Muckhart Village from Seamab

Clackmannanshire Council: Covid-19 – Mobile Test Centre

Clackmannanshire Council

As you may be aware a mobile Covid-19 Test Centre has been set up in the Alloa Town Hall Car Park and the Council is encouraging as many people, as possible, to book a test which is aimed at people without symptoms. While the testing is focussed on Alloa, people who live and work across Clackmannanshire can book an appointment.

The Council, itself, is not arranging tests but there’s more information about the testing on the Council website:

https://www.clacks.gov.uk/coronavirus/generalinformation/

The poster – see below – contains more information:

covid testAlloa1a

You can book a test via the Government web-site: GOV.UK website or by calling 0300 303 2713.

 

Update: MCC follow-up to Reporter’s Decision re H49

24th November

Following our meeting on 5th November, MCC has since held several informal meetings, with the last one taking place last Thursday 19th November. Those attending reviewed and discussed the progress made to date regarding the possibility of a legal case being made to overturn the Government Reporter’s intent to approve planning permission for 50 houses at site H49.

MCC has approached several law firms and one is prepared to examine the Reporter’s decision in detail to determine if a legal basis exists upon which a case could be built to take to the Court of Session. It stated that: The basis on which a decision such as this can be challenged by way of Judicial Review… are quite limited.” It was further stated that: “… the Court (of Session) would not review the planning merits of the application, and would only intervene if a legal flaw could be identified. Such challenges can therefore be difficult, and can, I am afraid, be expensive.”

It was confirmed that a fee of £5,000 would be charged for the firm to undertake an initial review of the Reporter’s Notice of Intention together with the related appeal documentation. If a legal basis could be determined for taking the case to Court, then the associated legal costs could exceed £50,000. These costs would be combined with “the risk of having to meet costs incurred by the other parties to the court action” were the case to be unsuccessful.

If a legal challenge was successful in the Court of Session, the case would be returned to the DPEA for it to be decided again which does not mean necessarily that the original decision by the Reporter would be changed or reversed: “The Reporter who hears the appeal again may come to the same decision but for different or expanded reasons.”

Further to discussion with PAS, members also agreed to look at an alternative option, namely, that of trying to secure free legal assistance through the Faculty of Advocates. Members agreed to review an application form for this service, which has since been distributed, to help determine if MCC’s wish to establish whether or not a legal case could be built, would qualify for such a service.

Members also discussed whether or not MCC should raise a formal complaint to the DPEA regarding the Reporter’s decision.

It was recognised that any complaint would require to be “precise” and based on “procedural grounds”. With this in mind, a member agreed to undertake a further, detailed examination of the Reporter’s Notice of Intention, to determine if there was such a case for a complaint. The virtual Site Visit, that was undertaken for the Reporter to ‘view’ site H49, and a lack of response to Health and Safety concerns raised regarding the marshy area within the site, were agreed as possible grounds for complaint.

MCC will discuss the above further at our next Meeting to be held, via MS Teams, on 2nd December.

Please Note: prior to this Meeting, MCC would welcome any further suggestions or ideas from residents which could help build a legal case against the Reporter’s decision or a case for complaint against the DPEA. Please just forward these to the MCC Secretary. If you would like to attend our next Meeting, then please contact the MCC Secretary to request a link.

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

 

6th November

Following our Meeting last week, MCC held a further meeting last night to discuss, in detail, how best to respond to the recent decision by the
Government Reporter to uphold the developer’s appeal, following the Council’s Planning Committee refusal to grant planning permission for 50
homes on site H49 in Muckhart.

It is clear from the DPEA letter issued, on 28th October, to all those who submitted representations relating to this application, and from the Reporter’s detailed Notice of Intention, that planning permission will be granted to Springfield “provided an agreement under Section 75 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 is reached between the planning authority and the appellant”. The details of this decision are included in the DPEA ‘Appeal: Notice of Intention’ which can be found at:

https://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/CaseDetails.aspx?ID=120984

Whilst MCC considers elements of the Notice to be somewhat subjective in nature, unfortunately, this decision means that the development of 50
houses will now go ahead and that there is no realistic opportunity for further negotiation, either with the Council or with Springfield, on this number.

MCC acknowledges that the community is dismayed and angered by this decision and that, despite all of our efforts, this is not what any of us
wanted or deserve, however, regretfully, this is the final stage in this part of the process.

However, at last night’s meeting, members discussed the possibilities for contesting this decision. If we were to follow this route, then our only recourse would be to take a robust legal case to the Court of Session. This would require identifying and highlighting clear and strong planning and legal grounds upon which to challenge the Reporters decision which could only be achieved by Muckhart engaging an experienced and specialist Planning lawyer or team. We determined that not only would this be a very costly exercise – based on our understanding, typically, such legal representations cost around £100,000 – but, were we to lose our case at the Court, then we would also be liable to pay any costs incurred by the DPEA in defending it’s decision. Further, based on the number of cases that have been taken to the Court of Session, in the recent past, the evidence points to the fact that the vast majority of appeals have not been successful, so, consequently, we agreed that this would be a very risky route for us to take.

However, a group of MCC members have agreed to scrutinise, in detail, the Notice of Intention, to determine if there are any relevant issues upon
which the grounds for an appeal could be based. We have also agreed to seek advice from Planning Aid Scotland, to ascertain their view regarding the
basis of a possible legal case. Based on the advice that MCC receives, subsequently, we may then consider contacting a specialist Planning lawyer.

Based on all of the planning and legal feedback and advice received, MCC will then make a decision on whether we would wish to go down the legal appeal route, taking into account the financial risks versus the chances of success.

In the meantime, members also agreed that it would be remiss of MCC not to engage and work with the Council Planners, to try to influence and secure the greatest benefits, possible, for all within our community, under the Section 75 agreement.

Finally, and with the above in mind, MCC would ask you please to forward any views on planning or legal ‘points’ which you would like us to consider, in any future discussions and representations, and share any experience or recommendation, that you may have, regarding a lawyer, or law firm, experienced in legal planning matters.

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

 

UPDATE: MCC Press Release: H49 Decision

Please find below a link to the on-line version of the Alloa Advertiser article (which is slightly different to the article published in today’s ‘paper’ version):

https://www.alloaadvertiser.com/news/18845207.muckhart-housing-plan-go-ahead-despite-councillors-rejection/

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

 

The following Press Release has been sent today to the Alloa Advertiser:

Press Release on H49 decision. DPEA Ref: PPA-150-2008

On Wednesday 28th October the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division of the Scottish Government (DPEA) issued a Notice of Intention allowing the appeal by Springfield Properties PLC against the decision of Clackmannanshire Council to refuse a residential development of 50 houses on land adjacent to the Pool of Muckhart.

Muckhart Community Council and the wider Muckhart community are dismayed and angered by the Reporter’s intent to grant planning permission for this development. The decision goes against the wishes of the elected representatives of Clackmannanshire Council on the Planning Committee, the elected East Clackmannanshire Ward Councillors, Muckhart Community Council and the wider Muckhart community.

The greatest anger is reserved for a decision that supports 50 houses on the site when the Local Development Plan allocates 35 – a 42% increase. Furthermore, the 50 houses will be crammed together into an area that is approximately 1/3 of the area of land designated for housing in the Local Development Plan for 35 houses, resulting in a development which is entirely out of character with the existing village.

The figure of 35 in the Local Development Plan was arrived at as a result of the intensive involvement of Muckhart Community Council and the wider community in the consultation process, leading to the finalisation of the Clackmannanshire Local Development Plan in 2015. That process involved a vote by Clackmannanshire Council specifically supporting the figure of 35 for housing development.

Muckhart is not against further housing in the community but why is it acceptable to exceed the number in the LDP when that number has been arrived at through due democratic processes?  Furthermore, questions are now being asked as to why anyone should get involved with the development plan consultations when the wishes of the community are ignored so blatantly and completely by the developer.  Those wishes, expressed through many objections and well attended public meetings, draw on local knowledge and positive aspirations for the Muckhart area; they have to mean something and not be side-lined through the planning process.

Is this a case of the profitability of a development taking precedent over the wish of the Muckhart community to protect the character and appearance of one of the most attractive conservation areas in Clackmannanshire? As John Anderson, Chair of Muckhart Community Council says: “The people of Muckhart deserve better, particularly given their interest in and involvement with the development planning process over many years and this planning application in particular.  As we move forward, we trust that there will no longer be a deficit in local democracy and that Muckhart Community Council and the wider community will be listened to and able to make a positive contribution to any development.”

Stuart Dean. Muckhart Community Council

 

 

Council Covid-19 Information & CTSi: Preparing for Change

The following post contains the latest contact information from the Council and an edited version of the latest CTSi bulletin:

Clackmannanshire Council

‘Support for People’ – supporting the NHS Test & Protect programme

Helpline: 01259 452275 or email S4P@clacks.gov.uk

The Council’s role is to make it easy for people not to leave their house from the minute they receive confirmation of a positive covid-19 test or close contact with someone who has received one.

The number of positive tests in Clackmannanshire is rising quickly.  People contacted by NHS Test & Protect can ask the Council for help with necessities for the period of isolation.  Some of them will be eligible for a £500 grant.  The grant is strictly only for in-work adults on low income who would lose income by staying at home following a positive test.

Anyone else who is struggling with the basics because of the impact of the pandemic can still call the Council for assistance and signposting to agencies who can help.

There is information about support during this new phase of the pandemic on the Council web-site, as follows:
https://www.clacks.gov.uk/coronavirus/supportsicv/

CTSi

Covid-19: Preparing for Change

TEST & PROTECT

Protect Scotland App
The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other and reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. And if you test positive, it can help in determining contacts that you may have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous. Using the Protect Scotland app, along with sticking to current public health measures, will help us to stay safe when we meet up, socialise, work or travel.

Find out more and download the app here.

Help for those self-isolating
There is a new system in place to help protect Test and Protect and ensure those people who test positive do stay at home and reduce infection – this could be people who receive a positive test and also those who get a notification through the Test & Protect app. The Council will help these people if they need and they can opt-in. Those that will have their income affected can apply for funding but the eligibility for this is tight – e.g. they must be employed or self employed and have to prove they will lose income as a result.

The Support for People service will put those self-isolating in touch with support providers in their community who can help. This includes voluntary groups. People who only get a notification are being asked if they can also self isolate but there may be a delay getting a phone call by the Council, so again these people may need some help and be in contact directly. The service may need to prioritise calls to those most vulnerable in our community such as the over 70’s and those people with medical conditions which put them at risk of severe illness from coming into contact with Covid-19.

This service is only for those who do not have other means of accessing these services. If those self-isolating have family, friends, neighbours or other services assisting them, they are encouraged to continue to use this support.

Help for those not self-isolating
If you are not self-isolating, but need some support, check out our Community Care Guide. This continues to be updated regularly, and we remain in contact with our local partners to ensure that the needs of the third sector and local community are taken into account in considering ways to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. We have also created a list of helplines covering everything from bereavement to money worries, as well as domestic abuse and addiction. Many people will be dealing with a number of concerns at the moment, and these helplines offer free and impartial advice.

You can also view our website for useful information, latest guidance, and updates.

CHECK THE RULES

Current measures and restrictions

Travel
The Scottish Government wants you to be safe. Please think about whether you need to travel, especially if you live in, or would be travelling to or through, the Central Belt. If you need to travel, follow FACTS and stay safe.

The Scottish Government is not imposing mandatory travel restrictions at this stage however you should:

  • avoid public transport unless it is absolutely necessary – for example for going to school or to work, if home working is not an option
  • people living in the five health board areas (Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Forth Valley, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, and Lothian) are advised not to travel outside the health board area they live in, unless they need to;
  • people in other parts of Scotland should not travel to these areas unless they need to
  • you should access goods, services and activities in your local area as much as possible
  • please walk, wheel and cycle when you can to save space on public transport for those who need it
  • please work from home if you can

Seeing friends and family
Full details of indoor and outdoor restrictions for seeing friends and family can be found here.

Shops and other businesses
Shops and other retail businesses should revert back to 2m distancing guidance at this time.

Customers must wear a face covering in shops and other retail premises. Some people do not have to wear a face covering including for age, health, or disability reasons.

Shop and retail staff who come into contact with customers must also wear a face covering. There are some exemptions, such as where there is 2 metre physical distancing or a screen between staff and customers.

Sports, exercise and leisure
No group exercise classes for indoor gyms/sports courts, pools etc can be held, with the exemption where this is specifically for under 18s.

Organised outdoor contact sport for those aged 18 and over is not permitted (excluding those playing professional sport as defined by the relevant governing bodies).

Coaches can still work with up to 30 people outdoors (in line with current guidance), with physical distancing and ensuring the appropriate sportscotland guidance is followed.

Indoor sport and leisure facilities remain open. All ages are permitted to use gym facilities and swimming pools, provided they abide by physical distancing requirements and following rules on mixing with other households.

Children and young people aged under 18 are exempt from the additional restrictions around sport and physical activity. They are still permitted to take part in organised contact sport outdoors and group classes indoors. Group classes indoors are restricted to those aged 17 and under. Those aged under 12 are still permitted to take part in organised indoor contact sport.

Providers should continue to ensure they operate as per the relevant guidance, such as the Scottish Government guidance on indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities and sportscotland’s latest guidance on sport and physical activity.

All snooker/pool halls, indoor bowling facilities, casinos and bingo halls must remain closed during this time.  Cinemas and libraries are not affected.

Hospitality businesses
Licensed premises must close during this period.
Unlicensed hospitality businesses in the affected areas must only open between 6am and at 6pm each day.

Take-away services can continue in line with current guidance.

This is subject to the following exemptions:

  • licensed cafes can also continue to provide a food and non-alcohol beverage service during these times to help alleviate the risk of social isolation.  A café is defined as an establishment whose primary business activity, in the ordinary course of business, is the sale of non-alcoholic drinks, snacks or light meals, which may be consumed on the premises.
  • wedding receptions, civil partnership receptions and funerals wakes may continue (with alcohol) as per current meeting rules for such events (eg guidance on 20 person limit in regulated premises)

Further details on other exemptions can be found here.

Workplace face coverings
It’s now mandatory to wear a face covering in indoor communal workplaces in Scotland, which includes:

🔹 Canteens (when you’re queueing, entering or leaving)
🔹 Corridors
🔹 Social spaces

Make sure you know where you need to wear a face covering.

Central Belt restrictions are currently in place until 06:00 on Monday 2nd November. 
A full list of local restrictions for the Central Belt (including Clackmannanshire) can be found here.

Current nationwide measures can be found here.

Coronavirus – Health Information

Coronavirus information
Health advice regarding coronavirus can be found on NHS Inform.

The Health Protection Scotland website is updated frequently, and includes the latest information and advice for professionals and organisations.

Support for people self isolating
You should self isolate immediately if:

  • You or someone in your household has symptoms
  • You have been advised to do so by the NHS or through the Protect Scotland App
  • You have been abroad and need to quarantine
  • If you are told to isolate you must not go for one last shop or wait for a test result to decide.

Please see information at the beginning of this bulletin on the support available for those self-isolating.

Test and Protect – Protect Scotland App
The Protect Scotland app from NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect is a free, mobile phone app designed to help us protect each other and reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus. And if you test positive, it can help in determining contacts that you may have otherwise missed while keeping your information private and anonymous. Using the Protect Scotland app, along with sticking to current public health measures, will help us to stay safe when we meet up, socialise, work or travel.

Find out more and download the app here.

 

 

Copyright © 2020 Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface –  All rights reserved.

 

Government Reporter Upholds H49 Appeal

As discussed at last night’s MCC Meeting, members regret to have to inform our community that, despite all of the reasoned arguments and representations made, by MCC, by members of our community and by our local Councillors, MCC was advised, yesterday, that the Government Reporter has taken the decision to uphold the developer’s appeal in relation to site H49.

The Reporters Notice, relating to this decision, can be found on the DPEA web-site, via the following link:

https://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/CaseDetails.aspx?ID=120984

MCC members agreed to further discuss how, as a community, we can best respond to this decision, moving forward.

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

Notice of By-Election: Ward 5 – Clackmannanshire East

The Notice for the By-Election for Ward 5 – Clackmannanshire, for your information:

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

Drivers Please Be Aware: Red Squirrels and Deer along Golf Course Road

This post is to advise that, recently, MCC has received several reports, from concerned residents, regarding the loss of several red squirrels and a young deer which have been hit and run over by cars which have been driving too quickly, and with undue care, along Golf Course Road.

To help protect our local wildlife, should you be driving along Golf Course Road, the road to Naemoor or Caplaw, etc., MCC would ask you please to drive with care and be aware that squirrels, deer and other wildlife may suddenly appear on the road in front of you.

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

Blairhill: Notice of Timber Operations

MCC has been advised by the landowner that work is due to commence on timber operations, in the area of the SSSI at Blairhill, at the beginning of next week, depending on the weather at this time.

The felling operation should take about two weeks to complete and the subsequent timber transport operations are due to start early in November. All operations should be complete by the middle of the month. The operator has been advised about the school start and finish times and transport operations will take place out with these times.

Following the completion of these operations, the landowner will ensure the track is restored.

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

 

Important: Flu Vaccination Update

Please find below a link to the latest information, from NHS Forth Valley, regarding this year’s Flu Vaccination Programme:

Flu Vaccination Programme Update

 

There is also some  further information on the Dollar Health Centre web-site:

https://www.dollarhealthcentre.org.uk/

 

Mike Wilson

Secretary – Muckhart Community Council

sec.muckhartcc@gmail.com

 

First Bus Timetables: Kinross – Stirling

You will be aware that the First Bus X53 service from Kinross to Stirling has now started running.

The timetables are available via the following links:

First_South-East-and-Central-Scotland_route_X53_Monday-to-Friday

First_South-East-and-Central-Scotland_route_X53_Saturday