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: email@example.com and we will raise them at the next meeting.
Taymouth Castle Update
DLC/ 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.
- 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.
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
DLC/ 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.
- 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
DLC/ Kenmore 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
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.
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.
Representatives of the Community Council met with the Taymouth Castle Estate development team on February 28th.
- Beach bollards & street furniture. DLC will bring revised plans & designs to the next meeting.
- 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.
- 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.
- The intention is still for this to be re-opened as a hotel, at some point in the future.