Monimail Community Council – Minutes of meeting, 10th August 2009

  1. Present :
    A. Arbuckle; D. Dallas; J. Fairley; W. Fenton; B. Forrest; J. Gordon; D. Hamilton; B. Holden; S. Jones; H. Laidlaw; P. Laidlaw; S. McCann; G. MacLean; K. MacLean; N. Mossman; B. Robertson; J. Rotheram; B. Service; G. Smith; J. Vaughan

2. Apologies : C. Gilbert; M. Grossert; L. Harvie; A. MacGilchrist; G. Mossman

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting : accepted

4. Matters Arising

Letham Toll : BEAR Scotland : there are some white markings sprayed on the road therefor looks like some work is due. Three emails have been sent since the last meeting with no response! There are still issues being raised about parked/stopped vehicles in the “run-in” area at the Toll – BEAR to be written to again to re-emphasise  Cllr Arbuckle is due to meet BEAR representatives this week about other issues so will mention our issues then.

–          Travel Plan : no update.

–          Whinney Park : after discussions in April a work order was raised. This is to be chased up as nothing has been done as yet. Cllr Arbuckle to chase this.

–          Monimail Cemetry : collapsed grave still to be repaired, manhole cover at the letterbox is still broken. Colin Gilbert is to investigate this.

–          Tree Trimming : Issue with trees in The Row growing and telephone wires now running through the branches. BT state it is not their responsibility however if the Village was happy for the trees to be trimmed it would not be an issue – BT will not do the work though.

Not sure if the Council would do this – AA to find out

–          The Row Verge – Council trim twice per annum, once at the end of May and again at the end

of the season

–          Ballantager – Letham Path : This was included in the various letters to BEAR – still no response.

–          Bow Road Sewage : A letter has been received stating raw sewage in the roadside burn not really being an issue! This is to be taken up with the water board as this will only get worse with the few extra proposed houses in the area. Could be a long-term issue

5. Planning

Fife Council Planning were contacted about the Satellite Dishes at The Toll and The Row. They have no record of either being requested through planning. Unfortunately we did not have the response from planning at the meeting, however, for the record the response states that “… satellite dishes are acceptable in Conservation Areas as long as they are not within view of a public road”

The owner of one of the properties commented that she was unhappy about how this issue has been raised and surely the tenants of her property should have been contacted as they are very unhappy about what was in the minutes. It was pointed out that the job title of “Enforcement Officer” seems a bit harsh however all they do would view the property and if deemed inappropriate, then further discussion would take place.  Councillor Arbuckle pointed out that it is the responsibility of the Householder and not the tenant to ensure any planning regulations are complied with.

It was suggested that the dish should be moved away from it’s current position so that it is out of site like the rest of the dishes in the village which are generally in people’s back gardens!

It was agreed that the Tenants are contacted before taking the matter further with Council planning. It was agreed that it is unfortunate that this had been taken the wrong way and it certainly was not trying to alienate new people in the village, however, this is yet another instance of work being done without permission and it was felt that “enough is enough”.

The Planning Department are to be contacted with regard to coming out and looking around the Village at recent work to see what is/is not acceptable.

It was also suggested that the Community Council produce some sort of “welcome pack” for people new to the village. This would include information on local services, shops, libraries etc as well as a reminder that Letham is a Conservation Area and as such, alterations/additions to property must be put through planning.

The installation of New Play Area, Shelter etc in the Park is currently going through Planning

6. Treasurer’s Report : The account balance stands at just over £1532.

7.         Village Hall Report :

Nothing specific to report regarding renovations. There are a couple of events coming soon, including an “Old Letham Night” in October and a “Silent Auction/Auction of Promises” in November. More details will be distributed with the next distribution of minutes.

8.         Playpark :

As mentioned in the Planning report, currently going through the Planning Application process.

9.         Climate Challenge Fund : Nothing to report other than the information in the leaflet distributed with the last set on minutes.

10.        Community Wood : There will be a stall at the Local Food Festival in mid-September where more information about the progress will be available

11.        Questions :

– Tree Preservation Orders : the Tree Officer has been in contact with AA and a schedule of Trees is to be prepared. The following information is required and has been passed on to Donald Dallas –

Addresses of specific Trees, who owns them, type

– Tree in Letham Park – there is a tree that is due to be removed from the park to make way for the new shelter. It has been agreed that the Letham Park project group will plant a new tree.

–  “The Square” in Letham – Land Registry have been contacted, however they are not 100% sure who owns the land!!. In 1967 it “appears” that it was given to the precursor to Fife Council. Cllr Arbuckle agreed to move this forward with a possible site meeting

12.        Any Other Business :

– a letter has been received from a resident on The Row regarding the 20mph zone and the speed of vehicles that are obviously disregarding this limit. As well as asking for a possible extension along Monimail Road to reduce speed at the corner, there was the suggestion of speed bumps up School Brae.

It was pointed out that an extension to the 20mph and also inclusion of speed bumps in the village had been discussed at previous CC meetings where it was decided no further traffic-calming measures were desired for the Village. There was a recent speed survey however the results were claimed to show “nothing untoward” regarding speed in the Village! Fife Council are now actually moving away from speed-bumps due to the vibration caused (recently removed bumps in Ladybank) and are now really just doing signage.

It was pointed out that there is still no sign anywhere indicating there is a School in the Village – can we get one? Are rumble strips a possibility along with a sign at the top of The Row for “Traffic Turning”?

Cllr Arbuckel will discuss with Transportation

Wood Shed : Bow of Fife – a request was made that the Community Council contact Planning to ask if the wood shed built down Pitlessie Road is within Planning Regulations.  Cllr Arbuckle will discuss with Planning Enforcement.

Bow of Fife Speed – it was commented that there is rarely any speed enforcement seen in the Bow of Fife area. There are still concerns over the speed especially at the poor junction and with school buses stopping on the main road etc. There have also been a number of accidents around the Deer Centre so would it not be a good idea to have a reduced limit on the whole stretch of raod eg 40mph between Whitehills Cottage and the Deer Centre (or Springfield Junction)?

Could a representative from the Police come along to a meeting to hear the views?

Jim Rotheram again raised the Local Plan Consultation and his proposals for the Tremlins Area at the top of the Village. It was agreed this would be included in the October Agenda. Anyone wanting more details can see the plans/proposals on the Community Website ( or they can contact/speak to Jim at the School House

13.        Date of Next Meeting : Monday 12th October 2009, Letham Village Hall, 7.30pm




**** DATE CHANGE ****








10AM – 12NOON






See attached Leaflet






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                                 

Scottish Government                    

Historic Scotland                         

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

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






See attached Leaflet






10AM – 12NOON


Monimail Community Council- Minutes of meeting, 6th October 2008

  1. Present : A. Arbuckle; D. Dallas; G. Evans; M. Farrell; S. Farrell; T. Farrell; W. Fenton;  B. Forrest; J. Gardiner; J. Gardiner; J. Gordon; P. Gray; M. Grossert; L. Harvie;  W. Henderson; M. Kidd; H. Laidlaw; P. Laidlaw; J. Pretzel; J. Rotheram;  G. Smith; J. Vaughan;  C. Gilbert (Fife Council)

2. Apologies : C. Bache; J. Fairley; H. Grant; D. Hamilton; A. MacGilchrist; T. Nesbi

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting : accepted

4. Matters Arising

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

Holes being dug last week along the bottom of the Park were to do with drainage issues.

The large “plinth” recently constructed further along the main road towards Fernie is for a large sign for “Tay Bridge Warnings” and not a lay-by as originally hoped!

The footpath between Letham Toll and Ballantager is on the list to be tidied up, along with the kerbs at the bottom of the Village

–          Bow of Fife Speed : no update.

–          Whinney Park : water has now stopped!

–          Monimail Cemetry : this was apparently done however it is not the case! A new “job” request has been submitted so will be done soon.

–          Drains : There is only one “gulley clearance” vehicle in NE Fife however another one is being brought in and the work should be done this month. Also, the gulley at the top of School Brae is needing cleared. It was stated that as this is an unadopted road then it cannot be dealt with by Fife Council. The Village response to this was that the Council service the School and there are also Council Owned flats up there!

–          School Brae Parking : Not an issue currently

–          20mph Zone : A “double strip” survey has been present half way up The Row in the last week so hopefully we will receive some results soon. It was commented that it would be nice if drivers would actually stick to the 20mph limit on School Brae! Apparently such a limit is only advisory and not enforceable!

5 Treasurer’s Report : The account balance stands at just over £1569 with the “per capita” grant of £267 received. We still have to spend the Floral Enhancement Grant from last year –

– Mower to be looked at

– Money to be used for tubs at Monimail

– Tub for the corner of the Hall Car Park to be purchased. This will prevent Council Refuse  Lorries from ruining the grass when they collect the recycling bins!

6 Planning :

Again nobody from Fife Council Planning were able to attend the meeting however they have assured us that they will send a representative to the December Meeting. They have requested an advance list of the issues we have so they can be prepared with the correct advice. This will be sent to them well in advance of the next meeting, to include the various “home improvements” that have been carried out within the Village without Planning Permission.

– Bakehouse :

Concerns raised over the apparent height of the works being carried out – Planning were contacted and have been out to look at the roof-line – it does conform with the approved plans.

There has been a request for a change to the Planning Consent to allow the use of xxx stone rather than natural stone. The various submissions were read out and they appear to centre on the finacial side of the project. The overall feeling from those present at the meeting was that surely the developer would have realised the costs involved and budgeted accordingly?

Such a material change surely is making a mockery of the whole planning process and although a few present raised concerns over the potential viability of the project being in jeopardy if not allowed to change, it was agreed that the CC write to Planning to object to the request.

– Tree Preservation Orders :

A map outlining all the trees we wished to have TPO’s on is to be re-done to outline specific trees in the Village. Also need to establish what protection such an order would actually give. It was stated that there was an objection raised in 2002 regarding the removal of healthy trees around the Bakehouse area when the original plans were submitted!

– Tremlins :

The CC have been informed of a possible request for the Planning Envelope to be extended to include the Tremlins when the Local Plan is due to be finalised early 2009. The area was purchased a few years ago after planning permission for 4 houses in the area was turned down. The local plan is due to be reviewed early next year and the request would be that the area is extended to allow a better opportunity for one house to be built in the area. The proposal would also include donating an area of the woodland to the village.

Potential benefits could be :

School Brae itself / access would need to be improved as a condition of Planning

Would help parking issues at the top of the village as a number of cars would then  park up behind any new house

The Community Council were being informed of this to give plenty of notice and time to think about any benefits this would bring to the village, rather than being “sprung” on everyone at the last minute. It is good also to gauge Community feeling on this.

It was commented however that such an alteration would be setting a very dangerous precedent as what is to stop other developers requesting further alterations? Eg The Row, improved School Brae could open up options for the field out behind the houses on Monimail Rd etc

  1. 7. Village Hall Report :

The Grant applications for Double Glazing have been submitted – special thanks were offered to Ian Smith who spent a lot of time & effort obtaining the relevant planning authorisation and quotes.

There is a Gardener’s Question Time scheduled for 17th October

The resident of the Corner House at The Toll junction has offered that any events being advertised in the corner of their property.

  1. The Secret Garden : has recently received a national award for outstanding outdoor play
  1. 9. Playpark :

All Community discussions are complete and all quotations for work are in. There will be a total cost of around £60000 for equipment and various funding sources are being applied for, including money from the Secret Garden and hopefully Fife Environment Trust. As the planned shelter in below the required height, Planning Permission is not required, however the Gas Board still have to be contacted regarding any works being carried out close to the Gas Main that runs under the area.

It is hoped that all funding would be in place to have the work carried out by Summer 2009 – plans of the proposals were circulated for all present to view.

Concerns were raised from the floor regarding the amount of money being spent when the village has relatively few children, however it was pointed out that the development was planned for all ages. Fife Council are fully committed to this project and are willing to be responsible for the equipment maintenance.

  1. 10. Community Woodland : Nothing to report

11.        Questions :

– Planning Permission for the area created for the bridge sign on the main road – not required by BEAR apparently!

– The fields either side of the “Bow Road” are badly flooded. This has never been as bad as it has been recently and even without much rain the level appears to rise. Is this is nay part due to the nearby quarry works having an effect on the water table?  Cllr Arbuckle to make enquiries

12.        Date of Next Meeting : Monday 8th December 2008, Letham Village Hall, 7.30pm






See attached Leaflet






10AM – 12NOON







7.30pm – Late

BYOB & Nibbles



from JULIET GORDON  (810298)



Fancy trying something new for the New Year?


Sunday 11th January

3 – 4.30pm

Try Bellydancing!

All ages, shapes, sizes and abilities welcome.

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