Monimail Community Council – Minutes of meeting, 8th December 2008

Monimail Community Council

Minutes of meeting, 8th December 2008

  1. Present : A. Arbuckle; L. Barron; W. Fenton; B. Forrest; J. Gordon; D. Hamilton; H. Laidlaw; P. Laidlaw; N. Mossman; T. Nesbitt; B. Robertson; J. Rotheram; B. Service; G. Smith; J. Vaughan;  C. Gilbert (Fife Council)

2.Apologies : D. Dallas; M. Grossert; A. MacGilchrist; G. Mossman

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting : accepted

4. Planning :

Chris Smith from Fife Council Planning Department attended the meeting to discuss various planning concerns and queries we have.

Basic overview is that Planning Permission should be in accordance with the Development Plan which in turn is in accordance with numerous other plans including the Local Plan & Structure Plan. The Structure Plan is based on National Government guidance and this is fed into the Local Plan – Cupar & Howe of Fife.

The Local plan is currently under review and at the Finalised Draft Stage, however is still a bit away from full adoption – Public Consultation is still to happen.  Within the plan there are a series of policies that cover things such as housing, economy, transportation etc. All the policies and Local Plan is available to view online at The Fife Council website.

Any proposal that is submitted by an applicant has to fall into the various plans and policy guidelines, however not every development will fall into “neat pigeon-holes”! These are then looked at under “Material Considerations” which can be both for or against.

Not every application goes forward to Committee. If it meets all the criteria and there are no objections then it can go through (up to 85% of applications can proceed simply at Planning Officer level).

It was pointed out that recently there have been objections made to proposed application changes which end up being passed. The feeling is that objections are ignored. It was pointed out that all Community Council responses will be included for Committee and there are instances where if this is not the case then Planning Officers will be questioned about it. All objections are weighed up against the set guidelines.

If anyone is unhappy about an application they receive neighbour notification for then they can request or ask the CC to request the application be put back until community consultation can take place.

The question about the Community Council being pro-active was asked – should we have ideas what are acceptable in advance rather than rush with every application? It was pointed out again that each application is taken on it’s own merit so not necessarily a good idea to have pre-conceived ideas.

Some Specifics :

Solar Panels / Satellite Dishes in Conservation Areas – solar panels are covered in the replacement windows guidelines. All must be in balance with visual impact & environmental concerns – each taken on a site-by-site basis

Tree Preservation Orders – led to believe all trees were protected in Conservation Area. As long as 6 weeks notice is given, written permission is required from Planning to remove trees. TPO’s are still valuable – developers need to contact Tree Officer who will go and look at those in question before making a decision.  Best idea is to get TPO’s on “justifiable” trees in the CA. Very difficult to enforce once work has started as Enforcement Officers need the backing of the Procurator Fiscal!

No Planning Permission

A major issue within the area is people having work done without any Planning permission.  There is an unwillingness to “grass” to Enforcement Officers however there are many people in the Village who feel it is unfair they are applying to make alterations legally while others seem to be getting away with not applying!

In general, if the replacement is EXACTLY like-for-like then PP MAY not be required however it is always best to consult planning – eg Windows and Roofing Tiles have been replaced in many properties in the Village. These almost certainly would require Planning Permission as they are not like for like.

Retrospective Planning can be applied for which then gives the owner a chance to “put their case” forward, however permission may still not be granted!  Lack of planning also has an impact upon the owners when they come to sell their property.   If work is carried out without permission and the property is put on the market within 4 years then retrospective permission at the very least will be required!

The advice given is that the CC should weigh up the severity of what is being done without permission and contact an Enforcement Officer who will make a site visit. This also includes Council Owned property where work has been carried out !!

The final comment from Mr Smith was that we should always seek advice and get in touch with the Planning Department as it is the Community’s responsibility to help conserve and protect their environment.

It was agreed that a follow-up meeting/visit will take place in around 18 months

The following useful web links are a good starting point for information about planning :

Fife Council                                           www.fifedirect.org.uk

Scottish Government                              www.scottishexecutive.gov.uk/topics/planning

Historic Scotland                                   www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman     www.scottishombudsman.org.uk

5. Matters Arising

Letham Toll : BEAR Scotland : no update specifically regarding the junction.

–          Bow of Fife Speed : no update.

–          Whinney Park : water has not stopped – (intermittent)! Apparently it has been looked and and is due to a collapsed drain under the road.  This area is a danger and a major issue if it freezes over

–          Monimail Cemetry : the gates have been painted however the panels have not been replaced! 

–          Drains : They have been cleared out. 

–          School Brae Parking : Concerns now are that the area around the Well Tree is being over-used for Parking and tearing up the surface. To be raised as an issue by the School Council.

–          20mph Zone : The recent speed monitoring showed that there was an increase in speeds recorded late at night however the speed during the day is “acceptable”.

6.         Treasurer’s Report : The account balance stands at just over £1505. The Floral Grant for next year has been applied for, which included quotes for a new lawnmower.

7.         Current Planning :

– Bakehouse :

Permission has been granted for the change in type of stone being used. We understand that work will be stopped due to the current market climate.

– Tremlins :

Although not a current application, a plan showing the location for ideas as minuted at the last CC meeting was shown.  This is to be forwarded to David Hamilton so it can be put onto the Community Website.

8.         Village Hall Report :

The first of the Grant applications for Double Glazing has been approved – this covers replacement windows for the complete West Elevation. It is expected that the windows will be replaced sometime in February.

“Letham Nights” have been offered a Culture Grant which will be used to make improvements to the Hall and enhance the various functions they are planning.

9.         Playpark :

Fife Environment Trust  have confirmed £30000 towards the project. There is a meeting tomorrow (9/12/08) to progress this.

Community Services are going to “Project manage” the whole project.

10.        Community Woodland : Nothing to report

11.        Questions :

– slow down signs for Bow of Fife have not appeared. When are they likely to materialise?

– also for Bow of Fife, there have been a number of instances of burst pipes in the Springfield area which affects the water supply at the Bow. Can Bow of Fife also be included in the distribution of Bottled Water in future when issued to Springfield?

12.        Any Other Business :

– Dead Swans in the fields either side of the Bow Road. Due to the water down there now they are using the area, however there are power lines across the area that they are flying into!. RSPB & Scottish Power have been contacted and SP are to fit spinning discs to the lines.

– Telephone Kiosk : various applications have been made and we have now been informed it cannot be bought under the “adopt a kiosk” scheme !!

This has now been passed to Fife Council who are dealing with it along with similar applications from other Communities

13.        Date of Next Meeting : Monday 9th February 2009, Letham Village Hall, 7.30pm

WHAT’S ON

FEBRUARY 2009 ISSUE

** LETHAM NIGHTS #2

LETHAM VILLAGE HALL

SATURDAY 21st FEBRUARY 2009

See attached Leaflet

**

** COFFEE MORNING

(IN AID OF HALL FUNDS)

SATURDAY 21st FEBRUARY

LETHAM HALL

10AM – 12NOON

(RAFFLE DRAWN 11.30AM)