Fairlie Community Council – Monday 01/02/2021, h. 07:30pm, Zoom meeting
FCC: Rita Holmes (Chair); Marco Piva (minutes taker); Alan Holden; David Nairn; David Telford; Karla Tully
NAC: Cllr. Tom Marshall, Cllr. Alan Hill, Cllr. Ian Murdoch
Press: Calum Corral
Approval of January minutes:
proposed by AHo, seconded by DT
Police report: (read by KT as forwarded by PC Dominic Murphy on 31/01) 12/01/2021 – 31/01/2021: 15 incidents (compared to 14 in the same period last year) of which 1 crime (compared to 5 last year): 1 individual was reported to the Procurator Fiscal for an alleged historic offence of breach of the peace.
No speeders were detected despite several checks; attention will continue being given
PC Murphy was asked to check people running the red lights, he said he’d ask a colleague to; no information given on this
DT: the police report (this one or last month’s) the doesn’t mention anything on the car accident at the end of School Brae that happened around Christmas, despite a strong Police presence on the scene; wondering why.
1. A78 update
The consultation period has finished; the new crossing will definitely happen. Date expected is March 21st; the location (roughly at the bottom of the so-called “Ho Chi Minh steps”) has been confirmed pending a safety audit that will be held by an impartial auditor.
There has been some discussion on the topic on the Fairlie Facebook page; the main concern that emerged was the one that was discussed at Jan FCC: the new crossing appears to be too close to the bend, especially if the traffic is speeding. Safety audit will take this doubt into account
IM had a meeting w AMEY; he raised the same concern. He was told that, at the moment, the bus stop will not be moved, but it will be monitored and the situation will be reviewed (no time frame indicated). The branches overhanging the pavement will also be monitored so that they do not impact the visibility of the signage. All safety concerns have been addressed in detail. The independent safety audit will also focus on the signage.
2. Hunterston jetty and Peel Ports (noise and pollution concerns)
A letter has been sent to Mr. McSporran at Peel on 25/01 (many from Peel have been CCd) about the unnecessary noise caused by the drill ships and a concern from FCC re the inadequacy of berthing; no replies have been received; a second letter will be sent asking for answers
DN has circulated to FCC members a letter he has sent to Marine Scotland and SNH concerning the uncontrolled proliferation, strongly aided by the presence of the drill ships, of didemnum vexillum (commonly known as “carpet sea squirt” or “marine vomit”), a highly invasive, non-native species that was already present, albeit in much lower numbers, in the Clyde. It is a serious threat to the marine environment and, as a consequence, to the marine industry. Its presence will require a massive (and very expensive) eradication program, that is possible will take place within a couple of years (it had already been mentioned around 2012). PeelPorts biosecurity guidelines, if followed, would have prevented the berthing of the drill ships. An EIA performed when suggested would have also likely prevented it. Waiting for a reply from either Marine Scotland or SNH (or, hopefully, both). DN specifies that every detail he mentioned in his letter has been taken from scientifically proven papers and facts.
DT: the application from Peel to alter Condition 4 of the planning permission to dismantle oil rigs needs to be looked at: it appears to be an attempt to give credibility to a discredited planning permission. Peel should be asked to re-submit their planning application in full, including the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) required by law.
DN one of the last habitats for the Highland Daisy in the whole of the UK has been bulldozed by Peel
DT reads from last Saturday’s Herald (Commercial Review), saying that Cesscon Decon have stated that they have secured the Hunterston area for decommissioning services, all this while we have been clearly told that their involvement will not be happening
IM: Peel have been explicitly asked if Cesscon were still involved in their plan, and Peel have denied their involvement. This needs to be looked into.
3. Hunterston nuclear sites (DEPZ letter, next SSG)
MoP, resident at the borders of the DEPZ (Detailed Emergency Planning Zone). In 2020 she received a letter mentioning the possibility of the DEPZ being reduced from 2.4 to 2 km; in Jan 2021 she got confirmation that the DEPZ has indeed been reduced to 2 km following topographical features (so, it’s not a perfect circle). Her house, as well as the houses of some neighbours, have now dropped out of the DEPZ, so she will not receive any iodine tablets nor any information. The letter she received states that the number of residents in the DEPZ is unvaried, which doesn’t make sense to her. The letter was sent from Mr. Andrew Fraser, Head of Service at NAC, with an indication to contact Ms. Jane McGeorge at NAC for any information.
IM: this has been discussed at the Dec NAC meeting, which can be watched. The recommendation was to maintain the zone to 2.4 km as it was. IM had proposed an amendment to increase the zone to 20 km as it is in most of continental Europe, including France where EDF headquarters are; his amendment was not seconded.
RH suggests the MoP to contact Ms McGeorge and to attend the next Hunterston SSG, due to be held on Thursday the 4th of March via Zoom.
TM: a map showing the new and the old DEPZ is on the agenda of the Dec NAC meeting at pg 238; the proposal was presented by the officers; Mr. Andrew Fraser’s report can be read on the same agenda, item 8, pg 216.
DT had filed an objection suggesting to increase the area to include at least the nearest Primary Schools; points out that NAC’s legal opinion has been proven incorrect in the past
IM: the topic will be discussed again at the Feb NAC meeting
There are discussions on whether defueling and decommissioning are to be considered “operational” or not, as Peel are not allowed to dredge while the power station is operational (AHo explains that the reason for this is that debris caused by dredging may and indeed has in the past caused issues to the power station’s water intake)
TM suggests that the likely reasons behind this is the fact that Peel are talking with several potential investors (none of them has been made public yet) so they are likely to be trying to set up the area in order to make it more inviting; new investors will create new jobs
IM reminds that creating new jobs is of course of paramount importance, but it shouldn’t happen to the detriment of the local nature, marine habitat and human life
4. Coastal path
The newly built stretch extending to the North end of Ferry Row appears to be solid and well built; there are no updates concerning the next steps.
5. Dawn Homes
Nothing worth mentioning
6. Rigghill wind turbines development
The NAC Planning Committee will meet to discuss the topic on Feb 26th.
IM has asked to speak at the meeting as a representative of his constituents, but Cllrs who are not committee members are not permitted to do so; he has asked to address this point at the next NAC meeting
RH has applied to speak, and has been allotted the usual 10 minutes; the same goes for a representative of Skelmorlie CC. Prof. Alves Pereira will also speak.
DN expresses concerns for the well being of the crews of the drill ships, who are not permitted to disembark due to COVID restrictions
The Kirk has not contacted the crews, at least not in an official manner
MOP pointing out that there are branches overhanging numerous pavements, all year round
IM: the AMEY maintenance crews have confirmed that they will be monitoring this from now on
IM: cycle tracks, which are already up to scratch between Largs and WK, will probably be improved between Largs and Skelmorlie and around Cumbrae (or at least from the ferry to Millport)
DN asking for updates on a rumoured application for a fish farm
TM: only one has been filed, on the North coast of Arran
The next FCC meeting is on Monday 1st of March 2021 at 07:30 pm by Zoom (link for MoPs will be provided on request; MoPs present at this meeting and those who have already expressed their interest will receive it)