lighting department for a prompt repair to a road light that he had reported.

Chairman’s Business:

  • Beauly CLG meeting: Much concern expressed about future five and ten year plans which seems to include a 400KVA line connecting Dounreay to Blackhillock and Wester Balbair as a triangle. This would be the size of Beauly Denny and all overhead towers and lines. Aesthetically horrendous and if terminating at Wester Balblair doubling the size of the transmission hub. It cannot be envisaged how noise issues could be contained. SB addressed the issue of the new sites for the hydro dams referring to the stress caused to many residents as unacceptable. Noise: SSE want to remove the abatement order but reports suggests that they have only just scraped in with an acceptable level. SB made the point that the noise was still intrusive and one two sites were recorded. There must be a commitment to ongoing monitoring as the current situation leaves much to be desired. SB to contact planning department to ask for stringent conditions to be placed on any planning consent and they must be enforcible.
  • A residents request for attention to possibly unstable trees near Kilmorack Hall has been received and John Taylor is sending a team out to investigate and also referred this to check on landowner responsibility.

Vice Chairman: No business

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence:

  • We have been invoiced for a further year of Zoom meetings at £119.90. Treasurer will ensure that Secretary is reimbursed.

Treasurer:

  • DF confirmed Zoom and Insurance had been paid and balance stands at £3930.71.

Planning Applications:

  • One planning application in Torgormack had been notified to all Councillors. There may be a general issue of The Inner Moray Firth Development Plan-building in the Hinterland and over-development of the area. A comment will be placed on the Planning application.

ANOB:

  • Mark Hedderwick had requested information for a Struy resident regarding bus shelters. Cllr. David Fraser commented that Strathglass were looking into this and would appreciate any advice. JG agreed to forward the synopsis of information to hand to Strathglass CC.
  • SB referred to the situation in Ukraine and wondered if we could offer any assistance to refugees. It was suggested that at this time the Charities and in many cases their families will have this in hand but should any refugees arrive in the area we will extend a welcome and whatever help we can give.

Meeting Closed: at 20.56hrs (8.56pm)

Next Meeting: Thursday 8th April (AGM) at 8.00pm (by Zoom) and normal meeting thereafter.

Signed:

Minutes of Meeting Thursday 10th February 2022

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 10th February 2022 by Zoom starting at 8.00pm.

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), John Stewart(Vice Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham,  Graham Mackay, John Graham(Secretary), Cllr David Fraser,  Cllr Margaret Davidson.

Apologies: Mark Hedderwick

Guests: None

Meeting Commenced at 20.03hrs (8.03pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Wednesday 3rd November 2021 – Proposed SB, Seconded JS. Passed.

Police Scotland: No access to Zoom yet but forward any concerns. No report.

Matters Arising:

  • Ditches and Drains – Ongoing but drain by WB needs jetting. Cllr David Fraser to speak with John Taylor.
  • SSE Resilience – Communication regarding storms was good and the network proved reasonably resilient in Kilmorack. There were people out in Breakachy for a few days. Internet was adversely affected though as were phone lines. With Tore out for several days internet access to the area broadband was compromised but not as badly as BT Broadband for many customers. However in the circumstances all services worked in difficult conditions to reconnect.
  • There have been a number of trees across the A831 on the steep cliffs above Aigas Dam. THC has been clearing up the debris and attending to the drains. Some work is probably still necessary. There are still a number of large trees overhanging the road which are causing some concern.

Chairman’s Business:

  • SSE Noise abatement: SB reported on a meeting with Cllr. David Fraser, Gregor and Zoe to consider the 143page report on the latest noise analysis. SB suggested the report was hard going but the executive summary easier to comprehend. Essentially the latest figures suggest the SSEN have reduced noise levels to an acceptable if borderline level. The noise is reduced but not to pre-2010 levels. It is of some concerns that projected upgrades may worsen the situation and THC may need to re-introduce the abatement order or even issue a stop notice. SSEN will continue to work with the Community on noise levels and nuisance. It is suggested that we write to environmental health and planning to ask that clear conditions be imposed on the forthcoming planning applications and any further ones going forward. Cllr MD stated that SSEN had achieved their targets but wondered how SSE would monitor the situation in the future. It is clear that although conditions have been achieved, they are still very much borderline. It is recommended that KCC write to Rob Macdonald, head of SSEN and note the outcome of the report and ask them for ongoing monitoring and also have a clear plan for more mitigation that is needed to improve further. Cllr DF had some concerns that offsetting demand may have been engineered to pass test. This need continuous testing in place reporting to KCC. The siting of replacement off dam transformers for Aigas and Kilmorack should be notified to the community by April. This is causing a significant level of stress to those in the immediate area where SSE Hydro have surveyed possible sites.
  • The next CLG meeting will take place next Tuesday by Teams.

Vice Chairman: No other business

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence:

  • Dates for next meetings were confirmed with the next two by Zoom. THC have confirmed face to face meetings are now acceptable with a choice for participants to wear masks. However the CC has decided to retain the status quo for the time being.

Treasurer:

  • DF confirmed balance stands at £4213.31 but with two small cheques yet to be presented.

Planning Applications:

  • Cllr MD to check on the progress regarding planning application for the Caulternich Battery Storage.
  • No other applications of note not circulated to Community Councillors.

ANOB:

  • Murray Hamilton wood yard – complaints received of seven day working. SB to contact Lovat.
  • Lifespan of quarry still anticipated as 2025 although Lovat did suggest an extension may be favourably considered. Management of Breedon’s are still considering their options of a three year extension. JS to contact Kris Bremner for clarification and update on the current plans.
  • Drainage Wester Balblair

Meeting Closed: at 20.59hrs (8.59pm)

Next Meeting: Thursday 3rd Marchst at 8.00pm (by Zoom)

Signed: Steve Byford

Minutes of Meeting Thursday 2nd December 2021

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 2nd December 2021 by Zoom starting at 8.00pm.

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), John Stewart(Vice Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham,  Mark Hedderwick, Graham Mackay, John Graham(Secretary), Cllr David Fraser, Cllr Emma Knox, Cllr Margaret Davidson.

Apologies:

Guests: None

Meeting Commenced at 20.03hrs (8.03pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Wednesday 3rd November 2021 – Proposed DF, Seconded JS. Passed.

Police Scotland: No report.

Matters Arising:

  • Ditches and Drains – Map of area indicating areas of concern now circulating to Cllr DF and Graham Mackay
  • Altyre path upgrade. Many thanks to Mark Hedderwick for the improvements to the bottom of Altyre and thanks to Breedon for supplying the materials(30tons subbase and 10tons quarry dust). JS to email the CC’s official appreciation.
  • SSEN objection now lodged with THC Planning. Pressure to be maintained in the interests of the Community.

Chairman’s Business:

  • CLG report. Regarding the re-siting of infrastructure for Aigas and Kilmorack dams the Vice Chairman reported that he got the impression that the sites considered were not suitable. A proposal should be forthcoming in April. There will be a meeting regarding noise between THC and SSEN. It was suggested that KCC request a meeting with Directors at SSEN rather than the PR and junior engineers.
  • Broadband Prospects: SB reported on the R100 option and expressed some frustration that few houses are entitled to the full grant which make the project financially challenging. A lot of the data is inaccurate and reliant on information given by interested parties. Nore Political pressure is needed.

Vice Chairman:

  • Breedons – JS had a meeting with Kris Bremner. The trees around the Woodland Walk need thinning and Breedons will look at this. Also the condition of the road at the bellmouth needs resurfacing and will be done sometime. SSEN may be asked for a contribution. The last phase of extraction will require some trees to the Groam side to be felled. Whilst the original option for expansion was not on the cards, Lovat have more recently left the option open for discussion. There has been an expression of interest in a battery storage site and that has been referred to Lovat. Breedons asked if we have had any issues with dust and/or noise over the summer.  

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence: Nothing to report

Treasurer:

  • DF confirmed balance stands at £4213.31

Planning Applications: Nothing to Report.

ANOB:

  • MG raised the issue of Resilience following the damage of Storm Arwen in the each and the potential damage of Storm Barra within the next 48hours. Biggest issue is powercuts and communication.
  • Remembrance Sunday – SB and JS likely to attend.

Meeting Closed: at 21.17hrs (9.17pm)

Next Meeting: Thursday 3rd February at 8.00pm (by Zoom)

Signed: Steve Byford

Minutes of Meeting Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Minutes of Meeting held on Wednesday 3rd November 2021 at The Kilmorack Community Hall at 7.30pm

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), John Stewart(Vice Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham,  Mark Hedderwick, John Graham(Secretary), Cllr David Fraser.

Apologies: Graham Mackay, Cllr. Margaret Davidson, Cllr. Emma Knox

Guests: None

Meeting Commenced at 19.30hrs (7.30pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Thursday 7th October 2021 – Proposed DF, Seconded SB. Passed.

Police Scotland: No report.

Matters Arising:

  • Ditches and Drains – No further action as yet.
  • Aigas Community Forest felling is on hold pending clearance of felled timber to the mills. Traffic measures will continue as soon as they restart. New tractor has been delivered albeit a delay in registration from the DVLA has restricted use to off road/in forest for now.
  • SSEN Upgrade – Promised documents never arrived. No internet connection at hall. Some confusion regarding planning advised by EK but not received from Planning and those advised by Sally Cooper (SSE) although one set of papers are on planning portal. SB and JS to study and consider response. One refers to provision for Hydro the other to provision for Lochluichart wind farm extension III. Deadline 12.11.21
  • Winter resilience. Communication from THC has been circulated and any additional volunteers should be notified to Community Services for insurance cover.

Chairman’s Business:

  • Bank of Scotland building parking restrictions by Lovat Estates. SB had received a response from Simon, Lord Lovat to explain the history of the parking area and that Lovat did own it and had spent £10k resurfacing it. It was felt a disappointment but is up to Beauly CC to address. It was accepted that Kilmorack residents were more likely to need parking than Beauly residents. Some improvements of Braeview Car Park with better lighting and CCTV might encourage more staff from the shops to park thereby freeing up space in the square.
  • Broadband Prospects: SB enlightened the Council to the latest options for extending Broadband in the Braes. SB has researched the schemes and is pursuing options. He asked the Secretary to provide postcodes fro the area.

Vice Chairman:

  • No action yet on the quarry entrance road condition,
  • Noise Monitoring has been going on for the last two weeks. JS is still monitoring and logging noise issues.

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence:

  • Kilmorack Hall will not be available until 8.15pm from this week due to a weekly yoga session. The Council felt that was too late a start and asked the Secretary to explore options including the Magnus Centre.
  • The Ward Manager has asked us to consider registering the Defib on The Circuit. We already have done and the Secretary checks the unit each month end and registers it’s availability with The Circuit. He also advised that the other Defib at the Golf Club has been advised of the option.
  • Kilmorack Community Hall AGM is on Sunday 7th November at 7.30pm. The Chair asked for volunteers to attend. No volunteers. 

Treasurer:

  • DF confirmed that the balance stood at £4213.31

Planning Applications: Planning for WB has been advised to the Council although official notification from Planning has not been received.

ANOB:

  • Communication from SSEN to local residents regarding the new transformers for Aigas Dam have been received creating a great deal of concern. SSE to visit Monday 8th to Wednesday 10th November to survey the sites.
  • Remembrance Sunday – SB and JS likely to attend.

Meeting closed at 21.30hrs (9.30pm)

Next meeting Thursday 2nd December 2021 by Zoom

Signed:

Minutes of Meeting Thursday 3rd June 2021

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), John Stewart(Vice Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham,  Graeme Mackay, Cllr. Margaret Davidson, Cllr Emma Knox, John Graham(Secretary)

Apologies: Cllr. David Fraser, Scott Maclean. Mark Hedderwick.

Meeting Commenced at 20.15hrs (8.15pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Thursday 4th May 2021 – Proposed JS, Seconded SB. Passed.

Police Scotland: Nothing further to last month’s report.

Matters Arising:

  • Black Bridge Update – no reported action.
  • Visual Impact Assessment, Wester Balblair. Abel Linden appointed and visited. Awaiting response.
  • Aigas felling update. Work starting on land Above Aigas Loch and then followed by main felling. Once dates for road closure are confirmed all will be informed.
  • Planning Gain from expansion of Wester Balblair : Widen Altyre was one suggestion. \General discussion enused.

Chairman’s Business:

  • CLG: Noise mitigation – More monitoring to take place shortly. Report suggested not as bad but still just audible. Loch Luichart expansion expected Aug 2025.

Vice Chairman:

  • Kyle Fraser awaiting price for replacement post.
  • Simon has been working on toll path.

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence: No report

Treasurer:

  • No change in bank balances.

Planning Applications: None

Meeting closed at 9.02pm

Next meeting Thursday 2nd September 2021

Signed:

Minutes of Meeting held on Tuesday 4th May 2021 by Zoom at 8.00pm

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), John Stewart(Vice Chair), Mary Graham, Mark Hedderwick, Cllr. Emma Knox, John Graham(Secretary) (Duncan Fraser and Cllr. Margaret Davidson initiated but failed to connect through Zoom)

Apologies: Cllr. David Fraser, Graham Mackay

Meeting Commenced at 20.05hrs (8.05pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Thursday 4th March 2021 – Proposed SB, Seconded JS. Passed.

Police Scotland: Written report from PC Scott Maclean. One fixed penalty for inconsiderate/careless driving by Torgormack. No further incidents of note. Report from MH of a surveillance camera that has gone missing. Not known if Police informed.

Matters Arising:

  • Lovat Estate/Memorial road side. Bollards now erected and timber cleared. Work now complete.
  • Altyre – Some of the bollards are damaged or missing and there was some discussion about drainage and the possibility of widening. To be referred to John Taylor.
  • Broken Fence Post by gate on quarry path. SB to look into it’s replacement.
  • Visual impact assessment of proposed SSE Wester Balblair development. SB proposed that we get a landscape architect/artist to prepare a visual display of the proposed development. JG will investigate suitable consultants and SB to take this forward. Approved.
  • Amenity provision for end of quarry life. Inner Moray Firth Development Plan. – EK
  • Planning Gain from SSE Wester Balblair extension. A proposal to consider a path from Wester Balblair to Black Bridge, Traffic lights at quarry entrance. Also attention to Farlie  SSE sealing end tower run off and drainage. Ongoing.
  • Amenity Guarantee for end of quarry life. Inner Moray Firth Development Plan. Contact with IMDP had proved difficult prior to cut off date. Cllr. EK to investigate options.
  • Black Bridge gate. No contact as yet. MH to pursue with Stuart Eastaugh.
  • Attention to Farlie SSE sealing end tower run off. MH to provide simple suggestion to present to SSE.
  • Canoes and paddle boards in the Gorge and impact on schedule 1 birds. Sir John Lister-Kaye has been pursuing matters with NatureScot who have now approved signage and provided suitable wording. Signs have been designed and erected.  NatureScot, Police Scotland Wildlife Crimes Liaison, SSE and Sir John L-K (on behalf of the Community) are to meet soon with the commercial canoe operators to work to a solution.
  • Ditches and drains remain a problem and it was proposed that a survey be conducted to identify the priority areas in the near future. Cllr. EK to contact Roads

Chairman’s Business: No business not already discussed

Vice Chairman:

  • Dog Fouling Signs for  Loch nam Bonnach have been sourced by Graham Mackay and  received with some installed. Charlie from Farlie Estate(Hatfield Farms) has also installed signs by the Loch.  

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence: No report

Treasurer:

  • Report received post meeting due DF not being able to connect through Zoom. SSE contribution to Quarry Path repairs now received. Balance at Bank £5080.64

Planning Applications: Only application current has been circulated.

ANOB:                                                                                                                              

  • MH brought to the Council’s notice collapse of road edges reported to him by a resident. Council are already aware and have plans to repair.

Next Meeting: Thursday 3rd June 2021

Meeting Closed at: 21.20hrs(9.20pm)

Signed

Minutes Of Meeting Thursday 4th May 2021

Minutes of Meeting held on Tuesday 4th May 2021 by Zoom at 8.00pm

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), John Stewart(Vice Chair), Mary Graham, Mark Hedderwick, Cllr. Emma Knox, John Graham(Secretary) (Duncan Fraser and Cllr. Margaret Davidson initiated but failed to connect through Zoom)

Apologies: Cllr. David Fraser, Graham Mackay

Meeting Commenced at 20.05hrs (8.05pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Thursday 4th March 2021 – Proposed SB, Seconded JS. Passed.

Police Scotland: Written report from PC Scott Maclean. One fixed penalty for inconsiderate/careless driving by Torgormack. No further incidents of note. Report from MH of a surveillance camera that has gone missing. Not known if Police informed.

Matters Arising:

  • Lovat Estate/Memorial road side. Bollards now erected and timber cleared. Work now complete.
  • Altyre – Some of the bollards are damaged or missing and there was some discussion about drainage and the possibility of widening. To be referred to John Taylor.
  • Broken Fence Post by gate on quarry path. SB to look into it’s replacement.
  • Visual impact assessment of proposed SSE Wester Balblair development. SB proposed that we get a landscape architect/artist to prepare a visual display of the proposed development. JG will investigate suitable consultants and SB to take this forward. Approved.
  • Amenity provision for end of quarry life. Inner Moray Firth Development Plan. – EK
  • Planning Gain from SSE Wester Balblair extension. A proposal to consider a path from Wester Balblair to Black Bridge, Traffic lights at quarry entrance. Also attention to Farlie  SSE sealing end tower run off and drainage. Ongoing.
  • Amenity Guarantee for end of quarry life. Inner Moray Firth Development Plan. Contact with IMDP had proved difficult prior to cut off date. Cllr. EK to investigate options.
  • Black Bridge gate. No contact as yet. MH to pursue with Stuart Eastaugh.
  • Attention to Farlie SSE sealing end tower run off. MH to provide simple suggestion to present to SSE.
  • Canoes and paddle boards in the Gorge and impact on schedule 1 birds. Sir John Lister-Kaye has been pursuing matters with NatureScot who have now approved signage and provided suitable wording. Signs have been designed and erected.  NatureScot, Police Scotland Wildlife Crimes Liaison, SSE and Sir John L-K (on behalf of the Community) are to meet soon with the commercial canoe operators to work to a solution.
  • Ditches and drains remain a problem and it was proposed that a survey be conducted to identify the priority areas in the near future. Cllr. EK to contact Roads

Chairman’s Business: No business not already discussed

Vice Chairman:

  • Dog Fouling Signs for  Loch nam Bonnach have been sourced by Graham Mackay and  received with some installed. Charlie from Farlie Estate(Hatfield Farms) has also installed signs by the Loch.  

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence: No report

Treasurer:

  • Report received post meeting due DF not being able to connect through Zoom. SSE contribution to Quarry Path repairs now received. Balance at Bank £5080.64

Planning Applications: Only application current has been circulated.

ANOB:                                                                                                                              

  • MH brought to the Council’s notice collapse of road edges reported to him by a resident. Council are already aware and have plans to repair.

Next Meeting: Thursday 3rd June 2021

Meeting Closed at: 21.20hrs(9.20pm)

Signed

Minutes of Meeting, Thurs 8th April 2021

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 8th April 2021 by Zoom at 8.15pm

Present: Steve Byford(Chair), John Stewart(Vice Chair), Duncan Fraser(Treasurer), Mary Graham, Mark Hedderwick, Graeme Mackay, Cllr. Margaret Davidson, Cllr. David Fraser, John Graham(Secretary)

Apologies: Cllr. Helen Carmichael, Cllr. Emma Knox.

Meeting Commenced at 20.15hrs (8.15pm)

Minutes of Previous Meeting Thursday 4th March 2021 – Proposed DF, Seconded MG. Passed.

Police Scotland: No report. However, Insp Mackinnon had been in touch with John Taylor after a complaint from a local resident had been addressed to MSP Kate Forbes regarding the logs placed to prevent cars parking on the grass. Insp Mackinnon had sent two police officers to the scene but did not feel the logs were an issue. John Taylor forwarded a copy of our letter to THC requesting an extension to the row of bollards and informed the Inspector that the extra bollards were to be erected shortly. They are now in place.

Matters Arising:

  • Altyre Path improvement. MH confirmed that we were waiting on suitable weather to complete that work. Quarry Path removal and chipping of broom is now complete although one gate post has collapsed. Questions as to who maintains path and Simon Dakin offered to quote to maintain paths on the top where the path connects to the road. That is usually done by locals but JS to get Simon to provide a quote but we don’t have funding for that at this time.
  • A short discussion on when to get Kevin in to cut the grass on Altyre. JG remarked that the forest getting a new tractor and flail means that they will be able to take on grass cutting at the pic-nic area on a more frequent basis starting mid June. The Chair expressed some relief on that since his efforts with his strimmer proved hard work.
  • Gate at Black Bridge. No action yet but MH to contact Stewart Eastaugh to clarify if he will contact Lovat Estate. SB to contact Lovat re removal of logs now bollards are in place.
  • Loch nam Bonnach. GM had arranged signs to be installed and liaised with Charlie, the stalker. We may need some more signs. Questions about the rubbish bin at the entrance and it’s possible removal.
  • Ditches and Drains: Councillors asked to re-address this issue which was last investigated pre-lock down. Cllr. MD mentioned that funds for roads were becoming more available as was staff availability and we should not be backward in requesting improvements.

Chairman’s Business:

  • SB welcomed Cllr David Fraser and allowed him a few minutes to introduce himself.
  • Steve Byford gave a full and detailed briefing on the Virtual Meeting with SSE, attended by JS, MG, JG and Ian Shepherd(Lovat). Items of particular note were the large building to supplant the woodland coppice and the new security fence. May’s follow up meeting has now been deferred to mid-Summer whilst points raised can be explored. It was suggested that we make our demands clearly and push for some planning gain on local roads which will be damaged by the extra traffic and any other required facility (e.g. landscaping)

Vice Chairman:

  • Water flooding issues at Farlie House where water is going on to the road from the sealing end tower compound. Contact Sally at SSE to suggest that they should address this.
  • Ongoing issue with flooding in severe weather outside the quarry exit was also mentioned. JS to liaise with Kris Bremner and John Taylor to see if this could be addressed once and for all.

Secretary’s Business and Correspondence: No report

Treasurer:

  • Duncan Fraser reported a balance of c. £3609.94 in the bank with the payment for the quarry path due which will be covered by SSE’s contribution.

Planning Applications:

  • Current application for agricultural building for Robbie Short by his new house in Breakachy. No comments from any residents yet but it is fairly remote.

ANOB:

  • MH brought to the Council’s notice funding for upland paths and post Covid tourism infrastructure support

Next Meeting: Thursday 6th May 2021

Meeting Closed at: 21.15hrs(9.15pm)

Signed

Steven Byford

Chairman