(For amendments, please see the minutes of the next meeting when available.)
BURNTISLAND COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Minutes of Community Council Meeting
held in the Burgh Chambers
on Friday, 08th June 2012 at 7 p.m.
Alex MacDonald (Chair)
Bob Smith (Vice Chair)
Isabel Smith (Secretary)
John Russell (Treasurer)
Zoe Williamson (Minutes Secretary)
Cllr Peter George
Cllr George Kay
Cllr Susan Leslie
PS Ross Davidson
29 members of the public
1. Chairman’s Opening Remarks and Apologies for Absence
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and suggested 10.4 be brought forward to immediately after the police report.
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting (11 May 2012)
Minutes agreed, proposed by Bob Smith and seconded by Christine Dewar.
3. Notification of Community Concerns for A.O.B. (Item 8)
3.1 Walkways across the High St.
3.2 Dog Wardens
3.3 Toilets at East End of the Links
4. Police Report – PS Ross Davidson
PS Scott Murray has moved to Templehall.
AM welcomed PS Ross Davidson to the meeting.
PS Davidson asked for any feedback on the report style and if we wished to change format of the police report. He went on to report crime figures and summarise recent police activity in the town, including:
- Positive action has been taken regarding parking on the high street and tickets issued. Report has been submitted to Fife Council to address the double yellow lines which have not been maintained.
- Speeding surveys need to be completed before the speed camera van can be deployed. Further speeding hotspots were identified by members of the community.
- Continue to target local hot spots re youth disorder and underage drinking. This will continue to be a priority.
- Planning of summer events – be in communication with a number of local groups
An issue was raised regarding parking on the links and a brief discussion followed. Cllr Kay has spoken with Scott Cleland re dissuading parking on the links.
Morag thanked police for support and assistance at Jubilee street fair.
5. New Primary School Public Meeting/Consultation – A. MacDonald
The planning application has been formally submitted. The closing date for responses is 13th June 2012. The application will be determined by September 2012.
Full documentation is available.
AM identified key changes in the documentation form earlier versions. He stated that it appeared that the main change was the road access. No other significant changes were noted.
AM Invited comments on changes and details in the planning application. He also reminded the meeting that the discussion should be focused on the planning application and not to reopen the previous debates about the school.
A number of emails and letters had been sent to the Community Council. Given the number, detail and in some cases the timescale for which they were received AM provided a summary of the key issues. Noted as follows:
- Serious concern that the whole project will be delayed if there is a delay/objection to the planning application for the Toll Park site.
- Faith should be placed in the Chartered Surveyors and other professionals submitting the application from Fife Council
- The development is needed now
- Most significant concerns appear to be time sensitive
- Advantages of the site and application are the ready built access from roads and sewage, an already dedicated sport facility
- all in a central location to main community
- parking in new design is good and will help alleviate some of current traffic and parking issues around the current school.
- Toll park site will be better as less disruptive move for current pupils.
- It was stated that a Fife Council official stated that any delay in the planning application will delay the project by a minimum of 18 months. Therefore risking significant delay to new build of school if there are objections to the planning application.
- In a written letter to the BCC, Ed Pybus strongly believes that given the diversity of opinion and controversy the CC should not submit any opinion
AM stated that as of this afternoon there were 90 submissions in support and 160 submission opposed and 1 neutral position to the application lodged on the Fife Council website. TH explained that at present because BCC is a Statutory Consultee it is currently noted as neutral on the website until a vote can be taken at this meeting.
Until now BCC position has been based on public meeting in October.
AM explained that the vote tonight was not a public consultation and only BCC members would be voting.
AM opened the discussion up for the meeting.
A summary of the discussion and key points raised are noted below:
Issues noted relating to the process and the debate within the community:
- There is a polarisation in town. BCC needs to be representative of the community. It was suggested that the community should make the submissions rather than the CC because of this polarisation.
- It was noted that a large majority of those against the application appear to be originating from the B4B group. Comments were made regarding the legality of duplicate letters of objection. Cllr Kay stated that they are lodged as objections however, a note will be put with them to say that they are replica letters.
- A similar concern was noted that notes of support originated from groups such as the parent council with individuals being asked to sign petitions at the school. Andrea Stark stated that the Parent Council only ever distributed forms from Fife Council
- Cllr Leslie interjected to clarify the process. The planning application will be dealt with by Kirkcaldy Area Committee. There may be a change to that but will come about after a review of planning over the summer. There may be a move to having a larger planning committee covering a larger area. She stated that the objections are considered on planning grounds. It is about how valid those objections are with respect to planning and as set out by Scottish Government. Only objections based on planning grounds will be noted. It is not simply weighted on the volume of the objections noted but also on the strength of those objections.
- Question was raised about the security of the funds for a new school build if the decision is delayed. AM stated there was an assurance that the money would not be lost and this had been asked at the Public meeting. Cllr Kay stated the money is in the current Capital Plan The Chair of the Education Committee gave that guarantee for funds but he could not confirm if the new administration could also give that guarantee.
- It was noted by a member of the community that whilst there is money there it is possible funds could be moved sideways if another school gets their planning permission approved earlier
- It was reiterated by members of the community that there is a serious concern regarding overflow of numbers and the crisis of space at the school. Funding is available now and there are other projects fighting for the money. Temporary accommodation is not suitable as a permanent solution. We should accept the planning application to see the new school build commence.
- This was further supported by suggestion that the community should support the school planning application and now look to having a positive input on the design of the school.
- A comment was made about long term disadvantages of this site being used for the school and potentially limiting/affecting the industrial growth of the town.
- AM reminded the meeting that this is an application in principle – there is no detail available for comment at this time in terms of school design. This was further supported by a member of the community who explained this application shows a ‘concept’ for the school build and therefore we cannot comment on school design.
- It was noted by Neil Milsop that there is an opportunity to comment on design in terms of traffic.
- Concerns were raised that there is now a significant divide in the town and we need to come together in an agreement and work to avoid worsening this divide.
- AM explained that it is reasonable for the meeting to discuss and comment on planning issues such as:
§ The proposed costs – how realistic
§ The overall amenity
§ Current strategy traffic,
§ Planning gains - if a commercial developer were to submit with no stated suggestion of planning gains, how would we respond.
Issues noted about the planning application:
- There is unanimous support for A new school to be built.
- Question was raised about the elevated levels of lead in playground area
- Concern raised that there is no indication in the paperwork recording the land being previously used as a landfill.
- Traffic concerns were raised by a number of people at the meeting. In terms of congestion, traffic flow and safety.
- Road safety for children crossing was raised as a concern
- Regarding the concerns raised re land pollution AM provided details from a memorandum from March 2012 and a report on May of 2 separate investigations:
§ Remedial works to be undertaken due to elevated levels of lead.
§ Certain areas are to be sampled again, affected areas to be excavated for further sampling, then filled with clean material
§ A further report will then be provided
- The meeting was informed that at a presentation at the school from Fife Council held last week reported some problems found. It was stated by Fife Council that they can dig out contaminated land, they can pile the land and they did not foresee any issues.
- It was noted that any levels of land pollution would likely to be solved and piling of land entirely possible however, the issues were time and cost for the project. These are unknown at this time.
- Bob Smith stated that from a construction point of view the issue is cost. Piling etc are all possibilities but it is cost related. He also noted that the most uncertain things are the underground conditions, a concern also raised by another member of the community in attendance. Enough detail has not been provided / investigated. We have not got enough detail of what is actually there. Only a 1% contingency has been allowed for which is unrealistic.
- Cllr Kay suggested the committee working on it do not see any significant issues and contingencies are in place.
- The issue of pollution continued with concerns raised re disturbance caused of any underground pollution caused by digging.
- AM reminded the meeting that the Toll park is designated as Public Open space and asked if we would consider any other planning application on this ground
- Concern was raised re profile of the site and the possible constraints for natural light into the building.
- It was noted that the design of the proposed layout appears to locate the school in potentially the least appealing part of the land with limited view and light but this location would minimise the visibility of the new build to the houses and the from the road.
- Questions were raised about the overall size and use of the land.
- Concern was raised that this application contravenes the current Fife Local Plan
- Concern was raised about lack of any stated planning gains for the community. Cllr Kay suggested that the price offered at valuation of the land will not be increased.
- Concern was raised about the proposed timescale of the project and how realistic this was. Cllr Kay confirmed that the there is a commitment that school will be built on budget and on time.
- Question was raised re access for community access to school and whether it can become a multi use school and community access facilities. It was felt that this should not just be about building a school but it is about building a facility that can be used by the community.
- AM confirmed the latest planning is a 7 a side in school grounds and a 11 a side outside. There are no plans for community use of the school buildings
- It was noted that there is potential here for community to gain better quality leisure facilities than current provision on Toll Park
After a lengthy discussion members of BCC were asked to vote.
Votes in favour: 0
Votes against: 8
Nil Vote: 3
After voting there was dissatisfaction form a number of members of the community regarding the outcome of the vote. It was felt that the views of a number of members of the community in attendance, and who had submitted written comments, had not been listened to.
A statement was made by a member of the community expressing a vote of no confidence in BCC.
Cllr Leslie reminded the meeting that the vote taken by BCC will be noted alongside all other submission of support and objections but it is in no way a deciding vote.
AM reminded the meeting that BCC fully supports the need for a new school in Burntisland.
It was noted that the minutes would reflect the deep discontent expressed by a number of members of the community at the result of the vote.
6. Secretary’s and Treasurer’s Reports
Secretary’s report: nothing to report
Treasurer’s report: accounts attached [online version - available on request] - £1189.
BS spoke with Showmen and surplus funds from the Chimes fund can be used at the BCCs discretion.
There is still money for floral enhancement. AM to speak to Chair of Floral Enhancement. Morag confirmed they got bank account opened today. BCC members confirmed that the £586 for flora enhancement can be transferred to them.
Action Point: AM to speak to Chair of Floral Enhancement
7.1. Footpath to Binn –Cllr Kay – to be carried forward or circulated by email.
7.2 handrail - handrail has been put in and they will be returning to work on footpath.
8. Burgh Buzz – B. Kirkhope
Next deadline is the middle of July.
The website is currently being revamped. A new site will be up and running by June 12th and it should be a vast improvement.
BK reiterated that The Buzz gives a balanced view. It will report the BCC view but also other community views submitted.
9. Any Other Business
9.1. Crossing in High St – concern that people do not realise it is not a level crossing. AM suggested this hazard is brought to the attention of Fife Council. Cllr Leslie will take it back to Ian Smith
Action Point: Cllr Leslie to speak to Ian Smith re the crossing on the High St.
9.2. Dog Wardens –There is a problem with dog fouling. Dog warden will be going round town displaying notices.
Kirkcaldy Area meeting is on June 20th – issue re the appointment of dog warden will be discussed. Request was made for a bin to be placed between Kilmundy and Piper Cresc. Cllr George confirmed that this could be done.
Action Point: Clr George to action above re bin
9.3. Public Toilets at Erskine Church have been out of order for 6 months. Toilet will be fixed and will be in operation. The present administration will confirm no toilet closures.
10. New Business Items
Day 2012 – J. Russell. July 16th for the Exiles reception and volunteers
are needed. Cllr George has approach
Provost of Fife and he is happy to officiate in any way that day. He would like to take part in the march down to highland games.
10.2. Community Council Membership – A. MacDonald: There is 1 vacancy and there are 4 expressions of interest, as follows:
Biographies submitted by each person were read to the meeting. A vote was taken and Gordon Langlands was voted on to the community council.
Questions were raised regarding the constitution in relation to the number of elected and co-opted members. It was explained that guidance on this had been changed. There can be any number of co-opted members up to the maximum membership for the Community Council (15).
A question was raised about the complaints procedure. AM informed the meeting that there is a complaints procedure. There is a public document for the guidance of complaints. However it was noted that there is no process of removing a member other than for unreasonable non-attendance. There is provision for an election every 4 years.
10.3. Parking on Links: There is a long-term issue with this. There was some discussion about long-term planning and for parking, public transport and overflow parking, particularly during high season tourist months and large events, such as fireworks. A suggestion was made to consider event-based park and ride as one suggestion.
Cllr Kay informed the meeting that he is awaiting a report on current review of parking on the links.
This is item should be continued in future BCC meetings.
11. Ongoing Business Items
11.1. Review of Local Planning Applications – T. Hailey
TH informed the meeting that he BCC is registered as a statutory consultee for the school planning application.
He also stated that the Morrisons application has come through
11.2. Planning Applications, Statutory Objections and Priority List – T. Hailey
It was agreed that TH would consider the implications of Listed Building status and will look at this more carefully.
11.3. Strategic Projects Group: War Memorial/Haugh Road – A. MacDonald/B. Smith
The HLF application has gone in for the War Memorial. Full application is 17 pages plus appendices. Further information was requested from the quantity surveyor, which has been done.
The whole timescale will slip and the project cannot start until we have all money or permissions in place.
Ross Tulloch confirmed he would commit Fife Council to support this project. All appropriate signatures in place and application for funding is in.
11.4. Improving Communications – J. Russell/Z. Williamson/E. Pybus
Joyce – commented on how well jubilee day went.
It was agreed to revisit this issue after the summer.
12. Awaiting Update
12.1. Clock Chimes – Cllr S. Leslie/B. Smith/J. Russell. John stated that there is still some doubt about the level of the readings of the chimes. He is going to request the figures under FOI request. Bob suggested we request a further meeting.
12.2. Links Community Trust/Links Accounts – J. Russell/A. MacDonald
12.3. Burgh Chambers Furniture – B. Smith
12.4. Draft Common Good Fund Property Review Report – A. MacDonald
12.5. Burgh Chambers Clock Tower Repair – Cllr G. Kay
12.6. Plans for Public Toilet Closures – J. Bruce. This item has now been resolved and no further action required.
12.7. Access to Rossend Castle and relocation of Antiquities – A. MacDonald
Nothing further to report on the above.
13. Date of Next Meeting
B.C.C. Meeting - Friday, 10 August 2012 at 7 p.m. in the Burgh Chambers
14. Private Session: Domestic Land Acquisition
This closed session was to discuss further the issue raised at the last meeting but with full plans and documentation available for BCC members to see. AM provided the 2 plans detailing the proposed applications from bidders.
It was agreed that:
Applicant B – these plans would be acceptable if safe access is maintained.
Applicant A – there is an issue with scale of the proposals. If it were a smaller scale for maintenance access then it would be acceptable.