CULTS BIELDSIDE AND MILLTIMBER COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Annual Report 2015 Organisation and Activities Membership â€“ The following councillors served during the year: January - October 2015 November- December 2015 Mr Guus Glass (chairman) Mr Guus Glass (chairman) Mr Derek Robb (vice-chairman) Mr Derek Robb (vice-chairman) Mrs Christine McKay (secretary) Mr Colin Morsley (secretary, correspondence) Mr Graham Payne (treasurer) Mr Peter Smith (secretary, meetings) Mr Peter Roberts (planning liaison officer) Mr Graham Payne (treasurer) Mr David Anstee Mr Peter Roberts (planning liaison officer) Ms Yvonne Black (youth member) Mrs Christine Anderson Ms Eleanor Brennan Mr David Anstee Mr Norman Burt Ms Eleanor Brennan Mr Colin Caldow Mr Norman Burt Mrs Tracey Davidson Mr Colin Caldow Mrs Margaret Stewart Mrs Lindsay Davidson Mr Nigel Williams (resigned April) Mr Matthew Dickie 6 vacancies Mrs Sarah Gordon 1 youth vacancy Mrs Kirstin Gove Mr Sandy Milne Mrs Shan Parfitt Mrs Lorna Sharp 2 youth vacancies In October the three-yearly community council election took place. Community Councillors worked hard to advertise and promote the elections during the MBC Festival, in print and through personal contacts. It is very gratifying that as a result many residents put themselves forward for election so that we can start the new session with a full complement. Yvonne Black, Tracey Davidson, Chasten McKay, Margaret Stewart and Nigel Williams retired and we thank them for their time and dedication during the past years. Yvonne was our only youth member and we are looking for her replacement. Meetings â€“ The Community Council held 10 regular meetings, on the fourth Thursday of each month. No meetings were held in December and July. The venue for the meetings alternated between the Cults Community and Sports complex and the Deeside Christian Fellowship Office or latterly the Church Cafe in Milltimber. In June CBMCC met in the Phoenix Community Centre in Newton Dee. Members of the public attended meetings regularly to air specific problems with new building plans and other community matters. Cults Bieldside Milltimber Community Council Annual Report 2015 Page 1
Presentations - The Community Council received the following presentations during the year: • Ross MacLennan of CALA briefed the Community Council on the status of the planning applications for the Friarsfield phase 2, Oldfold Farm and Edge Hill house developments. • David Phillips, the new MD of First Bus Aberdeen introduced himself to the community and responded to the questions CBMCC submitted in advance of the meeting and to subsequent questions raised in the meeting. He announced his intention to attend CC meetings from time to time. • Cate Garrow, of AVCO discussed the Lower Deeside - Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing Project and the WeLoveLowerDeeside workshop in held Peterculter • Stewart Davidson presented his proposal for development of a parcel of land he owns on Culterhouse Road. The outline plan would be for 6 large and 8 smaller detached houses. The discussion in the meeting centred on the local need for smaller, less expensive housing to cater for first time buyers or people wishing to downsize. • Diane Sande discussed the work of the Licensing Standards officers of the city who perform checks on licensed premises to ensure conditions are being met. The role of the officer also includes mediation between licensed premise holders and local residents • Judith Proctor, Head of the Shadow Joint Integration Board and Chief Officer designate of the future Health and Social Care NHS/ACC Partnership gave an overview of Care for the Elderly in the CBMCC area. She discussed the general Health and Social Care challenges and attributed the issues with the latter in the CBMCC area to the fact that care is not delivered by the Council but by independent agencies. She revealed that none of the medical practices in Cults or surrounding areas are currently eligible for improvement grants and promised that a member of her staff would attend a future CC meeting to address the NHS plans for the future medical services in Lower Deeside in more detail. • John McNiffe, John Wilson, Robert Galbraith, Scott Shaw, Allan Scott and Julie Maund from the AWPR Contracting Authority and the Construction Joint Venture presented an overview of the current and future AWPR works in the area and answered CBMCC questions submitted in advance of the meeting. The team promised to try and improve the timeliness of advance work notices to the public • Tom Cowan, Gail Woodcock, John Gill, Shona Smith and Carolyn Howarth of the ACC Health/Social Care Partnership, NHS Grampian and the local medical services discussed the provision of medical services in Lower Deeside and answered questions raised by Community Council members. In spite of lengthy discussions the main questions of the community remained unanswered. Participation in City Associations – Guus Glass and Derek Robb served as representatives on the Civic Forum. Peter Roberts and Guus Glass represented the CBMCC on the Community Council Forum Festival – The traditional MBC Festival was organised successfully in August by an independent work group with support from the Community Council. On nomination of the Community Council, the Lord Provost of Aberdeen City presented John Page and Joyce Wright, the long time leaders of the work group, with Volunteering Gold Awards. Newsletter – The MBC News is an independent community newsletter, supported by the Community Council. Community councillors David Anstee, Eleanor Brennan, Christine Cults Bieldside Milltimber Community Council Annual Report 2015
Anderson and Peter Roberts are serving on the editorial committee. Four issues were published in 2015 each including extensive news, reports and subject contributions from the Community Council and the Elected Members for the area. Media – The CC funds 50% of the CBM Community website (the other half being funded by MBC News) and maintains most pages. Plans to completely refresh the look and structure of the website were initiated at the end of the year. The CBMCC Facebook page continues to attract readers and some items reach up to 1000 people; it is proving to be a useful means to communicate faster with residents. The page has already received over 200 Likes. New Noticeboard – Funded by a community grant received through the good offices of Kelly’s of Cults supermarket, the tired community noticeboard outside the Cults Library was replaced with a new modern model. More Blooms in CBM - This project has “blossomed” this year, managed by Graham Payne, helped by a number of volunteers and with the support of the city’s Park’s Department. Twenty-four hanging baskets were purchased independently this year from Cove Bay Nurseries and installed by volunteers at various lampposts along the North Deeside Road in Cults and Bieldside. These were maintained i.e. watered, throughout the summer by ACC. The application to the Tesco plastic carrier bag fund was successful and a grant of £250 was received. This was used to purchase 10 whisky barrel planters, which were deployed along the North Deeside Road. Some were placed by the shops in Bieldside and the lowlander planters which were there, were relocated to the entrance of the equestrian centre in Milltimber. Some local contributions to help with funding the project were gratefully received. MBCBM registered again this year with the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood‘ scheme from Keep Scotland Beautiful and a rating of ‘Level 2 - Improving’ was received. MBCBM was nominated for an Aberdeen EcoCity Award 2015 but did not receive one of the top prizes. Xmas Carol Event – The Community Council again produced a Christmas concert on the first Monday in December on Cults Square. The crowd this year was boosted by the appearance of Fiona Kennedy who greatly added to the musical content of the event. This year we exceeded £400 in our collections for the first time in aid of the VSA Christmas Events for old and young. We have now raised over £4,000 over the years for this charity. Aberdeen City Council this year marked the continuing success of this event by awarding CBMCC a community shield, which we are proud to hold for one year. Litter Picking – Proliferation of litter in our area was raised in a CBMCC meeting by a local resident and as a result two successful litter picking drives were organised, one in Central Cults and along the Railway line path and one around the Cults Primary School. A huge amount of litter was removed from these areas. Training Courses – Some community councillors attended short courses on modern media management and on the recruitment and retaining of volunteers.
Community Issues The Community Council addressed the following issues arising within the CBM area during the year. The subjects are listed alphabetically. Cults Bieldside Milltimber Community Council Annual Report 2015
AWPR – Work began on this major project in May 2015 and the first phase of the work on Milltimber junction is complete. The next phase will be to complete and open the temporary diversion of the A93 to allow the AWPR cutting and bridge for the A93 to be installed. Work has also begun on piling for the new bridge across the River Dee and the South Deeside Road. Despite the impact of recent flooding on the River Dee, the project is still on schedule to be complete in the winter of 2017. During the year the Community Council experienced continuing difficulties engaging with the AWPR organisation at a working level on a regular informal basis, to the extend that it was considered appropriate to complain in writing to the Scottish Minister for Transport and the local MSP. Residents of Station Road, Milltimber alerted the Community Council to the potentially unsafe situation arising from the planned diversion of the Deeside railway path near the AWPR crossing onto their road. A formal proposal to provide a short new section of the Deeside Way railway path alongside the AWPR for the users of the path to access the bridge instead, was rejected by the AWPR Managing Agent. The Community Council is very disappointed by that response and will continue to investigate what can be done to maintain the safest route for users of the Deeside Way. Care and Transport for the Elderly – Alerted by representations of a local resident the Community Council became aware of potential discrepancy of care and transport services for the elderly in the area compared to other more centrally located parts of the city. In part this led to a senior City Care officer being invited into our meeting by one of the elected members. We also assume that these discussions have possibly accelerated the extension of community bus services for the area organised by the City. Countesswells Development – Countesswells will be a new town with up to 3000 houses, primary and secondary schools and commercial buildings. The principle of the development and the Phase 1 Infrastructure application were approved in 2014. Subsequently one partner in the consortium (Heron) proposed a second access route for the development to the north, connecting to the Kingswells roundabout, as well as the proposed new road to the Jessiefield junction, and this application has now also been approved. The consortium partners are still reviewing the Section 75 legal agreement, which sets out their obligations for infrastructure funding and delivery. Only when this is signed, will ACC Planning consider the detailed planning applications for the initial phase of the development (124 homes block C1/C2 107 homes N10). Cults Learning Partnership - The Community Council was represented in the meetings of the Steering Committee of the Learning Partnership for the catchment area of Cults Academy and contributed information to update the Community Locator Map maintained on the ACVO website. The Learning Partnership ran a series of Lower Deeside ‘Support to Parents’ Courses. The issues of Mental Health and Wellbeing and Isolation continue to be pursued by the Partnership. Deer Management – The Community Council initiated an informal survey of deer sightings in 2015, to get some data around the number and location of deer in our area. Groups of deer up to 15 in number have been seen although on average the groups are 5 to 6 in size. The areas with the most sightings are Craigton Road, Inchgarth Road, and Westerton Road. The Community Council has continued to liaise with Aberdeen City Council on deer management and is anxiously awaiting the report on the development of a collaborative approach drafted by the City with principle support of Scottish Natural Heritage. Cults Bieldside Milltimber Community Council Annual Report 2015
Further information on the occurrence of Lyme’s disease in the area was obtained from NHS to clarify the apparently incompatible statistical data received in 2014. The more detailed information shows that the incidence of Lyme’s disease in Aberdeen City and Grampian during the last three years has been relatively stable, with no indication of a significant sustained increase. The community council will remain attentive to potential deer-related health problems - as should Aberdeen City Council and NHS Grampian. Friarsfield, Craigbank and Sunnyside Development - This is a development of up to 270 homes in three phases. CALA Phase 1 for 81 homes is under construction with around 40 homes are already occupied and CALA Phase 2, which is for 109 homes plus 12 affordable apartments, has been approved. The application for Phase 3 by Stewart Milne, submitted and subsequently withdrawn in 2014 pending further discussions, has not yet been re-submitted. Local Planning Highlights - The number of Planning Applications in Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber was higher than in 2014 with 200 applications (188 in 2014) in Lower Deeside and 151 (132 in 2014) relating to Cults, Bieldside and Milltimber. Letters of comment or objection were submitted on 11 applications (10 in 2014). Over a quarter of the applications (39) related to building new houses; some were connected with the major developments taking place, see above, and others involved the demolition of an older, smaller house and the building of a new larger house or houses on the same plot or additional houses within the plot. The other main category for applications, around 50%, was for building extensions to existing houses. We are seeing land owners and developers come to the Community Council to share their ideas and get input on the type of development the community needs. The discussions have generally been fruitful with developers coming back with interesting proposals e.g. small homes for the elderly rather than large detached houses. The work on the Planning Protocol between Community Councils and Aberdeen City Planning has been completed and the protocol is now in place. CBMCC review of planning applications for Lower Deeside Ward
30 New applications Reviewed (excludes Peterculter)
2014 - 2015
Marcliffe Hotel – the application from Stewart Milne to build 189 residential flats on the site of the Marcliffe hotel was withdrawn following the decision of the owner to keep the hotel open – a decision welcomed by the community at large. Cults Bieldside Milltimber Community Council Annual Report 2015
Medical and Care Services – During the year the Community Council intensified its efforts to get clarity about the future plans for the medical services in the area in the light of the continuing development of new residential areas. The reluctance of NHS officers to discuss the subject could only be overcome with the help of elected members and ultimately a strong representation of senior officers attended a CBMCC meeting. Regrettably this did not result in any positive clarification of the situation but it is hoped that the now agreed continuing discussion in 2016 will prove effective. Oldfold Farm Development – the Oldfold development in Milltimber is for 550 homes by CALA. Work on Phase 1 for 61 homes is well under way. Unfortunately the Aberdeen City Council Planning Department approved CALA’s request for a temporary sales cabin on a field in Milltimber, some distance away from the development site – apparently it was too difficult to build something on the actual site. The approval is for 6 months and the cabin should be removed at the end of March 2016 and the field restored by the end of April 2016. Police Matters - The Community Council was informed about incidents and crime in the community by Community police officers reporting in many monthly meetings although less frequent than in previous years. Regrettably the City Wardens were only represented in few meetings. Potholes and Pavement Conditions – Alerted by residents of Dunmail Avenue the Community Council made representations to the City Road Department regarding the abysmal and dangerous state of many pavement and road sections in the area. Some patchwork has been carried out but a final solution is not in sight. Simeon House – A representative of the community council attended the official opening of the new Simeon House care home in Bieldside.
City and Country Issues The following, wider issues which would impact on the CBM community were also addressed during the year: City Centre Masterplan – Representatives of the community council attended further City Talks organised in the context of this plan and the Community Council continues to take an interest in this topic through our involvement with the Community Council Forum and responding to consultations on draft plans. Independent Review of Planning – the Community Council has submitted comments to the Scottish Government Independent Review of Planning. Comments mainly related to public consultation and community engagement, equal right of appeal, delivery of infrastructure, the planning application and review process and support for the public in understanding this process. Developers are keen to see the constraints on development relaxed and a speeding up of the planning process. This contrasts strongly with communities wishing to see housing developments managed in line with infrastructure delivery and the protection of greenspace. As always, a balance of views will be needed and we hope the review leads to some sensible conclusions. Local Development Plan (LDP) – The new LDP is now with the Scottish Government for review. The Aberdeen City Council has commented on all submissions and explained why it has not accepted some of the proposed changes and additional development proposals. Cults Bieldside Milltimber Community Council Annual Report 2015
The Reporter will consider the arguments and present the conclusions and recommendations, with the final LDP being issued later in 2016. Local Transport Strategy â€“ The Community Council responded to the consultation on the draft Refresh Local Transport Strategy. Waste Conference â€“ A representative of the Community Council attended the Waste Conference organised by Aberdeen City.
Conclusion The CBM Community Council has continued to benefit from the positive attitude of Community Councillors in the council meetings and their willingness to undertake community tasks as and when required. The support and interest shown by the Elected Members and local church leaders has also been of great value. The Community Council is grateful for the support given by local businesses.
Aberdeen, February 2016
Cults Bieldside Milltimber Community Council Annual Report 2015
Published on Mar 2, 2016