After the AGM on 20th November, Nick Everett from SNH will talk on the ‘changes and pressures on the Kilpatrick Hills’
Tea coffee and biscuits
Nothing ever seems to stay the same and they are always new devel- opments taking place you may not agree with. In the Kilpatricks there Are major projects awaiting planning permission. The Merkins wind farm near Bonhill, if permitted could result in widespread wind, farms across the hills. Above Bowling the conspicuous Sheep Hill, with its Iron Age Fort; is under threat of quarrying. The original planning permission was given in 1949. We think that it is important that an organisation, such as ours, exists to comment to the
‘powers that be’ on behalf of local residents and others, on develop- ments that could change our environment for the worse. To stay in existence we require your support and ask you to renew your membership (see below) and if possible attend our AGM.
Not all the news is bad news; the Woodland Trust have now got their broadleaf community woodland underway at Lang Craigs. Trees at the Forestry Commission’s Cochnohill Community Woodland are becoming established and we await further information on their plans for other land recently acquired.
During the year we email newsletters with details of current events and regret we can not afford to post these to non email members but we know that there are many of you who have not supplied an email address. An example of the benefit of this is perhaps at Mirren Drive where we have 30 members but only 5 email addresses. Perhaps this contributed to the fact that only two people other than Clydebelt commented on the possible removal of green belt, as mentioned in the new local plan, to allow new housing adjacent to their homes. We high-lighted this possibility when we emailed our newsletter in March. At the formation of the current local plan residents in Mirren Drive employed a professional planner to submit an objection. Do they no longer care?
Membership of Clydebelt
Most of the 360 names on our membership list have been there since Clydebelt was founded in 1990. Large amounts of money were donated and raised at that time and we have not asked these members for money since. With the last three AGM Newsletters we have made the request to send back a tear off slip, phone or send an email to indicate your intent to continue as a member. If you have not been in touch or attended a meeting for more than four years, please contact us. If we do not receive notification from you to continue your membership, we will remove you from our list
Clydebelt have been supporting the North Bank Environmental Group (NBEG) from Milton and Bowling in their attempts to reverse a decision made by WDC in 2005, to allow the removal of Sheep Hill by quarrying. This conspicuous flat topped hill is above the Dunglass roundabout on the A82. On the top is a Scheduled Monument- an Iron Age Fort. The woods to the sides are covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) and ground listed as a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (SINC). It is part of the Kilpatricks Scenic Area and is in green belt. The SNH Glasgow and Clyde Valley Landscape Character Assessment Sect.4-- 6.4 on Landscape Character Impacts states “particular concerns would be raised if existing prominent areas of quarrying were to be extended This applies particularly to the north side of the Clyde”. The removal of Sheep Hill would remove a very prominent hill and allow wide open views into the working quarry behind. Despite all this, the planning permission, first granted in 1949 on appeal, was renewed. We thought there was a chance under an ongoing Review of Mineral Permissions (ROMP) in 1998, 2002 & 2005 that the removal of Sheep Hill could be prevented and that we now lived in more civilized times than that pertaining in 1949. More on our blog site. (Web address below)
Woodlands in and about Town (WIAT)
Last year we told how WDC had obtained 75% of a £200k grant from the Forestry Commission. Woods included were Auchentoshan, Auchnacraig, Lusset Glen, Overtoun Estate, Pappert, Crosslet and the Saltings. We regret to say that no new planting has taken place in these woods under the grant; the emphasis was to clear paths and rhododendrons and to cut down a considerable number of trees reputed to be ‘health and safety’ hazards. Many trees were destroyed by the December and January gales and we hope that WDC will be devising an overall plan for renovating these much neglected woodlands and historic landscapes.
The Woodland Trust & Maryland Farm
Congratulations to Roy Barlow and the Woodland Trust Team for the success of their Lang Craigs Community Tree Planting Festival during the Great Outdoor Festival in September, when about 180 people attended. This saw their new project officially launched and the first trees planted in the ground.
We again organised a clean up on Hardgate Knowes in April as part of the Keep Scotland Tidy Campaign. Members have also been regular attendees at the Local Nature Reserve at The Saltings in Old Kilpatrick where a council arranged litter pick takes place on the first Sunday of each month between 10am and 2pm.The Saltings suffered badly in the January gale when a high tide and south westerly storm surge, lifted hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles and other debris from beaches all along the Firth of Clyde and deposited them well above normal tide levels along the north east shores of the Clyde.
Merkins Wind Farm
The planning application for a wind farm at Merkins Muir (east of Pappert Hill, Bonhill and North-east of Dumbarton) has still not gone before the WDC planning committee, but should do shortly. This decision could be crucial for the Kilpatricks. If allowed other applications will no doubt follow and we know that surveying for possible sites is already being undertaken on Forestry Commission land. The committee have put in an objection to the Merkins wind farm which would be in full view of the National Park and Loch Lomondside. Further details are on our blog site.
New West Dunbartonshire Local Development Plan
The first phase in creating a new plan was the Main Issues Report- a discussion paper, which was put out in March. Clydebelts submission was sent and can be seen on our website blog pages. The council have a summary of replies at http://wdccmis.west- dunbarton.gov.uk/cmis5/Meetings/tabid/73/ctl/ViewMeetingPublic/mid/410/Meeting/7472/Committee/507/ Default.aspx Item 6 Appendix 2. From this summary a Draft Plan will be produced by January 2013 which will then be amended after further discussion and consultation. A final document will then sent to the Scottish Government by October 2013. After the inevitable public inquiry into unresolved objections, the plan should be finalised by 2014.
Our Blog site -- we have this new site that you are on now. For more information on some of the above and other topics visit other blog sections.
There is a Kilpatrick Hills section at www.flickr.com/group/kilpatrick-hills/ with of space for your photos.
If you have any interest in these topics or any other aspects of the Kilpatrick Hills and the environment of surrounding areas, please come along to the AGM, November 20th 7.30 Trinity Church Duntocher, member or not we will be glad of your support and are willing to listen to your concerns and value your suggestions.
Please come and show your support
Apart from any last-minute issues, the agenda will include
1. Apologies for absence, Sederunt
2. Minutes of last AGM
3. Matters arising from minutes
4. Secretary's Report
5. Treasurer’s report
6. Election of committee
7. Current Issues
8. Future Plans & Membership Fee
This news/blog site continues from an earlier one at: