Thursday 5th April 2012

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 5th April 2012 at the ‘Kirk’, Wester Balblair at 7.50pm

Present: Steve Byford(Chairman), John Stewart, John Graham, Mary Graham, Mark Hedderwick, Cllr. Helen Carmichael, Margaret Davidson (8.08pm)

Apologies: Cllr. Drew Hendry, Duncan Fraser, Clare Caldwell

Community Members: Alisdair Stewart   Apologies: Ron McLaughlin

Minutes of the previous meeting Thurs 1st March 2012 were taken as read and accepted as a true and accurate record. Proposed by John Graham and seconded by Steve Byford – Approved.

Matters arising:

  • ·        Beauly Toll safety rail. We have received confirmation of approval and funds have been received. Alisdair is to arrange early implementation.
  • ·        Kilmorack Cemetery Car Park: A WDF application has been sent in but John Stewart reported that HC may well include this in their Roads Dept plans. We await confirmation.
  • ·        Lights and Bollards – We have advised HC that SSE were unlikely to pay for the replacement and have asked that it is included in their plans but Lisa Kelly has now confirmed that she has put this forward for consideration and is now awaiting a response. She also confirmed that Altyre and Beauly Toll paths should be going to planning at the end of April. This brought some responses as it was perceived that this had been dealt with some time previously.
  • ·        Glen Affric Parking Charges – FCS has just written to us confirming the halt on implementation and agreement to a stakeholders meeting, of which we are now one, w/c 7th May. Venue and details to be confirmed.
  • ·        Fairburn Extension: JG reported on the consultation meeting at Muir of Ord and presented a map delineating the proposed WF extension. He confirmed that further meetings would take place around October and has asked that one be held at Kilmorack Hall. He also directed members to the SSE preferred distribution of Community Benefit module and suggested that as the WF abuts the CC boundary we may be eligible for some community benefit despite not having any immediate visual impact. He further commented on it’s proximity to the Glenaffric/Strathconon Protected area for Golden eagle. SB asked the Secretary to contact SSE and clarify the situation with a phone survey on Tourist Impact he had received. SSE contact: Gavin Steele.
  • ·        Community Benefit Workshop: JG and MG attended the meeting at Smithton where the HC Concordat was explained and promoted. JG explained briefly the methodology of the scheme. Whilst a less than perfect system this may prove better than the present. A general discussion amongst the CC members took place.
  • ·        Highland Environment Network: Unfortunately the member who had hoped to attend had been unable due to work conflicts.
  • ·        DBSE, Pre-inquiry meeting: JG and MG had met with Inverness West and Kiltarlity CCs at Abriachan where it was agreed in principle that all three CCs would pool resources and present a united front, notwithstanding that each council would bring forward their own individual agendas. JG attended the pre-inquiry meeting at Kiltarlity with all parties where the dates were agreed as were the issues that are to be addressed. Noise, Visual Impacts and Tourism/Economic impacts are the features that will be discussed and JG presented a suggested route for the accompanied/non accompanied visit of the Reporter. We need also to carry forward a bed count to identify tourism/economy effect. JG is liaising with Hilda Heisling of Abriachan and has had a meeting with Steve Byford to discuss the way forward. The Inquiry dates are 26th June to 6th July 2012.

Chairman’s Business: No business.

Secretaries Business:

  • ·        NHS Integration Meeting in Inverness. Mary Graham and John Graham attended. In essence all elderly will become the sole responsibility of the NHS and youth and disabled the responsibility of HC, Education and Social Services. Concern was expressed of a certain lack of engagement with the GP service but essentially the idea seemed positive.
  • ·        Training Days for Community Councillors: Steve Byford, Duncan Fraser, Mary Graham and John Graham attended.

Planning Matters: None

Finance: No report



  • ·        Notification received of Scottish Governments Revised Planning Consultation. The web address Closing date for comments 22.16.12
  • ·        Moray Firth Local Development Plan: Public exhibition Phipps Hall Tues 24th April, 2.00-6.00pm.
  • ·        Community Payback: flyer received.



  • ·        Mark Hedderwick expressed concern regarding lack of engagement with the community.
  • ·        New Website for Kilmorack Community Council: JG had instigated a Beta Version of a new website to enable community members access to information such as minutes. Full implementation was agreed and SB suggested that a newsletter be sent around advising the community of this new facility.

Meeting Closed: 9.30pm


Signed:   SB

Thursday 1st March 2012

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 1st March 2012 at the ‘Kirk’, Wester Balblair at 7.30pm

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

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

Community Members: Alisdair Stewart, Steve and Madelaine Robinson, Meryl Boyd, Donald Robertson

Minutes of the previous meeting Thurs 2nd February 2012 were taken as read and accepted as a true and accurate record. Proposed by Alisdair Stewart and seconded by Steve Byford – Approved.

SSE Presentation: Present: Noel Cummins, Marianne Townsley, Lisa Kelly, Alistair Resbourne, Michael Blake.

  • ·        Michael Blake explained the project with a brief overview and then a detailed explanation of the undergrounding. Questions were asked by councillors and community members and answered in a clear manner. The undergrounding is a permitted development and only needs the landowner’s agreement but the Tower and enclosed area at Dunmore will require planning consent. Detailed information with photos of the techniques of undergrounding were presented to the meeting
  • ·        Alistair Redbourne then explained the rationalisation of the wirescape in the Braes area and discussions encompassed the new Altyre path. There were some doubts raised over the Beauly Toll/Kirk path with some confusion over whether HC had approved it or not.
  • ·        Subject to planning and contractual restrictions, timescale for the Mossford-Beauly line was laid out to suggest connection in March-April 2013 with installation of underground cabling may be expected May-October 2012.
  • ·        On the question of the island at the Beauly Toll, Lisa Kelly suggested it would now not be necessary to remove it and strengthening of the bridges was no longer considered necessary.

Matters arising:

  • ·        Beauly Toll safety rail. An application to the WDF has been sent.
  • ·        Lights and Bollards – After hearing from Lisa Kelly that this will not be done as part of the Beauly-Denny access work, it will be referred back to HC
  • ·        Bin Collection – JG reported that he had discussed matters with Alan Mackinnie of Highland Council who has asked that we let the scheme start and then address the issues that arise. Extra bins will be available as necessary and he will look at the situation at Teanassie School where the quantity of Blue bins is somewhat overpowering. The possible option of one large bin was muted.
  • ·        Glen Affric Parking Charges – Both Cllr. Helen Carmichael and Cllr. Margaret Davidson had been in the press decrying this imposition of charges. A discussion ensued and issues of not having change and being many miles from local shops and the difficulty of phone signals for credit card payments were discussed. Also the issue of fining overstayers was felt a poor way to treat visitors. It was decided that a letter should be sent to FCS stating our opposition to this.
  • ·        First Responders: Alan Hogdson and First Responders would attend the May Meeting.

Chairman’s Business:

  • ·        Kilmorack Cemetery parking – JS has discussed this with Geoff Ridge at the Cemeteries Dept. who had no issues with improvement and would look into what HC could do. It was decided that an application to the WDF would be made for refurbishment as Aggregates have offered to assist with materials. Mark Hedderwick worked out an estimated cost and that would be used. SB has still to hear back on cost of bus shelter. JS
  • ·        Winter Maintenance and Drainage – A Committee of Councillors has been formed and we look forward to a report back from our Councillors shortly.
  • ·        Aggregates: Tom Lewis has asked that we issue a letter of support for the extension. The Committee suggested a letter that we were not opposed could be sent.


Scecretaries Business:

  • ·        NHS Integration Meeting in Inverness. Mary Graham and Clare Caldwell to attend.
  • ·        Training Days for Community Councillors: members reminded.
  • ·        DBSE -Kiltarlity CC joint meeting of Community Councils to discuss DBSE pre-inquiry JG to attend.

Discussion on Beauly-Mossford presentation:

  • ·        It was felt that the presentation had been very fair but some issues remained. Duncan Fraser was concerned that they didn’t really understand the impact on local crofters and tenants of taking large areas out of production and the fact that re-grassing has a lead time of three to four years before it can be cut for hay. Whilst the land owners receive compensation, the tenants may not be recompensed for disturbance. With the west Coast HVDC line likely to come through the same path in three to four years time the repeat of the whole performance could result in fields unusable for up to eight years. A letter highlighting our concerns should be sent to SSE.

Planning Matters: None


  • ·        Funds were in good stead and no sums outstanding.



  • ·        Community Benefits Workshop – John and Mary Graham will attend.
  • ·        HEN – Members advised of dates


Future Meetings: List of future meetings agreed


Meeting Closed: 10.35pm


Signed:  SB 

Thursday 2nd February 2012

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 2nd February 2012 at the ‘Kirk’, Wester Balblair at 7.30pm

Present: Steve Byford(Chairman), John Stewart, Duncan Fraser, John Graham, Mary Graham.

Cllr. Helen Carmichael

Apologies: Clare Cauldwell, Cllr. Drew Hendry

Community Members: Alisdair Stewart, Ron McLaughlin

Minutes of the previous meeting Thurs 1st December 2011 were taken as read and accepted as a true and accurate record. Proposed by John Stewart and seconded by Steve Byford – Approved.

Matters arising:

  • ·         Beauly Toll safety rail. An application to the ward discretionary fund should be sent applying for £540 to pay the costs of a wicket fence – JG
  • ·         Lights and Bollards – This was reported on and the conclusion was that these may be replaced as part of SSE re-instatement of the island. SSE to be contacted by the HC liaison officer.
  • ·         Boundary Commission – A letter has been sent and Cllr. Helen Carmichael was able to confirm that the objections had been well received by the Boundaries Commissioner.
  • ·         Beauly Mossford – Letter to be sent to Energy Consents asking for extension of final date for objections.
  • ·         Cannich Road White lining – email from Richard Evans. Will be discussed by TEC services as a priority for this year – JG
  • ·         Red Squirrels – emails had been received confirming that a licence from SNH had approved moving the Red Squirrels, Alistair Stewart confirmed he had spoken to the ecology officer, Jenny Brice, and the work had taken place along SNH guidelines.
  • ·         SSE – Lisa Kelly and Noel Cummins – will be attending next meeting

Planning Matters:

  • ·         Balblair Quarry extension application. The committee is liaising with Aggregates about the new Core paths – JS


  • ·         Lower Leanassie – Martha Crawford has applied for planning for a bungalow at Lower Leanassie. Local residents have not expressed any adverse comments. Martha used to live at Cluanie Farm and is well known to the area. The committee raised no objections.

Ice and Maintenance – Steve Byford reported that ice and snow and late gritting continued to be an issue as well as drains and culverts. The council is shortly to have a meeting on this and a 12 member sub committee will be formed. KCC will present their views and the suggestion that should funds be made available the Community could possibly take over time critical services themselves. Cllr. Helen Carmichael will report to Mike Steven on the state of ditches and culverts at Broallan.

Internet – John Graham had spoken to Calum MacDonald of Highland Wifi and had a price for an area wide radio wifi provision at around £1000 per household. HIE had announced a Scotland wide upgrade starting 2013, subject to contracts being signed this year with BT. Cllr Helen Carmichael reported moves to access fibre optic cables provided as part of the Pathfinder School Project. The Committee concluded that no action should be taken until future options were clearer.

Kilmorack Cemetery parking – complaints had been received on the state of the bus pull-in(JS), where the children wait for the bus, and also questions about the provision of a bus shelter(MH). After confirming who actually owns the land, representations (John Stewart) would be made to Aggregates as to whether we could be provided with some materials for improvement and Steve Byford would approach a local wood yard as to the possibility of a wooden bus shelter

Web Presence – High Society/Highland Life, the Highland Councils community web site will include details of local Community Councils. We will be able to list meetings there.

Cllr Helen Carmichael left 9.30pm


Funds were in good stead and no sums outstanding.


Correspondence: Beauly – Mossford Technical Summary


Future Meetings: John Graham would circulate a suggestion of future meetings in advance of the next meeting.


  • ·         First Responders – Alan Hogan has expressed a wish to come to a meeting to talk to us about First Responders. As SSE would be at the next meeting, John Stewart would liaise to arrange a suitable time.
  • ·         Bin collection – John Graham brought the new start date of 2nd April to the attention of the Committee and expressed his concern at problems that may occur at the cumulative collection site at Teanassie School and for that matter at other points in the Braes. Contact would be made with Highland Council and our concerns voiced.
  • ·         Glen Affric Car Parking Charges. We have been advised by Piere Lebrun of Cannich that FCS may be considering car park charges at Glen Affric. Whilst this may affect Tourist Businesses in the Braes it was felt that no further action was needed at the moment but a watching brief will be kept.

Meeting Closed: 10.10pm



Thusday 1st December 2011

Minutes of Meeting held on Thursday 1st December 2011 at the ‘Kirk’, Wester Balblair at 7.30pm

Present: Teresa Shaw, Steve Byford, John Stewart,, Duncan Fraser, Mark Hedderwick, Clare Caldwell. John Graham, Mary Graham.

Cllr. Helen Carmichael, Cllr. Drew Hendry.


Community Members: Alisdair Stewart, Ron McLaughlin(late arrival)

The meeting opened with Teresa Shaw taking the Chair and calling for votes for the election of officers.

  • ·         John Graham proposed that Steve Byford be re-appointed Chairman and this was seconded by John Stewart. This was unanimously approved.
  • ·         Steve Byford proposed that John Stewart was appointed Vice President and Claire Caldwell seconded this proposal. Unanimously approved.
  • ·         Steve Byford proposed Duncan Fraser as treasured, seconded by John Stewart. Unanimously approved.
  • ·         John Graham proposed that Mary Graham was appointed Secretary, seconded by Steve Byford and unanimously approved.

Teresa Shaw then handed over the Chair to Steve Byford who thanked her warmly for her all her assistance in the past and for so ably chairing this inaugural meeting. Teresa Shaw wished everyone well and then departed.

Steve Byford then made a point of thanking those past members of the KCC, James Martin and Adrian Todd, for all the effort they have given in the past. He suggested a small token of our appreciation may be appropriate to be decided later.

A sum of £600 was approved to be paid to the secretary to cover costs incurred during the year.

Minutes of the previous meeting Thurs 3rd November 2011 were read and acceptance as a true and accurate record was proposed by Mark Hedderwick and seconded by Duncan Fraser – Approved.

Planning Matters: No applications at this time although a letter had been sent to HC Planning  in support of Chantelle Morris’s application on the instructions of the cprevious meeting.


Matters arising:

  • ·         Beauly Toll safety rail. No action yet but the suggestion was a wooden picket fence would match that on the adjacent road. The Chair would contact TEC Services for agreement on that basis. Re-instatement of the light on the central reservation is to be explored.
  • ·         Road Diversion Plan – SB has spoken to local Police who have no action plan in force and any diversion would be auctioned by the senior officer on site on an ad hoc basis. Police Control would arrange the signs to be put up.
  • ·         Hydro Houses – no further action as yet although a No Parking Sign will be placed in lay-by
  • ·         Broallan Road has had some work done to improve although it may be appropriate to keep a check where the drainage has been done.
  • ·         White lining on the Cannich Road It was suggested that this has become worn and a contact to TEC services will be made to reinstate asap.
  • ·         Aggregate Industries, Balblair QuarryDuncan reported on the future plans for the quarry with its ten year extension. Explanation of the plans to landscape the area had been forthcoming and we shall be looking for a timescale for this work.
  • ·         SSE: The Secretary was asked if Lisa Kelly could be invited to one of our next meetings to advise on movements with the Beauly-Denny line, concerns as to the Red Squirrels in Balblair Wood and progress on the new footpath to Beauly Toll.

Boundary Changes:

Drew Hendry reported on the proposed changes to the Westminster Boundaries in which it was proposed that Kilmorack would become part of Caithness Ward. HC had raised objections to that as had both Beauly and Kiltarlity Community Councils. It was felt more appropriate that Kilmorack and the adjoining areas remained with the bulk of Ward 13 and attached to Inverness.


 No report. However it was suggested that John Stewart contacted Charles Heaton to see if matched funding of some £500 might be available for the fence by the toll.



SB referred to previous letters about Managing Flood Risk. Mark Hedderwick had studied the document and come to the conclusion it was more directed towards the urban communities. Helen confirmed that the issues at Moniak had been resolved.

Cllr Helen Carmichael left the meeting. 20.35pm

Highland Small Communities Trust. Steve will forward relevant information now his scanner has been repaired.

Moray Firth Partnership was having their AGM at Eden Court on the 6th Dec and invited us to join them. Regrettably no one was available.

A list of Contact details had been produced and was handed out.

A request that the Secretary forward all the new Contact details to Charles Stevens.

Future Meetings: The next two meetings were fixed as Thursday 2nd February and Thursday 1st March 2012.

AOCB: Several members attended a meeting on the Beauly-Mossford line at Lovat Hotel. Duncan reported on that and the undergrounding as it reached Balblair. It was felt that it would be appropriate to ask Lisa Kelly to arrange for an appropriate representative to come and clarify detail

Meeting Closed: 9.14pm


Signed:  SB