- Present (online): Scott Patterson – Chair (SP), Hector Muir -Vice-Chair (HM), Gabriela Ingle -Secretary (GI), Elaine Blanchard (EB), Joanne Inglis (JI), Al Rawlinson (AL), Andy Greig (AG), Michelle Flynn SC (MF), Cllr Evelyn Tweed (ET), Cllr Jeremy McDonald (JM) Yvonne Dickson -Minutes Secretary (YD)
(7 members of the public)
Apologies: Sheena Stewart (SS)
- Approval of minutes of meeting on the 19th of November 2020 Agreed (EB) Seconded (GI)
- Matters arising – None
- Reports – External:
(a) Transport Scotland re Traffic Alleviation at Safari Park – HM – sent a draft letter to the CC – to be agreed? All agreed – Action HM will send this to Transport Scotland:
Blair Drummond Safari Park / A84, Kirk Lane B8075 / A84, A873 / A84 Road Safety
I am writing to you on behalf of the Blair Drummond and Thornhill Community Council regarding the report commissioned by Transport Scotland for junction options at Blair Drummond. I also enclose police statistics for road traffic accidents on the 0.8mile section of the A84 between Lime Avenue and the A873. Over a 5 year period there were 66 incidents or collisions recorded on the police systems. During 2020 and lockdown when the road was significantly quieter, 11 incidents and collisions were still recorded on this small section of road.
The junction safety, access and traffic flow is an ongoing problem and there have been a number of near misses in the past. As traffic on the A84 increases by 2% each year, the issues will without doubt continue to intensify. The local community are keen to address these issues to ensure that the road is made safe and that any upgrading at this junction will contribute to improved safety and traffic flow on the road.
The comprehensive report B194RFFT/A4 commissioned by Transport for Scotland setting out road junction options on this section of the A84 would indicated that there is an acknowledgement that this is a serious problem area. Given the strategic importance of the A84 as a route to the west coast, remedial works to problem sections that result in delays, would fit with a wider transport plan for improvements to the road network.
We hope that you will put forward our case for the Blair Drummond junction improvements at the appropriate STPR2 meetings. In the meantime, please get in touch if you require more information or have any questions.
(b) Police Scotland – 16/11/20 to 31/1/21 Compiled by PC Lorna Deans
Antisocial Behaviour: On 13/12/20 damage was caused to 4 vehicles that were parked on Low Town and Back Yetts, Thornhill. After enquiry, this remains undetected.
Road Safety: On 23/11/20 police officers attended a 2 vehicle collision on A873. The road was closed for a short period of time until the vehicles were moved. On 02/12/20 a vehicle came off the road on A873. Police attended and assisted. On 20/12/20 there was a 2 vehicle collision on the A84 at the junction of Blairdrummond Safari Park.On 13/1/21 a vehicle, whilst being driven on A873, was struck by another vehicle passing in the opposite direction. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop/report the matter.
Theft: Sometime between 15/12/20 and 25/01/21 a shed was broken into at a property on Sommers Lane, Blairdrummond and items stolen from within. Enquiries are ongoing.
(c) Stirling County Councillor – (ET) Problems with Dirty Camping issue due to pandemic – trying to put plans in place to ensure it doesn’t happen like last time. Meeting with National park and police – was a positive meeting – the NP wanted better coordination of litter collection. Rubbish is being left and occasionally fires are still alight – further finance and resources going into these issue hopefully. Complaint about filming – Outlander – but this is legit.
People needing assistance with housing, grants and support at the moment. Enquiries about schools going back. First minister reported on this on Tues 2 Feb
(JM) talks about strategic bin placements at hot spots discussions about a shuttle bus around the region. (JI) asked when the dirty camping solutions would be put in place – before Easter? (ET) Yes National park are hopefully gearing up for this timeline.
- Reports – Internal:
(a) Chair – noted Thornhill received £500 for community cupboard re-stock.|
(b) Secretary – nothing to report, other than we are still using her zoom, having technical issues re Gmail account.
(c) Treasurer – (EB) Latest statement: £2,524.04 £40 paid out for ICO data protection fee (to be renewed September 2021) £500 paid in (food supp/sanitary) from Stirling Council grant. I’ve passed a cheque to Laura Williamson to replenish phone box with essentials and she will submit all receipts. Cheque signatory change has been completed and sent to bank, so awaiting update.
(d) Planning – (HM) been sending out weekly planning apps. Questions about 3 houses near the school planning permission – on agenda to discuss
(e) Thornhill Community Trust – (EB) Discussion on the completion of a safeguarding policy for volunteers taking part in any work in the future. A biodiversity survey has been concluded for the North Common and Matt Harding will present his findings and suggestions for management at the end of the month. Ideas to purchase cameras for nest boxes and link the feed with the school, Group keen to share photos of garden wildlife. Future plans for live talks and field trips, e.g. to see water voles. Discussion on futures group, which will be presented later in the agenda.
(f) Blair Drummond Community Hall – no updates
- Community Council Business:
(a) Dunsire and Partners’ development in Thornhill: (AG) – keen to get ahead with consultation –put together a questionnaire. But wait until planning has been applied for to get a better picture. (GI) asked if app has been submitted – (AG) timeline was end of last year but hasn’t gone in yet. (MF) suggested set up a reminder to set a reminder on the planning portal to get notifications of when it will go in.
(b) Windfarm – Shelloch development in Gargunnock – (GI) they have put full planning info in so we have till 22 Feb to comment on behalf of CC and TCT – there is a notice on Social Media to put comments to Stirling Council. 14 responses from the residents and some of them are here. We have copies of the responses and they have been sent to SC they are all objections. Taller than proposal 150 metres tall whereas on the planning app they are 180 metres – visual impact – significant change. Wildlife issues, tourism, natural habitat etc. Letters can be attached if required.
(MF) reminded CC that it is material concerns that apply i.e. visual impact is a material concern. (GI) has concerns about changing the goal posts and setting presidents for future applications – would like to object about the changes. (MF) You can only object to current application – previous plan was rejected by SC but passed by Scot Gvt (LJP) 180 metres turbines are 3 x taller than the Wallace Monument so a big impact on the landscape.
SC guidance says the land cannot take any more turbines so we can use this to put in as objections. (MF) make it clear to residents to put in objections of their own or with CC (ET) supports MF to encourage residents to put forward concerns to show strong feelings in the community. (SP) is there anything in the Stirling Observer and should we put something in. (MF) you could put an advert in to say that the community of Thornhill are objecting to this but it would be better in your own newsletter for your area or surrounding villages. (NM) Gargunnock – trying to raise awareness in his community but has been disappointed with the response as the community believe this has already gone through and Gargunnock think they may have financial benefits. The scaling of these turbines is going to have a landscape and visual impact. This will disturb the soil and the peat in the area. Has spoken to Arnprior past the nursery where the large vehicles will drive through a few of the villages whilst work is in progress.
(AW) talked about publicising this issue and thinks we can put more information out on the Thornhill community public page. (SP) asked who is in favour of the development – no one – so wants to go ahead putting in the objections (AG) wonders if we should wait until they see if there are any more letters from residents (MF) suggested to put a letter in to SC soon to let them know the concerns and that there will be an objection coming soon. (AL) thanked NM for coming to the meeting and letting the CC know that they were also unhappy with the proposal for this development.
(ET) asked if the CC would copy her in to the letter going to planning Action (AG)
(c) Slow down sign/flashing light on A873 after B8031 (near Coldoch Road) towards Stirling – (MF) went back to them again and they said they would have another look at it but she is not hopeful. She highlight the points about the speed – because of COVID priorities have changed.
(d) North Common – (EB) – a few have been volunteering to clean up as it is a bit of a bog at the moment. Wonders if there is a possibility of a crossing. A few of us have been doing a lot of ditch digging/freeing over the past few weeks to lessen the standing water and inaccessibility. The aim with this and the rest of the village is to create a dry route of pathways. We have a paths for all grant waiting to be used, but the drainage has to be addressed first. One resident asked if it would be possible to put a pedestrian crossing on Main Street, near the near the phone box, It would allow safer crossing to/from the shop, PO van, community hall and give the school a safer route for walks to and around North Common. (ET) if the school has looked at the travel plan it may be given priority and possible but needs to be in the plan. (JM) safer routes to schools policy – there is a process. Action (EB) get in touch with schools.
(e) CC Engagement with the community – (AG) wonders how many people read the notice boards – look at a website or Facebook. (EB) I have asked that the CC has a dedicated tab on the Thornhill Stirling website (https://thornhillstirling.org) where we can engage with the community, highlight meetings and log-ins, agenda and minutes. Also created a FB page that Andy has volunteered to admin so we can engage directly with both communities. Fewer people are venturing out to look at noticeboards these days, so the information should be shared across many platforms to catch everyone. (EB) would be responsible for updating page and could link to a dedicated FB page. Not everyone is digitally connected so continue to use noticeboards and village shop etc. Proposed (AG) Agreed by all.
Community Engagement Plan – (EB) At the village meeting in August 2020, a discussion was led on developing a vision for Thornhill’s future after the pandemic. So many things are done differently now – work patterns, travelling, shopping, exercise etc. There was a feeling of greater community caring and kindness and a village futures group was born. The group will be made up of representatives from the village groups: TCT, CC, community hall, gardening society, playgroup etc. Could we have a volunteer to represent CC in this group…– Action (AR) will be the representative and feed back and forth to the group and the CC.
- Residents Forum – (SP)
(a) 21/00020/FUL | Erection of 3 dwelling houses | Land between Thornhill Primary School and No. 19 Low Town Thornhill – (TOMM) has issues re parking as there is no parking at the school. Feels that SC need to give advice on safety for the playground. Not sure if the school is fully aware of the houses and how close they are to the school and feels they need to be informed. (JM) suggested he should write to planning with his concerns. (TOMM) stated he already wrote to SC (MF) said that the safety of cars coming in and out of the school may be a safety concern with these builds and this may be considered as a material concern. (JI) we should let the community know about these things as with COVID there is not as much communication in the community as much and may be missing information, we can use the community newsletter. If we need to object tit needs to be quick as the expiry date is 10th Feb (SP) do we want to put in a formal complaint – all agreed – Action (SP)
- AOB – (JI) reiterated – make the community aware of these planning applications there is a lack of communication in the community there may be a bit of a disconnect, we can use the community newsletter or the webpage if it is up and running soon. (AR) agrees and perhaps we should add the planning spreadsheets AG has compiled. Action (AG) will send EB the spreadsheets.
(GI) Resident asking for support for a planning app Robertson Lane – trying to develop a little bit of their land. (MF) said concerns were about sewage and overbuilding in a small area. Suggested being cautious about commenting or support. (AG) has concerns about anyone asking for support from the CC as it may set a precedence and for residents to use the CC as a forum for getting planning apps through.
- Date, time and venue of next meeting: 17/03/2021 at 7:30pm