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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


NOTE THAT LINKS TO ALL THE LATEST C&DCC AGENDAS, APPROVED MINUTES, REPORTS, PORTFOLIO LISTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE


THANK YOU TO CROMARTY FOR OPENING UP

A huge thank you to everyone in the community who worked so hard to open up Cromarty over the weekend of 2nd/3rd July, and the obviouusly appreciative visiting public who donated so much money towards community good causes. In particular the Cromarty Community Defibrillator Fund received £600 towards its efforts to help save lives and the Cromarty Youth Cafe's Holiday Hunger/Food+ Projects also received £600 towards their continuing support for the lives of vulnerable families in our community.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE


PROPOSAL TO BAN RIGHT HAND TURNS ON TO THE A9 FROM BLACK ISLE

The C&DCC received the following from the Highland Council. C&DCC Members are glad to see progress on this very important and life saving subject, AT LAST!

Plans and other documents (4 documents) are available here DOC1-DOC2-DOC3-DOC4.

PROHIBITION OF RIGHT HAND TURN: B9161–A9 and U2723-A9

In the interests of road safety and casualty reduction The Highland Council have been working with Transport Scotland to promote the above scheme in order to improve the safety of all road users at the B9161–A9 (known locally as Munlochy) junction and the U2723-A9 (known locally as the Artafallie) junction.

Please see enclosed the draft Road Traffic Regulation Order, draft plan, Statement of Reasons and first press notice for the proposals for your information.

I am pleased to confirm that the Elected Members are fully supportive of the proposal.

The C&DCC is happy to receive any comments or questions on cromartydistrictcc@gmail.com. 


  CROMARTY COMMUNITY CELEBRATION

Thursday 2nd June 2022 UPDATE

All costs of this event have been covered by personal donations, of volunteering time, benefits in kind and money, from the community folk who also made this such a success. Following the planned auction of the limited edition Jubilee Beacon, we will have raised further funds to spend on Cromarty amenities. 

Cromarty folk at their finest! Thank you.


NIGG EXPANSION UNDER THE IMFDP

Does Cromarty Benefit?

Make your views known. Full details here


UPDATE

We are pleased to announce that the C&DCC meeting, held on Monday 27th June, was our first attempt at a 'blended' meeting. It was held at the Victoria Hall and online. The good news is that the technology worked well although it may be necessary to invest in a wide angle camera if more than Monday's three 'guinea pigs' come to our next face to face meeting on 29th August!

C&DCC MEETINGS - ONLINE OR FACE TO FACE?

Discussions are taking place about whether to return to physical meetings or to remain online.

Until now the C&DCC has been led by the Highland Council’s current guidance. Presently we are told that face to face meetings, although allowable, should be treated with caution and to maintain social distancing for indoor settings.

Even if we decide to return to physical meetings we shall still need to offer an online option to people who are shielding or would prefer/need to remain online. This requires a suitable venue with an adequate internet connection. We are therefore considering using the meeting room in the Victoria Hall but that has a maximum of 12 persons. Online we can host a maximum of 100. In addition the Hall currently has intermittent maintenance issues with both the heating and the electrics.

Our previous ‘home’ was the meeting room at the Hugh Miller Institute. But although larger than the one at the Victoria Hall, it would still limit us to a maximum of 15. However presently this is not an option as that wing of the building is deemed as possibly unsafe, until Highland Council surveyors have completed and submitted a full report. The survey has been done but the report is awaited. Because of this problem, no assessment of the internet connection has yet been made.

Online attendance is a simple process. All you need is a device that can connect to the internet and an internet connection, either broadband or mobile. If you can use Facebook you can attend our online meetings. Since 2019, the maximum attendance at any meeting has been 11. The average time for the AGM has been 20 minutes (it has very little formal business to transact!).

For the moment we stay online, but it is reviewed on a monthly basis. If you have any questions or comments please contact us by email on cromartydistrictcc@gmail.com, we appreciate your interest.


 ***YOUTH MEMBERS NEEDED***

As many will know, the C&DCC has successfully utilised the Highlands initiative to have 16 – 18 year olds at the centre of our work, by having two Youth Members with full voting rights.

Over the last few years we have had Gregor Fox, Tilly Grist and Coll Fullerton making important contributions to the community and we thank them enormously for everything they have done.

Unfortunately (although they might say fortunately!) their tenure is short and limited to the two years only. As a result we are constantly looking for ‘new blood’ to keep this initiative working.

If you, or someone you know, might be interested in getting involved, then please contact our Chair Paige (youngest Chair in the Highlands!), organisers of the Youth Cafe or simply email us on cromartydistrictcc@gmail.com . Please don’t think it is not for you, because you dictate how much of your time you can offer. Just ask Gregor, Tilly or Coll, if you are not sure.


 Womens' Come and Try Tennis Sessions

Cromarty Tennis Court

6-8 p.m. Every Tuesday

All are Welcome. It's just for fun and it's for all levels and abilities, come along and give it a try!


EVEN MORE URGENT CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS OF ALL AGES

The visitor season is now upon us, and we are still assembling litter picking teams to help keep the town clear.

If you are interested in helping please contact Peter Ratcliffe on cromartydistrictcc@gmail.com and he will contact you.

Thank you


VICTORIA HALL 2022 BOOKINGS

At the latest C&DCC meeting it was agreed that a review of booking conditions will take place for recommendations at our 29th August meeting.


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!


FINAL UPDATE ON

INNER MORAY FIRTH DEVELOPMENT PLAN FINAL PROPOSALS

(see below for previous news on the IMFDP and Cromarty)

C&DCC MADE ITS FINAL SUBMISSION TO THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL’s PUBLISHED INNER MORAY FIRTH DEVELOPMENT PLAN PROPOSALS

After successful, and useful meetings, with Tim Stott (THC Chief Planner), Evan McBean (landowner of the proposed CM03 site) and Members’ discussions, the following C&DCC submission was made to the Inner Moray Firth Development Plan published proposals.

Re Nigg ( Section 4 / Economic Development Areas / Nigg Energy Park),

The Environmental Impact Assessment to include assessment of Low Frequency Noise, Peak Noise and Noise Fluctuations, adopting the methodology of BS 4142:2014+A1:2019 March 202 Version1.0 Technical Note, and adoption of current World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance on Low Frequency Noise, Peak Noise and Noise Fluctuations.

As part of any expansion, Nigg Energy Park be asked to include investment (a) to increase the Ferry to become a year round service to encourage local employment opportunities and (b) to set up an insulation (including double glazing with conservation area planning flexibility) fund available to Cromarty residents to help combat the existing, and any increase in, low frequency noise.

Re Cromarty (Section 4)

Cromarty & District Community Council support both CM01 and CM03 sites provided the Developer Requirements include -

a) Both schemes are used for affordable housing only (CM03 via a Rural Housing Burden managed by CHT), with a mixture of tenures and CM03's self build plots

b) Both schemes incorporate EV charging points

c) CM03 to include improved Active Travel links in to town. Mainly down the Denny and across the Greenspace of Victoria Park rather than any use of the Paye, because it goes to an area of town that does NOT contain the Primary School NOR the main shops and has a VERY difficult cobbled downhill junction on to Church Street. And also via Townlands Park.

d) CM03's Rural Housing Burden to include clear preference in offering affordable housing to young Cromarty residents and with conditions to prevent 'short term resell'. This is strongly supported by the local landowner.

e) CM01's challenges over access to also include the landowner (Albyn) discussing with the Cromarty Development Trust about evaluating a widening of the access between the Victoria Hall and Townlands Barn, by reducing the less listed side structure of the Barn.

f) Both schemes to include green sustainable heating and energy provision.

If Cromarty residents have any questions and/or comments, please email us on cromartydistrictcc@gmail.com. Thank you.


INNER MORAY FIRTH DEVELOPMENT PLAN FINAL PROPOSALS

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR CROMARTY?

Last 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.


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 cromartydistrictcc@gmail.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

https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/20005/roads_and_pavements/96/road_faults

Or phone 01349 886601 for an insurance claim form for damage to your car 


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 cromartydistrictcc@gmail.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 cromartydistrictcc@gmail.com so we can collate the number of responses for future contact with the Environmental Health team. Thank you.


Latest C&DCC Agenda here.

2022 C&DCC AGM Agenda here.

2022 C&DCC Chairwoman's Annual Report here.

2021 C&DCC AGM Approved Minutes here.

2022 C&DCC AGM Approved Audited 2021/22 Financial Statements here.

2021 C&DCC AGM Approved Audited 2020/21 Financial Statements here.

Latest C&DCC Ordinary Meeting Approved Minutes here

Current C&DCC Members' Portfolios List here.

Latest Youth Café Monthly Report here 

Youth Café 2021 Summer Programme Report here


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