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Minutes 24 Sept 2014

Notes on Meeting of the Dunnet & Canisbay Community Council

Held in Britannia Hall, Dunnet on Wednesday 24th September 2014

Those Present: John Green, Chairman

Christopher Hobson, Treasurer

Barbara Hiddleston, Secretary

Willie MacKay, Highland Councillor

Apologies: Apologies were received from Bill Mowat and Eric Green

Minutes of Previous Meeting:

1.1. As there was no quorum, the Minutes could not be approved.

2. Matters Arising.

2.1.1. Item 2.3. Proposed tidying up outside the Canisbay Doctor’s Surgery area. This work had now been completed. The Chairman and the Treasurer signed the invoice for the work carried out and would be given to the Treasurer of the A.C.C. for payment from the Village Officer’s Fund. Action John

2.1.2. Councillor MacKay reported that the Highland Council were not yet in a position to give a quote for tarmacking this area, and it was in hand.

2.2.1. Item 2.4. Access improvement work at Dunnet Head and Dunnet Bay. Councillor MacKay was pleased to inform those present that whilst he was unable to get a detailed update on this project, he was able to confirm that it was in hand. The Environment Manager had written to say the consultants working on the project were in the process of tendering for the work to be carried out.

2.2.2 Item 2.4.2. Caravan Site Entrance at Dunnet Bay. This was in hand.

2.3.1 Item 2.5. Canisbay Church Gate. On pursuing this matter, Councillor MacKay told those present that he had received a reply from Community Services TECS regarding the renewal of the Church Gate. In it he had reiterated that the Highland Council had no responsibility for its replacement and that it was that of the Church owners.

2.3.2 Furthermore, he pointed out that as the Church and its boundary walls, including the gate were Category ‘A’ listed and any change, apart from general maintenance, would require a Listed Building Consent from the planning authorities, without which it would be a criminal offence; and it would require the gate to be replaced like for like. Funding could possibly be obtained locally perhaps from Community Benefit, and a contribution from the ward discretionary would be an option.

2.3.3. The Chairman reported that a Church Elder had received a quote for £800 for a replacement gate. But in the light of this information, he would inform her of these planning requirements. Action John.

2.4. Item 2.6.Sign for Dwarwick Pier. The sign had now been made through Access Forum, which Chris Hobson agreed to mount. Action Chris

2.5. Item 2.8.Dunnet Children’s Playpark. The Chairman also reported that he had received an email from the TECS services saying that further improvements to the play park would be carried out. The existing ground cover of tiles would be covered over by a sand filled grass carpet, with which those present agreed.

3. Chairman’s Report.

3.5. The Chairman passed round a letter from Highland Small Communities Trust which was noted.

4. Treasurer’s Report. As from the 15th September 2014 the balance stood at £3,257.82.

5. Planning.

5.1 Natural Retreats Report: Change of location of the turning circle at John O’Groats. No action had been taken as yet.

5.2. Planning Lists. These were noted.

6. Stroupster Wind Farm Community Benefit.

6.1. A successful meeting had been held with Foundation Scotland, in which a timeline of action was drawn up and a Memorandum of Understandng finalised which was to be approved at this meeting. As there was not a quorum, the matter is being held in abeyance until the next meeting.

6.2. A draft list was then drawn up of the clubs and societies in the benefit area, which will be required to be checked out. (Attached)

7. AOB.

7.1.1. Mey Gen Ltd. The Chairman had received a request from The Director to give an appraisal on the implications of the installation of MeyGen underwater turbines. This presentation will be held at the next Community Council meeting.

7.1.2 The Chairman also said he had been also approached by the Director to ask if the Community Council would give their support to the amended planning design for the 3 power conversion unit buildings at the Ness of Quoys, which was held back at the last HC planning meeting saying that the cost of changing the design could be used to create a MeyGen Ltd. centre at John O’Groats. A decision could not be made as there was no quorum.

7.2.1 Report from Caithness Local Access Forum. Chris Hobson said the Access Forum wished to raise awareness that access to the core path from Nybster to the Hill of Stroupster (No. CA 07.03) must be available at all times, particularly during times when the site is closed, which was duly noted.

8. Date of Next Meeting.

The next meeting will be held on the Wednesday 22nd October 2014 in Mey Hall, Mey at 7.30 p.m.


Proposed Art Piece for John O’Groats. The Chairman reported that H.I.E had procured funding to create an art piece for John O’Groats. The process of application in the form of a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire was available on-line on the Pubic Contracts Scotland website as from the 8th September with the closing date of 30th September. Concern was raised by those present over this, recalling the recent disaster of the art work competition for Dunnet Head and Dunnet Bay. He agreed to get in touch with the organiser, Hilary Budge, H.I.E. Senior Development Manager. Action John

Incidents at Berridale Braes In his role of Chairman of the Association of Community Councillors John reported, that he had had an acknowledgement from Police Scotland of a letter written on his behalf by Neil Buchanan, which indicated that there would be a reply

Rural Parliament He also confirmed that a candidate had been appointed.

Those present were made aware of the paper ‘Caithness Landscape Visual Assessment Study on Onshore Wind farms in Caithness’ which is available on line.

Draft List of Societies, Clubs, Associations and Committees:

Britannia Hall, Dunnet

Mey Village Hall,

Canisbay Village Hall, Canisbay;

John O’Groats Village Hall.

Mey Gardening Club

Pentland Rifle Club

John O’Groats Football Club

Dunnet Forest Trust


St. John’s Loch Association

Dunnet Christmas Lights

John O’Groats Christmas Lights

P.T.A. Canisbay School

Mothers & Toddlers Group, Canisbay

Children’s Play Group Crossroads School

Children’s Play Park Committee, Dunnet

Dwarwick Pier Association

Brough Bay Pier Association

Freswick Hall Committee

Auckengill Hall Committee




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