FCC Minutes 04/11/19

Fairlie Community Council (FCC) Minutes 04/11/2019

Present: Rita Holmes (chair), David Nairn, Karla Tully, Alan Holden, Ian Hunter, David Telford, Marco Piva; Cllr. Ian Murdoch, Cllr Tom Marshall; PC Dominic Murphy (Police); 7  members of the public. Apologies: Andy Temple,(FCC)  

October minutes proposed by AH, seconded by DN.

Police report     24 calls & 4 crimes in the month of Oct  (2 crimes in 2018). Two road traffic offences; one breach of the peace; one breach of bail.

DM followed up requests from last FCC for the safety camera partnership to re-assess whether the layby at  Southannan on the A78 could be used for a Speed Camera van. This has been approved due to 30 mph extension.

DT re-raised the regularity that cars are jumping the traffic lights at the top of The Causeway.  DM reminded everyone that the time, registration and incident details should be reported to the police by calling 111.

Councillors’ update  IM: Updates made  in agenda points.  Next full NAC Council meeting 13th November.  Any questions must be submitted 7 calendar days before. 

TM: Sunday Times article 02/11/2019 cited NAC as good example of planning permission granted for small developments through officer decisions. 

  1. Peel Ports Update (PP)       RH updated the FCC as follows:

“Peel Ports Community Liaison Group. The September minutes have been agreed as correct by FCC and PP and circulated to the CC members. There is a spare copy if anyone wants it. The next meeting is in April 2020. The Port Director answered some recent FCC questions : “Rig discussions are ongoing for repair or layup, (at Main Jetty). Nothing confirmed at this stage. PP requested that when  this message is being communicated, please ensure that everyone is informed that if it does happen, NO decommissioning will take place, that is not the purpose of these rigs possibly visiting Hunterston. I will keep you informed if and when anything is confirmed. The crane works are ongoing, due to bad weather delays. They are now struggling to complete by year end, however they are planning to keep working to complete ASAP. The conveyor across the road is proving challenging, trying to get track and road possession together for the time that`is required to set up and safely remove the structures. They are now looking at March as a possible date for the removal but again I will keep you advised.”RH also stated that as ‘Port Authority’ PP have stated that it can decide on any  use of the jetty and are considering mooring rigs for ‘layup or refurb’ on the east side (Fairlie side), of the jetty. RH has made it clear that Fairle Community Council will request this work be moved to the west side. Although these uses may be ‘temporary’ no time scales or definition of temporary has been given by PP.

DN raised that the Marine Scotland licence decision has still not been made and that waste licences will also be necessary.

TM agreed to ask  NAC Planning Department for ongoing updates on the PP plans for the jetty. 

IM has written to NAC asking for details of the £100k loan given to CessCon.  This loan was not given by PP or NAC. CessCon have just published annual results with a loss of £150k and no employees.  Concerns that public money has been wasted. 

  1. SSG Update  RH’s update as follows:

“The December SSG is cancelled due to Nuclear Decommissioning Authority decision. This is unfortunate given the current issue of Keyway root cracking in both reactors. R3 is still offline and R4 will be nearing its 4 month allowed generating period in December. The Office of Nuclear Regulation expects R4 to come offline in December, for further Graphite checks before its Safety Case and that of R3 which has more advanced cracking, are assessed and a decision made by ONR on whether to allow further generation of either. The new Safety Case 7785 has an Operational Allowance for 700 cracks and a CDTolerance Limit of 1331 cracks. Unusually for ONR and due to heightened public interest in the Graphite Issue, ONR, as well as the Project Assessment Report, has on its website, the 4 accompanying technical reports that support the PAR. The five reports are reasonably easy to understand and helpful. Hunterston B, ONR and SEPA are ready to answer any questions posed and HNB has offered a meeting anytime to members of the SSG. I will have more information after I meet with ONR on the 7th November in London at the ONR/NGO Forum and will keep the CC up to date. Last Thursday was the first Scottish Sites meeting in a year. The Scottish Civil nuclear sites and the MOD sites gave reports and discussed various issues.”SSG are still awaiting details of the ‘Emergency Planning zone’.  NAC will see details January 2020.

At Scottish Sites, RH questioned NAC’s technical knowledge and capability to review and contribute to the plans. Dounreay Site representatives also voiced concern that Highland Council were in the same category. 

The Civil Contingency team (Scottish Government) have not included Portencross residents in the current DEPZ. Hopefully the DEPZ will be extended.

TM stated that budget cuts mean no council has such expertise, but asked ‘who else’ would be qualified. 

Both DN and RH questioned why the local population are not involved, especially on the issue of Potassium iodate  tablets. 

  1. Fairlie Castle      David McNeur has  sent a letter to Historic Environment Scotland as he is concerned that HES is not aware that the NAC planning permission for the castle ‘extension’ has been changed, discharged and ultimately removed the necessity to restore the castle, in order for a dwelling to be on the site.  DMcN believes NAC’s handling of the planning applications have enabled the owner to ultimately avoid protecting the castle and have the protected designation of the ancient monument changed. Scottish Power had to gain permission to fell trees in proximity of the castle yet the owner has done so without gaining specific permission. DMcN will circulate a draft letter for FCC members to consider sending to HES , as the castle is of ‘ cultural importance’ to the  community and there are clear risks to local archeological and natural areas too. 

FCC agreed to consider the draft when sent by DMcN. 

  1. Rigghill Industrial Wind Turbines   RH made a point of emphasising that the size of the turbines  planned are the tallest on land in the UK so far. RH updated as follows:

“Invicta is the Public Affairs firm dealing with this and Burcote is involved at this stage. The developer if this went ahead would likely be ERG an Italian firm. The land in question is behind Meigle, Skelmorlie and towards Largs. There is an important Roman Site there as well as badger setts and other protected species. It is also part of the Regional Park and borders a SSSI. FCC and West Kilbride CC have made the decision not to engage in discussion on Community Benefit with Burcote and Invicta. Public presentations on 26th 27th and 28th Nov are planned, where we will be told about the design etc. After our experience with the Offshore wind turbines at Hunterston we are keen to see the developer’s proposals and hear how they are taking infrasound and amplitude modulation into account. These are likely to be larger and more powerful than anything currently on land in the UK. I have written on behalf of FCC outlining our concerns and requesting that at their Public Presentations they address potential health problems associated with these larger turbines.”

TM stated that “unfortunately NAC agreed to wind turbines in the ‘wild lands’ near the new crematorium and at Rigghill.  Only wild land in North Ayrshire and Arran. FCC believe any community benefit could not outweigh the cost to the environment and health impact. Scottish Government have on occasion overridden LAs  who have denied permission in regional parks. NAC could consider application through delegated powers but choosing to go to full committee. RH reminded FCC that any proposal for generating 50 mw or more is reviewed by the Scottish Government. IM reminded everyone that no applications have yet been put in.  RH and FCC representatives have met with developers alongside Skelmorlie, and Largs CCs. Burcote and Invicta have asked FCC representatives to meet with them, but RH is reluctant. 

  1. Library/Village Hall/ NA Budget Consultative meeting   RH stated that FCC will support Fairlie Community Association`s campaign to retain the Village Hall and library, by writing to NAC.  DT to draft letter and send to KST for editing. All parties are still questioning whether the savings are proportional to the revenue received from Fairlie council tax payments.  TM stated that NAC need to save £35 million and the budget consultative meeting will be held in December 2019. Saved £9 million on capital repayments on previous budgets so options are restricted. 
  2. Remembrance Sunday   Ian HUnter to lay the FCC wreath on behalf of the FCC. Centenary of the first Remembrance Sunday. 
  3. AOB  l. Recent A78 Closure  Issue raised by Brian, Village Inn LandLord.  Concerned that the door to door leaflets were only a few days before the closure and were inaccurate.  The pub, car wash, Michelle’s take away, garage and hairdressers suffered losses as customers were turned away being told that the businesses were closed.  Some residents were able to access their homes as promised, but others including carers were denied access. Brian had to cancel a pre-booked party also causing lost revenue.  IM had previously met with Transerv to ensure the necessary local access and was disappointed that this was not given. Convoys were agreed to give access for residents, but these were not consistently run across the closure period. Briann called Transerv who stated that FCC had selected the dates and agreed the arrangements.  RH responded that the consultation was poor and the dates were to ensure residents were able to get to their employment Monday to Friday. Transerv changed the works planned, did not inform RH. Not all households were informed by leaflet. Actions were taken at the last minute.NAC Councilors and FCC committed to raise these issues with Transerv prior to the next closure likely to be March/April 2020. 
  4. Village Inn future

Brian raised that fewer Fairlie residents supported the pub over the closure weekend than he hoped despite communications on Facebook.  The Largs and Millport paper also published an old article stating that the Village Inn was closed due to a legal dispute with the owner.  This was an old re-published article but affected revenue further. 

In order to keep the pub alive Brian has calculated that if 400 people visited the pub every 6 weeks and spent £20 in that period the pub would be successful.  He has recently refurbished the dining room to ensure it is warmer in winter. 

Brian asked why NAC Councillors would not support the pub with a brown sign despite offering ro provide access to toilets after the public toilet closure.  

 Councillor Hill was looking into a tourist sign.  TM committed to action. 

lll.  Fairlie village pontoon

DN suggested raising funds for a village pontoon that could attract pub customers too.  DN to re-energise Fairlie Coastal Trust group for this purpose. 

Next meeting : Monday 2nd December 2019, Semple Centre, 7.30 pm. DT and KST apologies already received.