Minutes of Meeting of Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council Held on the 11th September 2013 at 7.30 p.m. in St. Clare Hall, Aukengill.
1. Present: John Green (Chair)
Chris Hobson (Vice-Chair)
Bill Mowat (Member)
Barbara Hiddleston (Minutes Secretary)
David Bremner, (Highland Councillor)
About 15 Members of the Community
2. Presentation by Baywa.re UK Ltd on the Progress to next step and proposed addition to Stroupster Wind Farm, Caithness.
2.1. The Baywa.re Team had held Community Open day at the hall that day, which was followed by a presentation to those at the meeting of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council.
2.2. The Project, which has planning permission for 12 turbines, was on track. The Company is at the scoping stage with Highland Council to erect an extra turbine. This meant that apart from producing more power, the community benefit would also increase.
2.3. £5,000 would be granted for every megawatt, and the amount of community benefit available to the area would be around £150,000.
2.4. A question was raised regarding the fate of the timber from the forest in which the Wind Farm is to be built. It would appear that only 25% was fit for harvesting which would probably end up in the Bio –mass company in Inverness.
2.5. This was followed a talk given by Giles Ruck of Foundation Scotland which is supported by the Caithness Conversation Community Profile. This involves all the communities, businesses and local stakeholders in the County on how community funds linked to renewables projects could best be used to support Caithness.
2.6. Simply put, Foundation Scotland is a Scottish charity for managing community benefit to make best use of the money within Caithness and to achieve a lasting impact in the Community. Although a local panel would make the final decision, Foundation Scotland would take care of all matters to do with the benefit and handing the grants.
2.7. A discussion then arose what would be considered to be the boundary of the Community? Which part of Caithness should benefit ? Should it be the whole parish of Dunnet and Canisbay or should it be area in and around Aukengill where the Windfarm was going to be built? This point was not resolved.
2.8. John Green called the meeting to order, thanked Mr Ruck and the team from Baywa.re for their presentation, and they then left.
The meeting then continued with the business of the evening.
3. Apologies: Apologies were received from Eric Green
4. Minutes of the Previous Meeting.
4.1. Christopher Hobson proposed that the Minutes of the previous meeting held on the 26th June 2013 in Lyth Hall be approved, which was seconded by Bill Mowat.
4.2. John Green then asked for the Minutes of the AGM held on the 10th April, in Freswick Village Hall also to be approved. Bill Mowat proposed they be accepted, which was seconded by Christopher Hobson.
5. Matters Arising.
5.1. John Green reported that the 4 different concerns raised at the previous meeting (26th June) regarding the Lyth Wind Farm, had been passed on and taken into account by the Highland Council.
6. Office Bearers
6.1. John Green then announced the resignation of Keith Muir as Treasurer and Secretary.
The appointment of new Treasurer would be resolved within the Community Councillors themselves.
6.2.1. In the meantime Barbara Hiddleston had been accepted as the Minutes Secretary and take over the duties of the Secretary.
7.1. Engaging with Communities in the preparation of the new Caithness & Sutherland Local Development Plan.
7.1.1 John Green informed those present that he had received a letter from the Principal
Planner (Development Plans) David Cowie. The first stage of the production of the new Plan – known as the CaSPlan – has been launched. Landlords and all members of communities are being invited to let them know what they wish to see developed and/or protected and to identify issues for future planning and suggest ideas on how to address them. Cllr David Bremner agreed to ask a member of the planning team to attend our next meeting.
7.1.2 John Green then proposed that some be invited from the Department to the next
Community Council Meeting for a fuller explanation and discussion. This was seconded by Bill Mowat.
7.2. Caithness Map 5 core path CA07.12.
7.2.1. There was a query raised about the developers of the Tresdale Wind farm who are going to use this path to access the site by all traffic.. Chris Hobson agreed to have this checked out with Matt Dent, Access Officer.
7.2 Potential Windfarm Site at Brabster.
7.2.1 John Green told those present that he had received a letter from the Director of the renewable company rds-element, regarding the potential windfarm site at Brabster. He was requesting to attend the next Community Council Meeting.
7.2.2. As John Green wasn’t sure if this was the correct procedure, he would make enquiries and be in touch with the Director.
7.3. Correspondence from Ms. Irving.
7.3.1 Request for toilet facilities on Dunnet Head using funding for Art Work. It was explained that Funding for a project cannot be taken from one source to be used for another. There simply isn’t sufficient funding for financing facilities at Dunnet Head.
7.3.2 Access to the eastern side of Dunnet Head & North Highland Way. After much discussion it was agreed that although the Community Council is not against the North Highland Way Project there are insufficient funds to pay for this.
7.4. Consultation Request Notification.
7.4.1. An application had been put in for the erection of a microdistillery & office on the
land 70 metres north of North Sands Hotel.
7.4.1. There were several points of concern were raised regarding the position of the proposed erection.
1. The proposed erection is an industrial building in a residential area. It is an inappropriate use of land in the centre of the village and it is not in keeping with the surrounding houses.
2. Access to the site could close off the right of way from the A836 to the B855. This access is used on a regular basis .
3. Access to this site would coincide with the access from the busy Blargoan premises, which is directly opposite, which could cause accidents both to the pedestrians and to vehicles. This is a busy road used also by Tourists as it leads to Dunnet Head.
4. Also there is right-angled corner thirty metres from the access on the left leading to the Broch/West Side Road. This could be a potential accident area particularly as there will be frequent deliveries and uplifts of materials required for the microdistillery.
7.4.2. Chris Hobson agreed to contact Matt Dent regarding this matter.
7.5. John Green had circulated the weekly lists of planning applications and consented
planning applications which had been noted.
7.5.1. He had also circulated the Minutes of the Joint Wards Meeting held on Monday 24th June, which was also noted.
8. Any other business.
8.1. The question was asked if the grass cutter for the village was contracted or was he a Highland Council employee. Although no explanation was given for this query, David Bremer agreed to find out.
8.2. Dunnet Art Works
8.2.1. Dunnet Bay and Dunnet Head proposed Artwork plans. David Bremner told all those present that the proposed artwork for Dunnet Head had been scrapped, but proposed access improvements were still going ahead.
8.2.2 He then produced plans for Dunnet Bay, one with the artwork and one without both including the proposed improved access.
8.2.3 After much discussion it was agreed that a decision could not be made at this
Meeting. David Bremner agreed to ask his Committee to organise a presentation of the proposed plans to Dunnet Community for their final decision.
8.2.4. In the meantime Christopher Hobson was given a copy of the plans, and he would have them circulated.
9.1. Date of Next Meeting
9.2.1. The next meeting will held in Canisbay Hall on Tuesday 8th October at 7.30 p.m.