NOTICES have been posted at Forest Park to advise residents of a proposed asset transfer of the land to Stonehaven’s Mackie Academy Former Pupil’s Rugby Club.
The FPs have been seeking land for new pitches for some time – with the situation having become more critical after losing one of their pitches at Redcloak. With 1200 members, including 375 youngsters ranging from tots to U18s, the club is the second largest in Scotland.
Alan Venters of Mackie FP visited Stonehaven Community Council in April to update them on their hopes for a base at Forest Park – see reports below.
Members of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee were updated on the progress of a multi-million-pound upgrade of the primary school estate in Stonehaven.
In March, Aberdeenshire councillors approved plans for a new primary school to replace Dunnottar Primary School. The proposal has been included in Aberdeenshire Council’s Capital Plan.
A review by council officers of the existing and new cost and scope information is underway. During this process consideration is being given to the relocation of Carronhill School as part of any future project.
Two options to upgrade the primary school estate in Stonehaven are currently under consideration subject to assessment and feasibility work.
The first option would see Dunnottar Primary School replaced with a new 217 capacity primary school worth potentially £9.5million.
The second option proposes that a new shared campus on the grounds of Mackie Academy is constructed. It would include a new 217 capacity primary school replacing Dunnottar Primary School, and a replacement school for Carronhill School with a capacity for 48 children and both schools would sit alongside the existing Mackie Academy building. This project is estimated to be worth £18.5million.
There will be consultation and informal engagement on both proposals because they involve a relocation and a rezoning exercise.
Cllr Gillian Owen, Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair, said: “A key focus in the modernisation and investment in our special school estate is to ensure the highest standard of care is offered to those children who attend. One of the benefits of a campus approach is the mutual sharing of resources and facilities on one site. This modernisation of primary schools in Stonehaven will be a huge benefit for the local community.”
Committee vice chair Cllr Rosemary Bruce added: “I hope as many residents as possible in Stonehaven share their views about these exciting and ambitious plans to improve the primary school estate in the town.”
This report covers the Kincardine and Mearns area for the period 1 to 30 September 2021.
The report aims to highlight emerging issues in your are and provide crime prevention advice and guidance. Our focus is to reduce crime and disorder, help create safer communities and respond effectively to local concerns.
Community Policing Priorities
Darker Nights Prevention List – Re Potential Housebreakings
A house that looks unoccupied is a target for criminals. • Keep windows and doors locked • Secure sheds and garages • Fit/check outside security lighting • Fit a shed alarm • Fit an intruder alarm – if you have one set it • Fit coach bolts/anti tamper screws • Record/security mark valuable property • Consider a garage defender • Use timer switches on lights • Secure bicycles to a ground anchor • Consider a TV simulator.
Antisocial behaviour, Violence and Disorder:
There has been a slight decrease in the number of Anti-social Behaviour calls within Kincardine and Mearns for the month of September, with 50 incidents reported. 18 of these calls relate to minor disturbances (youth specific) and 32 relate to other Anti-Social Behaviour incidents.
There were 5 Assault crime reports raised within September, which is a decrease against the previous month. Of those 5 reported, 2 are detected and reported to the Procurator Fiscal and 3 are still currently being investigated. 2 of the incidents relate to Domestic Assault.
There were no serious assaults reported within September.
There have been 6 Thefts throughout the Kincardine and Mearns area during September. 4 remain undetected and are still being investigated.
Of note, a £600 Power Washer was stolen from an industrial site at St Cyrus, there have also been 2 thefts of fuel in the form of “drive-offs” from self-service fuel stations.
There have been no Housebreakings during September.
Road Safety & road crime:
In September there was 1 driver found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The report has been submitted to the PF for consideration of prosecution.
There were no reported incidents of dangerous driving for the month of September.
There has been 1 reported incident of careless driving for the month of September, this is still under investigation.
The issue of speeding within Marykirk, Fettercairn and Stonehaven were raised by local residents through Community Councils. Whilst conducting speed checks, 3 drivers were fined £100 with 3 penalty points. Needless to say these areas will be revisited. Please forward areas of concern to the usual contact points.
Community Engagement & Reassurance:
3 Drug search warrants were executed. 1 was within Newtonhill that was a positive and 2 were in Stonehaven, 1 positive and 1 negative for controlled drugs.
There was some fine scoring this weekend at Stonehaven Golf Club with almost a hundred competitors taking part in the Barlow Cup, the last competition of the season. Players who’d hitherto failed to realise their potential attempted to step up to the plate before the season’s fat lady sang. But it was too little, too late, William McEwen’s splendid 41 point haul resigning them to a minimum six month wait before a drafted victory speech can emerge from their back pockets.
The midweek Stableford saw a surprise winner in long time club stalwart Angus Martin, the man with a putting stroke that belongs to a cricket strip. Angus’s putter usually demands a minimum of forty blows before allowing itself to be returned to the car boot but this week it took pity on him. He amassed a victorious 38 point tally, holing putts that on previous outings would still be travelling. Congratulations go to him and indeed his long suffering playing partners who’ve spent the summer looking out upon the North Sea while he putts, unable to stomach a continuation of this grotesque yip fest. Don’t buy him a putter for Christmas, he has a garage full of them.
In other news, three more end of season trophies were decided with the Irvine family once again figuring prominently. Individual scores for every player are recorded throughout the season, their ten best rounds contributing to a final aggregated total. Craig Irvine’s score of 653 won the scratch competition, the nett version was tied between Craig’s father Neil and Joe Meanen on 631 and the season long eclectic found Craig and Stuart Wright equal first with an eighteen under par return.
The ladies were out in force last week for the first of their 12 hole Winter Stablefords, an event which omits the first two gully holes plus holes 12- 15. You can understand the thinking, avoiding the hillier sections of the course, but any thoughts of a 33% winter fees discount must go out of the window forthwith. Fiona Armstrong won with 26 points, her calf muscles not in need of a soak for the first time in six months given the steeper holes were avoided.
The club is extremely grateful for the support of its many sponsors and as such provided a competition and nosebag on Sunday to convey its heart felt thanks. The View Restaurant fed the competitors magnificently before and after a Texas Scramble event won by Team Synergy, bookending their round with an eagle at the 1st and a birdie at 18.
George Pearson, owner of Dunnottar Castle has submitted a Proposal of Application (PoAN) to Aberdeenshire Council for a new £3.5million visitor centre at Dunnottar Castle.
The exciting proposals would importantly address a longstanding issue for the Castle, being the only attraction of its size in Scotland without a dedicated facility for the 135,000 (2019 figures) visitors and tourists who come to visit the cliff top fortress each year.
In addition to the visitor centre, a small-scale enabling housing development of 10 family homes, located immediately to the west of Mains of Dunnottar farm, forms part of the proposals. These homes, would be delivered by local house builder Fotheringham Homes and the sale of the land, would importantly bridge a crucial funding gap in the delivery of the facility.
The Castle, purchased by the Pearson family (owners of Dunecht Estates) in 1919, and subsequently restored and opened to the public, has remained a prominent historical landmark for over 700 years. Dunnottar Castle has become an increasingly popular attraction and in order to service this popularity, meet ever growing expectations and importantly enhance the visitor experience, the need to build a dedicated Visitor Centre has become clear.
Commenting on the proposals, George Pearson, owner of Dunnottar Castle said:
“I am delighted that the local community and all those with an interest in Dunnottar will have opportunity to view and comment on the proposals. My family has a long association and close affinity with the Castle, and I know that many in the local area will feel a strong attachment to it too.
‘’To meet growing expectations and importantly enhance visitor experience, there has been a need for some time to build a dedicated facility. Careful thought and consideration have gone into the concept and proposed design of the Visitor Centre.
‘’Sitting adjacent to the existing Lodge with extensive views of the Castle, the Visitor Centre would comprise a café, shop, interpretation space, toilets and importantly additional parking. Whilst this new experience would address current issues, it would also provide a platform to increase visitor numbers, which importantly also provides additional footfall for other local businesses and Stonehaven.
“An economic impact appraisal undertaken by BiGGAR Economics forecasts that the Visitor Centre will nearly double the local economic impact through increased spending and more jobs, with Gross Value Added rising from £1.5M to £2.9M. ‘’Overall, the proposals seek to provide a high-quality facility and new opportunities to showcase the fascinating role the Castle has played in Scottish history. Its design and the proposed enabling housing development aim to respect the importance of Dunnottar as a local landmark and the overall sensitivity of the site.’’
Due to the current situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) is not possible to hold traditional public exhibitions. We will therefore be holding an online consultation where all those with an interest in the proposals can view and importantly provide feedback. The online consultation is now live.
Comments should be returned no later than 5pm 24th November 2021.
The Online Consultation will be supplemented by an interactive chat session (via the project website) with the project team that will be held on the Wednesday 10th November 2021from 5pm-8pm.
A second Online Consultation will also be held ahead of the submission of a planning application to Aberdeenshire Council.
It’s been a long time coming, but the Market Square Community Garden barriers have come down and the garden is open for everyone to enjoy. It has been wonderful to see people enjoying the seats and surroundings in good weather and bad since the garden opened up. Watch the video to see the transformation of this formally forgotten space.
From start to finish…
From conception to completion the garden is a product of collaboration of local groups and businesses – truly by Stonehaven, for Stonehaven.
In May 2020 the Aberdeenshire Council Phoenix Fund was announced and the Stonehaven Business Association (SBA) took the lead to apply for this £10,000 of funding for a collaborative project that would benefit Stonehaven coming out of the Covid crisis. The thought was to do something positive with this money that would have longevity for the benefit of the town.
Along with the other members of the Stonehaven Town Centre Improvement Group (STCIG) – Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP), Horizon Group, the Men’s Shed and the Kincardine and Mearns Area Office – and after a lot of discussion and bouncing around of numerous ideas, claiming back a corner of the Market Square as a civic space came to prominence. Local architect, Nikki Ritchie of Hyve Architects came up with an imaginative concept, taking its influence from the curves of swinging fireballs and the planting by the Stonehaven Horizon Group echoing this with a vibrant orange, red and yellow colour palette. We were dreaming big but as funds were limited the Men’s Shed were consulted as to the feasibility of volunteers being able to build it.
Luckily at that moment, in Sept 2020 the Scottish Government Town Centres Fund (SGTCF) was announced for large capital investment, transformative projects in town centres. This enabled us to contemplate using a contractor for the build and be able to be more ambitious with our plans. The SBA again took the lead in applying for this funding.
Confirmation of funding came through from the Phoenix Fund in Oct 2020 for £10,000 and the SGTCF a month later in Nov 2020 for £51,698. With funding secured, this meant that it was all systems GO!
Public consultation via social media, posters, The Bellman and letter drops to businesses and town centre residents were organised but a hoped for drop in at Hy! was unable to go ahead due to Covid restrictions and lockdowns.
The prepared design and design statement were submitted for Planning Permission in late November but we had to wait until the February 2021 K&M Area Meeting for councillors to discuss and approve the plans. It proved to be a tense meeting with the decision going to a vote which was narrowly won to approve the plans! We were very grateful to our local Ward 18 councillors for tipping the balance on approving the garden.
One of the terms of the funding and planning was that a constituted group take on a lease for the ground from Aberdeenshire Council. The Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP) stepped up to the plate to take this on to secure the garden for the people of Stonehaven.
Contracts for work were signed in March 2021 and after some unavoidable delays with red tape on approval of materials, supply issues and the lease being signed in late July 2021, our contractor Bridgefield Services Ltd broke ground on 9th August.
The work going on behind the barriers generated a lot of interest, especially when the larch posts went up! The Bridgefield team made excellent progress with the posts and ground coverings while the planters and benches were busy being constructed off site at Hutchison Plant Services Ltd at Redcloak.
With the build started the Horizon Group commenced their search for plants at local garden centres, wanting to source plants and spend their budget locally as well as to actually see the plants before buying. Their chosen scheme of perennial planting to echo the colours of the fireballs in oranges, yellows and reds posed some problems with supply but they persevered and covered many miles and repeat journeys to be sure to get quality plants for the project.
The long planters went in late September and Horizon jumped in to plant, giving us a tantalising preview of what the final garden would look like. The final part of the puzzle, the circular planters were installed and again, Horizon’s planting crew flew into action, completing the planting scheme in record time! Creative Core’s logo and credits plaques finished off the planters nicely.
The barriers came down on the very rainy Saturday 2nd October 2021 and after a quick power wash and clean up the garden was revealed for all to see and enjoy. The good people of Stonehaven came and admired the work done, praising the workmanship and planting. Well deserved compliments we think!
Our local MSP, Mairi Gougeon will be coming to officially open the garden on Friday 29th October at 11am
(Edited to amend official opening date from 15th to 29th October 2021)
Stonehaven & District Men’s Shed had opted not to submit an entry for the above accolade due to pressure of work in the community and also feeling that we had previously been recognised by Age Scotland. Strong encouragement from the Scottish Men’s Shed Association (SMSA) led to a change of mind by the leadership team. So, it was with a little trepidation that the team, under Chairman Bill Allan, had the keyboards burning over weekend of 24-26 September 2021.
The submission had to be in the hands of the SMSA by midnight on Sunday 26 September 2021. The team had a few meetings and discussions and developed a strategy to handle the various sections of the submission. So it was that Douglas Knox, blue pen in hand, finalised the submission and posted it, electronically, to the SMSA at 1900 hours, just 5 hours before the deadline for entries.
Imagine our surprise, when, on the evening of 4 October 2021 our Chairman received a thank you from the Board of Trustees of the SMSA. First they thanked Stonehaven Shed for their application. SMSA advised us, also, that after a “blind Judging” by their Board that the Stonehaven & District Men’s Shed had been shortlisted as one of five finalists!
The winner and two runners up will be announced at a virtual awards event on Thursday 4 November 2021.
So, to try and keep Stonehaven Shed in the running we need the support of our readers to follow this link and vote for your local Shed.
The link is also available on the Stonehaven Men’s Shed Facebook site from which you can vote and share with family and friends.
FOR those of you who may be interested in the readership of The Bellman, here’s a screenshot of our statistics for September.
Our readership has always been content-driven ie, if there’s a story that get’s folks excited/interested/furious, then the numbers soar.
So which story piqued Stonehaven’s interest on September 20? It was the story written to flag a discussion at the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee about the possible future of two of Stonehaven’s schools.
There is no doubt that Facebook (when it is working) drives a lot of our readership – but a significant proportion of our readership arrive direct.
Coverage in The Bellman is free!
If you are a Stonehaven business, club or society, then to reach over 13,000 who are interested in what’s going on in the town, then all you have to do is email in your story to email@example.com
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