Minutes of the Lochardil and Drummond Community Council Meeting Held in PE Classroom, Community Wing, Inverness Royal Academy, on Monday 25 September 2017. Present: Maria De La Torre (Chair), Mairi Macdonald (Secretary), Councillor Alasdair Christie, Councillor Ron McWilliam, Councillor Callum Smith, Steve Rowan, John Callaghan, Susan Mathieson, John Darcy Attending: PC Karen MacPherson, Malcolm MacLeod and Simon Hindson from Highland Council and eight members of the public. 1. Apologies: Colin Craig 2. Minutes of Meeting 19 June 2017 have been previously circulated. Adoption of the minutes proposed by John Darcy, seconded by John Callaghan and unanimously approved. 3. Police Business: PC Karen MacPherson, introduced herself and informed us of the beat areas that she covered ( Raigmore, Drakies, Holm and Lochardil) and read the beat report as follows: A review of period between 20/06/17 and 20/09/17 shows a total of 364 incidents since the last report was prepared. In preparing this report I have looked at the period between 20/08/17 and 20/09/17 for which there are 123 incidents recorded under the Beat code for Drummond and Lochardil. . Road Safety: In respect of Road Safety I can report that there were 3 x road collisions – 1 involved a dog 1 x hit & run vehicle damage 4 x persons charged speeding offences 1 x c/c red light offence 4 calls re – non operational temp lights Road safety/hazard spills /signage 1 x Mot 1 road behaviour – cars racing 1 parking issue (asda) Anti –Social Behaviour: 3 x Domestic Non criminal Children / youths 7 calls (nuisance) Children / youths disorder 3 (1 asda 1 fire woods 1 fire bins rollerbowl ) Theft – asda, Theft and disorder – asda, Theft tesco, 2 x calls to issues at IRA 5 calls to Rossal – varying issues/disposals Disorder 38 – 1 arrest 1 youth detained after foot chase – dog involved – arrested for multiple offences (historic) and report. Reassuringly call from public during the events to report youths seen hiding. Noise calls x 5 (including noisy bus) 1 x Bail offence Mis Pers / Mental Health / vulnerable persons / child protection and accounted for 10+ incidents. The remainder of incidents are taken up with non criminal and civil advice, assistance to other agencies, alarm activations and other matters. Drug/Alcohol Issues. 3 x intoxicated persons 1 x alcohol seizure 2 x substance misuse (work done with trading standards visiting shops) Police would remind the public to remain vigilant, keep their property including outbuildings and vehicles secure and keep valuables out of sight. Please report suspicious activity to the Police via 101 or contacting crime stoppers on 0800 555 111. For emergency calls – 999.
Issues that were communicated to CC members regarding youths in Culduthel Woods were also discussed. Members of the public present expressed concern about a large vehicle and trailer that is regularly parked on the pavement in Balnakyle Road and causing an obstruction. This matter has already been reported but remains to be a problem. PC Macpherson took a note to find out about follow up action regarding this vehicle. PC Macpherson although happy to receive emails from residents requested that complaints were sent to her via the CC. John Darcy noted that if this issue was not resolved by our next meeting, we would write in. Other members of the public present at the meeting wished to discuss the 20mph and how it was going to be policed. As there is no current legislation, the question was asked would the police endorse? If issues of speeding persisted, a traffic survey could be carried out. Some people present at the meeting felt that most people abide by the 20mph however, residents disagreed. Members of Highland Council attending the meeting stated that discussions were still underway re blanket 20mph but there are costs involved. There are a number of advisory areas within Inverness. Steve Rowan suggested that controls were put in place which physically slow drivers down. There are to be further traffic calming measures to be put in place on Balnakyle Road at the junctions of Torbreck Road and Green Drive. A member of the public suggested that if the raised tables were taking too long to go in, “sleeping policemen” could work better. Currently, drivers slow down over the raised tables then speed up between the tables. Councillor Smith explained that sleeping policemen positioned quite close together could slow traffic down more efficiently. The Chair explained that the two additional tables go further than what members of the public had asked for before the summer, and expressed thanks to Highland Council for taking these forward. If further traffic calming is required for Balnakyle Road this can be kept under review. A member of the public raised concerns about traffic parking opposite junctions on Drumdevan Road with issues of near collisions. It was agreed that they could be classed as causing an obstruction. PC Macpherson informed the meeting that speed checks are on PC agendas all the time, however there is an issue with the number of officers available at any one time. John Darcy expressed his concerns about the stretch police officers are under and other CC members agreed that this is perhaps an issue that should be raised with the police Commander. Councillor Christie stated that more covert checks were required, on one occasion when this was carried out, four drivers were caught in 40 minutes. Another area which had previously been identified as requiring traffic calming measures and still does is the stretch of Culduthel Road between the traffic lights at the junction with Slackbuie Avenue and Green Drive at the Scout Hall. Malcolm Macleod indicated that any travel plan has to come from the school (Inverness Royal Academy). Highland Council has been given money by the Scottish government for cycling/walking improvements but it is for a specific area. 4. Ness Castle and Ness-side developments (Ness-side and Torvean Development Brief). Briefing by HC representatives Malcolm Macleod and Simon Hindson. These developments have a direct impact on the boundaries of the CC. Malcolm Macleod indicated that it was easier to build 20mph into schemes at the start, but the sites are actually engineered to be less than 5mph. Regulated 20mph at Nessside and part of Ness Castle has been paid for by the developer. The Ness-side development between Dores Road and the River Ness was dependant on the West Link. When designed in 2013 it had to be done in tandem with planning. It was part
of the Torvean/Ness-side Brief and this shows what type of development it is – quiet, green spaces maintained through out, slow speeds and a riverside park. The development brief is to include schools etc. Tullochs are the applicants and the decision will be made at the committee meeting on 24 October 2017. Comments can still be submitted and considered but will be treated as late. Work is most likely to commence at the Tesco end of the development. The developers have followed the lead so far with the only areas not covered being Milton of Ness-side (F&R Macdonald and Holm Mills). Children will be schooled at Ness Castle and the crossings are currently being designed, with a contribution from the developer. Ness Castle development has been around a lot longer and permission was given before the West Link was developed. Ness Castle was the last unconstrained expansion area in Inverness. Planning in principle was granted in 2004 however the current development started on site in 2014 and is known as Ness Castle West. They were granted detailed planning permission for 220 which was reduced to 177 and 103 of these have been completed currently. Phase 2 consists of 137 properties with 25% affordable housing. Some of the housing layouts have been changed so a new application has been submitted for noncompliance. Ness Castle East will be accessed from the top will consist of 180 new homes. 98 have been approved in detail for Robertson’s and 36 flats in small clearing in woodland for Albyn as affordable housing. A further two schemes are still to be developed which will bring the total properties to 804. The footpaths etc. for safer routes to schools will be funded by the developer and Capital Programme Steve Rowan enquired if the open spaces would be owned by the residents with a factor employed and explained the situation in Glenburn Drive with a Fuers Association. Simon Hindson stated that the developer would have set appropriate title conditions stating that everyone owns the space. It would be the residents’ responsibility to set up a residents association and the burden is on the owners so they will be able to manage their own factoring in line with property factors. He confirmed that landscaping plans are a condition of the development... There will be a buffer around the development with more than 20 metres between the housing and trees. Shadow analysis is being carried out and the trees will be surveyed each time there is a new application. The woodland will be retained and maintained by the landowner the Tiso Trust. Where there are pavements they are 1.25 metres and the rest is shared space between cars and pedestrians. There is a set back from the carriageway to the housing. Parking has been considered with 2 spaces for each 2 bedroom and above and flats will have 1.5 space per flat, with identified visitor parking spaces. It was noted that there will be an increased intake for Inverness Royal Academy and it is projected to manage but will be monitored and be ready to make arrangements as necessary. The CC expressed concerns that the primary school situation is critical with both Lochardil and Holm near capacity. Steve Rowan enquired if there was any pressure on developers to have fibre active nodes leading to each property. Ness-side will have and BT will contribute for any scheme greater than 30 properties, however, developers can’t be forced. It is constantly pushed with developers however Openreach is main supplier and some developers are not happy with having only one provider. The chair enquired about cycle routes. Ness-side will be the same as the Southern Distributer with shared pedestrian and cycle route. From the Bught into the city centre there will be dedicated separate paths. A request was made that any shared paths were clearly defined marked areas for cycling or walking. The chair expressed concern about the additional pressure on Island Bank Road/Dores Road and wondered if there would be a contribution from the developer for safer routes.
Malcolm Macleod reported that there would be new and improved crossings where the Ness-side development meets Dores. The chair wondered if consultation with the residents/public could be arranged. HC representatives felt this could be conditioned in conjunction with the CC and agreed to look into it. A question was also made about responsibility for maintaining safer routes to schools in the future?. 5. Matters arising from Minutes: a)Lochardil Traffic Calming Matters. This matter was dealt with in 3 above. b)Community Council Merge. The chair reported that a year ago we wrote to Highland Council about merging with Holm Community Council. This was passed to committee but was put on hold until after the Highland Council elections. There was then a call for Holm CC to be resurrected but this hasn’t been taken forward. Councillor McWilliam suggested that HC needed to pick a venue and date and hold an event as means of introduction to the possibility. Councillor Christie reported that the boundaries are going to have to be changed given all the new housing. He also reported that there was an interest in reforming Holm CC. It was agreed that the Councillors would arrange a date and venue and gauge the interest from Holm to form a CC. Therefore, any merger will remain on hold at present. The Chair explained that in any case CC elections will be required at some point and that these should then cover both Holm and any vacancies for Lochardil and Drummond CCs 6. Culduthel Woods: There are still issues with the woods. It was felt that there was a need for HC to establish once and for sure who is responsible. Steve Rowan understands that the liquidator should be the owner and therefore responsible. There has been some interest from residents in what would be involved in taking on the woods. Councillor Christie has been contacted by residents. It was suggested that a meeting could be facilitated with the residents. There is also the possibility of the formation of a community trust throughout Inverness City. Steve Rowan will look into the matter of ownership further. 7. Budget Update: the balance in the account was £3602.00. a) Benches. Following a meeting at Macdonald Park with other Community Councillors then Charles Stephen, Ward Manager, the secretary has taken this matter forward. The total cost for two recycled plastic seats similar to the one donated by the CC in 2012, including fixings, plaques, delivery, VAT and installation by HC will be approximately £1062.00. It was agreed at tonight’s’ meeting to go ahead based on this price. The secretary will make the necessary arrangements. 8. Correspondence: a) Planning Matters – Drummond Hill. This had been dealt with by correspondence during the summer. To update all, the Chair explained that there are plans to develop the agricultural college site and that she had written to the developer on behalf of the CC regarding the future of the woods. b) Email – Inaugural Overhead Line Community Liaison Group – invitation received, however no date. Councillor McWilliam informed the meeting it was to take place on 26 October at Farr Hall. c) Email – Young Gangs – emails received from a concerned resident about gangs of youths in the Lochardil area. Advised to contact PC Karen Macpherson and email address supplied. d) Facebook – message received from a resident enquiring when our next newsletter would be distributed. Advised we were only producing one annually and hope d it would be ready in mid-November.
All other correspondence had been previously circulated via email. 9. A.O.C.B Buses on Balnakyle Road. A member of the public returned to tonight’s meeting and reported continued issues with the number 7 bus route on Balnakyle Road, recording 48 buses daily with 2 buses every half hour in both directions. They stop outside her house at times in order to keep to time but when they leave the engines on she is finding the noise extremely difficult to deal with The chair had contacted Stagecoach and the email reply had been passed on to the resident. Councillor Christie suggested that HC would need to think of an alternative route and then approach Stagecoach to invite them to a meeting. Susan Mathieson agreed to monitor the situation. The CC will need to review this issue.
10. Date of next meeting: The date of the next meeting will be Monday 23 October 2017 at 7.30pm in PE Classroom, Community Wing, Inverness Royal Academy. All welcome.