April 2021 Minutes

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre
Community Council Minutes – 21st April 2021

This meeting took place online via Zoom at 7:30 p.m. on 21st April 2021.

Present: David Johnston (DJ), Angus Cameron (AC), William Dalziel (WD), Andrew
Poulter (AP), Ruth McLusky (RM), Donald McLaren (DM).

Apologies: None.


Cllr Martin Earl (ME), Cllr Jeremy McDonald (JM), Michelle Flynn (MF), Stirling
Council; Alison Calder, Lochearnhead; Mike Lee, Balquhidder; Paul Hicks,
minute-taker. William Gilfillan (WG), Alan Jones (AJ) and Dave Robinson (DR)
representing Alan Jones Associates attended from 8 p.m.


Item Content Action


  1. Approval of minutes

    It was proposed by DJ and seconded by WD, that the minutes of the
    previous meeting on 10th March 2021 should be accepted and this was
    approved unanimously.

  2. Declarations of interest

    None made.

  3. Police Report

    The new Community Police Officer (PC Heather Campbell) is not yet in
    post so no report was available .

  4. Postponed Business

    The following items have been postponed until the current pandemic
    restrictions are relaxed:

    1. Lesley Milne's presentation on Town Break Dementia Support Services.

    2. The installation of lights between Balvaig Bridge and A84, Strathyre.

    3. Parking in Callander. JM gave an update regarding the Community, explaining that there is no longer any
      budget for this project so it is likely to be delayed. It is expected that
      there will, nonetheless, be some debate about signs and “No Wai ting”
      restrictions. DJ commented that the communities in our area had
      been hoping for some provision of free parking places in Callander. JM
      replied that the Council would probably be reluctant to agree to this.

  5. Place Making in Lochearnhead

    WG presented an update on the “Place-Making Project”, launched in
    2020, for Lochearnhead. He began by reminding the meeting of the
    project's objectives to improve local infrastructure and facilities,
    thereby encouraging active appreciation of the environment,



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    especially through walking and cycling. He explained how various
    means had been employed to consult the local community, resulting
    in the development of four main themes: (1) Safer roads and paths;

    (2) Connectivity and access; (3) Facilities, features and infrastructure;

    (4) Unique environment.

    He then reported on the current stage of planning for each theme.
    Progress is being made on the installation of a pavement beside the
    A85, between the site of the former water-sports centre and the
    Clachan Cottage Hotel. Three options have been considered, of which
    the first is favoured and could be implemented later this year. There is
    a proposal to link the A85 and the A84 by means of a footpath running
    beside the beach at the Western end of the loch. It would involve
    providing a footbridge to cross the Ogle Burn, but the path would then
    turn and follow the Northern bank of the Kendrum Burn away from
    the beach to meet the A84 near Craggan Road, where a pedestrian
    crossing would be needed to link up with the national cycle path
    (NCN7). Various options had been discussed under Theme 3, including
    building a new water-sports centre, enhancing the road entrances to
    the village and clearing some derelict land. Theme 4 included plans to
    promote interest in local wildlife and to plant more wild flowers.
    Finally, WG expressed thanks for the support of key, local landowners
    and detailed what steps would now need to be taken, including a Roadon the A84 and a Behaviour Change Plan (as required by
    SusTrans for the extension of the existing cycle paths).

    DR then talked about the current developments in visitor
    management schemes being undertaken by the National Park(NPA). He stated that much of this had been made possible
    by increased funding for the NPA from SusTrans and the Scottish
    government. He was hopeful that the additional resources would help
    to mitigate some of the problems that had been seen in recent years.

    DJ thanked WG and DR for their presentation and invited members to
    ask any questions they might have. DM asked if it might not be more
    effective to resolve the problems that had arisen by reducing the
    number of visitors. In response, it was pointed out that a key element
    of the responses to the place-making survey was a request for greater
    access and providing this will inevitably attract more visitors. DM also
    asked a question about the proposed provision of cycle hire from
    village halls. WG responded that the concept was for the village halls
    to become centres for all kinds of activity and that cycle hire would




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    only be one small part of this. WD expressed concern at the prospect
    of similar businesses competing for a limited number of customers in
    a relatively small area. WG replied that these were only suggestions
    and recommendations and that further discussions would be needed
    to avoid such problems developing.

    ML commented that, although the existing proposals are still being
    worked out, visitors are already coming here. There doesn't need to
    be any competition because each enterprise is working in its own
    area. However, he firmly believed that stagnation is not an option. JM
    asked specifically about micro-businesses and DR replied that these
    would certainly be supported in principle, depending on applicable
    rules and regulations. ME applauded the fact that the project has
    bundled together many long-standing aspirations but added that,
    when new infrastructure is introduced, there is often new money to
    provide new facilities, but seldom money to maintain them
    afterwards. He asked if the local councillors could be included in any
    future briefings and WG was happy to arrange this.

    DJ again thanked WG and DR for their contribution and they then left
    the meeting. DJ commented that similar projects are in hand for
    Strathyre and Balquhidder and there will need to be a combined
    meeting at some stage to look at how each plan interacts with the
    others. Some members expressed concerns over the apparent pace of
    progress involving proposals that really needed more thorough
    discussion with the local communities. This was acknowledged and it
    was agreed to continue discussions at the next Community Council

  6. Matters arising from previous meeting

    1. Visitor management in National Park. The National Park Authority(NPA) and Stirling Council had both responded to written requests
      from the community council for information about plans to manage
      the return of visitors to the area. Both agencies spoke of a multi-
      agency response, focused on 26th April 2021, when it is anticipated
      that travel restrictions will be eased. The NPA is also looking further
      ahead and planning for the provision of longer-term infrastructure.
      Stirling Council has been looking particularly at matters of road access,
      parking, site amenities (such as public toilet access) and also issues
      relating to littering by visitors. The first step has been to develop a
      communications strategy that seeks to reach out to visitors from
      outwith the Stirling area. The scope of the Alcohol Bye-law is to be



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      This item to be tabled on the next agenda.

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      extended in response to requests from local communi ties and the
      police. The Council has no enforcement powers to deal with li ttering
      but will support the police and National Park rangers. It is, however,
      recruiting additional staff for its Parking Enforcement Team and
      developing a system for the exchange of information and intelligence
      regarding problem areas with the police and Park Rangers. A system is
      also in place to monitor the most popular sites and provide feedback
      to visitors and tourist agencies in order to try and avoid over-
      saturation at peak times.

      Members commented that there were few problems at present. Some
      campers on the South side of Loch Voil had left mess behind recently,
      but this had been reported to the NPA. This can be done by any local
      resident; simply send an email to “feedback@lochlomond-
      trossachs.org”. JM asked about littering and the need for additional
      rubbish collections at hotspots. No members could think of any
      specific problem sites. DJ commented that problems normally only
      arise when campers leave mess.

    2. Local bridges. The Stronvar and Calair bridges are scheduled for repair
      during April and May, although this may be affected by the weather.
      Accordingly, Stroneslaney Road will be closed from its junction with
      the C33 to its junction with Glenbuckie Road between 26th April and
      7th May 2021 to facilitate bridge parapet repairs. The weight
      restriction affecting Calair Bridge and Stroneslaney Road will be
      suspended for the duration of the closure. Repairs to the bridge in
      Lochearnhead are due to start in May.

    3. Cycle Track (NCN7) in Strathyre. Dave Robinson, the Recreation andfor the NPA, had responded to a request from the
      Community Council for clarification regarding the section of pathway
      between the Balvaig Bridge and Keip Road. This does not form part of
      the National Cycle Network but there is a general right under the Land
      Reform (Scotland) Act, 2003, to use the route, regardless of who may
      own it. This extends to walkers, runners, cyclists or people on
      horseback. The only way to prevent people using the path is to apply
      for an exemption under Section 28 of the Act. Mr Robinson suggested,
      however, that it would be possible to amend the signs (situated near
      Keip Road) to remove any reference to the NCN7 route, thus
      encouraging cyclists to follow the road past Strathyre Primary School,
      then back to the Balvaig Bridge to meet up again with the Cycle
      Network there. This was agreed and WD offered to make the
      necessary arrangements.


      WD to arrange for changes to existing signs.



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    4. Speeding in Strathyre. RM reported having contacted Stirling Council
      about the availability of interactive traffic signs to discourage speeding
      through the village. As a result, the existing sign had been repaired,
      but no formal reply had been received to date from S tirling Council.
      ME commented that a static speed camera would probably address
      the problem successfully but, according to the current criteria, it is not
      possible to install one. A “Spaces For People” project has enabled
      Callander Community Council to request the imposition of a 20mph
      speed limit on the A84 trunk road. It may be possible to do the same
      for Strathyre and Lochearnhead. DJ suggested that it might be best to
      pursue this through the consultations for Place Planning in Strathyre.
      This was agreed.

    5. Car park beside The Broch in Strathyre. In response to a letter from
      the Community Council regarding the policy of allowing this car park
      to remain open, Forestry and Land Scotland had replied that their
      policy was in line with Scottish government COVID-19 legislation and
      guidance. This specifically encouraged people to exercise outdoors, if
      necessary travelling some distance to do so, in order to promote
      physical health and mental well-being. At the same time, Forestry &recognised that over-crowding created a health hazard and
      liaised with the police to recognise any problem situations, acting
      immediately to close a car park if necessary. Meanwhile, they
      requested the support of the Community Council to ensure that local
      residents did not take matters into their own hands and attempt to
      close the car park independently.

    6. Payphone Box Removal (from near Mhor 84). DJ reported that, to
      date, no reply had been received from Stirling Council about replacing
      the kiosk, although they had previously offered to do this. MF offered
      to follow this up.

    7. Litter at roadworks on A84. A reply had been received from Transportregarding a complaint about litter, apparently left by
      contractors at the site of roadworks near the junction of the A84 with
      the Balquhidder Road (C33). An investigation had proved inconclusive
      but the site had been cleared of litter by BEAR Scotland, which had
      also written to Stirling Council, highlighting the obligations of local
      authorities under the Environmental Protection Act, 1990, to clear
      litter and detritus on all roads and roadside verges that are not
      motorways or “special roads”.




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    MF to follow up offer to restore kiosk.

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  7. Correspondence

    1. Insurance for vehicles used on CC business. RM reported that this
      would be renewed for the coming year and invited all members of the
      community council to provide her with current details of their vehicles
      to support any claims made.

    2. Thinning operations in Kirkton Glen Forest. Forestry and Landhad written to the Community Council in relation to a
      proposal to carry out thinning operations in Kirkton Glen Forest during
      the financial year 2021 to 2022. The volume of timber to be extracted
      will amount to about ninety lorry loads, which will be taken out along
      the C33, from about one mile east of Balquhidder Village Hall towards
      the A84 at Kingshouse. All operations will be carried out in line with
      the guidelines set out in the agreed Timber Traffic Management Plan.

    3. Balquhidder Deer Management Group. An enquiry had been received
      from this group, asking whether the community council was aware of
      any current problems relating to the management of deer in the area.
      Members were not aware of any such problems.



  8. Timber Transport

    1. Progress of grant application for an upgrade to the C33 road. DJ
      reported that no result regarding the application had been received to
      date. MF offered to follow this up.

    2. Current activity. DJ reported that this could be a busy summer for
      timber haulage. Auchtubhmor is planning to haul between six and
      eight loads a day. Kirkton and Ledcreich are planning to haul and that
      could add a further eight loads a day. Stronvar and Ballimore will haul
      at some point, adding four loads a day and Muirlaggan will also haul
      between four and eight loads a day. If they are all hauling at the same
      time and to maximum numbers, that could amount to twenty-eight
      loads a day between the Village Hall and the A84 (56 journeys).

    DJ also reported having twice written to Claire Glaister, asking her to
    convene a meeting of the "working group" in order to review the
    Timber Transport Management Plan (TTMP). To date, she had not
    responded with a date. Having consulted the community through a
    public meeting and an online survey, DJ believed that a clear idea of
    the majority views of the community had been obtained and this had
    been communicated to Claire Glaister. DJ was of the opinion that the




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    MF to follow up result of grant application.

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    industry's views were not that far away from those of the community
    and that a new TTMP could be agreed, but a date for a meeting was
    required urgently.

  9. National Park Authority Visitor Management Plan for 2021

    DJ commented that this topic had already been covered at items 5 and

  10. Planning Matters

    DJ commented that there was nothing that needed consideration by
    the Community Council but commented briefly on an application by
    The White Stag at Strathyre to create a micro-brewery at that

  11. Place Making in the National Park

    a) DJ reported that consultations for Strathyre and Balquhidder will be
    taking place in the coming weeks for different groups of people. Next
    week's meeting will address local businesses. Other groups to be
    surveyed will include young people (11th May), local residents (18 th
    May) and young families (25th May).

  12. Matters from ward councillors and National Park

    Stirling Council was currently preoccupied with preparations for the
    local elections on 6th May.

  13. Dates of future meetings

    RM had circulated a list of possible dates and times for future
    meetings and invited comments from members. A list of suitable dates
    was agreed.

  14. Any other competent business

No matters were raised.

There was no further business and, at 9:55 p.m., DJ declared the
meeting to be closed. The next meeting is scheduled to take place on
Wednesday 2nd June 2021 at Lochearnhead Village Hall (if permitted) or




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