Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council Draft Minutes (08/03/2021)

Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council

Ordinary Meeting – Monday 8th March 2021 – 7pm – by Zoom


  1. Attendance – Present

Community Council: Stuart Paton, Stewart Pritchard, Andrew Cave, Chris Claydon, Lachlan MacEwan, Laura Graham, Calum Martin, Caroline Robinson, Helen Taylor

Councillors: Grant Laing. Anne Jarvis, Ian James

Members of the Public: Alistair Smith (Heartland), Ramsay Beattie (Heartland), Claire Smith, Euan Robinson, Paul Cargill (PA)

Point of Order: Chris very concerned that the Chair has excluded Paul Cargill (Journalist) from the meeting, despite the Community Council members saying that they felt that it was not appropriate for anyone to be excluded from the meeting.  Stuart explained that he felt the Community Councillors should be given the opportunity to discuss this issue.  Stuart then tendered his resignation as Chair and left the meeting. Following discussion, it was agreed that Calum Martin would chair this meeting in order to get today’s business done, and that Paul Cargill be invited to join the meeting. 

  1. Minutes of the last meeting – proposed Andrew Cave, and seconded Chris
  2. Chairman’s introduction: conduct at meetings, sub-committee and delegated authority process (see attached paper)
  3. Treasurer’s Report
    1. Treasurer £761.17 – Paid £40 to PKC for our insurance liability of around £100 for our contribution to the Zoom account
    2. £6160 SSE Covid relief fund – minus £400 from the Micro grants fund
    3. £6000 money held for the PH8 resilience group – Covid group – and other organisations
    4. Stewart has had the OK for changing the account to open up two new digital friendly accounts.
  4. Planning applications:
    1. Lodges at Dunkeld House Hotel – 20/01799/FLL https://planningapps.pkc.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=QKNTC5MKHDN00  (Please familiarise yourself with this application in advance of the meeting)

Lachlan has had a member of public contact him about the proposed planning application – concerned about the proposal. Concerned that the newly tarmacked drive was part of it and felt that it would have been courteous for the applicants to have told her.  

Chris – concerns – knows the area really well, concerns about the ancient site, environment etc. Feels the development is unattractive and adverse visual impact. Chris also identified an error in the number of parking places. Chris also had concerns about the potential impact that the pathway lighting and the lighting from the lodges would have on the local wildlife.

Laura – residents concerned about the potential additional traffic and speed.  

Caroline concerned about traffic on the back drive and the drainage issue – of the small. Pretty neutral – suggest consultation with residents about the traffic. 

Andrew – looked at the ecology, reasonably sensitive effort to put in 14 lodges. It is the right thing to do to think how we will support the local enterprises. Don’t see a strong reason not to support.

Stewart – pointed out that the photo in the application documents showed the correct number of parking places. Not sure the tarmacking the rear drive is related. The development has tried hard to come up with a sensitive solution.  Need to ensure that the lighting is down lighters – so that the canopy is not illuminated thereby protecting the wildlife.  The design of the units are a bit funky but not significant. Fairly neutral.

Lachlan said that we should ask that the Hotel should be doing more community consultation about the plans.  

Points to be made in the letter:

Lighting, traffic (including the back road), public consultation and sewerage system.

  1. Road Safety issues:
    1. Road Safety Group update: feedback from PKC Andrew – not a huge amount o report – we heard back from the Council that Covid work is taking priority. The points they are making progress on is the 20mph zone, and continuing to look at pedestrian access to the school across the bridge as a medium-term priority. Have chased for more of an update but have to wait until the PKC’s priority change and have more budget etc. Andrew to forward on the email from PKC. The council are aware that there are different views. 
    2. Ongoing issues- A822 at Dundonnachie, Ballinloan Bridge – the area where there was felling and a landslip. PKC is looking at this from a safety standpoint and it if meets the requirements then it will get the whatever is deemed to be necessary.
    3. Increased traffic across Rumbling Bridge due to the closure of Newton Bridge at Trochry – not ideal – Stuart has been chasing up – but unlikely to start the repair until June. Suggestion of a pedestrian footpath (unlikely) or a temporary layby for traffic management – PKC asked to look at this.  Discussed the potential length of time that the Rumbling Bridge could be used and the potential damage to it. Likely to end up being very expensive and probably not complete very soon. Andrew agreed to ask for ongoing monitoring of Rumbling Bridge to made sure that no damage is occurring there, and also suggested that there could be signage saying local access only. 

Points raised in response to item 6

Lachlan raised the issue of needing to keep the rest of the CC in the loop on all the communications. Andrew happy to circulate every email if that is what people want.  Lachlan suggested that we could maybe discuss this on the item 3 on the way of working.  

Euan – asked Andrew if the survey carried out from members of the school community was sent to PKC. Andrew confirmed that the survey was sent on to PKC. Andrew confirmed that the CC agreed that there was a weight of concern about the Bridge within the community.  Euan expressed concern about community members should not be discouraged from taking action on doing positive things for the community. Anne Jarvis wanted to reassure Euan that anything that comes from the community is of value, information from the grass roots is extremely valuable, and there has been a good discussion in PKC as a result.  Chris again expressed her concern about the survey itself – in her opinion it was unbalanced and leading questions. However Calum reported that the PPG were content with the survey being shared with the CC and Andrew commented that the survey and its results has the support of the PPG. Caroline confirmed that the survey had been discussed at 6 meetings of the PP|G and that the PPG agreed (at a meeting in May 2020) that the focus of the survey should be on the bridge and safe routes to school, and that the results chimed with the PPGs own findings which placed the bridge safety as the top concern. Claire Smith suggested it would be a good idea to put the results and the questions in the survey online so that everyone can see it.  Andrew said that we need to dig ourselves out of the hole we have got in around this survey and move on. Chris agreed that this was a good idea, and apologised to Euan for any distress caused to him by her questioning of the validity of the survey which he had initiated. 

Grant Laing commented that we now have the ear of the Council officers and hopefully we will be able to make progress on ensuring the walking route between Dunkeld and Birnam to be a safe route.  

  1. Police update – PC Steve Band has sent a very brief summary (due to pressure of work).  Police attended numerous incidents in the Dunkeld area ranging from public assistance calls, concern calls, assist other agencies, road traffic incidents and possible Covid breaches.  One male was arrested for improper and repeated use of 999 system.
  1. Bridge correspondent for the April issue (Chris) – deadline 19th March – email copy to the-bridge@hillrobertson.co.uk  and rota for the year ahead. (Deadlines still to be confirmed but correspondent for the April meeting for the May issue, and onwards)
  1. AOB
    1. Grandtully Campsite proposals – as we don’t have any more information about what the Grandtully CC thinks. Lachlan expressed the view that as local people use the Canoe Club we should be supportive of it.  Helen highlighted the need that there is a need for increased toilet and parking provision in Highland Perthshire and therefore that we should be supportive of this. Chris raised the query about whether the Stuart Smith who is the Chair of Grandtully CC is also the same person who is involved with the Canoe Club.  Calum said that he doesn’t think that it is for us to question the processes of another CC. Voted to send a letter of support – Andrew will draft.
    2. Dog fouling – Grant said that folk can report perpetrators to the Council and then someone will have a quiet word with them. Chris and Laura said suggested that we get an additional bin.  Grant says that the CC should ask for an additional bin.  Caroline – raised the issue about whether there are community litter pickers which could be borrowed. Grant confirmed that PKC can supply litter pickers, bags and gloves for community groups to use.  Laura to write to PKC Environment Services – requesting an additional bin and copy the Councillors in. 
    3. Atholl Estates Haughend – Atholl Estates requested that we have a meeting with someone from the CC – So Caroline had that meeting with Atholl Estates.  Explained about the Guidance in engaging communities’ decisions relating to land. Caroline explained the Community Vision survey which is going on at the moment, but that this does not cover the sort of consultation about this land.  Fed back to Atholl about these processes. Atholl is keen to get some community input prior to PKC’s next round of Local Development Plan process in next Autumn. The meeting discussed how we can play a part in helping facilitating proper community consultation. If we can all read the guidelines posted by Caroline in preparation for the next meeting.
    4. PKC plans for post lockdown visitor influx? Grant intimated that there is work going on to plan around the hot spots in PKC to provide better facilities such as hard standing for people to park, portaloos and firepits at Clunie Loch, and across PKC is planning to put in motorhome toilet emptying points in locations. PKC staff member with a visitor manager role who is discussing with landowners about what facilities should be put in. Laura explained about the stresses of noise etc from living adjacent to the North Car Park – Grant will pass on contact details for her to get in touch about this.
    5. Journalists agreed that they would run any quotes past the CC – will email the secretary
    6. Lachlan raised this issue about footpaths about that there is a gentleman who is concerned about the footpath at the hermitage. Stewart Pritchard is aware of this issue and has been in discussions with Graeme Findlay. And that we should have an action log for the work of the CC. Caroline volunteered to take on manning the action log. Lachlan to send Stewart the enquirer’s name outside of the meeting.
    7. Discussion about who will take the Chairmanship of the CC. Grant suggested that we appoint an interim (deputy) chair to fill the vacancy until the next meeting. Calum agreed to do this.  Stewart will contact the Council to inform them of the interim arrangements.

End of main meeting

  1. Griffin Grants
    1. Micro grants –
    2. Griffin Main fund

Next meeting: – Monday 12th April 2021 – 7pm probably by Zoom – 

email  Dbcc.correspondence@gmail.com to register for attendance

Members of the public are most welcome to attend

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