Dunkeld and Birnam Community Council Minutes – February 2022

DRAFT Dunkeld & Birnam Community Council Ordinary Meeting – 14th February 2022 – 7pm – by Zoom

Minutes

Attendance:

CC members: Lachlan MacEwan, Alan Wylie, Stewart Pritchard, Andrew Cave, Laura Graham, Chris Claydon

PKC Councillors: Ian James, Anne Jarvis

Guests: Anne Neilsen, David Rae & Mark Wilson, Scottish Gas Network (SGN), Stuart Deed, Highland Perthshire Cycling (HPC).

Alistair Smith (Heartland FM)

Members of the public: 2

Apologies: Caroline Robinson, Calum Martin, Grant Laing 

Minutes of the last meeting 

Couple of minor amendments still to be made and finalised prior to approval

Declaration of interest ~ None

Treasurer’s report

Operating A/C balance: £572.24 ~ two transactions last month (zoom & PKC CC public liability insurance) 

Grants A/C balance: £8960.96 ~ no transactions in the last month

Funds available for grant awards: 

Micro grants: £600 (pending annual top up back to £5000)

SSE covid recovery: £5,740 

Signatories still to be updated.

Chris offered to take on role of secretary, proposed by Laura and Seconded by Stewart.

Stuart Deed (HPC)

Stuart from HPC attended to update the CC with their SSE application and to seek the community’s thoughts on where an e-bike charging unit would be best placed in our community.

It is HPC’s intention to create a network by connecting the more disparate charging points and forming the first official “route”.

There is currently a unit at Escape Route in Pitlochry, and one to be sited at Grandtully.

Stuart is suggesting the installation of two more ~ one in Dunkeld or Birnam and one in Aberfeldy.

Several questions and suggestions were posed by Community Councillors and a member of the public. Comments from a member of the public were also shared from an email in response to the CC’s post on FB.

Stuart took all the suggestions on board and was keen to continue the conversation with the Community Council. He will engage in talks with local businesses close to the suggested locations.

Actions: Lachlan to update Stuart after conversations with local businesses

Anne Neilsen, David Rae & Mark Wilson (SGN)

Anne, David and Mark attended the meeting to give an outline of their project and to answer any questions that the CC or public may have.

David shared a Power Point presentation showing the proposed Birnam and Dunkeld upgrade and the River Tay diversions.

SGN are aware of the A9 plans and have decided that the easiest approach is to install a pressure reduction station (PRS) to the south of Birnam and a new gas main from there to Logierait.

Chris asked whether there was an alternative and had concerns about the visual impact of the PRS, particularly from the Boat Road on the other side of the river. David reassured us that the station would be fairly small and that pipe work above ground would be painted green for minimal impact and will be surrounded by a green fence and screened by some form of appropriate planting. The new PRS will be less than a ¼ of the size of the sewage works.

Alan wondered how many properties the current pipeline serves and whether there could be an opportunity to increase the number of those that have access to gas. David thought the current pipeline served several thousand properties but would have that confirmed and added that there could be an opportunity for some growth.

A member of the public raised concerns about possible disturbance to the river Brann and the impact on the fish and their spawning.

David said that they pipe would come in below the depth of the river and that any work done would be from either side and no work would be done in the actual river, David imagines the pipe would be something like 7 metres below the bed of the Braan.

There was also some discussion around green hydrogen ~ Mark Wilson will forward a link to the CC to a video about green hydrogen which the CC will share with all interested parties.

David said that they are hoping that their network will be compatible with green hydrogen.

Lachlan had questions about the proposed route of the pipe and queried whether it would interfere with the MUGA plans or the football pitch.

David said that they will use the least intrusive route that they can and that if there are plans for parking in that area they will devise an engineering method that will not interfere with the parking or pitch.

The current 4” high pressure pipe that runs past Birnam oak will be decommissioned and abandoned ~ they will not dig up the ground which would be disruptive and potentially damaging to the tree.

Anne Neilson to liase with the community to avoid disruption and will look at how SGN may be able to support projects within the community.

Mark will send out a PDF which can be shared with the community.

Actions:

  • Chris to share SGN PDF & Hydrogen video with CC and other interested parties

PH8 Update

The Community Action Plan launch will take place at the Birnam Institute on Saturday the 5th of March ~ everyone welcome.

There will be an opportunity to discuss which direction the community takes from here and whether a Development Trust should be formed.

If it is considered that a Development Trust is the best way forward for the community the CC will have an opportunity to consider it at their next meeting on the 14th of March.

Lachlan invited Heartland along ~ Alistair very happy to do attend.

Roads & Parking Update

Andrew had hoped that we would have had a walk around meeting by now, unfortunately this has been postponed and he is currently trying to fix a date for next week ~ possibly Tuesday 22nd or Thursday 24th ~ all interested parties to let Andrew know.

Key topics for discussion at the meeting are the 20mph zone, the pelican crossing, pedestrian access to the surgery and recreation ground, safety on the bridge for pedestrians and cyclists and illegal and dangerous parking across both villages.

Laura expressed concerns about the difficulty of getting around Dunkeld for locals and visitors alike, particularly for those with mobility issues, due to obstacles on pavements such as advertising A frame boards and a lack of a dropped kerbs at the North End car park.

Alan pointed out that areas outwith Dunkeld & Birnam, such as Amulree, are experiencing difficulties and that traffic does not observe the speed limit ~ traffic calming measures would be appreciated. Alan would like to see these areas and their issues promoted too, with the focus not just on Dunkeld & Birnam ~ everyone in agreement.

Alistair said that speeding was a frequent topic across the Community Councils and suggested that perhaps the CC’s could work together on a collaborative approach as to how can the limits be enforced and managed.

Anne said she thought that there wasn’t a community that doesn’t have a speeding problem, there had previously been speed guns made available for use by the police but that she hadn’t seen these for some time and wondered if this was perhaps due to COVID.

Lachlan said that Calum had been looking into having traffic monitoring speed strips put in place.

Alan made us aware that the road marking SLOW at Amulree was not repainted by PKC after the resurfacing of the road ~ Andy will take this up with Daryl at PKC.

Chris pointed out that there had been updates to the Highway Code giving cyclists to right to ride out in the middle of the road as opposed to keeping to the sides ~ she felt this may help cyclists to feel a little safer now, particularly when crossing the bridge.

Actions: 

  • Andy to fix date for walk around meeting
  • Calum to update on traffic monitoring strips
  • Andy to speak to Daryl about repainting of SLOW markings

Action Log

Snow clearing and gritting on the Glen Quaich Road ~ there had been a very positive initial response from PKC but Alan was sorry to report that despite a local group of 8 volunteers being ready for action there had been no further contact from PKC for more than 3 weeks now.

Alan is aware that Mark Butterworth is on holiday but was disappointed that no one had come back to him. 

Grant Laing spoke Mark Butterworth’s PA on Thursday but is still waiting to hear back from them

Anne Jarvis will send a reminder.

Planning:

Alan noted that PKC had approved a planning application at Birnam Auto Point that a local resident had contacted us about. PKC had followed the guidelines in determining the application and it was felt that it was not appropriate for us to become involved.

No other planning applications of note for discussion this evening.

There was some discussion as to whether the CC can comment on planning applications outwith their own CC area ~ Anne Jarvis felt they could, Lachlan will put this question to David Littlejohn at our next meeting.

Action:

  • Lachlan to take note of question for David Littlejohn

Police Report ~ None.

Action: 

  • Chris to continue to send out Commander’s Bulletin to the CC until police reports are back up and running.

AOB:

Stewart ~ Phone boxes currently in use and under management by PH8 group, we will need to consider whether these return to the care of the CC now that the PH8 group is transitioning.

Possible return to Birnam Institute for hybrid meetings ~ BI to carry out a risk assessment.

Alistair ~ Heartland FM 30th birthday celebrations. 

Heartland would like to invite people from community groups and members of the community council to take part in their Birthday Broadcast from the window of their studio on the 24th and 25th of March. They are hoping to reach out to groups that would like to promote themselves via Heartland.

There has been some restructure within the news department ~ see Heartland email for update.

Alistair supplied the CC with the new Heartland address for correspondence and for sending the minutes and agenda to.

Alistair wondered how we can strengthen our communication on the resilience front with two impending storms forecast. He also made us aware of a “welfare van” which may be available for communities that have power outages. 

Action: 

  • Stewart to update resilience plan.

All CC members supportive of the Aberfeldy Sports Club project.

Action:

  • Chris to draft letter of support to Bill Bruce of Aberfeldy Sports Club.

Lachlan requesting that we send any questions we have relating to affordable housing and planning so that he can forward these to David Littlejohn prior to him attending our next meeting.

End of Community Council meeting ~ next meeting 14th March 2022

Griffin grants / Micro grants

  • Dunkeld & Birnam in Bloom ~ Stewart to forward a couple of questions that members of the CC had for Dunkeld & Birnam in bloom, he’ll then feedback to us.
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