COMMUNITY COUNCIL CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2012/2013
Since my last report, over the past year the Community Council (CC) has again had to occupy itself to deal with a number of major issues;
Dalgety Bay Foreshore Radiation – We have continued to place events, reports and correspondence on our website www.dalgetybay.org.uk to keep the community updated. We have continued to receive major assistance from the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP, former Prime Minister and our local MP in providing political support to solve the problem. We are very grateful for this, along with the continued support of Helen Eadie MSP and our Fife Councillors.
Is there and end in sight to what seems a never ending problem? Yes, after some delay, we are now approaching the end of the Final Investigation Plan and recommendations for remediation will be made in June/July after the Appropriate Person/s responsible for the pollution is named at the end of May.
We have obtained confirmation from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation of the Ministry of Defence (DIO MOD), that in the event that the MOD is found to be an Appropriate Person in accordance with the statutory regime i.e. (Radioactive Contaminated Land (Scotland) Act 2007) for the contaminated Land at Dalgety Bay, the Department will fulfil its obligation to meet its portion of the liability and carry out on a voluntary basis any action required, including remediation where appropriate.
We have responded to two procedure notices from the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA), regarding the developer’s appeal on the refusal of planning permission to develop the South Pier at St David’s Harbour with 24 flats and associated amenity space, restaurant/bistro, parking, lighthouse, walkway, landscaping and vehicular access. The result was the Reporter dismissed the appeal and refused planning permission which was in keeping with the Dunfermline and West Fife Local Plan which was approved last November that reverted the site to green space. On both these counts, the developer has made an application to the Court of Session to appeal against this decision and against the adoption of the Local Plan. These appeals are now being considered.
It is important to state that we have always supported limited development that realises the original master plan of 1992 concept for the St David’s to provide small scale commercial facilities such as a café/bistro, retail, and community facilities that serve the area and visitors to the coastal path and harbour. This has been made clear in our submission to the new FIFEplan which is being prepared by Fife Council (FC). It is also our intention to carry out a public survey on the future of the site.
Along with Inverkeithing CC, we have objected to a proposed housing development at Spencerfield Farm which is contrary to the new local plan and would mean building on green belt land and coalesce with Inverkeithing.
We have provided a response to FC’s consultation on the new FIFEplan which hopefully, will incorporate our Town Centre Framework.
We have been represented at meetings and a workshop with FC’s consultant in the preparation of a Regeneration/Action Plan for the Donibristle and Hillend Industrial Estates. An informal meeting has also been held with the applicant to develop the western gateway to Donibristle Estate which relocates the indoor children’s play centre and existing business unit, erects a new retail unit, pub/restaurant and a drive through restaurant. This has to be considered in conjunction with FC’s Regeneration/Action Plan that is due shortly.
Away from planning we have;
on behalf of the community, agreed in principle to take over ownership of the privately owned Crow, Bathing House and Hopeward Woods subject to an investigation of various issues by a Steering Group that we have set up. If satisfactory, a Woodland Group will be formed. Following our SOS in the Diary last November, it was very pleasing to receive a good response from interested residents on this.
submitted a proposal to Shell UK to form a Woodland of Hope on their land for the Relay for Life Committee, Cancer UK.
in conjunction with Fife Council arranged for a Community Orchard to be planted with school children from both primary schools. This was to assist Peter Collins who is responsible for the idea and has provided the trees.
continued our campaign to Fife Council for improvements to the B916/B981 junctions.
produced a survey and recommendations on play parks in the town and Hillend. Following a notice in the Diary it is hoped to form a group to work with ourselves and FC in revamping the play parks.
again provided the Christmas Lighting in Regents Way.
in the “Beautiful Fife Campaign 2012” with the assistance of the Horticultural Society, Air Cadets and Rotary Club achieved a silver award for Dalgety Bay and bronze award for Hillend.
kept up our links with Ocsa, Hungary by forming a Twinning Organisation and receiving two of their artists to produce artwork for the Overlappings Fifespace exhibition held at Rothes Halls and Lochgelly Centre.
continued to make representations to Stagecoach, Scotrail and Fife Council on changes to rail and bus services.
we have maintained our important representation on SEPA’s multi agency “Dalgety Bay Forum” and the “Dalgety Bay Particles Advisory Group” set up to deal with the contamination problem.
we have continued our representation on the following; Forth Estuary Forum, Mossmorran and Braefooot Bay Community Liaison Committee and their Independent Air Quality Group, Muirdean Environmental Trust, the Local Police Community Forum and South West Fife Community Safety Panel.
we have provided representation and support to the town’s newly set up Fairtrade Group.
As usual, there have been other items that have occupied us over the past year which are too numerous to mention in this report.
We have given grants to the following totalling £2200
Dalgety Bay Horticultural Society for schools section £300
Inverkeithing High School for prize giving £100
Dalgety Bay Twinning Association £250
Woodland Explorers towards wild life garden £250
Dalgety Bay Sailing Club towards youth training £250
Explorer Scouts towards jamboree attendance £300
Dalgety Bay 2nd Brownies towards trip £200
Gala Sponsorship £300
Dalgety Bay Fairtrade Group £250
Community Council Membership and Support
Firstly, I would like to thank Barbara Wade for taking on the role of Treasurer.
I can report that we have had one resignation from the Council, but express special thanks to Stephen Chorley for his valued planning input and Rachel Doyle and Jeanette Gray for producing the survey of the Play Areas. In addition, many thanks go to Janice McFarlane and her husband for managing the distribution of the “Diary” newspaper along with those volunteers that distribute it for our Council and the revenue it brings in, for without it; there could not be any CC grants issued.
My annual thanks go to Eleanor Rowe our “Diary” editor for her hard work in producing the newspaper each month, to Nicki McLeod for her work as our “Diary Advertising Manager” and to Bob Bagnall in maintaining the website for us.
Special thanks go also to other office bearers; our Secretary Jeanette Gray and Peter Franklin our Vice-Chair for their services, along with all members of the CC for their time and contribution in the running of the Council. Fife Councillors are again thanked for their attendance and service over the past year along with the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP and SEPA for their updates.
In 2015, it will be the Golden Jubilee of the town and as with the Silver Jubilee in 1990 it would be very appropriate to set up a committee to plan celebrative events.
After 50 years are we due a Royal Visit?
I have been privileged to have been a Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Councillor since 1982 and it’s Chairman for the past 25 years, but the progress of time takes its toll and I will be intending to stand down at the next CC election.
It is therefore extremely important that with the recent growth of the town, community minded residents of Dalgety Bay and Hillend come forward to fill the vacancies on the CC. Community Councillors are responsible for shaping and influencing the future of our area for the next generation. We have a statutory duty on licensing, planning and as a land owner. If you feel you can contribute, please contact our Secretary or website www.dalgetybay.org.uk
Colin McPhail MBE
Chairman May 2013