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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