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November 2013


Minutes of  Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Held in Mey Village Hall on

Wednesday 13th November 2013 at 7.30 p.m.

Those Present:           

                                          John Green, Chairman

                                         Christopher Hobson, Vice-Chairman

                                    Bill Mowat, Member

                                    Ann Shearer, Member

                                    Barbara Hiddleston, Member, Minutes Secretary

                                    16 Members of the Public

1.            Presentation on CaSPlan

1.1.      John Green, Chairman, welcomed all those present and invited Scott Dalgarno, Development Plans Officer at the Highland Council to give his presentation on the next stage new Caithness & Sutherland Local Development Plan which will shape the future developments of Caithness & Sutherland for the next 10 years – CaSPlan. A condensed interpretation of the talk is as follows:-

1.2. The plan is designed to cover the large area stretching from Dornoch to Durness & Wick to Lochinver. It is then subsequently subdivided into three separate areas - North East, which was the North Eastern part of Caithness; North West & West, being the northern part of Caithness & the western part of Sutherland; and South East & South, being the bottom part of Caithness & Southern part of Sutherland.

1.3. The early stages of the plan have been completed and it is based on the outcome of the Wick & Thurso Charrettes held earlier this year. The purpose of these workshops were to encourage discussion of ways in the local people and their communities give input to the Highland Council from ground level on what they saw as the possible future of their towns.

1.4. Mr. Dalgarno passed round copies of the Executive Summary on the result of these Charrettes

1.5. Further input was encouraged for the all the people of this area, both by access online or written comments, which ended on 17th October, to which their had been a good esponse.All contributions have been taken into consideration.

1.6. The outcome so far as been put into 4 headings:-

  • Economic Development
  • Landscape, Environmental & Green issues
  • Demographics, Fragility &  Deprivation
  • Transport & Connectivity. 

1.7. The next stage is the Mains Issues Report, based on these findings which will be completed by Spring 2014.

  • This will give  a list of suggested objectives & outcomes
  • Preferred options and viable alternatives for achieving these outcomes of developing strategies, projects and policies. 

This will eventually provide a strategic development plan for the next 10 years, which has been designed to include the people’s wishes and should be presented to the Highland Council and adopted by 2015.   

1.8. Mr. Dalgano then answered a variety of questions and when finished, The Chairman thanked Mr. Dalgarno who completed his talk by saying that any further information can be found on the Highland Council website the main source beingwww.highland.gov.uk/casplan

2.Dunnet Bay Art Work within the Proposals for Dunnet Beach & Picnic Area Access improvement.

2.1. The Chairman then welcomed David Bremner, Highland Councillor, who was present to complete Item 8.2.3 in the 11th September 2013 Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council Meeting. This was regarding the final choice of the proposed Art Work at Dunnet by the local community, to help the HC to make their final decision.

2.2. It had been agreed that there would be two choices - basically one that contained the artwork of the dolphin, or one without.The relevant plans had been made widely available.

2.3. Following a short discussion on which several points were raised regarding the improvement itself -

  • That the picnic area should be nearer the sea, as it is depicted being close to the car     park
  • That the Notice Board that currently stands at the entrance is considered to be very necessary. Could this be included in the new plans ?
  • That there was a query as to how far the improvements carried on to the left hand side, facing the sea.

2.4. David Bremner then proposed a vote on which choice - with or without the art work ?

2.5. It was with the complete agreement by all those present that there was no need to have the artwork.

2.6. David Bremner agreed to take all the comments and the decision to the next meeting HC Planning Meeting.

2.7. He also informed the Committee that he had an electronic copy of the Lease between the Highland Council and Natural Retreats, which he would forward on to the Chairman.

3. Meeting.

3.1. The Chairman thanked David Bremner, and as all the Presentations were completed, the business of the Community Council meeting proper now began.

4. Apologies.

4.1. Apologies were received from Eric Green

5. Minutes from Previous Meeting.

5.1.Notes had been taken at the previous meeting held 8th October, as there was not a quorum. As a result, the Minutes of the meeting held on 11th September could not be approved.

5.2. Christopher Hobson now proposed they be accepted, which was seconded by Bill Mowat.

6. Chairman’s Report.

6.1 .Matters Arising.

6.1.1 JOG2Ltd.Barbara Hiddleston gave a progress report on the meeting held on the 9th November regarding the location of the turning point at John O’Groats as per Item 3.4. in the Notes of Community Council Meeting held 8th October 2013.

6.1.2 There had been 5 proposed options put forward, and after discussions it had been agreed that Option 2 was acceptable to all.This put the location of the turning point roughly at the Junction of the Ferry and Harbour Access, but with slight adjustments and would create a walking precinct where the turning point is currently located. This was under the terms of realising the overall master plan and create a safe and welcoming public realm.

6.1.3 These adjustments would take into consideration the access for the harbour for and to businesses, ferry access for the disable passengers and the coach and bus access.Also it would include consideration of the iconic view where people arrived at the end of the road of the A99.

6.1.4 Nick White of Natural Retreats said he would take the preferred option away and present the amended plan at the next meeting, which is to be arranged.


6.2.1. War memorials.The Chairman had received a letter from the War Memorial Trust regarding the condition of the war memorials in the district. This was part of the 100 years commemoration of the 1914-1918 1st World War to be held next year. It was agreed that he and Barbara Hiddleston would look into this.

6.2.2. Dunnet Village Officer Scheme. The Chairman asked for approval for £501.35p, which was required to complete the tidy up of the gateway to Peedie Sands in Dunnet. This was granted by all the Committee Members present.

6.2.3. Highland Council Training for Community Councillors. The Chairman informed the Committee members that training was to take place on the 5th December 2013 in the Pentland Hotel starting at 5.30 p.m. and finishing at 7.30 p.m.

6.2.4. John O’Groats Christmas Lights. The Chairman told those present that John O’Groats Christmas Lights Committee had bought a set of 2nd hand lights, but they required to be repaired, which The Health Board Apprentices were willing to carry out. He proposed that they could use our good offices to apply for funding from Dounreay Community Fund. This was unanimously accepted by the Committee Members present.

7.Treasurer’s Report. It was recorded that there was £3,866.28p in the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council’s Account.


8.1.Planning. The Chairman noted the planning applications lodged, in particular the erectionof the extra wind turbine on the Stroubster Windfarm.  

9.Any Other Business

9.1.1            Planning Application for the Establishment of a Pharmacy in Castletown.

            Much concern had been raised throughout the Community regarding a recent application of a separate pharmacy being built in Castletown.  It was felt that this could have a disastrous effect on the two successful dispensaries that currently supply medicines from the surgeries in Castletown & Canisbay.  

9.1.2 The Chairman had received a letter from Barbara Herrick the Castletown Community Council asking for a letter of support against the proposed application.The Chairman put forward a motion of support, which was unanimously accepted and agreed to attend to the matter.

9.1.3 A Meeting regarding the proposed application has been arranged for Wednesday 20th November 2013 in Castletown.

9.2. Ed White raised the issue of the Runes at Sannick Bay and told those present at their request, he had sent photographs of them to Oxford University. This was with the intention of raising the profile of Caithness.  

9.3. Jenny Bruce wished to inform the Committee that the Royal Commission had been in contact with her regarding the sculptures of John Nicolson.  The Chairman said he would pass this information on.

10.Date of Next Meeting.

10.1 As there will be no meeting during December, the next meeting will be held on Wednesday 8th January 2014 at 7.30 p.m. and the venue has yet to be arranged. 

Post meeting note:  date is now 15th January 2014 at 7.30pm in Pentland Hall J O’G.

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