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Planning and Transport Policy Committee

MINUTE of MEETING of the PLANNING AND TRANSPORT POLICY COMMITTEE held in the Town and County Hall, Forfar on Thursday 12 October 2000 at 4.00 pm.

Present: Councillors DAVID SELFRIDGE, JOHN HENDERSON, Provost Mrs FRANCES E DUNCAN OBE, ALISTAIR GRAY, ALEX KING, STEWART McGLYNN, IAN MACKINTOSH, ROBERT MYLES, GEORGE NORRIE MBE, HELEN OSWALD, KITTY RITCHIE, RICHARD SPEIRS and SANDY WEST.

Also present with the concurrence of the Committee:

Councillor PETER MURPHY.

Councillor SELFRIDGE, Convener, in the Chair.

TRIBUTE: FIRST MINISTER DONALD DEWAR MSP

Prior to the commencement of business, the Provost referred to the tragic death of First Minister Donald Dewar MSP and paid tribute to him. In particular, she referred to the interest he had taken in the development of "Carnoustie Country".

Having also heard Councillor Murphy pay tribute to Mr Dewar, the Committee agreed to note that the Provost had written to the Scottish Executive conveying the Council’s condolences.

 

1. EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS

The Committee resolved, in terms of Standing Order 27(2) that the public and press be excluded during consideration of item 2 below so as to avoid the disclosure of information which was exempt in terms of Part 1 of Schedule 7A to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, paragraphs 8, 9 and 11.

2. ARBROATH ABBEY DEVELOPMENT

With reference to Article 4 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 8 June 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1158/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport and the Director of Property Services seeking approval of a list of specialist contractors to be invited to tender for the provision of exhibition displays at Arbroath Abbey. The Report also advised the Committee on the current position regarding the overall development of the project.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. that the six contractors listed in the Report be invited to tender for the provision of the Exhibition Displays at Arbroath Abbey; and
  2. to note the overall current position regarding the development of the project as detailed in the Report and to await a further Report on the matter in due course.

3. MINUTE OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The minute of meeting of this Committee of 24 August 2000 was approved as a correct record and signed by the Convener.

4. FINALISED ANGUS LOCAL PLAN - OBJECTIONS TO MODIFICATIONS FOLLOWING THE PUBLIC LOCAL INQUIRY

With reference to Article 8 of the minute of meeting of Angus Council of 29 June 2000, there was submitted Report No 1147/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport which summarised and responded to objections received to the proposed modifications to the finalised Angus Local Plan. The Report noted that no issues had been raised which would require a further Local Plan Inquiry and outlined the procedures required to formally adopt the Angus Local Plan, as modified.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the objections received to the published modifications and to resolve that no further modification to the Local Plan nor the holding of a further Local Plan Inquiry was required; and
  2. to authorise the Director of Planning and Transport to implement the necessary steps to advertise the Council’s intention to adopt the Angus Local Plan, as modified.

5. DEVELOPMENT BRIEF ­ LAND AT ASHLUDIE HOSPITAL, MONIFIETH

There was submitted Report No 1148/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport which established the planning requirements that would guide the development of a site allocated in the Angus Local Plan for housing and public open space purposes at Ashludie Hospital, Monifieth.

The Report concluded that the preparation of the development brief would assist in the implementation of the Local Plan Housing and Public Open Space Proposal and guide developers towards a successful planning submission.

The Committee agreed to approve the development brief detailed in Appendix 1 to the Report, as the basis for guiding housing development, together with the provision of public open space on land at Ashludie Hospital, Monifieth.

6. "RURAL SCOTLAND ­ A NEW APPROACH" A SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE RURAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT PUBLICATION

With reference to Article 2 of the minute of meeting of the Economic Development Committee of 5 October 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1110/00 by the Chief Executive and the Director of Planning and Transport outlining a proposed response by the Council to COSLA on the Scottish Executive's publication "Rural Scotland ­ A New Approach". The publication set out the Scottish Executive's vision for Rural Scotland and sought to demonstrate how, through policies and activities, a new approach was being taken to rural areas and rural issues.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the document "Rural Scotland ­ A New Approach"; and
  2. to approve the response to COSLA as detailed in the Report.

7. RURAL SHOPS AND COMMUNITY POST OFFICE CONVERSION GRANT SCHEME ­ REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE AT THE POST OFFICE, KIRKTON OF GLENISLA

There was submitted Report No 1149/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport which advised that the owner of the Post Office at Kirkton of Glenisla had approached Angus Council regarding financial assistance towards the cost of additional improvement works.

The Report noted that the Post Office and Shop at Glenisla was the only shop within the relatively isolated community and served a function well beyond the provision of goods.

The Committee agreed to offer the maximum grant available of £3,000, for the works requiring to be undertaken under the Rural Shops and Community Post Office Conversion Grant Scheme.

8. MONIFIETH SEAFRONT IMPROVEMENTS

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee of 5 October 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1126/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport and the Director of Recreation Services which detailed the findings of the study into the development and enhancement of the seafront at Monifieth. The Report also set out the proposed programme for consultation and implementation of the concept proposals.

The Report indicated that the seafront at Monifieth represented a major environmental resource and incorporated a number of local leisure uses. These acted as attractions for both locals and visitors but parts of the seafront area had suffered from a lack of investment over recent years. The proposed masterplan outlined in the Report attempted to address this in a pragmatic manner within an achievable timescale. Further, the focused approach advocated would make an immediate impact by enhancing the quality of the environment of what was commonly perceived as the seafront and would provide a much improved range of play facilities, whilst retaining the popular traditional facilities. There were, however, a number of important issues which would have to be addressed, particularly in relation to the consultant’s suggestions for the Tayview Caravan Park. Consultation with the public and the affected owners would be required before coming to a conclusion on the acceptability of the proposed masterplan.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the findings of the study into the development and enhancement of the seafront at Monifieth, as outlined in the Report;
  2. to note the financial implications of proceeding with the works;
  3. to undertake consultation with the public and other interested parties; and
  4. to await further reports on the outcome of the consultations.

9. CAIRNGORMS LOCAL BIODIVERSITY ACTION PLAN: PROJECT OFFICER

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 26 August 1999, there was submitted Report No 1150/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport which recommended that Angus Council contribute towards the third year of a post intended to co-ordinate and develop the Cairngorms Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). The Project Officer was the most effective means of taking this forward.

The Committee agreed to contribute up to £2,000 towards the cost of the Project Officer post, subject to the balance of the funding being secured and the expenditure being met from the Planning and Transport Department’s Revenue Budget for 2000/2001.

10. TAYSIDE BIODIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP - UPDATE

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 27 January 2000, there was submitted Report No 1151/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport which detailed the further progress of the working of the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership with agreement being sought to make a small financial contribution, in order to secure landfill tax monies for the initiative.

The Report indicated that the Partnership had been successful in securing over £92,000 in landfill tax monies towards the initiative, principally to fund a full time officer post. A further 10% had been raised by the Partnership to meet the requirements of ENTRUST, the organisation which regulated the distribution of Landfill Tax money.

The Council had therefore been asked to make a small financial contribution towards the Tayside Biodiversity Action Plan which would allow the work of the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership Steering Group to continue and build on the momentum already achieved.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report; and
  2. to contribute £918 as a further contribution towards the 10% funding the Partnership required to be raised in order to secure landfill tax monies for the initiative.

11. FORFAR PATHS NETWORK

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 9 March 2000, there was submitted Report No 1152/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport which updated members of the progress made to date in relation to the Forfar Paths Network and proposed a way forward.

The Report indicated that the survey/specification work undertaken had resulted in a draft proposed network, as detailed in the Report. The draft Network concentrated on paths close to the urban area where maximum benefit to the population could be gained. It had also been designed to enable a range of circular journeys of varying lengths to be enjoyed. The majority of routes were on existing tracks, paths, footways and minor public roads, with a range of works proposed to improve paths; remove encroaching vegetation and link them together where it was both necessary and cost effective.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the draft proposals for the Forfar Paths Network;
  2. to undertake consultations with the public and landowners;
  3. to approve the proposed broad terms of agreement with landowners, as outlined in the Report; and
  4. to ask the Director of Planning and Transport to report the results of the consultation exercise, together with funding details, to the Committee on 23 November 2000.

12. ESTABLISHMENT OF COUNTRYSIDE ACCESS OFFICER POST

With reference to Article 5 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 9 March 2000, there was submitted Report No 1153/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport proposing the establishment of a Countryside Access Officer post within the Planning and Transport Department.

The Report indicated that significant external funds were becoming available to undertake the development of path networks in Angus. However, with a limitation on existing staff resources, Angus Council would not be in a position to take full advantage of such funding opportunities. A Countryside Access Officer would offer a cost effective means of releasing the latent potential which existed to create path networks, as demonstrated by the proposals for the Forfar Paths Network. In view of the benefits to the Council, the Director of Planning and Transport was willing to re-prioritise the Department’s revenue budget to ensure that the additional cost of the Countryside Access Officer could be contained within budget.

The Committee agreed to note the impending establishment of a Countryside Access Officer post for a period of three years, to be based within the Planning and Transport Department.

13. ANGUS LOCAL TRANSPORT STRATEGY

With reference to Article 9 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 9 March 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1154/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport and the Director of Roads which addressed the submission of a full Local Transport Strategy for Angus to the Scottish Executive, including requirements under the Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997.

The Report indicated that the Local Transport Strategy set out Angus Council’s commitment to sustainable, integrated transport which promoted social inclusion. Considerable progress had already been made, as reflected in current policies and initiatives of the Council, and the Strategy built on this to further develop relevant measures in Angus.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to approve the terms of the full Local Transport Strategy for Angus (a draft of which had been placed in the Members’ Lounge,) the content of which was based on:-
    1. updating relevant sections of the Interim Local Transport Strategy, including taking account of the results of consultation on the Interim Strategy;
    2. identifying relevant performance indicators and targets for the Strategy; and
    3. incorporating the statutory report required under the Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997; and
  2. to note the general arrangements proposed for submitting the Angus Local Transport Strategy to the Scottish Executive, as detailed in the Report.

14. PUBLIC TRANSPORT UPDATE

There was submitted Report No 1155/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport which updated members on proposed local bus service amendments within Angus.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the introduction from 30 October 2000 of new local bus services between Laurencekirk and Montrose and between Stonehaven and Montrose operated by M W Nicoll;
  2. to approve the introduction of an additional day of operation on the Rural Transport Grant Funded Service 116 between Friockheim and Montrose to meet passenger requests;
  3. to approve the additional Thursday and Saturday operation of the Rural Transport Grant Funded Shoppers Service 370 between Inveraldie and Dundee to meet passenger requests;
  4. to note the consultation exercise currently on-going in respect of renewing the contracts for Service 127 Kirriemuir/Forfar ­ Arbroath and Service 125 Kirriemuir-Glamis-Forfar; and
  5. to note the valuable role played by ATCO (The Association of Transport Co-ordinating Officers) in sharing good working practices and professional experiences on transport issues and advising Government and other policy makers on public transport matters, and to authorise Lesley Millar, the Council’s Transport Manager, to seek election to the position of Vice-Chairperson of ATCO (Scotland).

15. INVESTIGATION OF CLAIMED PUBLIC RIGHTS OF WAY – TULLOES WOOD, KIRKBUDDO, FORFAR

There was submitted Report No 1156/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport which detailed the conclusion of investigations into five claimed public rights of way through Tulloes Wood, Kirkbuddo, Forfar.

The Report indicated that, notwithstanding the fact that the five routes were located within a relatively rural area, four or five witnesses using each route with often variable and uncertain frequency was not considered to be quantity and quality of a level of use which would be consistent with use as a right. There was also insufficient evidence of any use by the public as of right. On the basis of the evidence submitted in this matter, it was not considered that these routes could be asserted given the difficulty in proving use by the public as such in continuous journey over the whole lengths of the routes.

The Committee agreed:-

  1. to note the outcome of investigations undertaken in connection with the claimed status of the routes and the conclusions from the investigations; and
  2. to note that there was insufficient evidence for Angus Council to assert the existence of any of the five claimed public rights of way through Tulloes Wood, Kirkbuddo.

16. DOORS OPEN DAY 2000

With reference to Article 11 of the minute of meeting of this Committee of 23 November 1999, there was submitted Report No 1157/00 by the Director of Planning and Transport which detailed the outcome of the recent Doors Open Day 2000 event held in Angus on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September 2000.

The Report indicated that the event had been co-ordinated by the Planning and Transport Department and included a total of 18 buildings. The total number of visitors had been in excess of 1,700, a 50% increase from last year.

The Committee noted the successful results of the Doors Open Day 2000 in Angus.

17. PUBLICATION OF HISTORIC FORFAR

With reference to Article 13 of the minute of meeting of the Recreation and Cultural Services Committee held on 5 October 2000, there was submitted Joint Report No 1135/00 by the Acting Director of Cultural Services and the Director of Planning and Transport which informed members of the publication of "Historic Forfar" by Historic Scotland with the support of their Departments.

The Report indicated that Historic Scotland had funded the Scottish Burgh Survey, a project which had studied the history and archaeology of Scotland’s historic burghs. Although the main aim of the survey had been to advise local authority planning departments, museum curators and developers on areas of archaeological interest, the publications would also be of interest to the general public and academics.

"Historic Forfar" traced the fortunes of the burgh from early medieval times to the present. The history and archaeology of the town were described, as were its historic buildings and the origins of its street names. Copies of "Historic Forfar" had been placed in the Member’s Lounge for information, as well as the public libraries, the Meffan and the Planning and Transport Department.

The Committee, for its interest, agreed:-

  1. to note the contents of the Report;
  2. to note that copies of "Historic Forfar" had been placed in the Members’ Lounge; and
  3. to instruct the Acting Director of Cultural Services and the Director of Planning and Transport to take account of the findings of "Historic Forfar" in future developments in Forfar and in the interpretation of the Burgh.
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