The next meeting of Save Gillies Hill will take place at 7pm on Thursday 26th November in Cambusbarron Primary School.
An intervention by Cambusbarron Community Council and a number of neighbouring residents has stopped Stirling Council from throwing out a proposal to develop this eyesore area (see photo) next to Hayford Mills.
However, it may just be a temporary reprieve to allow more talks to take place between the planning department and the potential developers.
There are members of the Community Council who would like further clarification on matters such as road transport links and levels of affordable housing before any work is given the go-ahead.
This matter has been ongoing for many years. It returned to the CCC agenda in September when the monthly meeting was given a presentation by the Hayford Mills development architect Bobby Halliday.
CC Secretary Keith Ratcliffe and Planning Officer Alan Rennie then attended Stirling Council’s Planning Panel on October 6. The planning officers had recommended refusal of the application mostly on the grounds that the applicant’s developer contribution was unacceptable. After contributions from Council Officers and Councillors, refusal remained the likeliest outcome.
However, Keith Ratcliffe and Hayford Mills resident Mark Steward delivered cogent presentations which stressed that this site, due to its history, should be regarded as a special, perhaps unique, case. After a full discussion, the Panel agreed that further negotiations should take place.
Both neighbouring residents and the Community Council fear that refusal could mean that this ugly and potentially dangerous site will remain undeveloped for many years to come.
The Planning Panel agreed:
1 - that the applicant’s proposal of £105,000 as a developer contribution was unacceptable;
2 - to instruct officers from Planning, Housing and Education to undertake negotiations with the applicant to establish whether a greater level of developer contribution could be achieved, taking into account contributions towards Education, Affordable Housing and upgrades to Kersebonny Road;
3 - to defer determination of the application pending a further report to Panel advising of the outcome of these negotiations and clarifying the unique circumstances of the application site.
We await the results of the fresh talks between the parties with great interest.
PLANNING DISPUTE – Construction work on a large garage with an upper floor games area has strained relations between neighbours on the Touch Reservoir Road. Retrospective planning permission is being sought by Mr M Melville and Miss N Cramb for the large outbuilding which sits beside their home at Braeside. Neighbours on either side of the develop- ment have objected and Cambusbarron Community Council has asked that the application is referred to the Council’s Planning Panel meeting. Subsequent to this application, the same applicants have submitted a request for retrospective permission for a stables block near Braeside
SWRI – Members of Cambusbarron SWRI meet at 7.30pm in the community centre on the third Wednesday of each month, September until May. This is an ideal opportunity to make new friends in your community. Talks and presentations are varied, including Floral Display, Deco Patch, Genealogy and much more.
LIBRARY – Children love visiting Cambusbarron Library because it’s so much fun. Latest news is that Bessie, the “PlayTalkRead” bus is coming to Cambusbarron from 2pm to 4pm on Thursday, November 19. There will be songs, stories and play sessions – and it’s all free!
Continuing until the end of the year at the Library are the Bookbug sessions - free story, song and rhyme sessions for babies, toddlers, pre-school children and their families. These will be held from 2.15pm to 2.45pm on Thursdays, November 5 and 19 and December 3 and 17. For more information, phone 012786 473873.
Several years ago your Community Council identified a recurring flooding problem on the Three Fields Path which runs south-west from the gate at the top of Quarry Road.
A flood prevention scheme was prepared for the community council by Keith Henry with help from Roddy Ross, and over the summer the work was completed under their supervision.
The community council wants to thank John Duffy of ‘Paths For All’ and Stirling Council’s ‘Community Pride Fund’ for each providing a sum of £1500 to fund the work. We also need to thank the practical help provided by Gardner Plant of Bridge of Allan in the construction of the scheme, and the landowner Tillicoultry Quarries Ltd, who gave us permission to carry out the work on their land.
The flooding problem was on the path adjacent to the pond which lies about 300m SW of the Quarry Rd gate. After heavy rain the pond overflowed onto the path and took weeks and sometimes months to drain away. In the meantime this important ‘core path’ was impassable as the water was certainly well above ‘wellie’ depth. It appears that the problem may have been caused originally when a pipe was damaged during landscaping operations carried out by the quarry company,Tarmac.
The scheme has involved the construction of two new ‘chambers’ (shafts constructed over the pipe with an open grill at the surface). One chamber was built near the pond, and a second one at a location about halfway towards the Quarry Rd gate, where it was suspected the original pipe had been damaged. Unfortunately, the length of pipe from the second chamber to the outfall sump at the top of Quarry Rd appears to be partially blocked, and it was impractical for us to clear it.
The intention is that in a flood, the water will flow reasonably freely between the first chamber (at the pond) and the second chamber. If the water then cannot drain through the pipe at the second chamber because of blockages downstream, it will spill out of the open grill, onto the path and subsequently into the sump at the top of Quarry Rd. To ease this, the drainage ditches at the side of the tarmac surfaced path have been improved.
Hopefully, this should lead to a big reduction in the path blockage duration this coming winter, but we will continue to monitor and suggest further improvements if necessary.
Because of our lease of parts of Gillies Hill we can now start improving the woodland so:- Rhodey Bashing Session on Gillies Hill – Saturday 7th November 2015 10am – 12noon.
Meet at 9:30 at the garages / sheds at the top of Murray Place.
Join Amos Higgins (a student who has been studying the spread of Rhododendrons on Gillies Hill over the summer) and Cambusbarron Community Development Trust on our first of many ‘rhodey bashing’ sessions on Gillies Hill. In this introductory session we aim to clear the tangle of rhododendrons that surround one of the UK's largest Scots pines, known locally as ‘The Monster!’ Tools will be provided by our friends at Transition Stirling although feel free to bring your own.
There will also be refreshments back at the Foresters for all the hard workers! You should bring gloves and wear sensible footwear on the day. This event is not really suitable for children. For more information please contact Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also there will be a Let’s Get Ready For Christmas Red Squirrel Walk to be held on the 19th of December 10am. (all ages welcome)
Seasonal sustenance in the pub afterwards.
Please wear your Santa hat or surprise us with your own idea of Christmas headwear.........
Stirling’s Low Carbon Future can help. It’s a local energy advice and wood upcycling project that offers homeowners and tenants the chance to access free, impartial energy advice.
Funded by the Climate Challenge Fund, the project offers local people the chance to find out how to keep your home warm and cosy whilst keeping bills and your carbon footprint down.
Heating your home can be a challenge in winter time, particularly for people living in rural areas. However, there are many actions that householders
can take, from installing insulation and energy efficient lighting to investing in a biomass boiler or solar panels.
Whilst the cost of installing energy efficient and renewable technology can sometimes seem daunting, there is plenty of financial help available, including interest free loans and grants from Home Energy Scotland.
To find out more, come along to Cambusbarron Community Centre on Tuesday, November 10, between 6pm and 7.30pm for a chat with Stirling Low Carbon Future’s friendly energy advisor. Or check the website www.slcf.org.uk.
Not a lot a progress with Stirling Council’s ‘determination’ of the planning application for the reactivation of Murrayshall Quarry.
We said in our last newsletter that a consultant, Ironside Farrar Ltd, was commissioned by Stirling Council in the spring, to carry out an Environmental Audit on Patersons’ application. They reported in June on major deficiencies in the application and we argued that these deficiencies should be sufficient in themselves, to justify a refusal of the application. However, it has been confirmed that the planners have not accepted this view, and have passed Ironside Farrar’s comments back to Patersons, who are now working on a ‘modified application’.
We think this ‘second bite at the cherry’ is grossly unfair to our community and, in our view, another example of the bias in the planning system.
When this ‘modified application’ is received from Patersons, it is likely, depending on the scale of any alterations, that a new cycle of consultations with the ‘statutory consultees’ (Scottish Natural Heritage etc) and the community will be required.
It is clear therefore that a decision on the application is not imminent, and indeed it may be well into 2016 before any we see a conclusion to this prolonged saga.
Save Gillies Hill propose to hold a meeting around 25th November (check notice boards for confirmation of date/time/venue) when any further information will be given and we can have a discussion on how to proceed.
The next meeting of YOUR Community Council will take place on 17th November 2015 at 7pm in Cambusbarron Primary School. Any meetings of the Development Trust will also be publicised in this newsletter.
All are welcome to attend meetings and express their opinion on current, local issues, some of which are highlighted in this publication.
Ill-health has forced Peter Paterson, so often the driving force behind community council initiatives over many years, to resign as chair of Cambusbarron Community Council.
Thankfully, Peter has agreed to continue as a member of the CC so his knowledge and experience will not be totally lost.
At the October meeting of the CC, Peter’s resignation was accepted. His replacement is the current vice-chair, Alan Rennie, who was nominated by Peter. There were no other nominations for the position.
Stepping up as vice-chair is Scott McLean, who was nominated by Alan Rennie. Again, there were no other nominations.
The new chairman told the meeting that he was “happy and honoured” to accept the nomination.
He also paid tribute to Peter Paterson, stating that he has given extraordinary service to the community of Cambusbarron since first standing for election in the late 1970s.
“His knowledge of the area, “ added Alan, “perhaps best illustrated by his authorship of the book A Cambusbarron Tapestry, is without equal as has been his commitment and level of service to the people of this community.
“He has been the public face of the Cambusbarron community for so many years and we are all indebted to him.”