Fort William Community Council minutes

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Fort William Community Council (FWCC) held its April meeting at An Drochaid, Claggan. The following matters were discussed:

Highland Council planning applications

Ben Nevis Inn: It was agreed that FWCC are supportive of the application and in favour of the fact that the development is within the grounds of the present building and is sensitive and in keeping with the Barn. A query was raised about whether non-reflective sheeting will be used as this is a preferred option. It was agreed the secretary would post a comment on the planning website.

Upper Achintore development of 325 houses: Concerns have been expressed and reported back to FWCC over the last four to six months, with a small number of residents against the development and a larger number agree the need for the development but have planning issue. After a full and detailed discussion, in agreement with the resident’s representative in attendance, it was agreed the secretary would post comments to the planning service as follows:

  • ‘Development of 325 houses on the site – 12 houses per acre: It was agreed this is too many, creating density. The recently published FW2040 plan advises a maximum of 350 houses over the much larger area that includes this site, the land south of Lochview estate and the land below Lundavra Road. The community has a right to respond to this modification.
  • ‘The overall layout of the development it was agreed is not conducive to creating good happy places to live. Thought needs to be given to the series of Cul de Sac principle – where people and families can interact, play safely; feel a sense of ownership and pride in their small community
  • ‘We have a query with regard to the process of the application: The detailed application being lodged on the same day as the ‘in principle’ application. We are sympathetic to the fact that the building of new social housing is imperative; however, the process involved requires standing up to public scrutiny and approval based on meaningful community consultation
  • Land drainage is absolutely critical. The SUDS engineer’s services should be retained to monitor the success of the SUDS scheme long term. We know from experience in this area that lack of good drainage can create massive problems. This is evident below the Heathercroft development, where the resident’s gardens have became saturated since the development of the flats.
  • ‘The CC has serious concerns that there is insufficient knowledge of the local terrain or the heavy rainfall in the area and would urge that local advice and input is sought.’

Amalgamation of FWCC and Inverlochy and Torlundy Community Council (ITCC): The chairman welcomed members of ITCC who joined the meeting at 8.30pm. Andy MacKenna, chair, Flora McKee, sec, Loraine Revit, Deirdre Coull and Annemarie MacLachlan.

The formal public consultation period ends on May 31. Sec advised CCs have been encouraged to respond, individually or as a CC to feedback on the proposed amendments.

It was agreed to hold a joint CC community consultation event in the week of  May 20 in Fort William to gather views on the recommendation within the report to amalgamate the two CCs. Request that a HC representative attend the meeting to give an update on the FW2040 plan. An invitation will also be extended to the other CCs within the FtWm Area CC Partnership. Venue and time to be decided and Posters agreed.

AOCB

AGM: Secretary advised that she is not available to attend on date set last year June 18. The meeting agreed to set a new date to the week prior,Tuesday June 11.  Secretary to publicise change of date.

Nevis Partnership: Letter of support requested for their funding application to SNH Natural Cultural and Heritage Fund for the proposed Nevis Field Centre.  Agreed.  Secretary to action.

Pumptrack: Letter of support requested. Agreed.  Secretary to action.

Secretary put in her apologies for May meeting.

The chairman thanked the Lundavra Community Action Group and ITCC members for attending the meeting.