Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council Minutes – August 2022

Dunkeld & Birnam Community Council – Minutes – 8th August 2022


Lachlan MacEwan, Calum Martin, Chris Claydon, Stewart Pritchard, Alan Wylie, Graeme Cook, Paul Cargill (Perthshire Advertiser), Nathaniel Goddard (Heartland FM), Eilidh Henderson (representing Atholl Estates), Cllr. Grant Laing, Cllr. Ian James.

Apologies – Laura Graham, Cllr. Claire McLaren

Members of the public attending – 2

Minutes of the last meeting – Proposed by Chris, seconded by Lachlan

Declaration of interest – Chris (NTS)

Treasurers report & micro grant update

Operational account balance of £245.90

Grants account balance of £10,826.10

Recent payout of £500 to Foodshare charity

Micro Grants balance of £4,000

Covid recovery balance of £4,771

Accounting year end 31/8/2022

Perthshire Nature conservation Partnership

Stewart mentioned that David Tollick was promoting an initiative regarding what can be done to help nature in our area and there will be a meeting on 18th August in the D&B CIC to discuss strategy.  Details will be on Climate Cafe.

Calum mentioned that this might be of interest of those in the PH8 group.

National Trust for Scotland Response

Lachlan advised of the two communications received from NTS to our letters where neither answered our questions and suggested we post these on the Bridge website.  This was agreed unanimously.  

Grant suggested that we should do this and take the names out.  These repairs should be undertaken with all NTS properties and wondered what other properties were under threat.  He had spoken directly with NTS and was told, we can do it so we’re going to, without giving any detail about the specific eviction noticed served on the one property at the core of the issue.  Ian agreed with all Grant had said.

Alan asked Chris if she had sight of the report which she had.  Chris said the report was very brief and stated that vacant possession was needed for both flats.  The report did mention that the downstairs flat didn’t need any repairs.  Alan stated that the core question was why the tenants were not being allowed to return to the property after repairs had been completed and suggested that the tenants were being victimized.

A member of the public stated that we should publish the correspondence to the wider population, including the use of the media to escalate the issue.

Nathanial suggested the sharing of the responses to the public through the minutes was a good way of escalating the issue.

Grant said that he agreed with all the comments made and suggested it would be justified to escalate through the media.

It was also noted that the community council had invited NTS to attend this meeting, but no one was available.

Lachlan said that given the discussion, we would send a further response to NTS stating our dissatisfaction with the responses we’ve had so far.  We would also add all the correspondence of the CC and responses received from NTS to these minutes.

A member of the public stated that we don’t know if this is an isolated issue and by escalating further it may well bring others forward in the wider area with similar concerns.

Paul said that following the June meeting, the Perthshire Advertiser did run the story on their front page and would be willing to run the story again, but this time a little harder hitting than before.

At the end of the discussion Lachlan said that we would progress the issue in the coming days.

CAP & Development Trust

Lachlan led the discussion and explained that the Trust would cover the DBCC area and the remainder of the PH8 area.  He advised that a new chair had been elected.  Adrian Blundell would lead the group.  Meetings are being arranged in the near future to progress issues.  Two individuals, Beth Beazley and Calum Walker have been appointed to support the group on an on-going basis.

Telford Bridge Proposal

Lachlan said that some years ago PKC had drawn up plans to alter the existing Telford Bridge and new plans have been sent.  Laura, Graeme and Alan of the DBCC Roads sub-group would take a look and report back.  The proposal would be to attach walkways to the existing bridge.  Grant questioned if the bridge was a protected monument and suggested we should ensure the proposal would not contravene existing protection orders before we spend too much time on the subject.

Lachlan stated that there was a major problem with speeding over the bridge and continuing through Dunked and questioned the Police statement that there wasn’t a problem with speeding through the areas roads.  He mentioned that when watering the hanging baskets, etc., in the area that he had been nearly knocked down on several occasions.  It was agreed that residents felt this was a serious problem that needed addressing.

Graeme talked about the walking meeting in February where issues of the bridge were expressed the concern by the community and referred to the report he had issued to PKC.  

Action: Grant said that he would read the report and get back to the CC on behalf of PKC.

Roads & Parking Update

Alan said that Laura and we’re in discussion as to the possibility of looking at the various issues and creating sub-sets and hopefully report back at a later date.  He mentioned that data collecting devices had been installed along the A822 but were removed after one week.  Similar devices were installed through Dunkeld and Birnam for a similar short period.

Grant said the devices were looking at writing a new corporate plan and was aware of the data devices.  He said that because of the shortage of money it was essential that PKC make decisions based on evidence, not as a result of who shouted loudest.  He said it was correct for community councils to ask for this data and he would look to obtain the information and provide the results.  He stated that there was a need for DBCC to provide PKC direct evidence of the need for expenditure within Dunkeld & Birnam.

Graeme Cook’s report from the from the walking meeting has been issued to PKC.

Chris mentioned the need for temporary parking close to the Duchess Anne area.  She also raised concerns from members of the public around an obstruction advertising ice-cream on the pavement in Atholl Street which was a concern for those with buggies or prams and those with mobility issues.

Lachlan informed the meeting that he had noted a significant increase in available parking in the area at night and early in the morning, but these spaces were quickly filled during the days.  Reasoning for this is unknown, but welcome.


Train Station Condition

A resident raised the issue of how shabby the station was looking and the connecting bridge.

Lachlan sits on the Highland Mainline Community Partnership group and he would handle this issue and alert those with the responsibility of maintenance. 

Action: Chris to forward the received correspondence to Lachlan and update the resident who raised the matter.

Lachlan did mention the improvement he’d seen in where the trains now stop within the station which makes it easier for passengers when alighting from trains.


Retirement of Street Sweeper

Concern was raised about the retirement of Stevie Brown.  There’s a need for him to be replaced.

Graeme wondered if it was appropriate to offer him a gift in recognition of his service to the area.  This was considered a good idea.  His service is to be mentioned in the meeting minutes.  Grant said he would mention Stevie’s long service in his article in the Bridge.  

Action: Chris to find out Stevie’s actual retirement date.

Planning – Erigmore Caravan Park Proposal

Alan said that given the potential increase in activity and traffic, careful thought should be given to access to and from the site.

Stewart mentioned that the site was subject to a previous application on the site for housing which was rejected.  One reason being that it is a flood plain, albeit it hasn’t flooded in living memory.  He also said the concern would be one of ‘creeping’.  Initially touring caravans, then static caravans and then possibly cabins and bungalows.

Calum said he saw no benefit of the development for the community.

Lachlan mentioned that he believed the developers were planning a meeting on site where they would present their ideas to the public.

A member of the public mentioned that he had heard that Atholl Estates development of the Haughend site had been withdrawn.  The CC members were not aware of this.

Grant mentioned that PKC were undertaking a new Local Development Plan.  This will be number three.  PKC were approaching landowners for the possible use of new businesses, housing and solar/green projects.

Eilidh, representing Atholl Estates, stated that the development of Haughend was still very much ongoing and hopefully there would be a consultation process in the autumn which would be communicated throughout the area.

A member of the public brought up the concern about sewerage into the river Tay, given the possible increase in housing development.

Eilidh mentioned that the Haughend developers are in discussion with Scottish Water on how the current system can be upgraded to meet the demands that further housing would bring to the area.

Lachlan said that as the Haughend site was a proposal and not an application, at this time, we would keep a watchful eye on things as we move forward.  He said he would look to attend any future public meeting with the Erigmore owners.

Police Update

Lachlan mentioned that he was aware of an attempted break-in at the Recreation Club by two youths on 16th July.  This was witnessed by a member of the public and took screenshots of the two individuals and informed him of the incident.  Lachlan informed the Police, and they were to have a word with those involved.  We’re aware of who they are.  Neither are locals, but a further incident occurred with one of the individuals and a local boy where a bench in the grounds of the Recreation Club was smashed.  Again, the Police were alerted, and Lachlan has an incident number from the Police and will be speaking with them in the near future.

Ukrainian Refugees

Alan is in the process of sponsoring a Ukrainian family in his home and was asking for information of other such families in the area to enable them to engage with others in the area.

Calum said he would ask around.  Chris said that she was aware of a family in the immediate area and that she would contact them on Alan’s behalf.  

Grant said that PKC had supported many families in the area.  He mentioned one of PKC Councillors, Stevie Carr, was leading the project and would send his contact details to Alan.  He went on to say that some of the families that had arrived in the area were concerned with the remoteness of the accommodation they were in.  

End of main meeting

Next Meeting – 12th September 2022

Micro Grant Application 

The local Menshed group have applied for a grant of £500 to help them set up their group.  This was unanimously agreed, but Stewart said he was going back to the group asking what exactly the money would be used for.

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