Summary of our December meeting by Cllr Ian Mollison

A heartfelt plea was made last night for more members of the public to join the North Kincardine Rural Community Council.

The community council’s planning officer Colin Pike was chairing the meeting which was attended by 11 members of the public and three Aberdeenshire councillors (including me!). There were six community councillors.

Colin appealed for volunteers as the community council is lacking a secretary and a chairperson. “We need fresh faces,” he said.

As usual the meeting in the Lairhillock primary school had a packed agenda. Here are some of the highlights I have picked out:

– Representatives of the Aberdeen bypass will be at the next meeting on 16 January to discuss progress with the project. There were many comments about the muddy state of local roads. Apparently the contractors have added six additional road sweepers to their fleet. The AWPR will be shutting down for the festive period on Friday 23 December, and restarting on Monday 9 January (thought there will be a skeleton staff to deal with security and maintenance issues. AWPR staff will return on 4 January.

Kees Witte reported on the well-attended public meeting about broadband provision in the area. There were 135 responses to a survey in the South Deeside View which showed an average download speed of 1.5 megabytes. There was hope that the various avenues of pressure would bring about an improvement: a “wave of action”, as Colin Pike described it.

Various planning applications were discussed, including plans to replace a bothy with a house for a sheep farmer and a proposed Craigneil wind farm to the west of Meikle Carewe. A public meeting in the Lairhillock school had attracted few people, which apparently pleased the developers as it signalled to them there was little opposition. The turbines would be 135 metres high to the blade tip. The Meikle Carewe turbines are 70 metres high.

– The Maryculter senior citizens Christmas event is to receive a grant of £200.

– A suggestion that the community council lodges a planning application on behalf of the Maryculter Woodland Trust met with a mixed reaction, and some caution. The advantage would have been that there would be a reduced fee. The plan is for a shipping container in the woods to house equipment for the trust and the nature kindergarten Mucky Boots. After a lengthy debate the request was withdrawn by trust chairman Ed Thorogood.

– The meeting also heard that Aberdeenshire Council’s new household waste and recycling centre at Badentoy is now open, from Thursdays to Mondays.

– There was no police report.

– The new town of Chapelton is progressing slowing with 93 houses occupied.

– The community council was split over whether to continue to hold meetings in the school (free, sufficient lit parking, and central) or return to the Corbie Hall at Maryculter (£10 an hour) which is now fully operational again after last winter’s floods. The discussion continues, and a decision will be made by the year end.  Words by Councillor Ian Mollison.