From the Stirling Observer on Wednesday 11 October 2017
Two brothers from Dunblane are just weeks away from taking to the seas in an epic charity challenge. Kris and Blair Elliot will battle giant waves and potential shark attacks when they jump in a rowing boat and embark on a 3000-mile endurance race across the world's most dangerous ocean - the Atlantic. The event, which is called the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, will see participants start at La Gomera in the Canary Islands on December 12, before heading for Antigua in the West Indies. Dunblane woman Elaine Hopley completed last year's race in just 59 days to raise money for Alzheimer Scotland. And Kris, a 30-year-old Stirling fire fighter, and Blair (28), who works off-shore as an engineer, are aiming to follow suit in aid of the Fire Fighter's Charity. They will be rowing under the banner Team Noble in memory of former Alloa Watch Manager John Noble. John was tragically killed in January 2008 when the fire appliance he was travelling in hit a tree on the A91 between Dollar and Tillicoultry. The aim is to raise £100,000 for the good cause and they have already managed to reach the £50,000 mark.
The original team consisted of two firefighters, Kris and Allan Hundy, from Stirling Fire Station, but when Allan had to withdraw Blair stepped forward in his place. Father-of-two Kris said: "We're out training every weekend - launching the boat off the west coast of Scotland and going for a 12-hour row. In addition to that, we've been going to the gym and working on the rowing machines. "While we need to train we also need to put on quite a bit of weight as we'll lose around two stone while were out there. "We've both done some challenges in the past but this is the first really big one for both of us. There's going to be a lot of unknowns. We're going to be sleep deprived while we'll be pushed to the maximum physically, then add the unpredictable weather into that." The duo will be spending Christmas Day at sea and will need to keep each other entertained throughout what could almost be three months contained in a 23ft rowing boat. Kris added: "We'll be taking a selection of music and some cards with us - and we've got our Santa hats looked out. There's an array of food we've collected too. "When we arrive in Antigua, our families will be there to meet us - my wife (Linsey) and daughters Fia (9) and Mila (6) along with Blair's wife, Beth. Hopefully we'll get the chance to wind down while we're there. "We just need to keep reminding ourselves that with every stroke we'll be nearer to seeing our families. "Anyone who would like to help out and contribute to our fund raising can visit our website www.team-noble.org.
The duo have spent £15,000 renovating their own boat ahead of the challenge. The Fire Fighters Charity provide services that aim to enhance the quality of life for serving and retired fire fighters, fire personnel and their families. This can range from recovery after an injury or support with mental health conditions. Kris and Blair will be at The Thistles Centre on Saturday October 21 to chat to shoppers and help promote their charity cause.
September 2017 Update
The northbound section of the B8033 from the roundabout at Claredon Place to the junction of Stirling Road and the southbound section of the B8033 from the junction of Beech Road to the roundabout at Claredon Place. Sunnyside will also be closed for its entire length. All roads closed from 9-10-17 until 23-10-17 to ensure public safety during bridge works. Alternative route : via Claredon Place-Springfield Road-Doune Road-A820-A9- B8033-Perth Road and vice versa. NB: Claredon Place will be open to two-way traffic.
February 2017 Update
- The bridge works will commence around the end of May 2017.
- The project will run for between 9 and 12 months.
- Network Rail plan to hold two drop-in sessions in the Victoria Halls for residents before the works commence.
- Every household will receive an information leaflet in March or April.
- Updates will be provided to residents who live within 500m every 6 to 8 weeksSunnyside will be closed to traffic and pedestrians (except for residents who will be able to walk to their houses).
- Clarendon Place will become two-way for traffic.
- Traffic will be two-way for the section of the B8033 on the abattoir side between the bus stop on the south side and mid way along the main road bridge over the river.
The only road bridge over the railway in Dunblane needs to be partially rebuilt. The bridge on the Perth Road Dual Carriageway needs to be raised to allow for electric trains between Dunblane and Edinburgh / Glasgow by next year. Engineers had previously thought that lowering the level of the track would be sufficient to install wires but due to flooding and other safety issues, they now need to raise the level of the bridge. Updated regulations also require higher parpapets on bridges over electrified railways.
The bridge is built in two halves - the original and the new when the road was dualled. Fortunately the road no longer requires to be dualled in any case so this should allow disruption to be less.
The Kerse Road bridge in Stirling has a similar issue which means it will be closed for a year from May, following the . Diversions to Springkerse will be in force.
Foundation Scotland launch their Stirling-wide Grants Programme
Background : Foundation Scotland is currently seeking applications from charitable groups and organisations operating in the Stirling area.
Aim : To fund local projects providing services and activities that can help to address the following themes:
* Support for older people in retirement.
* Employability skills development.
* Support for young people not in education, employment or training.
* Financial Resilience.
They are particularly keen to receive applications from projects that have the potential to meet more than one of the key themes through for example the provision of activities that encourage different generations to work together in support of common goals e.g. mentoring programmes for employability development, projects that seek to transfer skills across generations.
Priorities : Applications from organisations operating in central Stirling will be prioritised.
Deadline : Applications must be received by 12 noon on 1st November 2017.
Your new waste and recycling collection calendar is available online. The online calendar allows all residents to enter your postcode to check the dates of your future collections days, and features the option of printing off a handy calendar. Following customer feedback, the glass collection will move from fortnightly to every 4 weeks, providing a simpler presentation model for residents. Paper copies of your collection calendar will be delivered to households soon and can also be accessed from your local library and Customer First office. Please note that this will be the last issue of paper calendars to households. In future, these will only be available online, reducing our impact on the environment and saving precious resources by asking residents wherever possible to access their calendar online. This easy to use online calendar will help us all do our bit for a cleaner, greener Stirling.
Dunblane butchers' pies have been deemed worthy of national recognition at the recent Scottish Craft Butchers Awards.
John Hill won four awards in the 2017 Scottish Craft Butchers Steak Pie, Speciality Pie and Mince Round Evaluation :
Gold Award – Mince Round
Silver Award - Traditional Steak Pie
Silver Award – Chieftain Pie
Silver Award – Steak & Caramelised Onion Pie
David Bennett & Son, Dunblane won :
Gold Award – Game Pie
Silver Award – Steak & Pepper Pie
Silver Award – Mince Round
The heats were held at Forth Valley College last month with more than 250 pies from throughout the country were tested for appearance, flavour, filling and appeal. The panel of judges included experts, food writers and interested consumers and the event is organised by the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders in conjunction with Lucas Ingredients and William Sword Ltd.
A message from the RAGE Group re Park of Keir decision
Saturday 16th September 2017 at 10.45am. Please join us and invite any friends or family who care about saving Park of Keir
We are walking from the two communities Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, onto Park of Keir, we aim to come together at the top of Gallow Hill at about 11.30. The aims of the walk are to:-
* show our objection to the Housing and tennis centre plan
* raise awareness of what Scottish Governments decision could mean for the area
* enjoy the lovely landscape whilst it is still here.
* meet up with our fellow objectors. It will be nice to put faces to names. There are great views from the top.
Meet at Bridge of Allan station 10.45am or outside M&S car park, Dunblane 10.45am (M&S car park is private, please park elsewhere). There will be a walk leader at each end of the route if you are not sure which way to go.
Please wear appropriate clothes and footwear, paths on Park of Keir are muddy and uneven, there are stiles and fallen trees to negotiate. It should take approximately 40 mins to get there. You can return the same way or make a longer circular walk independently. No refreshments will be provided.
Please follow the Outdoor Access Code
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Flattening Dunblane’s Hills
Dunblane is a hilly place but otherwise suitable for everyday travel by bike within the town and those hills can be ironed out by electrifying the ride. Dunblane by Cycle, a Cycling UK affiliated community group, is working in partnership with Dunblane Development Trust to run an e-bike day on Thursday 12th October. Join us at the Braeport Community Centre where 4 local ebike suppliers/hirers will be on hand to demonstrate a range of models, provide information and lead short uphill rides. Further information
10.221 Accordingly, I recommend that Scottish Ministers dismiss the appeal and refuse to grant planning permission in principle for the proposed development at Park of Keir.
10.222 However, if Ministers are minded to allow the appeal, I recommend that they grant planning permission subject to the conclusion of a section 75 agreement to secure education and affordable housing contributions in line with the provisions of Stirling Council’s Supplementary Guidance SG15 and SG16 respectively, and subject to the conditions attached to this report at Appendix 2.
Timothy Brian Reporter
From Stirling Observer 300817 Scottish ministers have confirmed that they intend to grant planning permission for the tennis, golf and housing development which is backed by Judy Murray. Plans for a tennis and golf centre at Park of Keir in Dunblane have been approved in principle. The Scottish Government have confirmed that they intend to grant planning permission for the development - which will feature 12 tennis courts and a golf academy. The development, which has been strongly opposed by some residents living in the Dunblane and Bridge of Allan areas, will also include 19 houses, a hotel, multi-user sports pitch, museum and visitor centre. Kevin Stewart, the Minister for Local Government and Housing, said: “Having carefully considered all aspects of the planning report, I am minded to grant planning permission in principle for this development - subject to conditions and the conclusion of a planning obligation. “I have concluded that the development is of significant regional and national significance. It will bring strong benefits to Scottish sport, helping in the development of elite competitors, while also providing facilities for the community. There will also be economic benefits, both to the local area and more widely. “The next step is for the planning authority and developer to work together to agree to discharge the planning obligation. Once Scottish Ministers are satisfied, they will then be able to formally grant planning permission for the proposal.”
The decision was reached despite the Scottish Government planning reporter who considered the appeal saying some issues of concern raised by objectors were not enough grounds to refuse the application. The application had attracted 55 letters of comment, including from the Woodland Trust, and a Stop Hillside Houses Facebook group which was joined by almost 500 people.
Developers Arnbathie Developments and Dandara had appealed through the Scottish Government's planning appeals system against Stirling Council’s non-determination of their application. However, the appeal reporter decided any approval of the application would be premature given the council's 2016 Local Development Plan was currently the subject of an appeal. In his decision, appeals reporter Mike Croft said: "The project's contribution to housing supply at a time when that supply is clearly deficient weighs in its favour, but that benefit has to be seen against the loss of a greenfield site and the project's less than satisfactory public transport implications.
"Those points call into question its sustainability issues. The project is, in my view, premature in relation to the local development plan process, and the examination into the 2016 plan is well placed to take account of the need for more housing land and the extent to which Dunblane ought to expand on its south-eastern side, if at all." Mr Croft said the "internal components" of the project did not justify its rejection nor did concerns raised about infrastructure, such as education and health provision locally, and that the site was "readily available for development" and located in the 2014 Local Development Plan's core area. He added: "With a shortfall in the five-year effective housing land supply, they are important points in the project's favour. But in pure development plan terms, they are outweighed by the site's Green Belt location and the less than satisfactory public transport implications of the appeal project."
The Woodland Trust, which said this week it was "delighted" the appeal had been rejected, effectively safeguarding the woodland meantime, had objected strongly to the project claiming it would damage ancient woodland designated on Scottish Natural Heritage's Ancient Woodland Inventory as long- established woodland of plantation origin. However, Mr Croft said: I am not satisfied, however, that the project's inclusion of housing on what is now a dense, dark conifer plantation is in itself harmful. "Although it goes on to criticise the project for the absence of significant compensatory planting, it would be sufficient in my view, given the considerable extent of deciduous woodland that would remain within the appeal site, for a condition to be imposed on a permission to control its management and maintenance. Mr Croft also dismissed some objections from locals about overlooking of their houses after inspecting the site.