February 2022 Minutes

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Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre
Community Council Minutes – 16th February 2022
This mee ng took place in Lochearnhead Village Hall at 7:30 p.m. on 16th February 2022.
Present: David Johnston (DJ), Ruth McLusky (RM), Andrew Poulter (AP), Donald
MacLaren (DM).
Apologies: Angus Cameron. Cllr Evelyn Tweed, Cllr Mar n Earl, S rling Council; PC Heather
Campbell, Police Scotland; Billy Ronald, Na onal Park.
Cllr Jeremy McDonald (JM), S rling Council; Paul Hicks, minute-taker. Daniel
Jarre" (DJT), Lochearnhead; Carolyn Brooks (CB), Balquhidder.
Item Content Ac on
Because of the stormy weather condi ons prevailing, DJ proposed that
the business be transacted as expedi ously as possible. This was
agreed unanimously.
1. Approval of previous minutes
It was proposed by AP and seconded by RM, that the minutes of the
mee ng on 10th November 2021 should be accepted and this was
approved unanimously.
2. Declara ons of Interest
None made.
3. Police Report (11 Nov 2021 to 7 Feb 2022)
During this period, in terms of an -social behaviour, there was one
report (on 2nd December 2021) of a car having been vandalised in
Balquhidder. Enquiries are ongoing to iden fy the person responsible.
In terms of criminal ac vity, between 23rd-24th January 2022, police
received reports from numerous loca ons of two persons at the side
of the road a!emp ng to obtain money fraudulently from members of
the public. Both persons were found on the A84 near Lochearnhead
and arrested for the alleged offences. A report has been submi!ed to
the office of the Procurator Fiscal, covering the circumstances of these
incidents. Officers con nue to carry out proac ve patrols of the area.
In terms of road safety, there were five incidents involving collisions or
accidents. In each case, no offences were disclosed but traffic
management and clearing of the road was needed. There were three
instances of erra c driving; in two cases no vehicle was traced but in a
third case, a person who was missing from home was found and
returned, safe and well. There were two cases of dangerous or
inappropriate parking. One person was reported to the Procurator
Fiscal, whilst the second vehicle was recovered by its owner. Police
opera ons were also undertaken to counter speeding and check for
vehicle defects. As a result, five vehicle prohibi ons were made and
verbal warnings given to speeding drivers.
In addi on, two rescue opera ons were mounted in conjunc on with
Killin Mountain Rescue Team, recovering walkers safely from both
Cruach Ardrain and Stuc a Chroin. PC Campbell also recommended the
use of Rural Watch Scotland - a quick and user friendly pla%orm for
sharing informa on, not just within the community but further afield
if required. Further informa on can be found at:
4. Ma!ers arising from previous mee ng
a) Recruitment to Community Council. A poster had been prepared and
circulated and an ar cle has been submi"ed to The Villagers
magazine. As a result two local residents were a"ending the mee ng
with a view to joining as community councillors.
b) Hybrid mee ngs for Community Council. At the previous mee ng an
experiment had been tried with most members being physically
present whilst one other joined by Zoom. Communica on had been
possible but difficult, owing to the limited equipment available. Since
there had been no par cular demand for such mee ngs and Covid
restric ons were now being reduced, it was decided that it would be
be"er in future to meet face-to-face.
c) Missed blue bin collec ons. On 29th November 2021, Stephen Bly
(S rling Council) reported that the problem with blue bins had begun
on Friday the 23rd July 2021, when collec ons on Route Five were
suspended, due to staff absences which con nued into both Saturday
24th and Sunday 25th July and resulted in two further routes being
suspended on both of those days. It is believed that the absences
were related to Covid infec ons. It resulted in the need to catch up on
several routes (nine in total) that had missed blue bin collec ons. This
process had begun on Monday 26th July and con nued through to 4th
August. It resulted in many districts, including ours, experiencing
disrup on to their collec on service during this period. The system of
collec ons is monitored by the Opera ons Office through supervisors
on each route, but unforeseen circumstances (such as Covid outbreaks
and vehicle breakdowns) can significantly affect the schedules.
Because S rling Council operates a seven-day waste collec on service,
there are no spare days available to fit in addi onal visits when
collec ons have been missed, so any catching up has to be added to
the exis ng schedules. The Opera ons Office had been aware of the
missed collec ons on 23rd July and had informed the Council's
Customer Contact Centre so that residents repor ng a problem could
be advised of mes and dates for es mated return visits. Normal
service for blue bins had now been restored but members commented
that the service was poor with green bins collected a week late
recently. It is clearly understaffed and has li!le or no resilience.
5. Place Planning - Update
A dra& plan for Balquhidder and Strathyre has been wri!en and is
now being prepared for publica on. DJ explained that they are an
expression of a community's collec ve desire for improvements and
provide a baseline for things such as local planning decisions.
However, they do not guarantee that specific changes will take place.
DJ queried whether there had been any update or no fica on of
progress recently regarding the Lochearnhead plan but nobody had
informa on about this.
6. Fire Hydrants
On 25th November 2021, an update was received from Mark Bryce,
Area Commander for the Sco!sh Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) district
of S rling, Clackmannanshire and Fife. He stated that SFRS had
provided copies of all its inspec on records rela ng to fire hydrants in
the Balquhidder area to the BLS Community Council and now declined
to enter any further discussions on the ma!er. He reiterated previous
assurances that joint inspec ons with Sco!sh Water had been
undertaken and SFRS was sa sfied that relevant hydrants are
sufficiently maintained for fire-figh ng purposes. He urged that any
concerns rela ng to par cular hydrants should be referred directly to
Sco!sh Water but also advised that faults can be no fied through the
SFRS website (www.firescotland.gov.uk/contact)
Also on 25th November 2021, an update was received from Ma!
Bingham, Corporate Affairs Officer for Sco!sh Water. He referred to
previous correspondence in which it had been explained that Sco!sh
Water owns only the hydrants that are marked on their maps and has
no responsibility for other hydrants that may exist in our area. He
stated that Sco!sh Water had carried out three joint inspec ons with
SFRS over the past couple of years and included copies of all the
informa on that they hold on their own assets. He advised that all the
hydrants on the public network were working properly and that the
SFRS was sa sfied that there were sufficient hydrants available to
tackle any fires that might occur. On that basis, he envisaged that
there would be no addi onal benefit from holding further discussions
on the ma!er, but stated that any specific concerns about par cular
hydrants could be reported directly to Sco!sh Water on 08000
Members agreed that neither the SFRS nor Sco'sh Water appeared to
appreciate the level of concern in the community about the current
situa on. JM stated that local councillors would be mee ng with the
SFRS Chief Officer on 17th February and would raise the ma!er
personally. DJ re-stated the community council's specific concerns (as
previously expressed in minutes of community council mee ngs) and
JM agreed to represent these during the mee ng.
JM to raise
local concerns
directly with
SFRS Chief
7. Payphone Box Removal (Mhor 84)
On 22nd November 2021, an update had been received from Tracey
Mills (S rling Council) who advised that the Council had entered
communica ons with Bri sh Telecom with a view to resolving the
ma!er. To date, discussions were con nuing, but she undertook to
keep the Community Council updated with any progress. It was agreed
to await further developments.
8. Response to Storm Arwen
In the wake of Storm Arwen, a number of ques ons rela ng to local
resilience had been raised by concerned residents. The first related to
communica ons and highlighted the fact that mobile networks are
o&en disabled by power cuts in adverse weather condi ons. The
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) remains ac ve under such
condi ons, but reports had appeared in the media that it may be
switched off en rely in 2025, leaving people dependent on either
mobile networks or internet links that do not depend on the PSTN,
both of which are highly vulnerable to loss of electrical power.
The second area of concern related to resilience plans for the
communi es in our area. DJ had responded to this and highlighted the
Emergency Reponse Team in Strathyre that had been set up in respect
of poten al flooding there. He had also explained that the ma!er had
been explored a few years ago when the community council had
concluded that its primary role in any emergency would be to provide
lists of contact details for local residents who could provide useful
resources. Such lists already existed and had been used successfully in
the past so, at that me, no further ac on had been deemed
The resident who had raised the ma!er later added that the loss of
u li es in the wake of Storm Arwen had provoked a par cular concern
for vulnerable people in the community. This person had been to the
Rest Centre established at Killin in order to obtain hot meals for
vulnerable neighbours in the immediate vicinity and was surprised to
learn that the staff at the Centre had no knowledge of vulnerable
people in the community at large. As a result, there appeared to be no
coordinated effort to contact such people.
DJ commented that the call centre provided by Sco!sh & Southern
Electricity plc (SSE) had been very slow to respond and appeared to
have been inadequately resourced. The informa on provided by the
media as a whole had been meagre and there appeared to have been
few interven ons or ini a ves from S rling Council. JM agreed that
the event had exposed the lack of good resilience plans and this was
now being addressed.
9. Forestry Work and Timber Transport
a) Current ac vity. A forest road is currently being constructed to the
West of Strathyre, linking with the Stroneslaney Road. This involves
some twenty trucks per day bringing in rocks for the founda ons. The
work is es mated to last about a month but the mescale is
dependent on weather. A speed limit of 15 mph is in place.
b) Mee ng of working group. This had been postponed again un l
March 2022.
c) CivTech Challenge survey results. These had been circulated to
members. The proposed scheme will address the management of
traffic on rural roads, highligh ng poten al problems and providing
appropriate responses. The project is now in its development stage.
d) Industry grant for improvements to C33 road. S rling Council Roads
Department is working on the grant applica on. It is envisaged that
improvements will begin at the far end and work backwards to the
Village Hall.
10. C33 Road at Dhanakosa
During November 2021, several complaints had been received from
local residents in Balquhidder Glen regarding the state of the C33 road
in the vicinity of the Dhanakosa Centre. The road surface had eroded
dras cally in places, leaving large "potholes". This represented a
significant danger to all passing vehicles, varying from damage to
tyres, wheels and vehicle suspension to accidents being caused. These
complaints had been referred as a ma!er of urgency to S rling Council
and, on 29th November, a reply had been received from Elaine Nicol,
Team Leader at Roads Maintenance. She stated that the road would
be examined and repairs undertaken as soon as resources became
available. Members reported that some repairs had now been made
but they do not cons tute a permanent repair.
11. Car Insurance
Addi onal vehicle insurance is now available for community council
members using their own vehicles on community council business. AP
is handling the administra on required.
12. Community Council Assets Insurance
The community council has no assets requiring insurance.
13. MacGregor's Landing
At the community council mee ng on 6th October 2021, under item 16
rela ng to planning ma!ers, DM had men oned some excava ons
that were being carried out beside the River Balvaig with access from
Stroneslaney Road, apparently with a view to construc ng a new track
or road to a riverside loca on. Following this report, DJ had contacted
the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs Na onal Park (LLTNP) to query
whether appropriate planning permission had been obtained for this
work. As a result of this approach, a planning officer from LLTNP
a!ended and placed an immediate embargo on any further work.
Planning Contraven on No ces were subsequently issued and the
LLTNP had since issued a public statement * about the dangers of
selling or buying land without a full apprecia on of the local
constraints on planning permission that may apply. The owner is now
being required to restore the land to its original condi on and not to
undertake any further work with first obtaining the appropriate
*www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/park-authority/blog/na onal-parkplanning-
team-urges-cau on-when-buying-plots/
14. Correspondence
a) Historic Environment Scotland Award. On 6th December 2021, the
community council was informed that S rling Council had been
awarded over £1.3m (£1,386,525) in funding from Historic
Environment Scotland to support heritage-led regenera on projects in
the historic Mercat Cross and the Old Town area of S rling City Centre.
b) “UK City of Culture” award, 2025. Members noted that S rling
Council had submi!ed an entry for this award on behalf of S rling.
c) Balvaig Bridge, Strathyre. On 15th December 2021, a local resident in
Strathyre had reported having no ced that recent mortar repairs to
the Balvaig Bridge had crumbled to dust. Members noted that a
certain amount of crumbling was normal in these circumstances, but it
was agreed to no fy the appropriate Council department.
RM to inform
S rling
d) Resilient Communi es Fund. In the wake of Storm Arwen, SSE had
established this fund to provide grants to communi es that were
seeking to develop local resilience plans. This was noted.
e) Young Persons' Free Bus Travel Scheme. On 5th January 2022, Stephen
Bly (S rling Council) had advised the community council that, with
effect from January 2022, all young people, aged between five and
twenty-one and living in Scotland, would be eligible for free travel on

buss. In order to claim this benefit, they will need to apply for a new
(or replacement) Na onal En tlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot
Na onal En tlement Card (Young Scot NEC). In the case of children
aged between five and fi&een years of age, a parent or guardian must
apply on their behalf. (Children aged under five years of age are
already en tled to travel free on commercial bus services.) This
informa on was noted.
f) Bus Services, S rling Council Area. On 9th December 2021, S rling
Council had unanimously approved a mo on to write to Graeme Dey,
MSP, the Minister for Transport in the Sco'sh Government, regarding
the perceived shor%alls in bus services throughout the S rling Council
area. These included the closure of several routes, daily failures to
deliver a reliable, consistent service, a failure to recruit a sustainable
number of drivers and the impending impact of the na onal decision
to provide free bus transport for all young people up to the age of
twenty-one. On 21st January 2022, a le!er expressing these concerns
was duly wri!en and included reference to the published target of
reducing the use of cars in Scotland by 20% before the year 2030 and
the consequent necessity to provide an effec ve and trusted
alterna ve in the form of an efficient, public bus network.
g) Car Park at The Munro, Strathyre. On 7th February 2022, an enquiry
had been received from Gordon Lawrie, Team Leader of the Estates &
Commercial Property Department at S rling Council, regarding the car
park outside The Munro in Strathyre. The owner of the hotel had
asked to purchase or lease part of the car park adjacent to his
property, for the purpose of crea ng a dedicated car park for the
hotel. Mr Lawrie stated that he was aware that this area formed one
of the main car parking areas available in the village and wanted to be
fully aware of any poten al impact caused by its sale or lease to the
hotel owner. He had requested the views of the community council
concerning the likely impact of any such sale on the local community.
DJ stated that the car park was used frequently by many local
residents and visitors and it seemed wholly inappropriate to sell it off
to a private owner. This was agreed unanimously by all members. It
was agreed to reply to Mr Lawrie accordingly.
DJ to write toMr Lawrie ecommending hat the car ark be etained as a ublic facility.
h) Access to Loch Voil – public mee ng. On 9th February 2022, a query
was raised with NatureScot by one of the owners of a plot of land at
Stronvar Marshes regarding the discovery of Fresh Water Pearl
Mussels (FWPM) – a protected species within the Site of Special
Scien fic Interest (SSSI) in that area. This had prompted a wider
Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre
Community Council Minutes – 16th February 2022
discussion about how best to provide access to the area for leisure
ac vi es, whilst maintaining protec on for the FWPM. NatureScot
had liaised with LLTNP and gathered details of other interested
par es, including a local business that provides leisure ac vites on
Loch Voil and with the community council. However, it quickly became
apparent that the ques on of access to Loch Voil was also of interest
to several members of the local community and requests had been
made for a public mee ng to discuss the ma!er.
Members were concerned that several different concerns were being
conflated and misunderstandings now appeared to be rife. It was
agreed that the agenda for any public mee ng should concentrate on
the central ques on of how best to manage protec on for the FWPM
whilst s ll allowing appropriate access as provided for in the Land
Reform (Scotland) Act, 2003. Reference had been made to a desire for
improved access to Loch Voil expressed in the dra& “Place Plan” for
Strathyre and Balquhidder, but it was pointed out that this had not yet
been approved or published. The ques on of private road
arrangements with other users should not be on the agenda. It was
also suggested that the environmental recommenda ons from
NatureScot would take precedence over all other considera ons in
respect of the SSSI. It was agreed that DJ would liaise with Dave
Robinson (Access Officer for LLTNP) and suggest that the proposed
public mee ng be chaired by Cllr Mar n Earl.
15. Provost's Awards
Janet & Emma Richards at the Strathyre Shop and Owen McKee at the
Village Shop in Lochearnhead had been nominated for their
outstanding service during the period of Covid restric ons and will
each be receiving an award.
16. Planning Ma!ers
a) 2021/0254/PPP. This applica on concerned the proposed erec on of
three dwelling-houses on land to the south of Forest Lodge and west
of Maple Lodge, off the Main Street in Strathrye. The applicant had
decided not to pursue this applica on and has confirmed in wri ng
that the applica on is to be withdrawn.
b) Ardveich Planta on – Drummond Estate. On 13th December 2021, Mr
Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre
Community Council Minutes – 16th February 2022
Barry Harper, Senior Forest Manager at Sco'sh Woodlands, contacted
the community council regarding the proposed crea on of woodland
at Ardveich, Lochearnhead. He explained that he had been asked by
the Drummond Estate to draw up a formal scheme to plant
approximately three hundred (300) hectares using a combina on of
species suitable for the condi ons, including conifers and na ve
broadleaves. Addi onally, there would be areas of open ground to
enhance the exis ng biodiversity in the area and to improve the
landscape value of the estate by crea ng a mosaic of habitats. Current
use of the land focuses on rough grazing of varying quality and the
owners are looking to diversify the ground. Due to a high popula on
of deer in the area, the plan would include the erec on of deer fences
to protect the planta on, retaining access where it is currently
available. A peat survey will be carried out, prior to pu'ng together a
plan ng design, with areas of deep peat (over fi&y cen metres)
removed from the final area. Members did not consider that this
development would have any adverse impact on the local community.
c) 2022/0003/DET. This applica on concerned the si ng of a mobile
snack van at the Derry lay-by on A85 between Lochearnhead and St
Fillans. Members expressed concern at the possibility of addi onal
li!er being le&, both at the site itelf and along the roads on either
approach. It was agreed that DJ would reply to this effect.
DJ to raise concern at possibility of more li!er.
d) Achraw Hill – consulta on. Mr Eoghan Anderson, Woodland Manager,
had given the community council prior no fica on of an applica on
for felling permission at Achraw Hill behind Lochearnhead which will
include a proposal for a new forest road to be constructed with access
from the A84 at Glen Ogle. Following consulta on with members via
email, DJ sent a preliminary response, advising that the community
council understood the need for this work and appreciated the steps
outlined in the proposal to limit disrup on caused by the extrac on of
mber. He added a query as to whether anything could be done to
limit the visual impact of the new road and the stripped hillside un l
such me as replan ng and regrowth had taken place. Subsequently,
this had been agreed by Mr Anderson.
17. Ma!ers from Ward Councillors and Na onal Park
a) Unresolved concerns. RM commented on the number of outstanding
ma!ers that had s ll not been resolved. These included the removal
RM to contact
Cllr Earl re
Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre
Community Council Minutes – 16th February 2022

of the payphone telephone kiosk from near Mhor 84; the si ng of grit
bins in Strathyre; the provision of street ligh ng near the Balvaig
bridge in Strathyre; traffic speed in Strathyre and the update of cycle
track signs in Strathyre. DJ commented that the reduced level of
community liaison at S rling Council may have led to this situa on. It
was agreed that RM should write to Cllr Earl regarding the backlog of
unresolved issues since the revision of the arrangements for liaison.
outstanding ma!ers and problems with liaison.
b) Upcoming Council business. JM men oned several items, including an
increase of 1.1% in rents; a review of online and hybrid working by
Council Officers; a review of the impact of the Covid pandemic on
finances and discussions on the forthcoming budget; the need for a
review of resilience plans and the opportuni es to use the summer
period to prepare for winter me.
18. Any other competent business
a) Co-op on process. DJT and CB both expressed their willingness to
serve on the community council and this was warmly welcomed by
everyone. AP explained that they could be “co-opted” and, a&er
a!ending three mee ngs, would become full members. This was
agreed and RM offered to prepare the appropriate forms.
There was no further business and, at 9.15 p.m., DJ declared the
mee ng to be closed. The next mee ng is scheduled to take place on
Wednesday 30th March 2022 at Balquhidder Village Hall.
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