Present: Kenny MacLean (Chairman), Jennifer Haslam (Secretary), Eliza Leslie Melville (Treasurer), Sue Tarr (Minute Sec), Caroline Gamble (part of meeting); Guy Madgwick and Zoisa Walton (Eneco); Fiona Milligan (Infinergy); Andy Russell (EDF); Val MacIver (Platform PR); 3 members of public.
The Chairman opened the meeting at 7pm and welcomed everyone.
Apologies: Bob Moir, Caroline Gamble, Cllr Cockburn.
Declarations of Interest: none.
Chairman’s comments: Condolences to the family of Sandy Jack, who passed away recently. Also best wishes to Pete Hollingdale following his operation.
Eliza Leslie Melville attended the Scottish Woodlands meeting at Ledgowan on behalf of G&DCC. She showed a map and outlined the changes to the forest plan. The previous plan was to plant 80% conifers/ 20% broadleaves; this has been changed to 20% conifers and 80% broadleaves. A deer fence will enclose the planting area and 100 hinds are to be killed. The tree planting should disguise the hill track. Issues were raised about stags on the road. Stag warning signs are to be placed on the road.
Kenny MacLean attended Lochcarron CC to talk about community benefit.
There is to be a change to services at Kinlochluichart Church of Scotland; from 1st May there will be one service every other Sunday at the earlier time of 11.30am (8th and 22nd May).
The Community Hall at the Church is nearly completed. It has been used for a couple of events already and there will be an official opening soon.
All G&DCC agendas, minutes and dates of future meetings are available on the website www.community-council.org.uk/garveanddistrict or by contacting the Secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org or at Broadoaks, Grudie Bridge, By Garve IV23 2QB.
They are also available at Garve PO, on Achnasheen Village notice board, in the AGNV and on the AGNV website.
Approval of the minutes of the meeting held 1st March 2016: proposed by Eliza Leslie Melville and seconded by Jennifer Haslam.
EDF update – one convoy of three lorries arrived at the site yesterday. It was police escorted from Dumfries and arrived a bit earlier than estimated. Construction is progressing with concrete now being produced on site. 8 bases have been excavated and 5 have passed the test to allow construction. There was a Liaison Group meeting on 29th March which was well attended. Construction, transport and community benefit was discussed. Foundation Scotland will have a workshop for the community to attend, a date in May to be confirmed. This will consider the pros and cons of different administration arrangements with a view to the Corriemoillie Fund achieving the best impact. Minutes of the Liaison Group will be available to the public.
EDF are now building 17 turbines instead of 19. Two of the turbines with lower production will not be built, allowing neighbouring turbines to produce more electricity.
G&DCC has received notice of the Section 36 Application and copies have been available to view in Garve Village Hall.
There will be another convoy of three lorries arriving next month and another one the following month for which EDF will circulate times and will try to get more accurate times.
RJ MacLeod has completed another accident free period on the site so £300 plus £300 matched by EDF is available for a local good cause.
Eneco update – Guy Madgwick outlined that due to changes in UK Govt policy, Eneco is not willing to continue developing the UK portfolio. Zoisa Walton is taking over as director of UK operations which will continue but with a change to offering consumer services. Michelle Giblin will be the day to day contact and Martin Macphee is operations manager for Lochluichart Windfarm. There is no update yet about an Eneco electricity tariff.
Community Hydro Schemes – the development company Vento Ludens has secured rights for developing hydro power on certain burns in our area. It is carrying out feasibility work and if it is viable may consider a joint development with the community. John Bedwell is liaising and Community Energy Scotland is doing research as part of the Garve & District Energy project.
Wester Ross Biosphere – this has been approved by UNESCO. Garve is the gateway to the Biosphere. There is a meeting in Poolewe on 20th April.
Broadband – £42 million has been allocated for further broadband investment; communities will have to wait until later in the year to hear how they will benefit from this. Scottish Govt and HIE are assessing how best to deliver broadband improvements.
Garve Bus Shelter – Bob Moir has been pricing Perspex (£280 - £300) – will continue to look for cheaper options. Zoisa Walton indicated that Eneco may adopt the bus shelter on behalf of the community and will get in touch with Robbie Bain.
Community Needs Survey – an application for funding has been submitted to LCT and has been received.
Landslip flooding – Transport Scotland has replied. Following the landslip on 30th Dec 2015 on Network rail land, BEAR cleared 50 tonnes of soil from the road, and opened up the wall on the other side of the road to allow water to flow away. Network Rail will be responsible for repairing the wall. The site has been added to a list of sites that need inspection. BEAR has asked Network Rail to alleviate the water running across the road. G&DCC agreed to ask them to keep investigating as there is a flow of water across the road. Sec to contact Transport Scotland.
Network Rail fence along Loch Garve – the fence has been repaired.
Co-option – there are two vacancies on G&DCC. Names for co-option to the CC would be welcome.
Police Report: not available.
The Chairman mentioned a press report concerning a driver who was fined £2500 and received 9 penalty points for careless driving at a speed of 102mph.
Chief Superintendent Julian Innes is retiring. G&DCC received a copy of North Focus issue 3. Following enforcement work over the past year across North Highland, Police Scotland have achieved the following results; 1633 persons charged with speeding (up 30%), 140 persons charged with drink driving (up 27%), 192 persons dealt with for driving carelessly (up 61%).
Caroline Gamble joined the meeting.
Admin Fund - £455.08 less Data Protection, Hall Hire & Secretary Fees
Community Fund – no change
Bench Fund – no change
Senior Citizens’ Fund – no change
There are more forms to fill out for Bank of Scotland before the change in signatories can be authorised. The Treasurer got banker’s drafts to pay the outstanding bills for hire of Garve and Achnasheen Halls (£106), Data Protection subscription (£35), and Secretary Fees (£83).
The Community Council grant has been cut by 10%. G&DCC to receive £879.74 less the cost of insurance.
Produce Show – This will be in Garve Village Hall on Sat 10th Sept. Schedules are available from the Secretary.
The Chairman is submitting an expenses claim for paper and ink.
Correspondence: By Email, Transport Scotland – A835 trunk road flooding; HC – planning applications week ending 4 March 2016; Scottish Woodlands– Proposed new woodlands on the Ledgowan Estate; HC policy – Police Scotland Community Council questionnaire; Highland Third Sector Interface – Transport events; HC – planning applications week ending 11 March 2016; Scottish Woodlands – Ledgowan Estate EIA screening meeting 15 March 2016; Richard Eaton – Inchbae Lodge lunch club; Robbie Bain – Community Council grants for 2016/2017; Lochcarron Community Council minutes; HC – planning applications week ending 18 March 2016; Highland Council Policy – dog fouling fines; Robbie Bain – Wester Ross Biosphere update; Scottish Govt – Marine Recreation and Tourism study documents; HC – planning applications week ending 24 March 2016; John Bedwell – update on proposed micro hydro projects; Eneco – Guy & Zoisa attending April Community Council meeting; HC – West Highland & Islands Local Development Plan consultation; Robbie Bain – Armed Forces Covenant Fund; HC – consultation on section 36 planning application for Corriemoillie Windfarm; Grant Folley – slides from EDF Liaison Group meeting held 29 March 2016; HC Policy – North Focus issue 3; HC– planning applications week ending 1 April 2016; Robbie Bain – MOD exercise 11-22 April 2016; Robbie Bain – Wester Ross Biosphere Project; Garve & District Energy Group - update (now available on the Community Council website).
By post, EDF – section 36 planning application for Corriemoillie Windfarm; Bowlts – invite to the Wester Ross Deer Management Group AGM on 19 May; Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust newsletter.
AOB: Sue Tarr gave an update on the sighting of a raccoon in the Garve area. There have also been sightings in Alladale and possibly Rosemarkie. SNH will attempt to capture the raccoon alive and if anyone has a sighting please get in touch either with SNH or Sue who can pass it on.
Jennifer Haslam - SSE is currently laying underground cables alongside the road between Grudie and Achnasheen to lay new power cables. Residents are concerned this will affect their access. The cables are transporting electricity from the new hydro schemes to Grudie Sub Station. A member of the public commented that she had not received the letter of apology promised by SSE. This was in relation to SSE marking out their driveway without any prior warning. Val MacIver to follow up with SSE.
Eliza Leslie Melville brought up the lorries turning in the lay-by at Lochluichart. It has been agreed that reinstatement work be carried out once work at the new substation at Grudie is completed.
Caroline Gamble brought up the untidy state of the Station Yard at Garve, with rubbish and litter very visible. Kenny MacLean to contact Network Rail.
Kenny MacLean – calendars for blue and green bins are now available on the HC website; dog fouling fines have gone up from £40 to £80 and all dogs must now be micro-chipped.
Consultations: the Police Scotland survey has been extended to the end of April. Members agreed the following response, that the top three policing priorities in our area are speeding, litter/ fly tipping and anti social behaviour. The regular police report is welcome, although it is not received as often as it used to be.
HC West Highlands and Islands Development Plan, which will be known as the “West Plan” – this covers the area west of Garve. It is available on the HC website and there will be public exhibitions. The consultation period is 10 wks and members of the public can make comments. G&DCC agreed to defer their response until the June meeting.
Planning: Two applications have been determined –
Erection of 1.8m high boundary fence land north of Briony, Inchbae - permitted with conditions.
Erection of replacement mast to support 3 antenna, 3 remote radio units, 2 dish antenna and 2 relocated antenna – permitted.
Three new applications have been received -
Installation of 33kV overhead line at Lochrosque – an EIA is not required to reposition the route further down the hill. Members had no comments.
Installation of 500kW hydro electric scheme at Loch Rosque Forest– partially amended pipeline route. Members had no comments.
Erection of poles on 33kV overhead electricity line east of Brooklea, Inchbae. Members had no comments.
Scottish Government section 36 application, Corriemoillie Windfarm to alter turbine capacity. Members had no comments.
Date of Next Meeting:
Tues 3rd May 2016 7pm in Achnasheen Village Hall
Tues 7th June 2016 AGM followed by Ordinary Meeting 7pm in Garve Village Hall
Tues 5th July 2016 7pm in Achnasheen Village Hall
The Chairman thanked all for attending and closed the meeting at 8.45pm.