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Lochalsh Community Council

Auchtertyre – Avernish – Balmacara – Kirkton – Reraig – Glaick


Meeting held on : Tuesday 8th October 2019

Time : 7.30pm

Venue : Auchtertyre Old School

Present Tim Sowood (Chair), Lynne Crawford, Sarah Longley, Adrienne Sowood, James Merryweather, Susan Pettie.

Apologies Biz Campbell (HC Cllr), Emma Bennett-West, Craig Cummings.

Approval of previous minutes Minutes approved – Proposed by Lynne , seconded by Sarah

Matters arising

Playpark surface and maintenance – in abeyance until next meeting for Craig and Biz.

Auchtertyre Development – not yet dealt with by Planning. Nothing further to report.

Lochalsh Wide Consultation – Meeting 18/9 has been postponed. No information to date on bid for Community Engagement Officer funds.

Aird Ferry Dornie – The public meeting was well attended including Ian Blackford (MP) with positive results. Lynne reported that it will be opened immediately for 3 days a week and full time from November. Welcome news which demonstates that effective community pressure can sometimes be successful.

Council Roads - Both Susan and Adrienne had still no response from Iain Moncrieff regarding speeding and state of roads in Balmacara Square and Avernish. Post meeting note - Susan has had today a detailed reply which we will discuss at our next meeting.

Police Matters – the police didn’t attend. .

CC Elections

The deadline has been extended due to poor response. Tim went through the new timetable for nominations and election. Tim has published this on the website. Forms were handed out to those members who had not nominated on line and Susan undertook to take them to the Service Point in Kyle. Closing date is now 12 noon 29th October.

In-fill Mast – Balmacara

Tim gave the background of this application for community support by WHP Telecoms – see copy of their letter appended below.

There was mixed response to this proposal with some feeling that residents managed ok without mobile coverage. It was pointed out that visitors to the area did not have the advantage of other forms of communocation.

It was agreed that it is important that WHP raise awareness through community engagement, not necessarily by “public” meeting but by leafletting residents and having a drop-in session in NTS centre in the square. Whilst we do not have the resources to arrange this ourselves we agreed that we should contact WHP to make appropriate arrangements and that we would publicise this via our website, facebook etc.

A87 On-going issues

Sarah reported that the independent traffic survey of the A87 at Kirkton is currently being done by Highgate Transportation commissioned and funded by the Safer Roads Foundation. Emma, Stuart and Sarah have talked to Dave Tighe and he is also going to come to the site. Indications are that there is a good case for some restriction. Tim said that the speed survey would not necessarily highlight the dreadful pedestrian experience and suggested this should be stressed at the site visit. Sarah agreed and would also raise the dangers of accessing the A87 from roadside properties. Whilst acknowledging the immediate issues local to Kirkton, James reminded us that we must continue to pursue our concerns on the whole stretch of A87 from Nostie to Glaick. Susan wondered what guidance there might be on footways on 60mph roads.

Bus Shelter – no futher action to date!!


No report this meeting


The In-fill mast is on the planning register with full details and a comment from the planners that permission is not required due to height.

Correspondence (not covered elsewhere)

Email from Tam re abandoned vehicles in NTS car park in the Square. Susan reported that she had contacted NTS about the same issue and that the NTS solicitor is on the case. We will also contact NTS.



Date of next meeting

Tuesday 12th November 2019 at 7.30pm Auchtertyre Community Centre.

Letter from WHP Telecoms Limited

Re: Scottish 4G Infill Programme (S4GI)

Area: S4GI031 Balmacara Estate

The Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust ('SFT') have been working in partnership to develop the Scottish 4G Infill Programme ('4G Infill' or 'Infill') for Scotland. As part of the Digital Strategy for Scotland the program seeks to develop an initial approach which can facilitate the deployment of 4G LTE infill coverage where this does not yet exist, and where it is unlikely that industry will invest in the near to medium-term future, given the economic challenges of doing so. These areas are often referred to as ‘Not Spots’.

Funding has been committed by the Scottish Government for all regions and additional funding has been secured from European Regional Development Fund (' ERDF') to support activity in the Highlands and Islands region.

WHP Telecoms was awarded the contract by the Scottish Government to acquire, build and operate the passive infrastructure such as the base, mast, power supply and transmission link required to attract mobile operators to deploy sites in Not Spots where otherwise it would not be financially viable to do so.

The area in and around Balmacara has been identified as a Not Spot.

At this stage we must stress that we are exploring solutions however, these will be dependent on technical constraints, availability of power, availability of suitable land, other cost constraints and attracting a mobile operator. There is no guarantee that all of the constraints can be overcome.

We are currently undertaking searches to identify suitable sites and we are keen to engage with you/your organisation at this early stage of the process in order to gain your support and assist us in the process should the need arise.


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