Report on business discussed at meeting of Stornoway Trust on September 30th, 2019.
Trustees were reassured that the project management team of LWP remain committed to the Stornoway Wind Farm project. The LWP Board meeting is due to take place in October at which the way forward will be discussed.
Trustees confirmed that they remained fully supportive of the project.
Trustees concurred that continued engagement with OFGEM and politicians may be required address the disadvantage faced by island generators trying to compete in the renewable energy market.
LWP’s plans for early engagement with grazing committees to convey how they plan to progress the Stornoway Wind Farm project were warmly welcomed by trustees.
Monthly Progress on Parks for People Project – Lews Castle Grounds Regeneration
Trustees noted the report prepared by the Project Officer, and noted that the next meeting of the project board would take place on October 9th. Improvements to the decking and carpark at the Woodlands Centre are almost complete, and the removal of a willow tree from the Shoe Burn now affords a nice view up to the Matheson Bridge.
Stornoway Trust has requested that the contractor extend the central drain on the castle Green by 60m in an effort to pick up outlets for the Castle. Once this work is complete, reinstatement of the green can commence.
Work in the private gardens is almost complete, and the rebuilding of the bastion wall is well underway, with an anticipated completion time of spring 2020.
The Scottish Civic Trust’s sculpture will be stored until work on the sea wall is completed, and will eventually be installed by the junction of the shore road, between the Castle Green and Gardener’s Cottage.
CIB Services presented the management accounts for the first quarter to the Trustees which showed that the underlying position was in line with the budget.
Golf Club Lease
Given the late arrival of the response from the Golf Club, trustees felt that they had insufficient time to consider the submission, and agreed to remit the matter to a special meeting to which the estate solicitor would be invited.
The Factor will, in the interim, acknowledge receipt of the email.
Melbost & Branahuie Crofters v HIAL
Trustees noted that the Grazings Committee has been made aware that the Trust will hold the reletting of vacant shares in abeyance until the outcome of the HIAL challenge to the Court of Session is determined.
Water Extraction Project
The Factor reported to Trustees that the first shipment of water had been canned and the company is now seeking outlets for its product.
The Factor reported to Trustees that a further meeting will be held with stakeholders to discuss future development/management options for Cuddy Point.
OFGEM Consultation Response: Transmission link to Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland.
Trustees expressed concern that Stornoway Wind Farm’s lack of success in the recent CfD auction could undermine the Islands’ Needs Case, and the outcome of Ofgem’s impending decision on the 600MW subsea link to Arnish.
General Estate Matters
- i) Salt BarnTrustees noted that plans for a proposed layout have been completed showing how the site can be leased and used by third parties who may also have an interest in the site.
- ii) Litter in the Castle Grounds Trustees noted that arrangements are in hand to provide replacement bins at key locations within the Grounds. Talk with other stakeholders are ongoing over a more coordinated approach to litter management with the Castle Grounds.
- iii) Nursery Report Trustees noted the report prepared by the Nursery Supervisor and were pleased with the progress to date. They asked the Estate Office to arrange a visit to the Nursery for all Trustees.The Supervisor reported that the polytunnel for service user groups was now ready to be occupied, having had a new cover installed. A second open day was planned for late September, and both HHP and Citizens’ Advice had agreed to attend, and it was hoped that this would open up opportunities for new user groups to become involved, in an effort to tackle social exclusion in partnership with other organisations.There is to be more collaboration between the Nursery Supervisor and Woodlands Manager in order to plan crops which can be grown by the former and used by the latter.New plants have been brought in by the Head Gardener and the Nursery Supervisor has been making could use of the hydropod to propagate new plants from cuttings he has collected. The Stornoway Trust Nursery is also grateful to friends who have donated plant material for this purpose too.
- iv) Gardener’s Report
Trustees were similarly pleased with the progress recorded in the report from the Head Gardener. Trustees asked the Factor to relay their appreciation of the work carried out to date to the Nursery and Garden staff.
Work has been continuing to keep paths clear of weeds and fallen leaves, and to tidy the verges.
There are more than 600 perennials – thanks to the help from the nursery – ready to plant in the spring. These include wallflowers, lupins, hollyhocks and delphinium for the borders, as well as ox-eye daisies, forget-me-nots and pansies for the woodland flower beds.
At present, a delivery of bareroot trees is awaited, ahead of the first phase of woodland restocking, which will begin in late autumn. Meantime, fallen trees are being removed, and there has been some thinning out of sycamore saplings, mainly in the area around the private gardens/Lady Matheson’s monument.
The Gardens team is also beginning to build stone flower beds, and has been exploring sources for Victorian rose species as part of the renewal of the private garden
.v) Woodlands Centre
Trustees were informed that the new manager was now in post and the service was moving forward.
It was suggested that the planned visit to the Nursery should include the Woodlands and the private gardens so that Trustees could view for themselves the completed works.
Trustees also discussed the following:
OFFERS OF PRE-EMPTION
One offer of pre-emption.
Notifications to Landlord
Trustees noted that two notifications of decrofting, and two notifications of assignation of croft tenancies have been received. There were four notifications of succession of croft tenancy.
APPLICATION FOR TITLE IN TERMS OF THE CROFTING REFORM (SCOTLAND) ACT 2010
Trustees approved four applications seeking title under the terms of the Act.
APPLICATION TO ASSIGN CROFT TENANCY
Trustees approved six applications to assign croft tenancies.
APPLICATION TO SUBLET TENANCY OF CROFT
Trustees approved one application to sublet.
APPLICATION TO DIVIDE CROFT
Trustees approved one application to divide a croft.
APPLICATION FOR APPORTIONMENT OF COMMON PASTURE
Trustees supported the submission of one such application to the Crofting Commission.
APPLICATION FOR USE OF LEWS CASTLE POLICIES
Trustees homologated the Factor’s decision to grant permission to one applicant.
NOTIFICATION OF CROFT REGISTRATION
Trustees noted that intimation of three such registrations had been received.
DISCHARGE OF STANDARD SECURITY
Trustees homologated the Factor’s decision in granting this to one applicant.
APPLICATION FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Trustees agreed to the request for a donation of wooden toadstools to Laxdale Primary School.
There were four items of correspondence, with one additional late item held over for a special meeting.
Trustees noted that two notices had been served on the Trust in terms of local planning legislation.
DOCUMENTS FOR SIGNATURE
Trustees homologated the signature of five documents.