Fort William Community Council minutes

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Fort William Community Council held its June meeting recently. Topics discussed included the following (excerpts from the minutes of the meeting).

· Nevis Partnership: advised that the application to the Highland Projects Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund for £300,000 has been successful. This is to improve public transport access and parking, signage, paths and install toilet facilities at Lower Steall Falls Car Park. Match funding has to be in place by July 31. A number of applications are still awaiting a outcome, including one for the field centre which will secure future sustainability.

· Lochaber Housing Association: advised that this has been a busy period with many meetings as LHA is working in partnership with the Small Communities Housing Trust and Link Housing on the Upper Achintore developments and other developments within the wider Fort William area.

· Belford Hospital Redesign: advised that at the last meeting of the Communications and Engagement Group the Q&A pamphlet was agreed apart from minor adjustments. This should be distributed throughout the community by the end of the month.

· Town Centre Fund – Corpach / Banavie / Caol / Fort William: Allocation for the Lochaber Committee area is £198,967. Group looking for ideas/applications for each area.

· HC Planning Applications: HC South Planning Comittee meeting June 11:

19/00897/PIP: Link Group – Upper Achintore. Up to 325 dwellings – Approved.

19/00898/FUL: Formation of roads, access, drainage, foundations, ground works and services for all phases of development and erection of 176 houses. Approved.

· The community consultation meeting had been well attended with questions on – peat extraction, housing density, planning procedure and many others which were answered by the representatives from Link Housing and LHA who were in attendance. It was agreed by all that the meeting had been beneficial.

18/05402/FUL: Site of Former Primary School, Zetland Avenue. Revised layout and design 38 units.

Pods – query to Planning Service: no present legislation other than applying to SEPA to connect to mains water. But this may change in the future.

· Scott Dalgarno, of Highland Council Planning and Development, wants to set up a public event in September, one year on from the original FW2040 event, to update progress and help keep momentum between partners. Keen to seek views of CCs. All agreed to respond.

· A tree in the grounds of St Andrew’s Church, which is causing problems on the wall and walkway is being cut down. Presently awaiting return of tenders and road closure order.

· Dead tree at the top of the Rocky Brae which may be dangerous. Report to HC.

· Complaints about lack of grass cutting on banks and slopes around Upper Achintore area.

· Query from community on the possible closure of the Nevis Centre due to required repairs.

UPDATE: HC is currently working closely with the board of Linnhe Leisure to ensure necessary works are carried out to prevent any forced closure. The council has put in a fairly significant resource in terms of staff time, advice etc and is now moving towards implementing remedial works.

· STEM Centre: UPDATE:  Planning consent for the centre has recently been approved. Funding talks with Government ministers and Funding Council still ongoing.

· Next meeting – Tuesday July 16.