Meikle Carewe Windfarm Community Fund 2024

By Kincardineshire Development Partnership:

Meikle Carewe Wind Farm Community Fund
The Meikle Carewe Wind Farm Community Fund opens for applications on 1 July 2024.
Applications to the fund can be made from not-for-profit groups and organisations based
in the following Community Council areas:

  • Crathes, Drumoak and Durris
  • Newtonhill, Muchalls & Cammachmore
  • North Kincardine Rural
  • Portlethen and District
  • Stonehaven and District
    The energy company RES has established a community fund which will see more than
    £25,000 available to support local community projects every year during the lifetime of
    the Meikle Carewe Wind Farm. The fund is administered by Kincardineshire Development
    Partnership (KDP) and managed by a Decision-Making Panel made up of representatives
    from the local Community Councils.
    The fund total for 2024 is £38,678.42.
    The fund is open for applications from 1 July 2024 to 30 September 2024. The Decision
    Making Panel, along with a non-voting representative from Kincardineshire Development
    Partnership (KDP), will then meet to consider applications.
    Application forms and guidelines will be available from:
    KDP website: www.kdp.scot
    Tel: 07903 156864
    Email: margo@kdp.scot

Leisure Centre Update

Outside of County Building with CAB logos on windows

THE end is in sight for works at Stonehaven Leisure Centre – or so members of Stonehaven and District Community Council, SDCC, will hope to hear when they meet on Wednesday evening.

Along with an update on the refurbishment and extension works, it appears a new name is on the cards for Stonehaven’s sports and recreation hub.

SDCC will also consider and agree their response to the recent consultation by SSEN, in what should hopefully be a short meeting held when the community council would normally be enjoying a summer break.

The full agenda is below. Members of the public are welcome to join SDCC in their meeting in the former Sheriff Court building. If preferred, a link at the bottom will give access to the meeting by Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86368709499?pwd=Dql4maiQiXKG9Mc3FRNZRYhcPn5AZe.1

Meeting ID: 863 6870 9499

Passcode: 588206

RGU students put forward ideas for a Flood Resilience Institute in Stonehaven

Photo of bay taken from Bervie Braes - boiling seas and a huge wave engulfing breakwater

By Jenny Frost, public affairs and communications officer, Robert Gordon University

Students at Robert Gordon University have put forward conceptual ideas to establish a Flood Resilience Institute in Stonehaven to protect the community from flooding, as part of their academic studies.

Academics from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment have proposed the conceptual idea, working with their students to create a ‘flood defence hub’ that would be part of a network of similar hubs around the UK coastline.

The Flood Defence Institute would serve as a central point for local communities, where they could find out ways to reduce their flood risk, and support in the event of future flooding.

The recommendation, led by Principal Lecturer Neil Lamb and visiting Professor Bill Black (Director of Richard Murphy Architects), as part of the Master of Architecture program, was presented to officers from Aberdeenshire Council who welcomed an opportunity to see the students work.

As part of the project, the team from the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture & Built Environment have also put forward theoretical proposals to establish a new waterfront area in Stonehaven, that would complement beachfront flood defences and be more flood resilient.

The newly designed waterfront could help combat rising sea levels, which are anticipated to increase exponentially as climate change bites. As part of the conceptual proposals, large flood sumps were utilised, to collect flood waters from the Rivers Cowie and Carron, along with excess rainfall on the hills, which may engorge the rivers.

Principle lecturer, Neil Lamb, who is leading the project, said: “In Stonehaven, you’ve got problems resulting from sea level rises related to Antarctic glacier melt but you’ve also got the convergence of two rivers – the Cowie and the Carron – which results in a real flood problem.

“The impact of flooding to people property, industry as well as to community facilities, utilities, the transport network, and agricultural land has been extensive in Stonehaven over many years and sadly this risk is not going to go away.

“We need to get ahead of the game, so that we can offer the community of Stonehaven a sustainable solution to protect the town from flooding and the worst ravages of climate change. It’s about information, preparation, and prevention. It’s about thinking about flood vigilance and complementing existing flood defences, to protect against future floods. When the flood comes it is already too late, we need to take collective action now. Only by investing in a sustainable solution, can we offer a more resilient future for the people of Stonehaven.

“The proposal would of course require a substantial investment and of course with a high percentage of cities and population being located near coastlines, this is not a unique problem. Any investment needs to work hard, and our students have included new ideas to enhance the beachfront in Stonehaven. A place for people; a place to live, work and play and to create more tourist opportunities as we look to a sustainable future.”

Hear more from Mr Lamb here

Leez Almeida from India, is one of the Master of Architecture Scott Sutherland students involved with the project. 

Leez explains more; “The Flood Resilience Centre is designed as a beacon of safety and innovation. The center would enhance community resilience against flooding, while also serving as a hub for research and education on flood management and environmental sustainability.

“The project showcases adaptive use of space, energy-efficient systems, and materials that would ensure longevity and reduce carbon footprint. This would set a new standard for responsible coastal development. In my design, I incorporate a geothermal ground source heat pump system for heating and cooling, high-performance insulation, and solar panels, to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. The facade features durable metal cladding and continuous glazed walls with metal louvers,  to enhance energy efficiency and ventilation.”

Cheryl Roberts Historic Environment Team Leader from Aberdeenshire Council said:

“It was great for members of the Historic Environment Team and Development Management to have the opportunity to view the projects the students had been working on. It was inspiring to see the creative ways they had ‘designed in’ solutions to their masterplans, that help address housing need whilst taking account of the challenges a changing climate can have on our coastal settlements.”  

“The idea of creating a flood defence hub and turning the more negative aspects of coastal living into a positive regeneration tool was an interesting idea to develop.”

“This was a great opportunity for Aberdeenshire Council and students at RGU to come together and discuss the students work and is hopefully a relationship that can continue in to the future”.

More information on the project is on display at the Scott Sutherland School End of Year Show, based at the Scott Sutherland School, Sir Ian Wood Building, RGU Garthdee campus until the end of August.

Feature image courtesy of Carlo Williams

A new direction – Council Plan, and Place plans agreed

Aberdeenshire council logo

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Big change is coming, after Aberdeenshire Council adopted a range of new plans which will change the way services are delivered.  

At the meeting of Full Council this week, councillors agreed to a new Council Plan. 

The document, which is now live on the Council website, sets a new direction for the organisation and makes it clear what the organisation is working to achieve. 

It was drawn up after a extensive piece of research and data analysis into the needs of the Aberdeenshire population in the coming year. That document, referred to as the Strategic Assessment, showed we are going to have one of the fastest ageing population rates in Scotland and that in the coming years the needs of Aberdeenshire residents is going to shift.  

It was agreed a new plan would be needed to support that shift. Today the plan has been published, after it was agreed by Full Council. It has three fundamental pillars: 

A sustainable economy 

We will support a strong and diverse economy by attracting people of working age to our region, complementing our highly skilled local workforce.  

Connected communities  

We will work with communities and partners to enhance the sense of connection among our places. This includes supporting communities to come up with innovative solutions to ensure our places are resilient and vibrant.

Living well locally  

We will encourage and support our residents to lead healthy and active lives and contribute meaningfully to their communities. We will make proactive choices that will allow us to cater to the needs of our increasingly ageing population.

The above, as well as the actions that sit underneath, can all be found on the council website: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/councilplan   

Aberdeenshire Council must adapt to significant demographic changes and financial constraints. By 2030, Aberdeenshire’s population over 65 will rise by 28%, while the working-age and young populations are projected to decrease by 2% each. Additionally, a decline of up to 7% is expected in the school-age population across 11 of 17 school clusters. All this means we must review our priorities and focus on where we can make the greatest impact with the money we have. 

Evidence from the strategic assessment suggests that Aberdeenshire residents experience better outcomes than those in other parts of Scotland – higher employment rates and economic participation, greater household incomes, higher vocational qualifications, better health outcomes and longevity, and lower rates of crime and disorder. It also showed there are challenges with  

It also showed significant budgetary pressures, the impact of rural populations facing greater challenges – known as the rural premium – and a deepening divide in communities feeling hardship more acutely.   

In the meeting today, councillors looked in detail at the strategic assessment, and consider the new plan in terms of whether it could help those worst affected. It was recognised this was a period of change, but that change was essential.  

In her speech in the chamber, Council Leader Gillian Owen said: “Whilst this Plan gives clear direction on the activity for future years, it will also help us decide where we will disinvest, by changing, reducing or stopping services. Over the next few years, we will reshape our services to allow us to work within the budget we have. Not an easy job – but we are committed to doing this in an open and transparent way, ensuring our communities are informed and engaged about the changes we need to make”. 

Deputy Leader Cllr Anne Stirling said: “Our older population will increase by 28% by 2030 with a decline in children and young people and people of working age – that’s just 6 years away. The impact of that on our communities is significant – and we must respond now so our services aren’t overwhelmed or, indeed, there is over-provision in areas where there is a reducing need. This Plan sets out how we prepare for what’s ahead. A strong economy is vital to the success of any place – we want to be attractive for businesses to locate, and they need a skilled and resilient workforce.”  

The Plan itself is here: www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/councilplan   

The Council also supported the Transformation Strategy. The strategy itself was approved in November last year and has in it five themes and today councillors approved the first major business case, releasing a near-£1million investment to be spent on the first year of the big data workstream. This will be spent on a project to delivering savings by tackling manual and routine processes within the Council, meanwhile a further £3 million was released to put resources in place to support the whole Transformation programme.  

Transformation will mean future change, and the funding commitment today gives officers the opportunity to improve manual processes, freeing up staff time or changing the way services are delivered.  

And all of this on the same day as the Place Strategy and Place Policy was approved. Councillors endorsed the direction, where officers will now work at a local level to better understand the assets, issues and needs of a place, and coordinating action and investment to deliver better outcomes, promote interconnections and strong relationships, and improve the quality of life for communities. 

Work can now begin in earnest to develop the local place plans, alongside those communities. 

At the meeting today, councillors agreed that all the discussions today are connected. The Place discussion is essential to delivering the Council Plan, which feeds from the strategic assessment and can only be delivered if services transform the organisation.  

Council Leader Cllr Owen went on to say: “Aberdeenshire is a large and diverse area and the needs of our communities are very different. Since the creation of Aberdeenshire as a local authority area, we recognised the importance of local solutions and local decisions – these documents build on the fantastic work in developing strong local community links through our area committees and area management teams. They will not be a silver bullet or a promise to deliver everything a community wants – but a plan which is jointly-owned and where we come together to try and find solutions.” 

Council Deputy Leader Cllr Stirling also said: “Of course, as the Council, our impact on our places is just one small part – in order for the approach to be truly successful, the Plans need to be developed in collaboration with other agencies, community groups and residents. I am really pleased with the support our Community Planning partners have given to this work and their commitment to providing the necessary time, capacity and resources from their respective organisations, to ensure the Plans are meaningful, reflective of local circumstances and truly informed by the voices of local people.” 

The full meeting will be visible on the website here when it is published: https://aberdeenshire.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=142&MId=7705

Share your summer with feathery friends and help the British Hen Welfare Trust on its way to rehoming its one millionth hen

Group of hens with hills in background

From Katie at BHWT

As the long summer days call us back into our gardens and we begin to enjoy our outside spaces once more, why not consider gathering a few feathered friends together too?

With the aim of getting one step closer to rehoming our one millionth hen, the British Hen Welfare Trust is encouraging Stonehaven supporters to share their gardens with eggstra-special friends this summer.

The British Hen Welfare Trust believe that every single one of the 39 million commercial laying hens in the UK deserves the chance to live a free-range retirement in the open air and has been helping to make these dreams come true since 2005, relying on hen-spiring kind-hearted animal lovers to offer new homes to these hens destined for slaughter.

We will be holding a rehoming event near Stonehaven this weekend. If you think you or someone you may know would be able to give a hen the summer of their dreams, please contact us on 01884 860084 or email hens@bhwt.org.uk for more details.

All we ask is that you are able to rehome three or more hens and that you have plenty of space to get your girls settled in.

If you choose to rehome hens from the BHWT, we can help with advice and guidance. There’s a wealth of information on our website or give us a call on 01884 860084.

So, if you love the idea of the ‘good life’ and long summer evenings spent outdoors with your new clucky companions, why not consider sharing your garden with our home seeking hens?

Supermarket Plans

TESCO’S plans for a £10.5 million supermarket in Stonehaven have been unveiled.

Ashfield Commercial Developments have lodged their planning application for the erection of a retail store, electric vehicle charging hub and Class 3 cafe/restaurant with associated car parking, servicing, landscaping and access at New Mains of Ury.

The layout requires the removal of all existing buildings at the site, including the New Mains of Ury farmhouse.

Proposals for an electric vehicle charging hub and retail outlet were revealed last year by the developer – and this January it was revealed Tesco would progress with the development. The current application provides only the ‘shell’ layouts, with full detail to be provided in due course.

The proposed development , includes a total of 222 parking spaces with 25 electric vehicle charging stations across both units.

Stonehaven and District Community Council have already agreed to support the application for the 3457 square metre store, which will include non-food goods. This decision was taken at their May meeting, when a representative from the developer made a presentation.

Economic benefits statement

One of the documents contained within the application is an economic benefits statement. According to this, the 12-month £10.5 million construction phase with support approximately 65 jobs before the supermarket itself supports the equivalent of 75 full time jobs. Meanwhile Aberdeenshire Council will enjoy an additional £230,000 per annum in business rates from the development.

Tesco’s decades-long efforts to come to Stonehaven

Those with a long memory will recall Tesco has made a previous bid to open a store in the town.

The planning statement accompanying the application includes the relevant history.

It states: ”This retailer has had a long-standing interest in operating a store in Stonehaven having originally purchased the former Commodore Hotel site to the north of the town centre in the early 2000’s.

”This site could not be expanded to accommodate a store of the size required by Tesco to fulfil the needs of the community and company. Tesco applied for planning permission for residential development on the site which was granted in 2004 and the site was then sold.

”Tesco has therefore attempted to develop a store in a more central location and failed.”

Full details online

Full details of the proposals are now online – along with a facility to comment.

Visitor Says Dogs Were Out of Control in Woods

Yellow autumn foliage on trees at entrance to woods.

Dear Bellman

As a visitor to the town I took my two dogs on leads to Dunnottar Woods where they were allowed to have a run when it was safe for them to do so.

Descending down to the car park, they were back on leads, when we were greeted by around 6- 8 dogs running out of control and a Doberman jumped at me and my two dogs, nearly knocking me to the ground. 

I shouted to the handler who turned out to be a dog walking service. The woman was extremely rude when asked to get the dogs under control and said, using bad language if I was knocked over I should watch where I was going! 

I am disgusted these people should be charging owners, who are totally unaware their dogs are out of control. And above all, they need to learn civility. I shall be putting in a formal complaint to the licensing authority.   


Yours etc

J Bremner
Disgusted responsible dog owner.

Arduthie School joins peak time road closure trial

the imposing sandstone facade of Arduthie School

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Five more Aberdeenshire primary schools are to join a peak time road closure trial, following a successful launch in Fraserburgh.

At their meeting on Thursday, members of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee agreed that one school from the remaining five administration areas would join the trial to address similar aims to reduce congestion and improve the perception of safety around schools.

The proposals and identified roads may be refined following consultation and as the project is developed:      

  • Buchanhaven School – Hope Street
  • Auchterellon School – Millwood Road, part of Raeburn Road
  • Kellands School – Martin Brae and Upper Manse Walk
  • Arduthie School – Queens Road
  • Gordon Primary – Burnside Road

Based on the current trial at Fraserburgh South Park School and taking into account the need to consult with many internal and external stakeholders, it is anticipated that all five additional trial sites will be operational within 10 months.

The peak time road closure scheme restricts vehicles on main streets outside the participating primary schools during set periods of the day, usually around 8.15-9.15am and 2.30-3.30pm. 

Only vehicles with a valid permit or which are exempt from the scheme are allowed access to these streets. Signs are erected at the start of the streets which flash to indicate when the street closure is in operation. Vehicles which are currently exempt include Blue Badge holders, emergency services, council vehicles, delivery vehicles, care workers and taxis.

The first peak time road closure trial was launched in May last year at South Park School focusing on safety at the school gate – at the point where all pupils were entering and leaving the building.

The aim of the trial is to enable more families to travel actively to school if they felt it was safer to do so. The trial focuses on encouraging families to travel actively to the school or to park further away from the school by indicating with signage which streets are restricted to traffic. The restriction is enforceable through the implementation of a temporary traffic order regulation.

Current findings from the Fraserburgh trial have indicated that walking and cycling levels from 2022 to 2023 have increased from 56.4% to 67%. 

Surveys were taken forward with residents and school users, with 197 responses. 

One of the key points to was that a large percentage of respondents agree that by removing vehicles has been beneficial to pupil safety – 40% strongly agreed and a further 25% partially agreed. Overall, 54% of respondents were strongly in favour of the scheme and a further 28% were partially in favour. 

Cllr Alan Turner, chair of the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “It’s been heartening to see the positive outcomes of the Fraserburgh trial and I very much welcome the extension of the initiative to five more of our primary schools across Aberdeenshire. By undertaking this extended trial it will provide us with key data to support future road use changes around the school estate.”

Vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson added: “As a council we have trialed and tested a number of active travel projects within schools across Aberdeenshire which have shown to have a positive effect on the number of children who walk or cycle to school including the development of school travel plans. I am delighted to see the scheme being extended and have every confidence that motorists will adhere to the restrictions for the safety of our children as they attend school.”

Cherish the Ladies bring their live show to Stonehaven Folk Festival this July

Shot of band performing on stage with two men doing Irish dancing at the front

By Lily Black –

The GRAMMY-nominated Irish music ensemble will perform at Stonehaven Town Hall this summer

Cherish the Ladies, one of the world’s most celebrated Irish music ensembles, are set to play Stonehaven Town Hall as part of Stonehaven Folk Festival on Thursday 11th July, giving local audiences and festival goers the chance to experience their unforgettable spectacle of music, song, and dance.

Cherish the Ladies have won the hearts of audiences around the globe with their rousing blend of traditional Irish music, captivating vocals, and propulsive step dancing. The GRAMMY-nominated female super group have been pioneers for women in the Irish music scene and continue to leave an indelible mark, boasting 18 critically acclaimed albums and thousands of concerts performed globally, including selling out their last 15 performances at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. 

Comprising Joanie Madden on flute, whistles and harmony vocals, Mary Coogan on guitar, Mirella Murray on accordion, Kathleen Boyle on piano and harmony vocals, Nollaig Casey on fiddle, Kate Purcell on lead vocals and guitar, and accompanied by champion dancers Nathan Pilatzke and Brian Culligan, the group are ready to entertain audiences up and down the country this summer with their rousing live performances.

Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies said: “We’re beyond excited to get on the road and perform in some fantastic venues across Scotland this summer. We’ve performed at Celtic Connections in Glasgow many times and have enjoyed touring around the Highlands with Blás Festival in the past, but it’s been years since we travelled around Scotland and we’re delighted to be spreading our wings and visiting some fantastic towns where there are lots of fans of Irish music, song and dance. This is our first time performing at Stonehaven Folk Festival so we really can’t wait!”

Founded in New York City in 1985, The New York Times describes Cherish the Ladies’ music as “passionate, tender, and rambunctious,” while The Washington Post applauds their “astonishing array of virtuosity.” They have been honoured as the BBC’s Best Musical Group of the Year and named the Top North American Celtic Group at the Irish Music Awards. Their collaborations include esteemed musicians such as The Boston Pops Symphony, Vince Gill, Nanci Griffith, The Chieftains, Pete Seeger, Don Henley, Arlo Guthrie, The Clancy Brothers, and Tommy Makem. 

Cherish the Ladies have performed over 300 guest solo performances with America’s leading symphony orchestras, and have garnered numerous awards, including being immortalised with a street named in their honour on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, New York. Their enduring success as one of the most beloved Irish music groups is rooted in their blend of virtuoso instrumentals, beautiful vocals, traditional and original arrangements, and stunning step dancing, all delivered with exceptional talent, creativity, and humour.

To see Cherish the Ladies on tour at Stonehaven Town Hall as part of Stonehaven Folk Festival on Thursday 11th July, visit www.cherishtheladies.com.

Feature image courtesy of Lily Black media release

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