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Kenmore & District Community Council

Covering Kenmore, Acharn and immediate area

Taymouth Castle Update

Members of the Community Council meet regularly with representatives of Discovery Land Company to discuss latest developments and plans for the estate. The minutes of these meetings are recorded here. If you have any specific questions for DLC please email: colinmcmorton@gmail.com and we will raise them at the next meeting.

Taymouth Castle/Kenmore and District Community Council Liaison meeting 17 January 2024

Present: David O'Donoghue, Taymouth Castle Estate; Peter Ely, KDCC; Mairi McAdam, Taymouth Castle Estate; Shirley Shearer, KDCC; Colin Morton, KDCC

 

  1. Village shop -The planning application to improve the roadside landscape outside the shop was approved on 12 January. The works should provide a safer and much more attractive public space outside the shop which maintains the traditional look of the square by reusing the existing stone cobbles and kerbing. The new seating area will be enhanced with new public furniture and safety will be improved by providing a decorative cast iron chain divider and low wall to separate the seating area from the road. It has been confirmed that interior works will not require permission and so the building works can now commence. The target for opening remains spring 2024. The estate hopes to hold an open evening for the village to explain its plans for the shop.
  2. Toilets - further exploratory work of the existing drainage has revealed some complications. This, and delays in obtaining Scottish Water advice due to industrial action, have slowed progress. However, work will recommence once Scottish water permission has been granted and an Easter opening is still expected. The issue of maintaining and cleaning the public toilets has been difficult. At the Council’s request Taymouth Castle Estate has agreed to do this and will clean the toilets on a regular basis. The Council is grateful for the estate’s work on both the shop and the toilets, both of which have been among our priorities, and which will add greatly to the amenity of the village and to the enjoyment of its visitors.
  3. Inchadney - Trucking of sand will commence soon. Restrictions on frequency and timing will be strictly adhered to, and start dates will be advised in advance. The estate is still looking at alternative methods of transport to mitigate the impact on roads etc. The possibility of installing a temporary bridge is being investigated.
  4. Planning - an application for initial works at the Dairy will be submitted shortly.
  5. Taymouth Trading - design work is ongoing in advance of applying for planning permission. If all goes well, and planning is approved, the new village pub is expected to be in operation in 2025.
  6. Core Paths - David reaffirmed the estate's committment to the core paths being re-opened in their entirety following the completion of the works, with enhancements/extensions. 
  7. Fishing permits - the cost of local trout permits will be reduced to £1 per day. The council wondered why there was any charge for local residents and David explained that this was to manage daily rod numbers. Non-residents will pay £12.50 per day. The Council had pushed for an improved deal for residents and was grateful for this resolution.
  1. Christmas in Kenmore - The Council expressed its sincere thanks for the estate’s substantial assistance, both financial and in kind, with the Kenmore 2023 Christmas celebrations. Without that the occasion would not have been such a success.

The meeting was unfortunately cut short due to a power outage in the area.

 

Taymouth Castle/Kenmore and District Community Council Liaison meeting 28 November 2023

Present: David O'Donoghue, Colin Morton

 

1. Sewage works have passed planning permission following survey results and work is going ahead to complete the installation.

2. Trees at back of Taymouth Drive - this work should now be complete. Apparently there was a question about the ownership of a small triangle of land near the school. DLC has been unable to resolve this issue but will go ahead and tidy the rest of the area up.

3. Core paths - new signage has been installed and new benches commissioned using local timber felled from the estate. DLC is in discussion with PKC as to the best solution for how the south path crosses the new A827 access road. This has delayed the start of the access road construction.

4. Public Toilets - Consultation with Scottish Water has been delayed due to industrial action at the water authority.

5. The replacement of the parking meter at the beach car park with a defibrillator will go ahead shortly.

6. Kenmore Church - Following a request by the Community Council, DLC has offered to finance a structural survey of the Kenmore Church building.

7. Reading Rooms - DLC continues to source replacement stugged timber columns for the Reading Rooms terrace. The existing ones are rotting and appropriate replacements are hard to find.

8. Sand extraction at Inchadney - suitable sand for the restoration of the golf course is no longer available on site and will now be sourced from sand pits at Inchadney. Trucks will be used initially for transport of the sand but DLC has commissioned a conveyor system to be constructed in January to cross the river and minimise haulage traffic impact.

9. The obstructions near the horsefields at the back of Aberfeldy Road have been removed. David O'Donoghue met with some of the residents there to discuss future arrangements.

10. DLC has committed its support to the Christmas Market this year and the Kenmore Highland Games and Triathlon for 2024.

11. The estate will take delivery of its own ambulance in December.  Its paramedic has already assisted local residents in difficulties. The unit may supplement first responders in the area but anyone in difficulty should continue to dial 999 in the first instance. 

12. Planning for reopening the shop continues and work remains on schedule for an opening in early 2024.

Taymouth Castle/ Kenmore and District Community Council Liaison Meeting - September 14, 2023

Present: David o’Donoghue, DLC; Peter Ely, K&D CC; Colin Morton, K&D CC.

Agenda

  1. Welcome to Taymouth website

The CC welcomed the revamped website which has more information than before. Peter and Colin had some comments and suggestions for further improvements.

2. Moness

David informed the CC that DLC has finalised the purchase of the Moness estate in Aberfeldy. There would be no change to the operating structure or management team. The hotel business will continue but DLC hopes to obtain a change of use permission to change the houses to residential use. This would permit some of the houses to be used for staff accommodation with around 10-20 units earmarked for attainable, affordable housing for non-DLC residents. An announcement is planned for Friday 15 Sept after staff had been informed.

3. Kenmore in Bloom

No further information on Kenmore in Bloom, or legal ties or leases for the beach area, had been unearthed. It was agreed that a new organisation should be formed to take forward the responsibilities of the former KiB. The CC would consider how this might best be achieved.

Action: K&DCC to propose a new structure

4. Christmas in Kenmore

David repeated DLC’s ongoing commitment to supporting this event which should become an annual celebration. The CC would form a committee involving local groups and businesses to take arrangements for 2023 forward.

Action: K&DCC to form a Christmas in Kenmore committee

5. Community Engagement Manager

A local lady has been appointed to this new DLC post and will take up the job in October. Her responsibilities will include fostering positive relationships between Taymouth Castle Golf & Sport Club and the local community, ensuring the club integrates seamlessly into the local surroundings while respecting and celebrating the local culture and traditions.

6. Economic Impact Assessment

The CC had been keen to see such an assessment of the projected economic impact of the development for the wider area and was pleased that DLC has now appointed a company to carry this out. The report will be made public when complete.

Action: DLC to publish the report when ready

7. Village Shop

Concept visuals have been produced with the aim of creating a good quality and welcoming retail shop but with affordable goods and prices. DLC intends to hold a community consultation evening in the Reading Rooms in early November to obtain local views on the range of goods and services to be provided.

Action: DLC to organise a consultation event in the Reading Rooms in early November

8. Castle Archives

Colin said that a project to collect and organise local documents for a heritage archive was in the process of being investigated. Historical documents from the castle might form an important part of the archive and it would be a great help if information on what documents, maps or pictures might still be held in the castle could be provided. David agreed to investigate and report back.

Action: David to investigate what materials might be available for copying

Taymouth Castle/ Kenmore CC Liaison Meeting - July 5, 2023

Present: Robert Johnstone, MSA; Tom Collopy, Chief Development Officer, DLC; Shirley Shearer, K&D CC; Peter Ely, K&D CC; Colin Morton, K&D CC.

Agenda

  1. DLC Management changes

The CC was pleased to welcome Tom Collopy to this meeting. After introductions Colin Morton outlined the history of the relationship between DLC and the Council, and gave some examples of where working together had proved fruitful for both parties. However, it was noted that liaison had not been quite as effective after the departure of Ian Connolly from the project, and that there were still some loose ends, and uncertainty on the Council’s part about the division of responsibilities at the estate.

Tom gave assurances that the situation was entirely temporary and that new appointments by DLC would soon improve matters. In the meantime, he undertook to answer any questions, or address any concerns, personally.

Colin said that the Council has a number of questions, including some put to the Council by members of the community, and he would pass these on for Tom’s attention.

Tom stressed that DLC and its investors have a very high regard for the village, and its heritage, and want to work with the community to help preserve what needs preserved and improve things where it is of mutual benefit. They are very conscious that many of their own staff members will become part of the community and it is in their interest to ensure its health and wellbeing. He pointed out that all properties now owned by DLC outside the castle  grounds would not be exclusive to estate owners but be entirely public facing.

Action: Robert to circulate contact details

DLC to notify details of new appointees when made

Colin to pass on list of questions

2. New Planning Applications

There had been considerable public feedback on the ‘Back of House’ consultation and this would help guide the formal planning applications later in the year. Common concerns were about visual impact, noise disturbance, traffic increases and light pollution.

3. Village Shop

DLC has concluded its purchase of the old Post Office and shop. Its intention is to re-open the shop but not the Post Office, which it is generally accepted would not be commercially viable. It is considering what the best management model for the shop might be to ensure the business will be sustainable and service of good quality.

Action: DLC to provide progress updates

5.  Public Communications

Colin outlined the Council’s concerns about the level of public communication on the project by DLC. The Welcome to Taymouth website had helped but there were many rumours circulating. A few of these were bordering on the absurd but many were based on quite legitimate concerns.

An example cited was the suggestion that there would be new jet ski and motorboat developments on the loch side.  Tom confirmed that DLC has no plans to develop further boating facilities on the Loch. He said that, on the contrary, DLC is keen to retain the current Loch Tay Association Code of Conduct and to work with other owners and interests to make this effective.

The Council considered that many such fears could be put to rest by improved communications. It was agreed that responses to questions put to DLC through the Council would be published in a similar manner to the liaison meeting minutes. DLC is happy to meet with interested and concerned constituents and representatives at the Council's recommendation. In addition, DLC will organise a meeting with the local Community Councils.

Action: Council to publish a Q&A on its website

DLC to organise an area Comm Council meeting

6. Village Reading Rooms

The Council's concern over the future of the Reading Rooms were discussed. Tom said that DLC would continue to support the community in its efforts to retain use of the rooms, and possibly their acquisition via a Community Asset Transfer.

7. Village Church

It was noted that the future of the church was currently uncertain. DLC values having a viable church within the community and Tom offered to commission a building condition survey, similar to that they carried out for the Council on the Reading Rooms, if that would help.

Action: DLC to commission a building survey

8. Date of next meeting: TBA

 

Taymouth Castle/ Kenmore and District CC Liaison Meeting - June 6, 2023

Present: Robert Johnstone MSA, Catriona Batholomew DLC, Shirley Shearer K&D CC, Peter Ely K&D CC, Colin Morton K&D CC

 

Agenda

1. DLC Management changes

A new DLC lead project manager, Gary Wilson, has been appointed. The CC had enjoyed a very positive and productive working relationship with his predecessor, Ian Connolly,  and looked forward to meeting Gary in due course.

The CC had previously raised the issue of Kenmore in Bloom, which Mr Connolly had undertaken to investigate, and asked who would be taking this issue forward at DLC. Kenmore in Bloom, a charitable organisation set up to look after the beach area, has a 21 year lease of the beach area and the ability to raise funds for improvements.

Action: Peter Ely to pass on copies of the lease to Robert for investigation of progress, and any legal issues at DLC.

2. Project progress update

Work on the golf course is well underway and on track. DLC is hoping to see grass on some holes by the end of the year. SEPA has given consent for irrigation water to be taken from a river well. A planning application is yet to be made for this. Almost all the green keeping machines will be electric.

Progress on the castle is good and scaffolding will start to come down in the next few weeks. By late summer all scaffolding should be gone. Most interior repairs are well underway.

An upgraded electricity supply will be required for the estate and will require a tunnel to be made under the river near Chinese Bridge. The work may take up to three months and may impact access to south bank and the north bank: to be confirmed. The Scottish Canoe Association and local kayak/canoe clubs have been consulted and some temporary facilities have been agreed.

Creation of critical infrastructure for Housing Zone 1 is ongoing.

DLC has appointed an expert to manage the deer situation on the estate and to advise on fence design.  Deer fencing casualties are a concern with a number of recent reports of  injured or dead deer

3. New planning applications

An application for Housing Zone 4 near the dairy is about to be submitted. It is intended that the dairy will become the golf clubhouse. This will include the replacement of the wooden stugged columns which are hard to source. The CC asked if DLC was still able to supply similar columns to replace those in the Reading Rooms and were told this would very likely be feasible.  DLC to consult woodcutters on the matter and report back.

Housing Zone 2, from the river bend to Newhall Bridge, will have its housing density reduced from the original plans. Over the whole estate, the number of houses will likely be reduced from the 2011 consent.

There is extant consent for 11 staff houses near the playing fields, but it appears that some of these may now be prone to flooding. DLC will check and report back.

Details of planning applications, and opportunity to comment,  are available on the P&K Council planning website and the Community Council encourages everyone in the community to participate.

4. Estate Access restrictions

A P&K Council access official recently visited the estate to discuss temporary restrictions with the developers. The Council (and the CC) are keen to maintain as much access as possible during the development works. DLC has provided information on its intentions to P&K Council and awaits a response.

The CC expressed its serious concerns over the lack of public information regarding the temporary measures, with specific concern over the grading of slopes and the lack of any information on routes and their nature. DLC said they cannot provide public maps or walk information until P&K Council has responded.

Action: Peter Ely to contact P&K Council to try to accelerate their response.

5. Trout Fishing - progress with local access

There has been no change to the situation regarding local people’s season trout permits although DLC said they are still looking at the issue. The CC put in the strongest terms the case for continuing the local permit system and recorded its disappointment at the lack of progress of what it sees as being a simple issue.

Action: Catriona to inform the CC of any progress or outcomes.

 

6. North Terrace clearance

The CC had requested that fallen trees on the north terrace, and back of Taymouth Drive, be cleared to allow walking along both banks of the river. DLC reported that no progress has been made on either front due to pressures of other work.

 

7. Beach furniture/advertising signage

The CC had previously asked DLC to review the untidy plethora of signage at the south end of the beach. There was no progress to report, and it seemed unlikely that any changes would be made. DLC raised concerns on the ownership of the land as only a portion belongs to DLC, and it can’t remove signage from another’s property.

An update on new beach furniture and signage to be brought to the next liaison meeting.

Action: Robert to speak with DLC and get an update on this.

 

8. PAN meetings

The first meeting on 17 May had been quite well attended and there was significant feedback on the proposals for the ‘back of house’ facilities, including noise, visual impact and road traffic. The next presentation would include more details and any design changes made or resulting from local feedback. The CC encourages everyone in the community to attend this on 21 June and to provide comment or feedback.

The CC suggested that perhaps an opportunity to have also presented some of the restoration work on the castle and the larger project had been missed.

 

9. Post office/shop/hotel/Paper Boat update

DLC is still keen to purchase the old post office and to re-open it as a village shop, however it had run up against legal issues which have hindered progress.

Kenmore Hotel - Initial design works have commenced ahead of a detailed planning and listed buildings application.

No plans have been firmed up yet for either the Paper Boat or Taymouth Trading

 

10. Next meeting

Was agreed for July 4.

Taymouth Castle/Kenmore and District CC Liaison Meeting - April 2023

1. We agreed that we need a routine for checking notes based on what was discussed in the meeting. The community council should provide relevant meeting notes to DLC for review and feedback before publicising these. Review period of 14-day will allow for clearance by DLC.

2. Communicating walking restrictions: Path closures will be communicated once agreement has been granted by Perth & Kinross Council. DLC will endeavor to keep the community informed of path closures via the Welcome to Taymouth website and at community council meetings as needed.

3. North Terrace clearance - no progress here but perhaps a little confusion as to what the CC is requesting. Catriona Bartholomew to investigate possibilities with contractor. Colin Morton volunteered to help pinpoint the location etc.

4. Trout Fishing - DLC are looking to provide a day permit for local people within a defined geographical area yet to be determined. A fishing information permit page was added to the Welcome to Taymouth website along with a news update on the topic. A new fishing menu option was added to the website w/c 17 April. Any developments on fishing permits and related matters will be published online.

5. Beach furniture: DLC have communicated that the CC will still be involved with the changes. CC to be updated on progress when possible.

6. Coronation Day: DLC has agreed to help put up bunting purchased by the CC in the village. CC to reach out to Catriona Bartholomew to organize / arrange.

7. Next CC meeting: DLC will endeavor to provide a representative at the next public CC meeting if there are agenda items pertaining to developments at Taymouth Castle Estate. CC to advise.

8. Next liaison meeting: Colin Morton to advise on date and agenda for next public meeting.

Taymouth Castle/Kenmore and District CC Liaison Meeting - February 2023

Representatives of the Community Council met with the Taymouth Castle Estate development team on February 28th.

Beach area

  • Beach bollards & street furniture.  DLC will bring revised plans & designs to the next meeting.

Public access

  • There have been some temporary changes to the core paths within the castle estate on safety grounds. When work starts on resurfacing the golf course further restrictions must be made on safety grounds. Community Council and DLC will liaise with providing public information on this.
  • Survey work on Chinese and Newhall bridges continues.
  • The Gallops walk has been cleared of fallen trees and debris and we hope the north terrace walk will be similarly cleared.
  • Trout fishing permits will be issued for the north bank of the river only this year and there will be no discounts/seasonal permits for local people. DLC has an online application available on their website.
  • New cycle tracks have been laid in the fields near Balloch Park. This has been developed in conjunction with the Countryside Trust.

Castle Property Development

  • Redevelopment work on the Castle and west wing is progressing.
  • Work on the east wing has started.
  • Residential development - design,planning and works are underway.
  • A planning application was approved for a new west access entrance to the estate on the A827, below Balnaskeag. This is to accommodate construction traffic entering the site in the near future as well as the long-term plan of providing vehicular access for service vehicles that will protect the fabric of the existing historical buildings and bridges at the access from East Gatehouse. The plans include the addition of a new bus stop.
  • The start of works on the golf course is imminent. The intention is to use existing soils etc to reduce the traffic impact on local roads.
  • There will be extensive new tree planting on the estate to replace many of the trees lost. A new tree nursery will be created at Inchadney to provide stock.

Kenmore Shop

  • DLC has been in negotiations with the shop owner to purchase and the building and re-open it as a shop. We hope to have more news on this shortly.

Kenmore Hotel

  • The intention is still for this to be re-opened as a hotel, at some point in the future.

Taymouth Castle/Kenmore and District CC Liaison Meeting - Oct 2022

The Community Council continues to have regular liaison meetings with Taymouth Castle Estate developers. Discussions has been positive, open and fruitful. The following is a summary of our our discussions and progress made.

Surrounding area Community Councils are also being consulted and informed on developments.

Beach area

  • The beach area has been cleaned up, bare tree roots covered, and wall reinforced
  • Two prominent life belts have been installed
  • The commemorative benches already in place will remain
  • New roadside bollards, buckets, tables and benches, in keeping with those already there, will be installed soon
  • The outflow pipes that run into the loch will be removed

Public access

  • There have been some temporary changes to the core paths within the castle estate on safety grounds.
  • New path markers have been installed in the castle estate to make the path network clearer Public access to the beach will remain unrestricted
  • The intention is to reopen Chinese and Newhall bridges and these will continue to form part of the public core path network
  • The Gallops walk has been cleared of fallen trees and debris and we hope the north terrace walk will have similar improvements

Toilets

  • We are continuing to talk with the developers about getting new toilet facilities in the village and are optimistic that something will result

Village Square

  • Many new flower baskets have been installed and tended
  • Street furniture is being reviewed with a view to replacements more in keeping with the character of the village
  • A new Community Council noticeboard will replace the damaged ones at the reading rooms
  • Street lighting and Christmas lights are under review
  • The square surface and footpaths will also be reviewed
  • The opportunity to provide new benches in the square area is being pursued with land owners

Reading rooms

  • We are grateful to McKenzie Strickland Architects which has undertaken a structural survey of the rooms pro bono to identify any building work that may be required
  • The estate developers have installed broadband free of charge and assisted with clearance of unwanted items
  • The Community Council is pursuing a transfer of the ownership of the rooms from Perth and Kinross Council to the community, and once the situation is clearer will carry out a local consultation
  • The stugged tree stem supporting columns in the veranda will soon be in need of replacement. This will be difficult but the castle developers have offered to help with this if possible

Kenmore Primary School

  • The school had a generous donation from the estate towards their Wee Robbie Event - a run & cycle event through the grounds.

Salmon Opening Season Ceremony

  • Although the hotel is temporarily closed the ceremony will continue, hosted by the Taymouth Castle Estate.
  • New safer handrail is being installed on the jetty in preparation for this

Telephone box

  • Options for the renovation of the box in the square are being considered and the castle developers have offered to pay for the work

Castle Development

  • Building work is being carried out in line with the planning permission previously granted but with variations to meet current standards and changing requirements. Changes require planning consent and applications can be seen and commented on in the PKC website.

Castle Walls

  • The listed walls around the Castle estate on the A827 require extensive maintenance. DLC is working with Perth and Kinross Council to find a safe way to do this and return the walls to their original state.

Kenmore Hotel

  • The hotel is being used for staff accommodation and in the longer term will be fully refurbished and reopened to a very high standard

Staff Accommodation

  • The estate will require hundreds of employees once it is in operation. Finding accommodation for them will be a major challenge.
  • The estate has already purchased holiday-let houses for residential use by staff and further purchases and house building are anticipated

Taymouth Trading Building

  • Current options for this building include a new bakery and cafe but this may change

Paper Boat and boating jetties

  • The estate has bought the Paper Boat building and boating jetties and yard but has not decided on their future

Fishing permits

  • No fishing is currently permitted.
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