January 2023 Minutes

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Venue – But & Ben Wednesday 11.01.23 @ 7.30 pm

Attendees: Henry Braid (HNB, David Armstrong (DA), Cyndy Bourbousson (CB), Margaret Steel (MS), Alli Peterson ( AP), Donnie Watson (DW), David Mackie LL&TNP, Paul Henke- Stirling Council plus 15 residents


Apologies – none


  1. Previous Minutes Approved DA seconded


  1. Police Report (emailed report) –

Forth and Endrick, Croftamie Community Council January 2023 - Compiled by PC Graeme McNulty


On 26 November 2022, Police Sergeant Sarah Stephenson commenced her new role as Community Sergeant for the Forth and Endrick ward as well as supervisor for the Community Policing Teams at Callander and Dunblane. Sarah arrives new in post with eighteen years Policing service, having previously Policed in the Callander area and also has links to the rural Stirlingshire area having previously resided in Lochearnhead and Callander. Prior to this post she was a Response Police Sergeant based at Callander and has previous community Policing experience from her days working in Stirling.


During this period there have been a number of Mountain Rescue type calls in which Lomond Mountain Rescue have greatly assisted Police in locating casualties and assisting them to a place of safety. We continue to be grateful.


This includes an incident during the December ‘cold snap’ where a male fell into the water at Finnich Glen. Fortunately he was located quickly and conveyed to Scottish Ambulance personnel and although cold had not come to serious harm.


Antisocial Behaviour

Although not in Croftamie, we are aware of a number of reported incidents nearby where metal ball bearings have been propelled by slingshot or similar towards and smashing domestic property windows or parked car windows. Enquiries continue.



No recorded incidents in Croftamie itself however there have been a number of thefts of late within nearby villages including Drymem, Killearn and Blanefield. Please remain vigilant and consider advice on the following page.



Road Safety

There have been no reported incidents in relation to road safety within Croftamie during the period of this report. We are however under no illusions that this is likely due to the ongoing bridge closure!


Home Security What basic steps can I take to protect my home?


Having your home broken into is not common. There are however many ways that you can help

secure your home. They don’t all cost money – some are common sense and good housekeeping.


First, think about basic good housekeeping routines that aren’t expensive:


  • Keep your home locked at all times
  • Many thieves do not need to break in at all because a door or window has been left open or unlocked
  • Don’t leave keys on the inside of door locks, under mats or anywhere else they can

be easily found

  • If you have a ‘thumb turn’ lock on the inside of a door, ensure that it cannot be accessed from outside
  • See details on letter-plates, glazing and adjacent windows advice below
  • Don't put your name or room number on your keyring if you live in shared accommodation, if it is lost or stolen, the thief will have information that could direct them there
  • Don’t keep house keys and car keys on the same key ring
  • Don't keep a lot of cash in the house
  • Mark your property with a UV marker pen or Security DNA marking Kit - these can be bought online or in some stores
  • Look for the Secured By Design accreditation on the product and register - you can place an invisible imprint of your postcode and house number on your possessions
  • You can record and register details of your valuables, serial numbers and features or marks, on devices on the national mobile property register on the immobilise website - this includes mobile phones, cameras, laptops and tablets
  • Don’t leave valuables where they can be see through a window - for example, around the tree at Christmas time
  • If you have a wall calendar, avoid having it shown near a window from where appointments can be seen - people may see when there will be no one in.
  • Community Engagement and Reassurance
  • It is important to you to have community officers who you know, who are accessible and who address local problems.
  • C’s Steven Graham and Graeme McNulty are the Ward Officers for the Forth and Endrick area. They are based at Balfron Police Office and can be contacted at the office, on 101, or at ForthEndrickCPT@scotland.police.uk. It is recommended that this email address is used by the local community for email contact however this should not be used to report
  • Please remember that we regularly publish useful information and updates on social media, including appeals for information, updates about road closures and crime prevention advice. Our Facebook and Twitter pages can be found at;



  1. Planning Report – CB

Q around Parking at Buchanan Cres development. Q have been asked for porta-cabins in the village.

MS can ask the Contractor what plans there are for parking during construction.



Pirniehall Development - Feedback to LL&TNP planning by 20.1.2023. Pirniehall House Croftamie Glasgow G63 0HD


Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park – planning applications for Pirniehall. Ref 100606133- 001


Mixed use residential, tourism and community development comprising change of use and alteration (part demolition) and conversion of former residential school (Class 8) to residential dwelling (Class 9)

with erection of associated detached garage (with annexed self-contained accommodation above);

alteration (part demolition and extension) and conversion of redundant outbuildings to form swimming pool, gymnasium,

7 no. holiday let units and ancillary shop and visitor reception, formation of outdoor games court, play area

and community allotments;

new access with associated control booth and gateway structures,

internal roads, ancillary parking and footpaths, utilities and drainage infrastructure and outline proposals for the erection of

10 no. pods/tree houses and

16 no. holiday lodges



77 additional detail supporting documents on Parks planning webpage


Please review or concentrate on elements of this application that are important to yourself.

Comments can be submitted /accepted up till the Friday 20.1.2023.


Please be heard and voice your opinions by submitting your feelings to the National Park


The Community Council have received confirmation of agreement to an extension of time to 10 Feb 2023 for responding to application 2022/0329/PPP which has also been agreed by the applicant.


Comments at the meeting – see appendix 1.


  1. Roads Update – DW

Traffic lights are in the village today for BT. Potholes should be reported to the Council. Council are already stretched


  1. Treasurer Update – DA

Balance of account is £1828.47


DA was thanked for the Xmas tree lights – Feedback is that the Battery didn’t maintain during

the cold weather.

Tree perhaps needs topped.


  1. Stirling Council Update – Paul Henke

Noise from the generator at the Bridge. Meeting requested to discuss. A Roads suggestion report has been submitted by a resident

Damage after the flood at Drymen Bridge – can this be raised so that the drains are cleared to prevent the village being cut off?

Cash budgets are stretched. £10M short.

Paul is on the Audit committee and there is a meeting due.

Paul gave an example that there has been damage to the Public toilets in Balfron and it was suggested that the community repaint it themselves rather than asking the Council.


Flooding at Drymen Bridge and Distillery.

Work that has been done at the distillery has impacted the drainage– this has been noted for feedback.


PH was asked if it could be considered to have a Resilience hub if the village is cut off. The Nursery could be used. PH asked -What does this mean- there could be a generator and a safe place for residents/ those unable to leave the village to go.



  1. LL&TNP - Update David MacKie

No system in the Park for DM to feed back comments. Meeting to be held to see how that can be addressed and to create a new Process.


By Laws- Loch Lomond bye laws are being discussed.


The Process for Planning applications is online for Community Councils.


  1. Outstanding points from last meeting

-     Catterburn Update January 2023:

Piling works continue to progress on site. Single lane opening is now expected to take place in mid- April 2023, with overall works on site continuing until May 2023.


Structural complexity, poor weather and extremely low temperatures experienced during December have been contributing factors to the delay to works. Additional propping to spandrel walls and wingwalls was installed to further safeguard the structure during piling works. Despite additional propping mechanisms being installed, structural instability was identified during

piling. Extensive structural surveys and coring took place pre construction phase as well as during construction phase, despite this, pile clashes with the existing structure were still experienced during the course of the piling works. This resulted in refusal of piles upstream and snapping of a piling augur downstream. To offset the construction risk piling activity on site was delayed and redesign of pile positions and sizings was commissioned, a smaller piling rig was also sourced. 30 piles have now been installed, with a further 8 to be installed. As planned, weekend working will again be adopted (6 day per week working) once piling has been completed. Excavation to formation, and installation and pouring of ground beams will also then take place.


We would like to thank the Community for their ongoing support and patience during this challenging time.



(Pouring concrete in the cold freezing weather is not possible)


  • Branshogle Bridge is


  • Community Benefits

Can pavements be approved. Plans that AMCO will do something that can benefit the community.


-     Participation Requests – 20-21-002, Pavements & 20.2.003 Speeding – ongoing.


Confirmation next year dates Wed, 8.02.23, 8.03.23, 12.04.23, 10.05.23 & AGM, 14.06.22,

9.08.22, 13.09.22, 11.10.22 & 8.11.23


  1. Correspondence Received

Email – Meeting in Killearn on Fri 13th Jan- Forth Valley Climate Action network. Trusts and Community Council.

Govt initiative to see how we can work together. See appendix 2



  1. Any Other Business –
    • Christmas Carol Singing 12.25 feedback & thanks given to But & Ben. £30.90 was collected at the Carol Singing but no invoice has been received. Suggestion that Barbara was given flowers as a thank you.
    • Q- When will the Fibre optic cable up the back road. A -Open reach can provide this
    • Community email box was full but has now been



Confirmation of next Meeting –

Wednesday 8.2.2023 AT 7.30 pm Location But & Ben




Comments were received from residents and read to the meeting by HB.


  • Inappropriate Scale = Impact on Our Local Community, Infrastructure and Environment The occupancy numbers resulting from this major overdevelopment and urbanisation of the site are unsustainable and not supported by the local community.


  • Lack of compliance or understanding of the Local Development Plan

Pirniehall has been identified as a special site in the local development plan for the redevelopment of the original historic buildings only, not an intensive, multi occupancy park as proposed here.


  • Destruction of the Environs of Pirniehall

The replacement of a dense biodiverse habitat with new build housing, car parking and roads shows a great disrespect for the first aim of the National Park. “To enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area”.


  • Phasing of the development

The applicant seeks to sell building plots in the grounds prior to completion of works to the original hall. This risks the future of the hall, degrading its potential and incentivises destruction of the hall.


  • The Hybrid Nature of the Application

The house plots and treehouses have no fixed design. The numbers, sizes and occupancies will grow by piecemeal development. The impact on the community should be considered in terms of worst-case scenarios. The numbers used for the EIA screening and drainage and traffic etc are inadequate given the nature of the drawings submitted. Also, 3d designs seek to persuade that the quality and design is fixed – but each plot will be separately owned and will have its own design.


  • A single new large dwelling

This is the equivalent to 14 average detached 4 bedroomed houses or 21 average 3 bed houses. This does not comply with any of the National Park’s housing planning policies. The applicant is unfairly asking that a huge amount of additional enabling new builds are constructed to pay for his house.


  • Overdevelopment of the stables, glasshouses and potting shed area

The application is increasing the area of the stables, adding another storey and adding the potting shed and glasshouses as new build to the occupied m2. The development is very intensive and more characteristic of an urban setting than a rural National Park visitor experience.


  • Treehouse Locations

The treehouses are proposed in an area of mature mixed woodland with excellent under storey habitat. The site and build will cause great damage to the woodland and open up the site boundary causing visual and light pollution. The health and safety risks from falling branches will also cause the operator to clear all the overhead foliage destroying the woodland completely.


  • Lack of Community involvement and Community Contributions

There has been no suggestion by the applicant that they would be prepared to offer any community pay back other than showing an allotment site in the trees which is not requested or wanted.


  • List of planning policies that are not complied with by this application

There are a large number of policies that show that this development would be very disproportionate and inappropriate for this area.


  • Works are being masqueraded as holiday accommodation - it has been stated the plots may be sold for housing - as per the planning representatives statements during CCC meetings. End result – An area with many plots with different owners with different plans for their own plot.
  • We would like to invoke the Sandford Principle with regards to the
  • The property was ear-marked as a visitor experience (VE) not a commercial
  • COP26 - save the environment and what nature we have instead of desecrating what we have left – once nature is gone there is no redemption.
  • Increased
  • Irreversible breakdown of a national park
  • Disruption to the farming community and their livestock (noise/lights/litter/waste/commercial movement).
  • The proposal is not beneficial or supporting of the infrastructure of the
  • Surface water/flooding – a large area of the proposal is marsh/bog land which has consistently been this way for over 30 years – Orchis also thrive in this area.
  • Rare/protected species have habitat disrupted (inc. barn owls; red squirrels; hedgehogs; various breeds of bats).
  • TPOs & flora/fauna destruction – remaining trees will have roots damaged by the digging etc meaning protected trees will not flourish nor are truly protected. The orchard will be
  • Stirling council cannot currently maintain our roads – higher road usage will massively increase issues the village already has.
  • Roads - back-roads especially, are not made for the use the proposal would There are already issues with speeding; dangerous driving etc.
  • When considering the road maintenance/safety - this doesn’t solely apply to individuals/families - this refers to the commercial vehicles during the proposed development and after – please consider waste removal, sewage maintenance, household refuse collection, gas tanks (unless further disruption is caused to the surrounding areas to connect the development to the village gas supply).
  • Water pressure is an ongoing issue in the area – additional disruption will cost the developer and households if additional support with water issues are incurred as a result of the development. Potential issues may also require Stirling councils scarce finances.
  • Consider issues that have prevailed with the Devils Pulpit (a natural VE). Traffic/parking has been issue enough to be taken to the media/social media/councillors/LLTNP/council. Issues arose from this including litter, human waste, phoneline disruptions, nature destruction and accidents - of which our (already stretched beyond means) emergency


services being taken up. The rural area has exceptionally limited services including a regular restriction to one ambulance to cover the community and surroundings areas.



Breaking down the above –

Conserve – as per the Oxford English dictionary – “to protect something and prevent it from being changed or destroyed”.

Enhance – “to increase or further improve the good quality, value or status of


Natural beauty – (in terms of an area/property) – “an area of countryside in the UK that is protected because of its landscape or because it has important historical or cultural connections”.

Wildlife – “animals, birds, insects etc that are wild and live in a natural environment” The Oxford English dictionary also subsections this with – “policies designed to protect wildlife / development of an area would endanger wildlife”.

Cultural heritage – “in its broadest sense, heritage includes natural and built landscapes, physical artefacts and cultural forms”.

Finally lets breakdown the “Special qualities of the national park” – with reference to National Parks UK – Stunning natural beauty, beautiful wildlife and fascinating cultural heritage makes these landscapes truly unique”


The proposal contradicts 2 main intentions of the National Parks primary areas of concern - conservation and nature protection.

  • The Sandford Principle quotes “If a national park is in danger of being “hugged” to destruction, the national park must put conservation first” – not development and
  • Mr Domenic Hall (Future Nature Development Manager of LLTNP) also spoke the compelling words –

There is growing recognition and understanding that we are facing not only a climate crisis but also a nature crisis with biodiversity declining faster than at any time in human history”.

  • The national park will look at any visitor experience proposals in an attempt to support the area – The area in question is a rural, natural and farming community.
  • When speaking with the main ecologist (carrying out the bat study) there was no awareness of basic information – including roosting areas and patterns. The study formerly carried out at the behest of previous owner (G. Fraser) resulted in multiple species of bats present.
  • The development would be a privatisation of public space as surrounding areas will be affected – including the serenity of the public right-of-way and highway safety for public usage of the cycle path.
  • There are already plans proposed for Flamingo Land, Little America, development at Buchanan Crescent and the recent idealisation of Drimsynie Holiday Village – all proposed developments are substantial – the amount of decimation, destruction and pollution from developments of this calibre is astronomical and does not conform with


protecting nature, conservation or anything similar – conformity falls into commercialisation and financial gain.

  • A high percentage of visitors to the national park are people who stay in towns that love experiencing the countryside and nature time - so why commercialise the rarity of we have?
  • The area is a wonderful natural VE and could encourages such things as nature- based/wildlife tourism, walking and landscape/scenery tourism – prime examples of a natural VE without destruction/development.
  • Retaining the area as a natural VE would support already established businesses including the But & Ben, Drymen eateries/shops and St Mocha café. Small businesses require community and governing body support - the proposal (especially in the current financial climate) will increased competition.
  • Local farmers rely on the roads for heavy machinery and livestock and require support in maintaining their business/culture.
  • Areas with “holiday parks” and the likes have a higher percentage of accidents and requirement of emergency The GP is already stretched to the seams for services and our nearest hospital does not have an accident and emergency department (ref. the afore mentioned limited ambulance availability). Ambulances have already had to do double pick-ups to transport emergency patients.
  • Area concerns include gas/electricity rerouting, community/road disruption, lighting required on the property come evening/night causing light pollution effecting the surrounding area, livestock and wildlife.
  • A concerning statement was made to the CCC meeting by the planning representative – “When we get the planning permission (the owner) is entitled to build on that permission to grow his development by submitting further applications and if refused we would appeal them on the basis that the parks granted the primary application”.
  • Impact on the landscape


Further Attendees concerns:

  • If permission goes ahead- a parking space has been put onto the top of the drive at

neighbour’s houses- parking for the allotment.

  • If any wants an allotment – sorting the slots and who would provide the management of the allotments.This site would reduce trees.
  • Materials to be used building – do they comply with the H & S regulations – has a survey been used? This would need to be provided as part of the plans.
  • No model at the LLNP for public to view


  • A request will be made to have a meeting with the planning To discuss the plans and discrepancies that we have noted.
  • Hybrid app some are in detail and some are in principle only- holiday let and trees houses are for future detailed planning applications.


  • Comment was made that once outlining permission is approved there would be nothing to stop the site being sold on.


  • Comment made on the impact on local businesses which provide restaurants- B & Bs locally will be impacted too.


  • PH from the Council commented that the Council cant do anything unless the application has gone in and he was advised that the application has been submitted.


  • It was submitted in Dec and feedback to be given by 20 Jan – an extension given to the CC til 10 Feb.
  • As it’s a Major application-Determination letter will be made by the Park either Approved or declined


  • Once a decision has been made – we cannot appeal against
  • Comment made that previously an application was approved but the Community objected and the Govt upheld the community view – at the Ross Priory site.


  • Roads assessment doc – Modas very inaccurate
  • Expect that some form of application will be approved- could it be that a condition is that the House is completed first and the infrastructure is put into place.
  • Stirling Observer-noted that the work is to immediately finance the works proposed which is not the same as the application


  • The development will impact on Roads, dog walkers and this is part of the Sustrance Route 7 and the John Muir Way


  • Q around energy sources- sustainability strategy A-10KW solar panels on the roof and air source fan unit to heat the house. ( which need large amounts of electrcity)
  • Application states that every reception room in the house and all of the tree houses and holiday lets would be fitted with wood burning stoves fuelled by the trees that are felled during the development.


  • Example given of Dalnair House and the order that the buildings were It was a listed building and it is right to enabling works.


  • The Trust requested a copy of the notes and will submit their own thoughts to the Planning department.


  • The National Park have zoned it for a tourist or hotel VE1 Tourism or education facility
  • The application has been in progress for around 8- 10 months at meetings with the planners

Community should decide what we would like- no development, some development or no development

Community wanted the building saved.

Hybrid application is a source of concern – if approved the applicant can come back. 16 is reduced from the original.

Hybrid applications are in principle.

It was suggested that the Community Ask for a design


  • There is a design guide for the holiday lodges- seeks to set out what’s fixed but there is nothing to see that shows what is fixed.


  • Lodges in spec but the drainage engineer also shows Sheds in the


  • 20 reduced to 16 plus two on another
  • Applicant can come back and develop the rest of the
  • This will cause loss of amenity for the village – dog walkers in the Walkers no longer will be possible.
  • No respect for the community or the ambience of the development
  • Plans include Iron railings and a gatehouse which will bring street lighting and destroying trees
  • The Site will become multi owned by several people – as the plots are being sold off for development – resulting in 24 owners to deal with if there are any issues.


  • Main document- in the 77 docs- listed on behalf of Pirnie Hall Leisure Ltd – Aug 22 which had £1 in their account.


  • Comment noted that Dalnair House changed hands and it was hard to get work
  • The Self catering market locally is already
  • When the Guide camp is open it is clear due to the increase in volume of
  • Thanks given to the Community Council for reading the
  • Comment made that the Sanford principle should be drummed home
  • Roads concern particularly when the Croftamie bridge opens
  • Q- objections have been logged on the website but they are anonymous. Is this correct? DM will ask the Park if this is the case.
  • The Community Councillors took a vote to make a phased interim response to the Park to be followed up after the February meeting.
  • An Initial objection will be submitted by 20 Jan and then more detailed one by the 10th
  • MS – to ask to meet the planning
  • Document to be circulated to the community prior to it being sent



Appendix 2


My name is Aisling, and I was hoping to speak to someone from your community council given your work for people in Croftamie. I am the newly appointed regional network coordinator for the Forth Valley region for an organisation called Scottish Communities Climate Action Network.


At SCAAN, We're working to build a meaningful network across the Forth Valley for all community groups (regardless of whether they primarily focus on climate or not) to benefit from and shape. I hope this network will bring together a diverse range of community groups, whether rural or urban, big or small. A network made up of community councils and trusts, charities, faith groups, special interest clubs, development trusts and any other kind of group invested in a positive future for the region. Given your

important work, I wanted to reach out to you and see if we could have a wee chat. I'd really like to hear more about what you have been up to, and learn from your experience and knowledge of how your community might benefit from a) a regional community climate network (CAN) and b) a regional Climate Hub.


You may know all about the national 'Hubs' plan but just in case...The Scottish Government is aiming to have a Climate Hub in all regions of Scotland, and our role is to help communities themselves shape what those 'hubs' look like and do. We strongly believe that community organisations should lead on the application from the Forth Valley for a Climate Hub, and want to create the 'space' for groups to come together and define what that application should look like for themselves.


Whilst many of these groups will be climate or environmentally focused in their work, many will not - all groups working for a fair, connected, locally resilient and supportive society have a fundamental part to play in climate justice and building a thriving future for people across the region; we want a network which supports and recognises this while supporting community groups to upskill themselves and collaborate for a socially just response to climate change and its effects on us all in the Forth Valley.


It would be great to chat either in person or on zoom as you prefer.

Background knowledge of challenges and opportunities for this work (as you see it) around West Stirlingshire would be really appreciated.



The event

I appreciate it's short notice but we hoped someone from Croftamie may wish to attend this event for collaboration and fact finding purposes. I will be hosting more of this style of group meeting in the coming weeks and months, so if you can't attend this one but are interested do let me know too. If anyone is able to attend, please let me know ASAP so I can let the caterer know.


Details of the event:. When: 13th Jan, 12pm - 2:30pm (to suit those with childcare responsibilities)


Where: Killearn Village Hall


Killearn Community Futures have kindly offered to co-host a meeting of representatives from a range of rural West Stirlingshire communities. The aim of this meeting is to

  1. introduce the Forth Valley network, and gather information on how community groups want it to evolve
  2. workshop how a climate 'hub' for the region could and should develop and
  3. provide an opportunity for a bit of localised networking between groups interested in community resilience, climate action and connectivity between the different village


Lunch will be provided by the 'Kitchen Window' cafe alongside teas and coffees, though please let me know if you have any specific dietary requirements.


If you would like to attend, please let me know before the afternoon of the 12th Jan. If you have any questions about the above or are unable to make this event but would like to meet and chat another time, please don't hesitate to reach out.


Look forward to hopefully hearing from you soon,