March 2012 Meeting in Dunnet Hall
7.30 p.m. Tuesday 13th March 2012
Present: John Green, Chair; Chris Hobson, Vice Chair; Keith Muir Secretary / Treasurer; Bill Mowat
Highland Councillor Robert Coghill
8 Members of the public.
John Green opened the meeting with apologies for the mix-up over the date and time which had been widely advertised as 14th March.
1. Apologies from Eric Green, Linda Bingham, Steven MacGregor
2. Minutes of February Meeting: Proposed by John Green, seconded by Chris Hobson and duly adopted.
3. Matters Arising
- Beach Clean. Chris Hobson reported that the beach clean had now been completed very successfully by volunteers, assisted by a tractor and trailer provided by David Glass from Brough. The Community Council will pay for the refreshments provided. The meeting recorded its thanks to David for the use of the tractor and trailer.
- Auckengill Traffic: A letter has now been sent to Angie Omotosho-Grant the Northern Constabulary community relations officer expressing the concerns of the local community about vehicles speeding through the village.
- John O' Groats land lease. The community council has now received a reply from Robbie MacKintosh of the Highland Council ward manager's department to our letter expressing concern that the local community has not been consulted about plans by Higghland Council to lease two areas of land at John O' Groats to natural Retreats, the developers of the tourism site. The land in question is the Council car park and the area around the Magic Signpost. the letter confirmed that Allan Maguire of the property department will attend a meeting to discuss the concerns of the community before any decision is made to complete the lease. It was agreed that the Secretary should invite Mr Maguire to attend our next meeting.
4. Treasurer's Report: The Treasurer reported that the balance in the Community Council account at the end of February stood at £1046.29
5. Planning matters. Councillor Robert Coghill took no part in discussions about spcific planning proposals.
- Lyth Wind Turbines. There are proposals afoot to erect four separate turbines in the Lyth area, three of which will be in the Dunnet and Canisbay Community Council area. The community council has received a number of representations from members of the community in the area expressing concerns about these separate developments. Unfortunately due to the mix-up in dates nobody from Lyth was at the meeting to air the concerns, but the community council will maintain contats with the community as the projects proceed towarrds planning.
- Dunnet Head Wind Turbine Development. A company called Dawn Energy is proposing to erect a wind turbine on land on Dunnet Head at the edge of the village of Brough. the proposal is still at the scoping stage, before a formal planning application is submitted and public consultation is considered. However, the Community Council was askied to arrange for an opportunity for the proposal to be aired in public, and an action was placed on the secretary to invite the developer to a meeting of the community council.
- Earl's Cairn Wind Farm. A proposal for a 13-turbine wind farm at Earl's Cairn in Barrock ois currently at the scoping stage. Again, considerable concern has already been voiced by the public and it was agreed to invite the developers to make a presentation at a meeting of the community council.
6. Queen's Jubilee: It was noted that a bonfire is to be lit on the Warth Hill on Monday 4th June to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee.
7. Olympic Torch: The Olympic Torch is to visit John O' Groats on 10th June. It was noted that the event is likely to attract considerable pubklic attention and it was agreed to publicise the event on the CC website to advise local groups that there may be opportunities for fund-raising.
8. Community Benefit Funds. members attended a workshop run by The Highland Council to learn more about the Council's scheme for community benefit from Windfarm developments. Details of the policy will be posted on the CC website. Cllr Coghill confirmed that none of the money raised through the Community Benefit fund would be used to supplement the Council's normal budget but will be controlled quite independently from the Council by a Trust. So far the scheme - which is voluntary - has been agreed by developers Scottish & Southern Electricity and by Scottish Power Renewables.
- Potholes. Cllr Coghill reported that funds have been made available for repairs to the roads network and invited the public to report problem requiring attention
- Chris Hobson reported that funds are being made available to restore paths at John O' Groats. £8,500 will be spent on the path going to the West of the harbour area towards the Mill. £16,500 will be spent onb creating an all-abilities path from the carpark at Duncansby Head to the Trig Point.
- Master Plans: Cllr Coghill reported that Master Plans are being prepared for Scrabster and for Wick Harbours.
- John O' Groats Art Works: The contract to deliver public art works in John O' Groats has been awarded to Gavin Lockhead and it is expected that the first pieces will be in place by the summer time. Details of the project are available on the HIE website.
10. Next Meeting: WEDNESDAY 11th April at 7.30 p.m. in the Mey Hall.