Minutes of meeting for July 15, 2014

Kintore and District Community Council
Meeting - 7pm 15th July 2014 in Kintore School

Community Councillors Brian Johnstone (Chair), Joan Thomson, Kenny Thomson, Councillor Martin Ford, Cllr Nan Cullinane, Drew Cullinane, Ann Marston, Lesley Monaghan, PC David Calvert and WPC Joy MacLaren.
Lynsey Nicol, Ken McEwen.

The Chair welcomed all to the meeting

Sheila Gray, Gloria Johnstone, Glen Reid.

No presentations this month.

MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING held on 17th June 2014.
Minute approved by Ann Marston and seconded by Joan Thomson.

MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTE There was a discussion on the referral of the Local Development Plan application for Gateway Kintore to the Infrastructure Services Committee with three provisions :
1. Its compatibility with the new Scottish Planning Policy SPP2014,
2. A retail impact assessment to show the vitality of the town centre would not be compromised and
3. A solution being provided to the Broomhill junction, to the satisfaction of Transport Scotland.

Cllr Ford explained that a Sequential Test was required if a supermarket is requested out of town.
A Retail Impact Assessment would also be required to be carried out as the Scottish Planning policy is to protect town centre businesses and it was important to ensure there were no transport access issues.
Cllr Ford commented that he did not consider the provisions requested of the developer of Gateway Kintore unreasonable.

The Chairman acknowledged the need for the protection of town centres but in Kintore’s case the consensus was that the town centre businesses supported the Gateway Kintore application and the community did not feel that the town centre would be threatened with the development. The current trend is for major shopping to be done in larger supermarkets and “top-up” shopping done locally.

Banchory was cited as an example of the Tesco supermarket being established out of town and this has not affected the significant shopping available in the town centre.

The Chairman commented that whilst the Council are obliged to consider the transport access issues and Scottish Planning policies, there seems to be little consideration given to the clear community support for Gateway Kintore.

It was felt that the provisions were unreasonable on the developer at this time as these matters would be normally considered at detailed planning stages.

In reviewing the Area committee minutes, the planning team made the point that there was no need for further employment land and that the M1 (East Kintore ) development would provide community facilities, but the chairman challenged this, as the proposed M1 development plans does not show any provision to match the business mix proposed by Gateway Kintore.

It was reported that the planning team referred to the current application by Sainsbury’s which would provide adequate retail provision in the town. Yet their application lists their facility as there to provide “top up” shopping, which is nothing close to the proposal by Gateway Kintore.

The area committee minutes also reported that the members accepted that Gateway Kintore was not an ideal site due to its remoteness and the Chairman challenged why the area committee considered this as remote when the community clearly do not think it remote. It is a lot nearer than the current major shopping facilities.

The Area Committee minutes record that councillors felt that it was not an ideal site as it was out of the town centre, the CC Chairman commented that whilst it was not in the town centre, which of course would be preferred, there were no town centre sites available to deliver a supermarket and whilst it was perhaps not ideal, but there were no other options on the table.

Further discussion was held regarding the provisions made upon the Gateway Kintore application.
The compliance with Scottish Planning Policy SPP2014 – as this was not published until 23rd June 2014 it was considered that the developers weren’t given enough time to submit their response to this, the retail impact assessment report and a solution satisfactory to Transport Scotland ,

The CC also considered this unreasonable as other retail sites being proposed to the LDP were not asked to provide similar reports.

It was also considered that the process regarding Gateway Kintore was unfair on the developer, considering the ISC vote was 7 for and 7 against had a fair opportunity been given to the developer to present the provisions, then it was felt that it may have been voted through. Fair process was not offered to the developer.

The Chairman went round the table and CC councillors commented;- that they supported the challenges made to the Area Committee decision; there seemed an unwillingness within the council to deliver the facilities the community wants, and comments were made that there was not enough support for facilities in Kintore, yet the council continues to provide new housing developments – this position is the same as it was 10 years ago. The distance to the Gateway Kintore site is not considered “too far”. A resident from Midmill area who attended the meeting agreed with the challenges being made, the distance was not too far and felt the Council is not listening to the residents, who feel like they are being ignored, the 1000 signature petition seems to have been ignored.

The Kintore East Master Plan does provide enough facilities or indeed the specific facilities the community desires.

There seems to be too much industrial development and housing yet nothing else.

Cllr Cullinane commented that she publicly supported the Gateway Kintore proposal for commercial development but not retail. She would prefer retail facilities to be in the town centre rather than to the outskirts.

A concern raised was that access off the A96 should not create further traffic congestion.

Relating to this Cllr Ford commented that his understanding was that the main issue of concern from the ISC was access to and from the supermarket site would be via the A96. Therefore if viable access was achievable off the B979 then there is a possibility that this could be considered.
It was commented that the original draft plan from the developer showed a separate slip road off the B979.

There is a depth of anger within the community and this is a concern – how do you patch this up?

There is a need for the Council to help provide the site for the facilities the community desires or find an alternative but there is no alternative on offer at the moment.

It is unofficially reported that there is a commercial interest in Gateway Kintore site, a question has been raised asking if there is an agenda for opposing Gateway Kintore.

It was asked what happens next? – the council were told that the ISC decision is not likely to be re-visited.

There is an opportunity for the developer to object to the next published LDP draft, and if reconsidered, negotiate with the Council Planning Service. Where this does not reach a conclusion then this can be referred to the Scottish Office Reporter, who will arbitrate on the objection, conduct a review, make a decision on planning grounds and present a recommendation to the Council.

Any move to progress on this basis is a developer decision.

There will also be an LDP Local Public Enquiry which will be looking at further sites challenged within the prepared LDP.

As the Council needs to re-visit the LDP plans in order to ensure compliance with the new SPP2014 there are further meetings of the ISC in October. It was suggested that the Gateway Kintore developer should be given the same opportunity to prepare an adequate report for the ISC and be re-heard in October.

As the Area Committee may have to be consulted in policies relating to SPP2014 planning issues for the LDP, they should be asked to re-visit the Gateway Kintore recommendation and the CC to ask the Chair of ISC to see if Gateway Kintore can be re-considered based on the prior short timescale to present appropriate reports.

Chairman will write to area committee and ISC and seek a second review, before the 2nd October 2014 meeting.

Overall the Community Council felt that there was a significant negative influence by the planning team and the provisions requested by the area committee on the developer were unreasonable.

Kenny Thomson thanked the Chairman for his hard work in compiling the summary of what to understand and assist with the issue.

The Torryburn Hotel demolition was discussed by the area committee and the lack of hotel facilities in Kintore. It was recorded there is a council policy to protect retail shops and hotels etc. and there was a requirement for clear change of use justification and such an application would have to be market tested to ensure that there was a demand to continue the type of business, unfortunately the lengthy time the hotel was on the market indicated there was not a serious market demand for this hotel. However it was reported at the CC meeting that a prospective purchaser has approached the hotel owner to take it over and continue the business, but it is claimed he is not willing to sell.

This may have to be a consideration should the owner apply for a demolition and change of use.

Fireworks Display – Chairman is to liaise with Fireworks company and get a formal quotation for review.

We have received communications on Community Renewable Energy projects – one company reported the potential for communities to earn up to £150,000 revenue per annum. Chairman to investigate this more and report back at the next meeting.

A site was being considered by the council for a Wind Turbine around Leylodge, the Chairman will enquire on the current position of this site.

The Council organised “Supporting Community Events” workshop being organised in Kemnay in November, is looking for a local community “ best practice item” to put forward for presentation to attendees. Chairman proposed that the Bothie be put forward for this. All members were in agreement with this.

Fly tipping signs at East Park, there are still no signs – Councillors are to progress this request.

The Sign for the Bothie has not been delivered, there has been no further communication – it is understood they are looking at the funding for this. Cllr Ford to make enquiries.

PC David Calvert and WPC Joy MacLaren gave the police report. Attached.
A post box in East Park has been vandalised, this was reported but the police didn’t know about it.
Regarding the speeding, the Chairman asked if speed signs could be installed at the south approach on B979 from the Midmilll-Kemnay roundabout. As this is a council issue – the local councillors will progress this on our behalf.

Joan reported that the Council admin grant of £889.01 has been received. Floral display monies to being taken into account leaves us with a net bank balance of £2,327.08 in the bank. £1,270 of Donations has been received from local contributors, this is excellent and all donations will be acknowledged in the next published Kintore Konnect and on the Kintore.org website. Ainslee Reid and his dedicated colleagues are due a massive thank-you for their continued efforts in co-ordinating the floral displays and everyone agrees they all do a sterling job.
Susan Adam – who is the project manager for the Town House refurbishment – advised that the new tenant in the town wishes to make a donation to the Community, as does McDonald Properties.
In order to fund Fireworks project, the Chairman hopes to utilise these contributions and seek further contributions from some of the companies in the Midmill estate. Further monies are hoped to be made from public donations and sale of goods on the night.

Kenny Thomson reported that the Bothie is quiet over the summer holidays. Rachel the co-ordinator is off on Commonwealth Games duty. It is still being used by community groups. The youth sessions have been increased to 5 weekly and they have 14 volunteers to assist. Concern that some in the 16 years age group, hang around outside as they are not sure what they want. There is potential to arrange Talks to them about careers on set nights. Kenny to put this on Kintore Konnect for 3rd August 2014. Rear of the building is looking superb with a generous donation of the “chuckies”.
A phone call was received from a person wishing to donate a football game – (they already have one) but they are struggling with storage space for it. The person who offered this works in a storage container company, so will be looking to see if they can help with this. Enquiries will be made to see if there are any planning issues.

PLANNING MATTERS Drew Cullinane reported on the applications, none were deemed requiring CC consideration.
There was the listed Building consent for Town House, replacement bollards, water to fountain, improvement to steps.
The Midmill site for Sainsburys, Chinese Take Away, Dentist and Hairdresser is also included in the applications.
There is an application for a Sun lounge for Nan and Drew Cullinane – being a Councillor all planning applications must formally go to planning and will be dealt with appropriately.

The Council Planning web pages have been greatly improved and are much easier to navigate and we now receive a weekly list direct from the planning team.

CORRESPONDENCE E-mail outlining AWPR was circulated round members. Environmental and Ecological surveys are in progress as the project moves toward the conclusion of procurement and start of construction.

CC members attended a meeting about new primary school, considering the implications of the one year delay in the building of the new school. Whilst it remains in the current overcrowding situation, the forecast roll is to remain around the same number taking into account the leavers and new pupils starting.

The councils’ progress with M1 school site was discussed with reports of local residents up in arms about the delays in securing the land, which has now gone to compulsory purchase. Councillor Ford explained that the Council officers did not proceed for a year as they had understood from the development consortium that all aspects in securing the land were in hand. But now it seems they were not. Which has now resulted in the CPO.

It is still not clear what Community facilities and amenities are likely to arise from the East Kintore development, it was suggested that we contact Doug Milne, (Garioch Area Manager) and Kintore East Developers to get update on this.

The Community Council are researching Energy assisted project could be forthcoming – Chairman to have the discussion. This swimming pool would be part of the Secondary School in Kintore. E-mail Tim Stephenson and John Harding and get some response prior to the 16th September 2014 meeting.

Estover Energy who had been in touch over their plans for timber felling and chipping plant at Harehill Woods near Upper Cottown, will need to submit planning application for this development. Their plant is to provide fuel for a new Biomass plant at Stoneywood papermill. It was reported that they may import timber from other areas, which could potentially mean up to 90 trucks a day. We had already expressed our concerns regarding this scale of development and traffic movement, so we are pleased to hear this will be reviewed formally by the planning process.

There is to be a Town House development preliminary meeting on Monday 25th August to discuss options for the use of the Town House. The council are keen to have local community members involved in this project. CC Chairman - Brian Johnstone, Ainslee Reid, Geoff Marston and Ken McEwen are interested and plan to attend the meeting, any other people with an interest in creating something special with this fantastic building are also very welcome to attend. There is a lot of rural history, prehistoric sites, pictish and Roman history in the area, so a lot to consider.

Plans are well on the way for the external refurbishment of the Town house including Caithness flag stones to replace the tar, refurbishing the steps and stairwells and repairing the fountain. Questions were asked about the bike racks and we have confirmed that they should remain.

Eddie Strachan last provost of Kintore died recently and we have spoken to his son to make the seat to be placed in memory of his father in the tidied up area at the end of Lochburn Drive.

A Tree preservation order has been raised for the trees at Bridgend Farm – there have been problems getting in touch with owners. There are concerns that a number of windows have been broken and are boarded up now.

Most of the items to be raised by the councillors have already been discussed so they had nothing further to add.

AOCB Regarding the Best Garden Competition – it was suggested that this be done every 2 years and next year bring it forward to June 2015.

As the AGM is next month Drew Cullinane has advised that he will not be standing for election next year. The council expressed their thanks to Ken McEwan for all his hard work in maintaining the Kintore.org website.

KINTORE KONNECT The next input for Kintore connect magazine is due by 1st August. Chairman will put note round prior to this for any items to be included.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – Annual General Meeting 16th September 2014.
This year the Council will adhere to the constitution by administering individual forms to be completed by each Council Member. Form for completion is attached for you all to complete and bring to the meeting on 16th September 2014. Individual Electoral Roll numbers are on your polling cards which you should all have in your possession with the imminent Referendum ahead.
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