Monthly meeting February 16, 2010

PRESENT: Kenny Thomson (Chairman), Graham McDonald (Vice Chairman), Joan Thomson (Treasurer), Drew Cullinane, Sheila Gray, Ann Marston and Ava Rennie, Councillors Cullinane, Ford and Hood, Georgina Payne, Lesley Monaghan, Isabel Stirling and Linda Paterson.

APOLOGIES: None given.

1. WELCOME: Kenny welcomed everyone to the Meeting.

Kenny then introduced Mr.Hamish McDonald who was accompanied by representatives Mr. Paul Whitford of PW design and Mr Steve Crawford of Halliday, Fraser Munro. He then introduced Mr.Ian Fowell, Garioch Area Manager whose attendance had been arranged at very short notice. Messrs McDonald, Whitford and Crawford agreed to allow Mr Fowell to speak before them, as he had another meeting to attend later the same evening.

Mr Fowell said he came to the meeting to elaborate upon the ‘NOTE TO KINTORE COMMUNITY COUNCIL’ dated 15 February 2010. The Note states the School is currently overcrowded despite the addition of four extra classrooms with a further two to be added this summer, at a total cost of approx. £1.4 million.

Mr Fowell then informed the meeting that Aberdeenshire Council’s planners would not support any new housing within the Kintore School catchment area. A Press Release had been issued to this effect.

Discussion took place relative to possible challenges to this policy by Developers, the uniqueness of the decision and the reasons why the Council appeared to have got the planning so wrong. With regard to the latter, Mr Fowell and Councillor Ford explained that Kintore had a higher than average birth rate and that Councils make provision for.35 children per household when in fact Kintore has .45 per household. This, along with a higher density of houses than was originally expected combined to create the problem.

Mr Fowell said that the School design was planned before houses were built and offered the following three points as explanations:
  • Housing was approved in 1998/99 at a rate of 200 buildings at a time, but an archaeological dig on the school site delayed the building programme for a considerable period of time.
  • On completion of the dig, house building started en masse.
  • Developers had also put forward Applications for additional housing which the Council had not planned for.

Councillor Hood stated the school site is not large enough for further expansion and that 550 is the maximum number recommended for a Primary School.

Kenny said that the Community facilities were obviously inadequate for the number of houses built and the public perception is that no real steps had been taken to attract new shops, youth facilities, filling station etc. Mr. Fowell replied that the Council had tried to protect existing shops and that as the Main Street in Kintore is the historical part of the town it needed to be kept intact.

He also told the Meeting that Aberdeenshire Council are to debate the Main Issues Report at the end of March, so community comments were needed before then regarding land zoned for housing and that if Kintore is to expand, an additional school would be needed. He also advised that the lack of school accommodation is a matter to be addressed by the Council and this should not mean that KDCC should blank Planning Applications, but rather assess them on their individual merits.

Isabel Stirling asked if migrant workers were putting a strain on housing. Mr. Fowell said he there was no proof of that.
Mr Fowell thanked all present and left the meeting at 7.30pm.

Mr Alan Majury, Evening Express Reporter arrived during the above discussion.

Prior to moving onto the Agenda proper, the Local Councillors sought direction from KDCC members as to their stance on the Policy statement from the Council relative to opposition to further housing. Members decided to support the Council, as it is quite clear the school is full to capacity and in fact the need to create further classrooms may result in the reduction of accommodation available to Community Learning Department and nursery facilities. It is forecast that the extra accommodation (the total of 6 additional classrooms) should keep the situation stable until 2015/16.

Mr Hamish McDonald and representatives, having previously approached KDCC in September last year, put forward proposals for the development of the 30 acre site at Boghead Croft. It is zoned for commercial use and possible uses suggested by Mr McDonald were a Hotel and restaurant, children’s play barn and a garden centre. Graeme suggested the site be developed as a retail park.

Isabel voiced concerns over the road and traffic implications, whereupon Mr McDonald stated that a new slip road to the development would be situated 60 ft from existing road onto Broomhill Roundabout. He also advised that Transport Scotland will soon be divulging the results of a traffic survey and will propose improvements to the traffic management situation at Broomhill Roundabout.

Kenny stated that it was most unusual for a land owner to seek the Community Council’s views as to what is needed in an area and he asked Community Councillors for their views. The responses included a hotel, restaurant and supermarket with a filling station.

Mr McDonald and his representatives thanked the Meeting and left at approximately 8.00pm

2. MINUTES OF MEETING OF 19TH JANUARY: Kenny thanked Linda for her work in taking and producing these Minutes, which had been distributed soon after the meeting. They were approved by Ann and seconded by Sheila and Drew.

Flooding on Kintore to Hatton of Fintray road: Kenny reported meeting with Ian Rendall Garioch Roads Manager on 22/1/10, when this and other matters contained in the Minutes of the last meeting had been discussed.

Councillor Hood advised that Jim Stevenson had been spoken to again relative to the very poor state of the fence alongside the Torry Burn at Howieslap and the dangers associated with this, but that Mr Stevenson said no action was to be taken. Councillor Hood suggested that if KDCC did not agree with this, a letter should be written to Mr Stevenson.

Tennis Courts: A notice will this week appear on the KDCC website, in the library and in the Advertiser to gauge support for the formation of a Tennis Club in Kintore.

Dog Fouling: Kenny reported having visited the Gordon Dog Warden’s Office on 22/1/10 and being given advice and copies of letters sent to dog owners (regarding their responsibilities) in other areas of the Garioch. There were also copies of notices which could go on lamp posts etc. NOTE: Georgina now has the correspondence and will consider our options and report back to next KDCC meeting.

Grit Box: No action to report, but Graham undertook to e-mail Langstane re same.

Councillor Hood undertook to get the grit boxes, situated at the Public Hall and Castleview Place, refilled.

4. TREASURERS REPORT: Joan reported that the balance of KDCC Bank account is £1500.00. No other activity to report since last Meeting

Police: Constable Cochrane did not attend the Meeting but provided a report which was read by Kenny, who also informed members of correspondence KDCC had received from Grampian Police Joint Board seeking Custody Visitors. Promotional leaflets were available, but briefly this voluntary (expenses are paid) role involves visiting Police Stations unannounced once a month, to ensure that prisoners have been treated well and have had access to a solicitor etc. NOTE: Kintore Library will be asked to retain and display these leaflets.

Action Kintore: Costs for ‘The Bothie’ Youth Centre are as follows: Rectangular Section £144,000.00 and Drum Section £71,000.00. Councillor Hood questioned why costs are now much greater than originally planned. He was advised that a qualified Quantity Surveyor has finally scrutinised all costs and the above figures are now the most accurate, rather than the indicative ones previously produced. That said, costs should be less than the above, as some work could be done free of charge and also work could be done by Youth Forum members and other volunteers.

The aim now is to amass as much money as possible and seek Match Funding for the project from the LEADER fund. Money already accrued by Action Kintore, but spent on e.g. Professional Fees can be included, for LEADER Match Funding. The LEADER application submitted on 05th February was too vague and lacked detail relative to Funding and Spending Plans. To be re-submitted by the end of April, with a decision due at end of June. If approved, building could start at beginning of July.

Invoices must be produced before LEADER money will be released.

Digger to dig test holes on site 9am Thursday 17th February 2010.

6. PLANNING MATTERS: An objection has been raised to the car dealership at Bridgefield, Midmill. One objections has also been raised to the Change of Use of land from agricultural to recreational (Playing Field) by a resident who does not want this playing field visible from her house. Kenny to submit comments.

Naming of road south out of Kintore. Sheila suggested Midmill Brae and this was duly agreed. Kenny to advise the Council.

Revenue budget update – a paper from Aberdeenshire Council contained figures and projected shortfalls in the Budget, but these are vague. Councillor Ford stressed however that financial hard times are ahead.

8. AOCB:
Sheila: Sheila informed the meeting that Mrs Margaret Blair does not wish KDCC related mail coming to her husband Ian (previous KDCC Chairman). Kenny to try to address this.

Community House at Midmill: Graham informed the meeting that the interior of the ‘community’ house in the Grampian Housing scheme at Midmill will be used for the preparation of food for the Hub. The interior has to be substantially changed to meet specification previously agreed upon, but he still hopes to have the keys by April.

Graham also told the Meeting that the Hub is to try Ladies Nights, the first of which takes place on 26th February featuring fashion/clothes/jewellery.

North-East Flood Prevention: Kenny informed the Meeting that Mr Stewart Prodger will attend next month’s meeting to give a twenty minute presentation.

There being no further business Kenny thanked everyone who attended and closed the Meeting at 9.04pm.

The next meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 16th March 2010 in the Hub
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