Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council Minutes (14/06/2021)

Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council

Ordinary Meeting – Monday 14 June 2021 – 7pm – by Zoom


  1. Attendance
    1. Community Council: Stewart Pritchard, Andrew Cave, Chris Claydon, Lachlan MacEwan, Calum Martin, Caroline Robinson, Helen Taylor
    2. Councillors: Grant Laing. Anne Jarvis, 
    3. Members of the Public: Alistair Smith (Heartland), Ramsay Beattie (Heartland),  Drife Cassels, Eric Bremner, John Pike, Alec Lee, Paul Cargill (PA)
    4. Apologies – Laura Graham
  1. Minutes of the last meeting – Proposed – Andrew     Seconded – Calum
  2. Dunkeld and Birnam Fire Brigade – Drife Cassels – Watch commander at the Fire Station. The problems they are having with recruitment.  The worst-case scenario will be down to 4 fire fighters in the village. Planning to have a recruitment drive – and hoping to fill the gaps. Having a local team is extremely valuable as speed is of the essence. You saw how the Birnam Autopoint garage fire was catastrophic.  The last people who left the fire service – three left because of housing lack in the area. Another two are leaving because there is housing at Pitlochry.  Andrew thanked Drife for coming and for his information and said that we hugely value the service. Maximum crew should be 12. There are 6 just now but expecting to lose 3. CC going to do their best to help promote the need for firefighters.  
  3. PH8 Community Action Plan process update – Calum gave a short update. Got 406 survey responses. Main survey responses are being analysed and a report will be produced with the conclusions – which will help feed into the community action plan. From end of survey the two community connectors are conducting stakeholder interviews. Then starting this weekend there are feedback events in village halls – feeding back some of the initial conclusions and responses. After schools go back a couple of bigger feedback events. All that will feed into the CAP.  The main conclusions – highest concerns – roads, housing, broadband, lack of opportunities for young people.   One thing still to be determined is who takes forward all the actions.  The Children’s panel at the school are to be involved.  Event in Birnam 21st of June at the BI – at 6.30pm.
  4. Affordable housing and land use – initial exploration of the issue in Dunkeld and Birnam. A further meeting will discuss what potential actions the Community Council may be able to pursue. – Caroline gave a summary of the short paper which she had put together in advance of the meeting. Email from Kathy Burns telling her story and highlighting that Dunkeld and Birnam needs to have housing for young people.  Various discussions on the difficulties of pinning developers down to affordable housing.  Chris explained about how the National Trust has been increasing rents and people have had to move out, and rents get put up again.  The National Trust were gifted the Properties and given public money to renovate them. On the Council let properties the rents are a fraction of what National Trust for Scotland is charging. Every year everyone’s rent is going up. Lachlan – the bigger picture is about our community being a safe place and a thriving community you need to have housing for young people and families.  John Pike – wider picture – the really important thing is that the new housing stock needs to be part of the environment, so it has to be sustainable as well as affordable.  A huge focus in the LDP on maintaining the look of the village but not so much on the sustainability of the community, including the fabric of property.  Helen suggested that some engagement with Atholl Estates and with NTS, and potentially get a Housing Association involved.  Andrew said that he was willing to make some introductory approaches to NTS and Atholl, and that the affordable housing issue will be something which the PH8 survey will be majoring on.  (Andrew to provide final conclusion here)
  5. Planning

21/00736/FLL | Erection of 2 dwellinghouses | Land 90 Metres North East Of North Lodge Dunkeld – https://planningapps.pkc.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=QS3WQ4MKM9I00

Helen commented that the houses appeared to be relatively modest in size and that they would not adversely impinge on the Dunkeld Conservation Area. Chris felt that the development would have an adverse impact on the National Scenic Area and the open space in the village. The Applicant Eric Bremner explained that the development is a result of an approach by existing residents in Dunkeld who are looking to down size.  

There was a wide ranging discussion and it was agreed that it would be appropriate for the Community Council to comment, noting the number of objections, and the varied views expressed at the meeting.  

21/00603/IPL | Erection of a dwellinghouse (in principle) | Land 35 Metres East Of Herons Spoutwells Dunkeld PH8 0AZ


The meeting agreed that we would not comment on this application but may wish to do so when full planning permission was applied for.

21/00742/FLL | Part change of use of shop (class 1) to restaurant/cafe, snack bar (class 3) | 12 Bridge Street Dunkeld PH8 0AH.

Comment on our previous objection and request a condition/Section 75

  1. Broadband  – Lachlan’s view is that we need to do a lot of research as there are conflicting messages going out re Fibre and EE. Strathtay now have fibre optic – and everyone is going to be connected up. Allegedly in Dunkeld there is going to be fibre optic.  PH8 survey will be looking at Broadband. Helen and Stewart gave input about Strathbraan broadband – mobile and fibre (‘superfast’). Andrew concluded that it would be helpful to get the full picture – but surely this might fall out of the PH8 project.
  1. Treasurer’s Report  – Treasurer’s account – £703.70 – no outstanding payments

Grants account – Balance £13,578.34 of which

£4,500 SSE micro grants fund, £6161 SSE Covid Fund – balance is held for others with one outstanding commitment of £385

New signatories for the accounts – Stewart, Helen, and Andrew the meeting agreed that the CC were happy to operate the accounts on the same basis as currently, that is with a single signatory.  

  1. Police update – none supplied
  2. AOB –– Caroline – Communications – has been speaking to the Bridge about website. Andrew thought that it would be good to have an agenda item on Comms in the round at the next meeting.

Lachlan – Bridge on the Inchewan Burn has been replaced.  The other bridge at the Braan has been sorted. And the British Gas Networks are going to have a look at the gas pipe.  Sewage leak is going to be looked at by SEPA.

Historic Scotland have closed the cathedral to people.  Still can have weddings and church services but the grounds are closed due to falling masonry.  Lachlan will write to Historic Scotland to ask about this.

Asked about the letter to PKC about the quarry – Andrew will circulate.

Question about the weekly planning lists – Helen explained that they are only only forwarded when there is an application in our area and for the last few weeks there has not been. 

Stewart – The Newton Bridge works has started today!

Andrew – intimated that Helen has tendered her resignation from the CC from end of September. This will trigger an election and will tie in with the AGM in October. 

Caroline – re subcommittees – we really need the terms of reference for the Road Safety subcommittee. Andrew said that there is probably a bit of work to do around sub groups, and particularly when the PH8 outcomes come out.  Calum mentioned that there is probably a need for the same with the A9 group. And if there is a lot of momentum from the PH8 process then we need to have some preparation to help focus that. Andrew will take an action point on this.

Alec Lee – Asked about the involvement of tour companies in the Stakeholder PH8 survey interviews. Agreed that he will make contact.

Chris – issues around the car parks in the village – numbers of campervans a concern for people.  Spoke to a traffic warden who suggested a clearway along the boat road.  Andrew said that these matters will be taken up at the road safety sub group.

Craft Diner at the train station – the Planners have recommended approval and it will go to the committee.  Andrew happy to make a representation at the Planning Committee. 

  1. Bridge correspondent – Laura
  2. Next meeting on Monday 12th of July – 7pm by Zoom

End of Community Council meeting

Griffin Panel nominations  – 3 received – The applications were reviewed and discussed and Helen Stockham was unanimously voted as the preferred candidate.  

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