Welcome to Cromarty
WELCOME to the Cromarty Live website. If you are travelling to the Highlands of Scotland and the Black Isle, you will be delighted with a visit to this charming and unique old town.
If you have links to Cromarty already, you will find news of what’s happening in the local scene.
Our website tells you of Cromarty’s many attractions, amongst which are fine 18th-century merchant houses, an ancient church made famous by being greatly successful in the BBC’s ‘Restoration Village’ programme and a museum honouring the remarkable 19th-century geologist and writer Hugh Miller. There are details of the town’s facilities and its available accommodation should you decide to stay. Hundreds of years of history are waiting for you to explore in its streets and narrow vennels.
Cromarty people are welcoming and always pleased to help.
Cromarty and District Community Council
VICTORIA HALL 2022 BOOKINGS
The Hall is currently open, but subject to the latest Scottish Government 'Protective Guidance'. This is due to be reviewed from 17th January, when it is hoped that regular users will be able to return with confidence. In the meantime only the Youth Cafe is managing to meet these challenges, and continue with their activities. The new booking form is available on the Hall’s website www.thevictoriahall.net and this includes an Event Risk Assessment form. Please note these booking conditions are subject to update as the Hall follows any Scottish Government 'Protective Guidance' that is announced.
If you wish to book the Hall for later in the year, please note that any booking can only be taken on a provisional basis, as we have to comply with any Scottish Government 'Protective Guidance', as it happens. We realise this can be very frustrating when planning an event, but we will keep you updated with any developments that may affect your proposed booking. This frustration is shared by the VHMC and only puts pressure on the Hall's ability to remain open. We can only continue for so long under these challenges and a scheduled review of our finances in March will determine whether we have to accept that maintaining Community venues, run by volunteers, is not viable. All such venues locally, and across the Highlands, are suffering from these similar challenges and have had to close but, please be assured that any closure of the Hall will always be a last resort.
Bookings restarted, with increased cleaning protocols, but please note are still only available to our existing regular Hall users and Cromarty residents.
DO NEED TO REPORT A PROBLEM TO THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL?
Just a brief reminder for residents wishing to report problems to Highland Council.
Preferably use the website link https://www.highland.gov.uk/report or call the Service Centre contact number 01349 886602 to request a repair. This is important as a reference number will be given. If not the resident should insist one is given. This reference number starts an audit trail that relevant departments, such as Housing, can and must follow up. If telephoning, residents may have to wait for their call to be answered or to call back at a different time. But do keep on trying until you get that reference number!
INNER MORAY FIRTH DEVELOPMENT PLAN FINAL PROPOSALS
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR CROMARTY?
Earlier this year the C&DCC submitted its comments and requests as part of the Highland Council's consultation process to develop the new 10 year IMF Development Plan. These were published here at that time.
The final Highland Council (HC) draft proposals were recently agreed by the Black Isle Highland Councillors, before going for full Highland Council approval. The formal public consultation process will commence, on the final 'Proposed Plan' after it is published in March 2022.
A two page extract of the Cromarty proposals contained within the Plan, can be viewed here.
The full 42 page document (covering the proposals for the whole Plan) can be viewed here.
In general it is clear that the C&DCC submission was listened to and many of our requests have been included in the HC proposals.
However there was one clear error of fact. Under the 'Summary of Issues Raised in Comments' of which there were 18 (including the C&DCC ones). It was stated that the "C&DCC opposed CM03". This was not correct. After consultation with Tim Stott (THC Principal Planner and author of the proposals), C&DCC was asked to clarify our comments to Black Isle Highland Councillors before they considered their approval. This was done and has therefore been corrected on the Cromarty extract (highlighted in yellow).
The C&DCC had in fact neither discussed nor commented on CM03 at all, because it was outside the town's existing Settlement Development Area Boundary, which is marked in white on the attachment. C&DCC had purely stated that we supported CM01, and part of CM02, for Affordable Housing which should satisfy Cromarty's dire need for such housing, as opposed to 'developments for profit' that were already at saturation levels in Cromarty.
C&DCC now knows that the HC 'Recommendations & Reasons' stating that the CM01 (Jock's Field/Sandilands) had continuing problems were as a result of a meeting between the HC and Albyn Housing, who have reconfirmed that they are not presently able to consider developing this site. As a result THC have turned their attention to the CM03 site because the landowner (McBean) was very open to considering an affordable housing development, under an official Rural Housing Burden managed by the Communities Housing Trust. These discussions are at an advanced stage and much work has already been done detailing the proposed development with a Call for Sites having already been submitted to the HC. As a result the HC are proposing to extend Cromarty's Settlement Development Area Boundary. C&DCC is seeking further clarification on the reference to self build units requiring Active Travel improvements to the Paye (where McBean also owns land).
The C&DCC is pleased that the HC has listened to its submissions and the CM03 proposals would provide the needed Affordable Housing which C&DCC are keen to support.
In addition, C&DCC’s request for the Links, Victoria Park and the Townlands playspace to receive protected Greenspace status has been accepted and included. The NatureScot support on this proposal will have helped. CM01 will be left in the Plan, but is now regarded as a more ‘long-term’ project. The proposals for CM02 now contain a 'contamination assessment' to see if any development can be considered, in addition to the Cromarty Development Trust's existing Campervan/Camping site proposals.
WINTER WEATHER IS COMING - VOLUNTEERS OF ALL AGES REQUIRED TO HELP KEEP CROMARTY'S PAVEMENTS ICE FREE
With the winter season to Cromarty upon us, we are now assembling gritter teams to help keep the town safe.
If you are interested in helping please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you.
USE OF THE LINKS FOR COMMUNITY EVENTS
As we think positively about being able to organise more community events, we thought it a good idea to remind folk that the C&DCC runs a booking system.
To avoid planning issues, on behalf of the landowner Cromarty Estate, we are allowed to open the Links for a limited number of occasions each year, to facilitate community events.
The booking calendar is managed by Peter Ratcliffe who can be contacted either directly or on the C&DCC email email@example.com, with any proposal to hold such an event.
VEHICLE DAMAGE DUE TO POTHOLES
There is an online form on the Highland Council website. You will need the following
* date, time * location * photo * receipts for any work to your car, tyre etc
Or phone 01349 886601 for an insurance claim form for damage to your car
Ross and Cromarty Citizens Advice Bureau are looking to recruit additional directors. Can you spare a few hours to help us?
If you are interested please contact Mary MacDonald by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01349 883333 or Click here for more information
GOOD NEWS FOR THE YOUNG FOLK AND THOSE ‘YOUNG AT HEART’
We are pleased to confirm two bits of good news.
The proposed MTB Pump Track is going ahead (see May Cromarty Live Newsletter for details – to be found on the Cromarty Live website www.cromartylive.co.uk) and funding is now being secured.
The replacement goalposts (again see May Cromarty Live Newsletter for details – to be found on the Cromarty Live website www.cromartylive.co.uk. Funding has already been confirmed.) have now been delivered and erected by an enthusiastic volunteer team, to whom we are very thankful. The old 5 a side goals will now be moved to the Links.
All a bit later than first planned but a massive help to the mental health of Cromarty young folk.
IMPORTANT LATEST NIGG NEWS
Received on 25th June 2021 from Rory Gunn, Facilities Director, Nigg Energy Park
Works to construct the new quayside at the Nigg Energy Park East Quay have progressed very well since project commencement in April 2021. Our principle contractor’s, Farrans Construction, initial focus has been on the removal of soft material from the sea bed by dredging and constructing the new working platform by importing materials from the nearby Castlecraig quarry. The initial phase of dredging has now been completed and the platform works are expected to be completed during July 2021.
The next phase of the project involves installing the steel piles to form the new quay wall is now due to commence. Farrans have already installed a test pile in order to get a firm understanding of how the piles will drive into the existing ground. The anchor wall piles will be installed using high frequency vibration hammer mounted on a tracked telescopic piling rig, this will commence week commencing 28/06/21 and is expected to take 2-4 weeks to complete with the rig operating the hammer frequently throughout this period.
The main quay wall piling will also commence week of 28/06/21. To minimise the noise associated with the use of impact hammers Farrans will install these using a “drill and drive” technique; however this does not eliminate the use of impact hammers. Farrans will be using large crane suspended vibration hammers (2 of the largest available in the country!) to complete the initial drive. Due to the ground conditions these vibration hammers will only take the piles so far after which they will require impact driving to a competent soil strata in order to facilitate the onward drilling.
Farrans intend to mobilise the drill rig in July 2021 in order to drill through the pre-driven tubes to form a socket into the rock which in turn makes it easier to further advance the pile. With the socket pre-drilled this will cut down on the time taken to drive the pile to final level using the impact hammer. Throughout the entire impact operation a noise suppression system will also be installed around the drive cap of the impact hammers. Farrans expect the entire piling operation to be completed November 2021 and will limit the use of hammers to 08:00 – 19:00 Monday to Friday, on occasions Saturday working may be required and if necessary will be limited to between 08:00 – 13:00.
FUTURE OF THE EAST CHURCH HALL
Following the pre-school classes being moved to the Cromarty Primary School premises, the community has been left with a valuable community asset unused, but definitely not unloved.
The C&DCC has received a lot of local interest, who are very keen to see the East Church Hall used as a functioning, useful and sustainable community facility. Local folk have many fond memories of this building in its many guises over the years, and have asked that the C&DCC coordinates the local interest and, in the first place, liaises with the Highland Council, who are the ‘custodians’ of this Cromarty Common Good Asset.
At our latest meeting, it was agreed that the C&DCC will make this approach and then bring together all the community ideas, in an attempt to create a sustainable community based future for the East Church Hall.
Keep your views and ideas coming, by emailing email@example.com, as we start this process. All ideas will be considered and every communication will receive a response.
HIGHLAND COUNCIL SEASONAL ACCESS RANGERS
For full details and ways to contact their Team read here
URGENT NEWS ABOUT MONITORING THE RIG NOISE
The Environmental Health Officer from the Highland Council has requested that noise/nuisance record sheets are completed regarding the rig noise. If they don't receive any noise/nuisance record sheets, they will not be able to investigate further. Download the sheet and notes here
Please consider the impact of the noise on you, your physical and mental health, your relationships, your work and anything else you think is important.
Once completed, please send the records to The Environmental Health Officer, Community Services, Highland Council Area Office, 84 High Street, Dingwall IV159QN.
Please also send a copy the C&DCC at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can collate the number of responses for future contact with the Environmental Health team. Thank you.
EVEN MORE URGENT CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS OF ALL AGES
The visitor season may not be upon us, but we are still assembling litter picking teams to help keep the town clear.
If you are interested in helping please contact Peter Ratcliffe on email@example.com and he will contact you.
OTHER LATEST NEWS
CROMARTY FOODBANK CLOSURE NEWS here.
Last C&DCC Agenda here.
2021 C&DCC AGM Approved 2019 Minutes here.
2021 C&DCC AGM Approved Audited 2019/20 Financial Statements here.
2021 C&DCC AGM Approved Audited 2020/21 Financial Statements here.
Latest C&DCC Ordinary Meeting Approved Minutes here.
Latest Youth Café Report here
Youth Café Summer Programme Report here
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