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Development Officers report October 2016
As reported at the last meeting, difficulties were being experienced in obtaining the open roads permission from the roads department to enable the project to be completed.
A revised submission was made to the roads department on August 15th, in response to the issued criteria roads department, required from the community. This requirement asked for a drainage system to be installed along both sides of the road on Section 8 Juniper Drive. This drainage system to be sufficient to withstand a, 1 in 200 years, flooding event in the area. It is important to point out to the community council that no drainage is currently installed on section 8 juniper drive. If insisted upon this will be an estimated cost of over £100k for the paths project.
A new SUDS design has been submitted to Highland council roads department offering a 1 in 30 weather standard and drainage for half the road section of the path. An objection was also lodged against the requirement of 1 in 200. This resubmission is currently under consideration and discussion with roads department and we should hear their conclusion this week.
Big Lottery Visit:
Funding managers from the big lottery are due to visit the development company on November 9th. The SCD board will meet the Big Lottery team at the millennium hall to discuss the community hall project and assess our application for funding.
Lead director James Macpherson has carried out a comprehensive dialogue with various broadband bodies in an effort to improve the broadband service in the remoter parts of the Strathdearn area. Various options and schemes have been discussed and are currently under consideration. The two areas currently under discussion are the village of Moy and surrounding area as well as the upper reaches of the Glen. The board are still in analysis of the data and options and this is very much a work in progress. The board are grateful for the work James has done on broadband it has been much appreciated.
Tomatin Village shop:
The shop continues to progress and settle into Community ownership. Lee Anne has new staff members to cover the opening hours and holidays. This has resulted in new part time jobs being created at local level. If anyone would like to work, or volunteer in the shop please contact Lee Anne or the SCD Website.
Development Company Website:
Lead director Steve Cormack in association with Yellow Cherry marketing has now posted a new website. It is well worth a look as several new features have been added.
Old Village hall/ Millenium hall:
The old village hall has been boarded up due to vandalism. Lead director Jimmy Duncan is removing the bar and a new lock is being installed. This is to allow access to the old hall by user groups that require access to the old hall for stored materials. The key for the lock will be with Steve Culeen and anyone requiring access please ask Steve for the key.
A new warning notice is being posted by the hall manager Lee Anne Cornwall which warns everyone, (Locals and contractors) about the roof which is dangerous to step on. The sign simply states DANGER KEEP OUT.
The hall, sports hall, booking system has been revised and will shortly be available on line at the SCD website. The booking system enables all user groups to book and pay through the website. Steve Culeen is handling the bookings and the revised terms and conditions for the hall. The updated terms and conditions are available on the SCD website.
The next SCD Board meeting is October 20th 2016 7.30pm at the Millenium hall.
COME AND SEE PLANS FOR NEW HALL DEVELOPMENT
In response to the recent hall user group consultations, the consultancy and architect firm MAKAR Ltd has now supplied the SCD Board with a finalised draft of the proposed new hall and the wider hall development plans (i.e. community hub). These are in the form of floor and elevation plans, artistic sketches and a 3D scaled model of the proposed new hall. The Board has also been provided with indicative build costings reflecting the changes required from the consultations and an estimated time-line to completion.
As the next step will be to apply for planning permission, the Board of Directors would like to invite you to have a look at these latest plans in person on 22 June 2016 at the village hall between 7.00pm and 8.30pm and they and representatives from MAKAR Ltd will be happy to address any questions you may have. Everybody is welcome - you do not have to be an SCD member to attend the meeting.
“Spring is the time of plans and projects” – Leo Tolstoy, 1828-1910
SCD LogoVariation 08While Strathdearn Community Developments (SCD) has certainly been busy in the early months of 2016, their work for the Strathdearn community is year-round. For those who are new to the area, I would like to give an introduction to SCD before updating you all on their current plans and projects.
SCD is a registered charity set up in 2013. Its board of volunteer Directors, and its self-employed staff members: Development Officer, Company Secretary, and Hall Administrator and Keeper, work with the aim of achieving sustainable regeneration for the Strathdearn community. SCD currently owns Strathdearn Hall, plus its surrounding grounds, which includes the covered sports area and play park. Below is an update on SCDs main projects, plus details of how you can keep abreast of SCDs work.
Paths Project: The construction of the long awaited paths project is underway and some Strathdearn residents will have already walked the completed sections near the distillery and to the A9 bus stop. Construction of the sections towards the village centre will be accompanied by road-work signs and traffic lights to ensure public safety. This relates to section 6, which is in effect part of Station Road and so requires little construction, and section 8, which connects Strathdearn Hall to Juniper Drive. The sections of the path approved by Planning are due to be completed by end-May. Signage has been ordered to signpost the path for non-local users. In January 2016, SCD was a recipient of an STV Children’s Appeal award, which has been put towards the cost of the path. There are plans to hopefully extend the paths network, which will be reported in a future newsletter.
Village shop: As reported in the February 2016 newsletter, the ownership of Tomatin Country Store is transferring to SCD on 1 July 2016. The timetable for the takeover is on schedule and preparations are well advanced for as smooth a takeover as possible. SCD look forward to the support of the Strathdearn community in this exciting new venture. SCD is seeking additional staff members for the shop and asks anyone interested to send their CV for consideration to SCD at the above address.
Village hall: Plans for a new hall in Tomatin are continuing apace, to replace the old hall condemned on safety grounds in May 2015. Following the feasibility study, Makar Construction of Inverness has been retained by SCD to progress the plans to full planning application stage. The aim is to reach the planning application stage by August 2016. In March 2016, SCD completed a hall user group survey to determine the amenities needed in the new hall. Twenty-four user groups took part in the survey, to put forward their views and aspirations for consideration in the hall plans. SCD heartily thanks the participants for their time and effort in responding, and aims to comply with the survey feedback wherever feasibly possible. The survey participation has already had an effect on the size of the new hall, as its size is now considerably bigger than before the survey! SCD has also carried out surveys to comply with Planning, e.g. a bat survey and a tree survey. The bat survey reported that bats are roosting in the old hall roof, so further time sensitive surveys are required over the coming months.
Grant Funding: SCD is pleased to announce that they received a Scottish Government award to fund a one-year administrative post, which will be much needed in the coming months for the projects SCD are currently engaged with. This post will be advertised in the local press in the near future.