Minutes of Kintore & District Community Council on January 21, 2020.

Minute of Kintore and District Community Council
Held 7.00pm on 21 January 2020 in Kintore Primary School

1. Welcome
Vice chairman, Ken welcomed everyone to the meeting

2. Present:
Ken McEwen, Drew Cullinane, Kenny Thomson, Ann Marston, Sheila Gray, John Thomson, Paul Davison
Councillors: Martin Ford, Dominic Lochay
Leo Group: Cassie Irving, Rachel Whitely
Floral Group: Ainslie Reid MBE Library: Janet Newberry
Members of the public: Scott Napier, Elona Napier, Jillian Sinclair, Raymond & Moira Garden, Arlene Cumming, Mike Rennie, Stewart Henderson, Graham R, Paula & Kent Pittendreich, Loraine Reid, Margaret Basley, Marbeth Ritchie
Police: No police in attendance

3. Apologies
Cllr Fergus Hood, Cllr Glen Reid, Derek Logan, Lesley Monaghan

4. Police report
No police report has been received

5. Declaration of interest:
Ken declared his interest in the violet option for the A96 dualling as it passes close to his home.

6. Minutes of the previous meeting: Matters arising
Cllr Ford was mistakenly included in the attendance as well as, correctly, in the apologies.
Fountain Friends will be held until spring as there is now also a leak in the basin of the fountain.
The Bothie road sign – Cllr Ford will follow up.
Cheques were handed tonight out from the Kintore Fireworks proceeds.
The Bothie is still looking for volunteers.
Agile Energy will now be presented at the February meeting.
Direction sign: Sheila reported that the sign fell apart when it was taken down. But, Glen was seeing if the Mens’ Shed could recreate the sign.

7. Approval of minutes
Approval of the minutes was proposed by Drew, seconded by Sheila.

8. Treasurer’s report
On the 3rd of January the balance of the account was £6422.66. All pending bills for the fireworks have been paid and checks cashed earlier tonight the £500 profit from the event was dispersed with the BBs and the Scouts receiving £150 each and The Bothy and Rotary receiving £100 each. A press release will be issued with the photographs taken by Paul Douglas and it will also go onto the Kintore website and Facebook page. A payment of £1000 is due from the Committee of the Flood Fund as part of the compensation for the money the community council are spent on the installation of an emergency generator alongside the public hall. The net result of these transactions will be a balance of £6922.66. The floral displays account balance at October 30 was £467.76.
9. Action Kintore report
The Action Kintore EGM had taken place last night. Brian Johnstone was elected as chairman, Drew as vice chairman and Derek Cooper as Treasurer. Action Kintore is also in the process of changing from a company limited by guarantee to a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) and so the principal office bearers will no longer be directors but trustees. Kenny said that the meeting also confirmed the the Action Kintore balance was quite healthy. He also said that the rental charges had been increased slightly.

On the Town House, there has been some notable progress in what was always going to be a long-term project. Later last year there was a very encouraging meeting with the planning people at Aberdeenshire Council. Since then there has been a timber survey done (free of charge as a charity) on the Town House, which has found some woodworm infestation and some wet rot. The next stage would be to draw up plans, which will be an expensive process, but Action Kintore is already speaking to a body that may be able to contribute to that cost. When the planning application time comes around, it has been pointed out that, if the community council were to submit the application, there would be a 50% saving on the planning application fees if it were done under the community council. The actual work to the building, including installation of a disabled access lift and stairs in a glass extension at the back, is estimated to be in the region of £1.3 million.

Cllr Ford said that the Town House was such a stunningly attractive building that potential supporters would want to be associated with the redevelopment and so he was optimistic that we would get support. Ken said there were many organisations that exist to support the repurposing of historic buildings. Ken also pointed out that there is still time for people to come forward with ideas that could be incorporated, but that the uses for the building have to, at least, break even financially.

10. Planning matters
  • Flats on Elm Way: The proposal is for nine flats in a three-storey block on the site of the former functions suite of the Kintore Arms Inn, behind what is now The Square Hotel. The community council has submitted its concerns, based on the scale of the development, parking, and traffic. There are two applications in front of Aberdeenshire Council – one for permission to demolish the function suite and the second for the construction of the flats. The deadline for comments in support of, or objection to, the development is February 6. Paul confirmed that, due to the number of comments already received, this application will have to go in front of the committee. He added that there will be a report on the development, on the council website before the meeting. The meeting was attended by around a dozen residents from the immediate area of the proposed flats development, who highlighted similar concerns regarding the height of the flats, the parking issues already in the area, what they saw as inadequate parking for the development, concerns for pedestrians and also for traffic at the junction where Elm Way joins the main road through Kintore (this junction does not have good visibility). Cllr Ford stated that it was imperative that comments are submitted by February 6 as no objections will be accepted after that date. He also suggested that residents may want to ask for the opportunity to speak to the planning meeting about the development. Ken thanked the residents for their attendance and hoped they achieved a satisfactory outcome when it came before the council.
  • Inverurie Boxing Club have been granted change of use for their new base in Kintore.
  • B987/B994 Roundabout - Paul reported that the roads department have withdrawn their objection not the basis of a study that is not available on the website. Ken said he had put in a personal objection, with concerns about the traffic flow from Kemnay, in the mornings, cutting off traffic trying to get to Broomhill Roundabout from Kintore. Paul added that what they have put on the website does not reassure him. Paul will follow up with the council.
  • Put in objection to three retrospective changes of use at Aquherton. The agricultural one has been withdrawn, but the other two to change use to industrial are still being considered. Paul believes the objection reasons are still valid. Paul believes there is nothing more we can do at this stage.
  • Application at Harthills for change of use for agricultural land to allow for a store for Gall Engineering, right on the boundary of KDCC. Paul said it was a successful business with two main workshop and storage areas, want to add a new store on agricultural land. It is a family business on a farm. Paul said that he was also concerned about the road, which is narrow and needs upgrading. That said, he did not believe the store would not increase the traffic. It was agreed to take no action.
  • Paul reported that the council has decided not to enforce planning condition 2 for the extension to Thainstone Business Park, which they are entitled to do because it is a discretionary power. Paul is concerned because, he believes, that it you take this condition away there is no way of enforcing a phased development. He reported there are issues on both sides of the site with run-off in wet weather, because earth has been moved on the site. There have been complaints to SEPA. Local residents (not KDCC) have written back to say that they believe it is in the public interest to enforce the condition. The residents have now decided to write to the minister. Paul said this was background and that the residents may come back to KDCC. Cllr Lonchay said there are issues where the council does enforce planning and there are some buildings will have to come down. Cllr Ford referred to a letter he had received that had referred to “inaction by members” and pointed out that councillors are forbidden to lobby for enforcement issues. He has asked for a “letter of correction” to be sent to the residents.
  • Sheila asked if it was an infringement to put up a security light. She said there was new people in a yard in the main street who have a security light shining onto Smithfield houses. Paul said it could be a “statutory nuisance” warranting a complaint to the environmental health department.
  • LDP 21 process should go to a draft in April 2020. Cllr Ford said it was important to use rights to comment on the LDP. Paul said that Kintore should write its own description for the next LDP. Ken said that Fiona Cooper had been very keen to update the “Action Kintore” report with the aim of producing a vision of what we want Kintore to be. Paul said that he thought it would be more valid for Thainstone and the paper mill site to be included in Kintore as they are part of KDCC area. Cllr Ford said that local plan boundaries don’t line up with wards and community council areas, but he thinks Kintore writing its vision for the LDP is a great idea.
  • Bridgealehouse masterplan exhibition had surprised as it was supposedly on “employment land” and what was shown was largely housing. So the planner’s vision – articulated at the time of the previous LDP – of commuters arriving home at the station and crossing the road to buy groceries or go to a restaurant, would not be realised. We need to wait and see what the actual application proposes.

11. Library provision changes
Janet Newberry, Senior Library Assistant at Kintore Library addressed the meeting on the changes to library provision. There are three categories of library and Kintore is in the medium category. The hours will change in each category and for Kintore the public opening hours will be reduced by five and this will be made into “outreach” hours. Janet is concerned about the loss of public open hours and man-hours reduced by about seven. The population of Kintore has probably increased by a third, since the library opened here and Kintore is also the local library for Blackburn. Between Kintore and Blackburn the population is around 7,000. The public survey is open until the end of February and is accessible at http://bit.ly/30c37tD. Cllr Lonchay asked if it was possible to meet.

12. Kintore Rendering Plant
Cassie Irving and Rachel Whitely attended to answer any questions about the Leo Group rendering plan recommissioning. Cassie said that they wanted to make sure that we realise they were still available and interested to get feedback from the community. They are currently recruiting local people. Ken said he noticed for a very short time on one morning an odour that reminded him of the bad old days of the plant. But, other than that, there had been no noticeable nuisance. He asked if anyone at the meeting had had reports of problems and no-one had. In response to a question from Kenny, the Leo Group representatives said that people should report any odour, or other issues, either direct, or thought SEPA. Paul said were people at the open event who were very concerned because of the issues with the previous operator and were clearly won over. John Thomson said he was very impressed by the visit.

13. Defibrillators
Kenny reported that he had checked on the defibrillator that had been supplied to Kintore by the Scottish Ambulance Service and there was some damage to the casing that had meant the red light was flashing to show a fault. Neither he, nor the defibrillator supplier who attended with him, thought it was malicious damage. They had fixed the casing with tape to stop the flashing. But consumables such as batteries and pads are the responsibility of KDCC. It was agreed that – at a cost of about £250 – KDCC should replace the battery and pads.

Ken proposed a sub-group be set up to look at greater availability of defibrillators. Suggestions for locations were Sainsbury’s (which is open long hours), possibly the Co-op and the station. Since the initial discussion it had been pointed out there should be cover in the Hallforest area. Kenny offered to take the lead in setting up a group to increase defibrillator coverage in Kintore. Sheila asked who would be buying new defibrillators. Ken replied that British Heart Foundation can provide part funding and Kenny said it might be that the Rotary Funds4U might be able to help.

14. A96 Dualling
Ken said the only update he had was that the A96 Action group had a petition calling on the Minister and Transport Scotland to reconsider the existing route for the A96 Dualling.

15. Community council recruitment/new chairperson
Ken said this was something that we needed to consider, but with time limited we should carry this forward.

16. Correspondence
National Planning Framework: Early engagement for community councils.
Review of local fire and rescue plans. There is a survey at https://firescotland.citizenspace.com/planning-and-performance/local-fire-and-rescue-plan-review-2020/ and responses close March 18.
Kintore Konnect deadline is Feb 2
Scottish Community Trust

17. Aberdeenshire Councillors’ Update
Cllr Lonchay summed it up by saying “more to do, with less money”. Cllr Ford said it was pretty clear that the budget was going to be bad. Cllr Lonchay added that council tax would have to go up and there was pressure with issues like bridge repairs. John Thomson asked whose fault was the lack of money. Cllr Ford replied “ours, collectively” and that the authority had not come to terms with the fact that if we want services we need to spend a greater proportion of our national wealth to do it. He said there are tremendous pressures, particularly on care for the elderly and special needs. Cllr Ford added that “we are in a partial maintenance holiday for the roads at the moment “. There will be tough decisions. He argued that if roads were not maintained, they could be repaired in future. But, he pointed out, you only get one chance to provide for children or the elderly. He believed this would be a “watershed budget”. John Thomson asked what had happened to the billions of pounds that were talked about at the time of the General Election. Cllr Ford responded that the truth is that there is more money but the demands on it are growing. Cllr Lonchay said there is a “hole of £47 million in the budget” and that needs to be cut from somewhere.

18. AOCB
  • Derek Logan put forward some items for AOCB. In view of us running out of time, Ken proposed to carry these forward to the February meeting, other than to mention one that he raised – dog mess. This was currently a hot topic on the Facebook page as a result of dog mess problems having come up at The Bothie. As usual, it had produced volumes of comment on the Facebook page.
  • Kenny raised concerns about Kintore Business Park at Cairnhall, where the crossing was too close to the dual carriageway. Cllr Ford will ask the roads service.
  • B994 between the B987 and Gauchhill roundabout will be closed all day this Saturday.

Date of next meeting 18 February 2020.
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