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Lochalsh Community Council

Auchtertyre – Avernish – Balmacara – Kirkton – Reraig – Glaick


Inaugural Meeting held on : Tuesday 12th November 2019.

Time : 7.30pm

Venue : Auchtertyre

As this was the Inaugural meeting following the November electoral process Biz initially took the chair as HC representative.

Present : Biz Campbell (HC Cllr), Tim Sowood, Craig Cummings, Sarah Longley, Adrienne Sowood, James Merryweather, Susan Pettie.

Apologies for absence : Lynne Crawford

Nominations of Office Bearers

Chair - James proposed Tim, seconded by Sarah. No further proposals.

At this point Tim duly elected took over the chair.

Treasurer –James proposed Craig seconded by Sarah. No further proposals. Craig duly elected.

Secretary - Craig proposed Adrienne seconded by Susan. No further proposals. Adrienne duly elected.

Co-option of additional Councillors

It was noted that the CC membership now comprised Tim, Adrienne, Craig, Sarah, Lynne, Susan and James. Our full complement is 8 members so we have room to co-opt one further councillor.

Police Matters – not present

Approval of previous minutes

One correction – Correspondence (not covered elsewhere)

Susan reported that she had contacted NTS about the same issue and that the NTS solicitor is on the case.

Otherwise minutes approved.

Matters arising from minutes of last meeting.

Playpark surface and maintenance. One positive result – Craig reported that there were new posts fence at the back of the park. However the surface still needs replacing. Biz would see if she could get a survey done.

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

Lochalsh Wide Consultation – Meeting now 2nd December. Susan said would attend as she would like to be involved, which is good as Tim cannot attend on that date. The Group has been successful in obtaining funds for a Community Engagement Officer.

Aird Ferry Dornie – Now open 5 days a week . Meeting scheduled by NHS on 28/11 6.30 Dornie Hall to consult and get feedback on the future usage of the facility.

Council Roads – Biz has emailed Karen McDermott (Head of Planning, Development and Environment) about the state of the Square and Avernish road. In reply she received a works programme with nothing planned for Lochalsh. However they plan to repair potholes in the Spring.

Susan outlined that she intended to canvass local households in Balmacara and get their response to the speeding issues etc. She will report back with her findings. Relevant extracts of her email from Iain Moncrieff are appended below.

Adrienne asked Biz about the newly installed 30mph signs in Ardelve. Biz suggested that it was due to the Roads Yard in the village.

Police Matters – it was suggested that we ask the police for a crime report and a response to any issues we may raise with them to be sent to us in case they can’t attend the meeting.

A87 On-going issues

Sarah reported that Highgate Transportation (Dave Tighe) had had a good meeting on site with them. He thought there was a good case for speed reduction and would meet Transport Scotland (see email below). TS appear to have included this stretch of road in their safety review. We now await Dave’s report.

Susan suggested that we ask the police to do regular speed checks.

In-fill Mast – Balmacara

Adrienne read out the email exchange (which has been circulated) re community engagement and we now await them to get in touch with their proposals.


Balance £2014.24

The insurance premium has now come off.


Auchteryre farm – Agricultural Shed prior notification to see if planning required – under consideration

Correspondence (not covered above)

Dealt with above


Susan informed us that a meeting was to be held in Kyleakin re Adverse Childhood Experiences, Resilience and Trauma Informed Care: A Public Health Approach to Understanding & Responding to Adversity

Working Towards a Trauma Informed Trauma Responsive Skye and LochalshMonday 2nd December Kyleakin Hall 10.00-13.00 Screening of Resilience The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope.

Further information -

A PDF version of the report can be found on the NHS Highland website:https://bit.ly/2Y096Py


Craig reported that the Duncan Glen-Riddell is retiring and closing the campsite at Reraig.

Balmacara Hall (currently disused but is under a trust) was discussed again and Susan said she would like to follow this up.

Date of next meeting

Tuesday 21st January 2020 at 7.30pm


Extract from Iain Moncrieff’s Email 8/10/19 to Susan

Road Construction & Ability to Carry HGV’s

A quick search on National Library of Scotland – old maps shows that the road was there at least as early as 1875.

It’s likely that this road was little more than a cart track that was subsequently tarred. Given the road’s age there’s no records of the road construction layers. Without this information it’s not possible to determine the traffic loading capacity of the road. Should the traffic loading be over the road’s capacity then evidence of distress would be apparent on the road surface. However there can be many reasons for surface defects other than excessive traffic loading. I’ll organise a survey of the road’s condition.

Scheduled replacement of 30mph/national speed limit signs in the Square

We only replace traffic signs when required.

How to move such a sign along the road to beyond the foot path over the hill to Reraig

This requires a traffic order which consists of:

Appraisal & Design to ensure such an order is warranted and complies with regulations

Approval at by local Members

Consultation with Police and other emergency services, haulage associations, community council and residents affected.

Objection period

Determination of any objections at Ross & Cromarty Committee

If successful the order can be made and the signs shifted.

Due to the volume of request there’s no current plans to extend the 30mph speed limit.

How to get 20mph speed limit in the Square

A similar process to the above is required for a 20mph speed limit.

Kate Forbes MSP recently wrote to Community Services requesting a 20mph speed limit in the village As part of our response we undertook a speed survey and noted that the average mean speed in both direction 24.5 mph. There are no plans to introduce a 20 mph speed limit. It should be noted that introducing a speed limit only allows the Police to enforce it. Traffic speed is affected by how the driver sees the road.In short, the narrower and windy the road – the slower the speed.

Sarah’s Email from Dave Tighe 12/11/19

From: "dave.tighe@highgatetransportation.co.uk" <dave.tighe@highgatetransportation.co.uk>

To: 'sarah longley' <sarahjlongley@yahoo.com>

Cc: "fiona.bennett@highgatetransportation.co.uk" <fiona.bennett@highgatetransportation.co.uk>

Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 3:53:37 PM GMT

Subject: RE: Kirkton speeds

Hi Sarah,

It was a good meeting covering a range of issues. I had told them before the meting that we wanted to discuss Kirkton.

Transport Scotland have now included this stretch of A87 as part of their own safety review. They also said that the expected the concrete base for the new bus stop to be in place by the end of this month – but they weren’t entirely in control of the timetable.

I am in the middle of writing my own report which I hope I can share with you shortly.

Adrienne’s correspondance with WHP

Subject: RE: S4GI 4G Coverage Balmacara - 10 May 2019 11:13 - Community Engagement - S4GI031 Fri, 18 Oct 2019

Dear Adrienne,

Many thanks for the update regarding your recent meeting and for including the S4GI proposal within the agenda. I have escalated your comments within the project team and will be back in touch to provide details of the proposed community engagement meeting although I appreciate that we may need to advertise this externally through the channels you have advised. Thanks again

Tony Hosker, Project Manager - Acquisition & Planning WHP Telecoms Ltd.

From: Adrienne Sowood 17 October 2019 To: Tony Hosker

Dear Tony

At our recent Community Council meeting (9/9) we discussed your proposals for the an in-fill mast to cover the “not-spot” areas with no mobile reception in Balamacara and your request for community engagement.

Surprisingly, there was a slightly mixed response both for and against the scheme. Some thought that they had and could manage without mobile reception relying on internet coverage etc for external communication. Others thought otherwise, particlarly non-residents of the “not-spot” area who when in the area have no coverage nor the benefit of other internet and phone access.

However there was agreement that it is important to raise awareness of this project through community enegagement. Whilst we can help in that through our website, facebook page and word-of-mouth, we do not have the resources to ensure all residents are aware of the scheme.

We would suggest mailshots to everyone in the area and a public consultation via a drop-in session in the immediate locality. (Recent experience has taught us that this approach is much better than a formal “Public Meeting”)

The National Trust (with whom you are probably dealing for the mast location) have facilities in Balmacara Square where you could display your information and meet people. The event could be advertised in the local press, the Spar store at Reraig and Beth's coffee shop and deli in the Square.

I hope this is of some assistance.

Kind Regards Adrienne Sowood




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