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Wee Kirk takeaway – Strathblane Community Council comments on planning application 21/00185/FUL

A retrospective planning application has been filed for the operation of the Wee Kirk takeaway. All documentation relating to the planning application can be viewed online here

Since its launch, the takeaway has become quite popular with customers. However, at the same time, Stirling Council have received a number of objections from neighbours and other community members, as well as some comments in support. After discussions with the Wee Kirk team, comments have now been submitted by the community council.

The full text of the comments is below. In summary, the community council supports the new management in their efforts to revive the fortunes of the Kirkhouse Inn. However, the new external frying kitchen should not have been installed and operated without planning permission, and we believe that planning permission should not be granted until the problem of smells is solved.

Text of Community Council comments filed 14 April 2021

Strathblane Community Council has considered this application at its meetings in March and April 2021. Members of the community councils have met with the applicant and the owner of the Kirkhouse Inn, as well as speaking with those residents having raised objections.

It goes without saying that the community council wishes the Kirkhouse Inn to be restored to success after the lockdown, with full restaurant and pub functions. The prime location and historic building have been under-used over a decade or more. The ambition to establish the inn as a destination for fine dining and leisure, as well as a pub and social hub for the community, is welcomed.
The establishment of the Wee Kirk takeaway has been very popular among customers, particularly in the lockdown, but we believe that certain issues need to be addressed before it can be supported as a permanent operation.
As a matter of principle, the community council cannot support an operation which continues (and even expands the hours of operation), knowing that the necessary planning permission is not in place. It is unfair on other businesses when one business does not play by the same rules as the rest. We urge the authority to decide the application without delay. We urge the applicant to do its utmost to be a good neighbour.
Various grounds for objection have been given by neighbours and other residents in their objections. The grounds which is of most concern in our view is the one of smell, particularly the frying of fish smell which, if one is down-wind of it, is very powerful and definitely beyond what should be expected. As we understand the LDP, policy 2.6 states that
(ii) Class 3 uses (restaurants, cafes, snack bars etc.), public houses, and hot-food takeaways will be supported only where they will not be to the detriment of occupiers of adjacent properties by virtue of noise, disturbance, or odour, and there will be a presumption against siting public houses and hot-food takeaways adjacent to or on the ground floor of residential properties.
I understand policy 2.15 is what you are applying.  Seemingly policy 2.15 would apply only if there were no “similar facilities” in the village, whatever “similar” means. In any case, policy 2.15 also requires attention to potential loss of amenity, and the issue of odour arises there.
You will have seen that certain of the immediate neighbours are particularly badly affected, while other close neighbours have indicated no problem. The fact that other neighbours are not affected does not mean the neighbours who suffer most should be ignored. Additionally, when the wind blows in another direction, the smell extends across the main A81 road, and beyond. This has been commented by other objectors passing by the site.
We hope that the applicant will be able to identify and implement some technical and/or operational measures, so that the smell nuisance is brought in check. Officers in planning, planning enforcement and environmental health should please work with the applicant to specify these measures as a condition of any planning permission.
You indicated that you are considering a time limit on any permission. This would be welcome, but our understanding from the applicant is that the proposal is for a permanent operation. Moreover they intend to use the new outdoor kitchen to provide cooking for bar meals and the like for customers indoors, even after “normal conditions” are restored.  If the smell from the outdoors kitchen cannot be managed as well as in a proper indoors kitchen, with proper extractors, filters etc., then this should not be allowed. It would be wrong to allow a restaurant/pub to move its cooking outside, if the effect is merely to export the problem of smells to the neighbourhood, while the diners inside are protected.
With regard to other grounds of objection, we are not so concerned. The Kirkhouse Inn car park is a long-standing asset and gathering place used not only by patrons of the inn, but also walkers, cyclists and others. Provided the layout is safe and ample provisions for litter etc. are made on site, we do not see this as a reason to object. Again, however, we expect that the operator and owner of the inn will want to ensure that they and their customers are “good neighbours” as much as can be.
We note that the takeaway kitchen currently operates only until 9pm in the evenings. If permission is to be granted, we suggest that a 9pm closing of the kitchen should be imposed as a condition, not only with regard to smells, but also to ensure that outdoors customers have dispersed well before the pub closes. We understand that the applicant would be amenable to such a condition.
In conclusion, the community council supports the new management in their efforts to revive the fortunes of the Kirkhouse Inn. However, the new external frying kitchen should not have been installed and operated without planning permission, and planning permission should not be granted until the problem of smells is solved.

Have your say on Stirling’s draft Climate and Nature Emergency Plan

Residents and businesses are being asked for their views on the first draft of Stirling Council’s Climate and Nature Emergency Plan.

In October 2019, the Council declared a Climate Emergency and the Plan will be a major driver in Stirling’s efforts to tackle the climate crisis head on.

The document spells out a vision to improve residents’ lives, help Stirling’s economy thrive and enhance the local environment, with a focus on five key objectives:

  • Energy Use and Generation – transform our energy systems and help deliver zero-carbon, affordable energy for all.
  • Transport – develop a modern transport system that minimises carbon emissions, improves affordability and provides choice for all.
  • Resource Efficiency – improve resource efficiency by cutting consumption and reducing waste.
  • Nature and Biodiversity – optimise biodiversity and increase the carbon storage potential of nature.
  • Climate Adaption – plan and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

People can provide feedback on the plan via the Council’s new Engage Stirling platform and those unable to access the digital platform can request a hard copy by calling the Contact Centre (01786 404040).

Virtual drop-in sessions with communities are also planned during the consultation process. Details of these will be shared on social media and the Engage Stirling Platform over the coming weeks.

Convener of Stirling Council’s Environment and Housing Committee, Cllr Jim Thomson said: “The Council is committed to leading the way in averting climate change, but we can only win this battle through collective action and input from residents and businesses.

“If you are interested in shaping how your community and the wider Stirling area becomes a greener, healthier and more prosperous place to live and work, please have your say on this Plan for urgent action.”

In March 2020, the Council directed officers to develop a climate emergency plan to reduce carbon emissions and help address climate change impacts.

Since then, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, significant work has taken place to make this vision a reality.

This included a survey over the summer of 2020 which helped measure public opinion on the climate emergency and inform the plan’s objectives.

More than 1,000 residents responded to the online questionnaire – one of the biggest responses to a Council survey – and the results of the closed questions can be downloaded here or accessed on Engage Stirling.

Vice Convener, Cllr Danny Gibson said: “The ongoing pandemic means this continues to be a hugely challenging time for people, but we know climate change remains a top priority for communities from the high number of responses we received in last year’s survey.

“The climate emergency also remains at the top of the Council’s agenda and, while we have made significant strides forward to cut our carbon footprint, we know we all need to do much more.

“This plan is our blueprint to take the next steps forward in this global challenge, so please use your voice to shape a brighter future for Stirling.”

The consultation on the draft Climate and Nature Emergency Plan will be open for an initial eight weeks, and the feedback from the public will be used to refine the Plan, which will be presented for approval at a future meeting of Stirling Council.

Please head to the Engage Stirling platform to view the plan and express your views.

Councillor Graham Lambie – a sad loss for all the community

The members of the Community Council were very sad to hear of the sudden death of Graham Lambie, who has been a councillor for Forth and Endrick Ward for many years.

Graham was always interested in local affairs and very supportive of any local issues. We will greatly miss his support and his friendship.

There are more tributes to be found on Stirling Council’s website here.

Beast from the East

Stirling Residents asked to prepare for severe wintry weather 

Stirling Council Media Release – 05.02.21

Stirling Council is asking residents to prepare for potential disruption to travel and to Council services over the coming days with severe wintry weather forecast.

The Met Office has issued Amber and Yellow weather warnings for snow and ice that are scheduled to last until next Wednesday (10 February).

A flood alert is also in force from SEPA for most of the Stirling Council area following persistent heavy rain.

In anticipation of the adverse conditions, and the potential impact on roads and services, the Council has taken the following actions:

  • Gritting Teams will be out over the weekend treating Priority 1 and 2 routes, including roads and paths next to Covid-19 vaccination centres.
  • Gritting Teams will be ready with snow ploughs if roads become blocked.
  • A refill of gritting bins has been carried out.
  • Two pallets of sandbags have been placed outside the gates of the Callander and Springkerse roads depots for emergency use. Please adhere to Scottish Government Covid-19 guidance if you need to pick these up.

If the forecast weather comes to fruition, significant disruption is expected on the road network, particularly in the area covered by the Amber Warnings.

Road closures are likely and some Council services such as household waste collections could be affected.

Regular updates on any service disruption will be added to the Council website and social media channels – Twitter and Facebook – as and when they are available. Please check here before calling the Contact Centre.

The current Covid-19 lockdown restrictions also only allow people to leave their home for an essential purpose, so please continue to comply with these measures, especially with the anticipated disruption to roads and transport.

Should the adverse weather prevent you from attending a Covid-19 vaccination appointment, you can reschedule your appointment on the NHS Inform website.

Below are some useful social media links for residents for weather and travel updates:

 

Shaping Community Health & Care – Consultation Stage 2

Stage 2 of the Shaping Community Health & Care consultation will run from the 1st of February until the 15th of March 2021.

Stage 2 will include a short online survey and online workshops hosted through Microsoft Teams.

 

The survey will be live from Monday 1st February 2021 until Monday 15th March 2021.

Link to surveymonkey: http://bit.ly/Stage2ConsultationontheModelofCare

Online workshops will be hosted through Microsoft Teams and have been arranged at the following times;

  • Wednesday 3th February 7.00 pm till 9.00pm;
  • Monday 8th February 2.00pm till 4.00pm
  • Thursday 18th February from 2.00 pm till 4.00pm.

Please book your ticket for the event of your choice via Eventbrite.

Link to Eventbrite:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rural-southwest-stirling-consultation-tickets-137398950961

 

Organise your own feedback meeting.

Stirling Council are encouraging individuals, community groups & third sector organisations to host their own on-line conversations. They have prepared “Meeting in a box” materials which you can use to host your own conversation.  They are also willing to attend appropriate local group meetings to give a brief overview and encourage participants to submit their responses to the consultation.

 

Can’t participate digitally?

There are also options for those not able to engage digitally: please call the Stirling Council Contact Centre via 01786 404040, where colleagues can assist you to complete the online survey.

If you wish to discuss any of the information above, please contact Pam Campbell or Gary Howden via email: rswconsultation@stirling.gov.uk or telephone Pam on 07817709475 or Gary on 07876877016

Green, blue and brown wheelie bins

Stirling Council Waste Transformation

Stirling Council have begun rolling out their changes to waste collection services.  Residents should have received a letter confirming the timescale for replacement of your existing grey and brown bins in advance of the changes taking effect next year.

More information can be found on the council website regarding the changes that were agreed in June this year, and the replacement of bins.

Strathblane Community Council AGM

Strathblane Community Council will hold their delayed AGM via Zoom on December 7th at 7.30, followed by the monthly meeting.

Any resident who wishes to join us should indicate interest via the CC email, contact@strathblanecc.org.uk by December 4th. Please note that places will be limited.

Please see the meetings page for the agenda for both the AGM and the monthly meeting.

A new Blane Valley Bulletin issue – send us your news items by 21 September 2020

If you have been missing the monthly Blane Valley Bulletin, thanks for your understanding. We are pleased to announce that an October issue is planned. Please send in any news or announcements by 21 September 2020, via email to contact@strathblanecc.org.uk .

Stirling's Climate Conversation

Stirling Climate Survey closing on Sunday, 30 August

The clock is ticking for Stirling’s young people to have their say in the climate emergency, with less than two weeks left to complete the Council’s Climate Survey.

The local authority has been canvasing public opinion on ways to tackle the climate emergency for the past six months through an online survey, which will close on Sunday, 30 August to begin the process of analysing the feedback received.

More than 700 completed surveys have already been submitted, all of which will feed into the Council’s wider Climate Emergency Action Plan.

A special appeal is now being made for Stirling’s young people to have their say, with the survey closing in less than a fortnight.

Cllr Jim Thomson, convener of Environment and Housing, said:

“This survey was launched only a matter of days before life changed for all of us with the Coronavirus Pandemic.

“However, the number of responses we’ve received prove that, despite the current crisis, many people are still concerned about the climate emergency and what we can do to avert it.

“One of the strongest voices in the global fight against climate change has been the youth voice and we want to make sure the young people of the Stirling Council area have their say.

“This is a genuine opportunity for people who care about the environment to talk to us, and help us do more to protect it.”

The climate survey takes around 15 minutes to complete, and focuses on opportunities to improve the quality of life for people in the entire Stirling Council area, while shaping a city and surrounding area to be cleaner, greener, healthier, and fairer for everyone.

Vice convener, Cllr Danny Gibson, added:

“This survey is just the first step on a long road but it’s important to capture as many voices as possible in these early stages to make sure our plans represent the diversity of our community.

“So whether you want to see more active travel in the city centre, or care passionately about letting grass verges flourish on rural roadsides, time is running out for you to have your say in this initial conversation.”