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January 2012

Minutes of the meeting of Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Wednesday 11th January 2012; Freswick Hall

Present: John Green, Chair; Chris Hobson, Vice-Chair; Keith Muir, Secretary / Treasurer; Eric Green; Linda Bingham; Bill Mowat

In Attendance: Matt Dent, Highland Council officer responsible for core paths; Carol Gunn and Hilary Budge, Highlands & Islands Enterprise officials working on the John O' Groats redevelopment project.

8 members of the public

New member: Chair John Green opened the meeting and welcomed Bill Mowat to his first meeting as a community councillor.

1. Guest Speaker: John Green invited Matt Dent (Highland Council) to present a proposal to improve the path at Duncansby Head. The plan is to create a viewpoint on the south-facing slope of the Head from which the Stacks can be viewed, and to create an accessible path from the car park to the viewpoint, some 200m of new path. Funds are available in his budget to complete this piece of work. It was agreed unanimously that the Community Council would sponsor the project; Chris Hobson was delegated to complete the paperwork, be the CC contact and to oversee the project.

2. Minutes of November Meeting. Proposed Chris Hobson, seconded John Green, duly adopted.

3. Treasurer's Report: Balance at end December £1,470.29, with some £400 still to come off.

4. Meygen Update: There was some discussion about the need to ensure some community benefit from the proposed developments to exploit the tidal power from the Pentland Firth, particularly in light of the massive buildings proposed for the Power Conversion Units which will have a considerable visual impact in the local area. There was a feeling that the community needs to be involved in the planning process to ensure the designs are acceptable.

5. John O' Groats Council-Owned Land Lease: The decision by The Highland Council (THC) to lease the council property at John O' Groats road-end area to the developer Natural Retreats as part of their vision to redevelop the area were discussed. It was noted that the Council decision had been taken without any public consultation and the secretary was delegated to write to the Council expressing the view that a decision affecting such a sensitive area should have been discussed with the community; and that issues such as Free Parking and ensuring public access for events such as Harbour Day were causing considerable concern in the community.

6. Membership of Community Council: Eric Green indicated that Steven Macgregor from Huna was willing to be co-opted on to the community council, and it was unanimously agreed that he be co-opted with immediate effect.

7. Planning Matters: Chris Hobson brought attention to an application in the Dunnet area which is causing considerable disquiet in the community. Steven Nicolson of Seaforth, Dunnet (application 11/04660/FUL). The Chair agreed to write to the Council reflecting these concerns.

8. AOB

External Lights at Spindrift, Dunnet Bay: Chris Hobson brought to attention the matter of the external lights which are on all the time, causing concerns to the community. Secretary requested to look into this.

Beach Clean at Dunnet: Chris Hobson delegated to look into this and report back at next meeting.

Dwarwick Pier: The local community group is trying to buy the Dwarwick Pier for a token sum from THC but there has been no response from THC Property Srvices - secretary to chase this up.

Freswick Pier: The community is concerned about the need to carry out remedial work. As a start-off it was recommended that they speak to Brough Bay Association who have been very successful in raising finance for remedial works and have previously intimated their willingness to share their experiences with other groups.

Royal Jubilee: Bill Mowat raised the issue of organising a bonfire on the Warth Hill to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

9. Next Meeting: Wed 8th February in Auckengill Hall at 7.30 p.m.



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