Welcome to Cromarty
WELCOME to the Cromarty Live website. If you are travelling to the Highlands of Scotland and the Black Isle, you will be delighted with a visit to this charming and unique old town.
If you have links to Cromarty already, you will find news of what’s happening in the local scene.
Our website tells you of Cromarty’s many attractions, amongst which are fine 18th-century merchant houses, an ancient church made famous by being greatly successful in the BBC’s ‘Restoration Village’ programme and a museum honouring the remarkable 19th-century geologist and writer Hugh Miller. There are details of the town’s facilities and its available accommodation should you decide to stay. Hundreds of years of history are waiting for you to explore in its streets and narrow vennels.
Cromarty people are welcoming and always pleased to help.
Cromarty and District Community Council
NOTE THAT LINKS TO ALL THE LATEST C&DCC AGENDAS, APPROVED MINUTES, REPORTS, PORTFOLIO LISTS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS CAN BE FOUND AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE
***YOUTH MEMBERS NEEDED***
As many will know, the C&DCC has successfully utilised the Highlands initiative to have 16 – 18 year olds at the centre of our work, by having two Youth Members with full voting rights.
Over the last few years we have had Gregor Fox, Tilly Grist and Coll Fullerton making important contributions to the community and we thank them enormously for everything they have done.
Unfortunately (although they might say fortunately!) their tenure is short and limited to the two years only. As a result we are constantly looking for ‘new blood’ to keep this initiative working.
If you, or someone you know, might be interested in getting involved, then please contact our Chair Paige (youngest Chair in the Highlands!), organisers of the Youth Cafe or simply email us on email@example.com . Please don’t think it is not for you, because you dictate how much of your time you can offer. Just ask Gregor, Tilly or Coll, if you are not sure.
GOODBYE BUT NOT FAREWELL
The latest C&DCC meeting, on Monday 25th April, saw Councillor Craig Fraser attending for the last time as our Ex-Officio Member, representing the Highland Council. He is retiring as a Highland Councillor on Thursday 5th May.
To say “He will be missed”, is an understatement. His tenacious ability to see things through, and get jobs done, has been the hallmark of his contribution to Cromarty, and the wider Black Isle community, since he became a Councillor in 2007.
Knowing how much he loves Cromarty, he will still be very much a person who cares about the community and he is already establishing links to continue supporting whoever is elected on 5th May. Whoever it is, they have a very hard act to follow.
Lastly, thank you Dorrie for lending Craig to the community over the last 15 years. His contribution has been invaluable and your support in this is so recognised, and hugely appreciated.
NEW MEMBER JOINS THE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
At the latest C&DCC meeting, Andy Thurgood was elected to be a Co-opted Member.
Andy, although fairly new to Cromarty, has already made his mark with valuable work in making sure Cromarty’s interests are well protected, in discussions with both the Port Authority and Global Energy. He has many transferable skills that will further help the Community Council and better represent the Community. Members look forward to working with Andy.
Latest 'Toilets' Update
OPEN IN TIME FOR EASTER
Thank you to everyone for making this happen, including the Highland Council, and for keeping up the pressure to get it done.
NEARLY THERE!! Thank you for everyone's patience!
Womens' Come and Try Tennis Sessions
Cromarty Tennis Court
6-8 p.m. Every Tuesday
All are Welcome. It's just for fun and it's for all levels and abilities, come along and give it a try!
THEY ARE COMING BACK!
The Cromarty Art and Flower Festival in the
East Church plus Cromarty Open Studios
and Open Gardens are back!
For details view the Calendar or click here
EVEN MORE URGENT CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS OF ALL AGES
The visitor season is now upon us, and we are still assembling litter picking teams to help keep the town clear.
If you are interested in helping please contact Peter Ratcliffe on firstname.lastname@example.org and he will contact you.
The Friends of Hugh Miller AGM
OPEN TO ALL!
Saturday 21st May at the Old Brewery, Cromarty
Members and interested parties are most warmly invited to attend our AGM, preceded by a fossil hunt on the Cromarty shore led by our chairperson, Bob Davidson. Bob will also give a talk on an intriguing Miller-related fossil mystery after our AGM in the afternoon. Again, the talk is open to all, and the public are most welcome to attend. Full details:
10am - 12 noon: Fossil walk led by Bob Davidson, leaving from the Old Brewery at 10am, taking in Cromarty shoreline for a fossil hunt before heading back round the loop to the St Regulus’ graveyard. All welcome.
2pm – Annual General Meeting
3pm – Talk by FOHM chairperson Bob Davidson: All welcome.
Detecting 'fake news' in Geology - past and present
Free coffee/tea and shortbread will be provided during the afternoon
FOR A GLIMPSE OF CROMARTY'S PAST
The Cromarty Medieval Burgh Community Archaeology Project ran a 3 year programme of excavations from 2014 to 2016 which revealed part of the history and archaeology of the Royal Burgh of Cromarty from the burgh's foundation around 1266 AD to 1880 AD. This community based series of excavations revealed a tantalizing glimpse into Cromarty's medieval past unearthing the foundations of individual properties including a well preserved stone lined well.
INNER MORAY FIRTH DEVELOPMENT PLAN FINAL PROPOSALS
The majority of the report below remains unchanged and the 'Proposed Plan' is still expected to be released for public consultation in March. However the C&DCC has become aware that the CM01 (Jock's Field/Sandilands) site owned by Albyn Housing may now also become an active development during the next 18 months, following the owners meeting with the Highland Council's Housing Development department. Representatives of the C&DCC will be meeting with Albyn Housing in late March to discuss their plans/thoughts about the CM01 site. Until that meeting takes place, the C&DCC is delaying the start of the Pump Track Project as the piece of land proposed for this scheme overlaps the old proposed access route between the CM01 site and the Denny, and so could technically still be used in their development plan. Update to follow.
VICTORIA HALL 2022 BOOKINGS
AS OF 1st FEBRUARY - NON CROMARTY BOOKINGS NOW ACCEPTED
The Hall is currently open, but subject to the latest Scottish Government 'Protective Guidance'. This is due to change from 21st March, when it is hoped that regular users will be able to return with confidence. In the meantime a number of the regular users are managing to meet these challenges, and continue with their activities. The new booking form is available on the Hall’s website www.thevictoriahall.net and this includes an Event Risk Assessment form. Please note these booking conditions are subject to update as the Hall follows any Scottish Government 'Protective Guidance' that is announced.
If you wish to book the Hall for later in the year, please note that any booking can only be taken on a provisional basis, as we have to comply with any Scottish Government 'Protective Guidance', as it happens. We realise this can be very frustrating when planning an event, but we will keep you updated with any developments that may affect your proposed booking. This frustration is shared by the VHMC and only puts pressure on the Hall's ability to remain open. We can only continue for so long under these challenges and a scheduled review of our finances in March will determine whether we have to accept that maintaining Community venues, run by volunteers, is not viable. All such venues locally, and across the Highlands, are suffering from these similar challenges and have had to close but, please be assured that any closure of the Hall will always be a last resort.
DO NEED TO REPORT A PROBLEM TO THE HIGHLAND COUNCIL?
Just a brief reminder for residents wishing to report problems to Highland Council.
Preferably use the website link https://www.highland.gov.uk/report or call the Service Centre contact number 01349 886602 to request a repair. This is important as a reference number will be given. If not the resident should insist one is given. This reference number starts an audit trail that relevant departments, such as Housing, can and must follow up. If telephoning, residents may have to wait for their call to be answered or to call back at a different time. But do keep on trying until you get that reference number!
INNER MORAY FIRTH DEVELOPMENT PLAN FINAL PROPOSALS
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR CROMARTY?
Last year the C&DCC submitted its comments and requests as part of the Highland Council's consultation process to develop the new 10 year IMF Development Plan. These were published here at that time.
The final Highland Council (HC) draft proposals were recently agreed by the Black Isle Highland Councillors, before going for full Highland Council approval. The formal public consultation process will commence, on the final 'Proposed Plan' after it is published in March 2022.
A two page extract of the Cromarty proposals contained within the Plan, can be viewed here.
The full 42 page document (covering the proposals for the whole Plan) can be viewed here.
In general it is clear that the C&DCC submission was listened to and many of our requests have been included in the HC proposals.
However there was one clear error of fact. Under the 'Summary of Issues Raised in Comments' of which there were 18 (including the C&DCC ones). It was stated that the "C&DCC opposed CM03". This was not correct. After consultation with Tim Stott (THC Principal Planner and author of the proposals), C&DCC was asked to clarify our comments to Black Isle Highland Councillors before they considered their approval. This was done and has therefore been corrected on the Cromarty extract (highlighted in yellow).
The C&DCC had in fact neither discussed nor commented on CM03 at all, because it was outside the town's existing Settlement Development Area Boundary, which is marked in white on the attachment. C&DCC had purely stated that we supported CM01, and part of CM02, for Affordable Housing which should satisfy Cromarty's dire need for such housing, as opposed to 'developments for profit' that were already at saturation levels in Cromarty.
C&DCC now knows that the HC 'Recommendations & Reasons' stating that the CM01 (Jock's Field/Sandilands) had continuing problems were as a result of a meeting between the HC and Albyn Housing, who have reconfirmed that they are not presently able to consider developing this site. As a result THC have turned their attention to the CM03 site because the landowner (McBean) was very open to considering an affordable housing development, under an official Rural Housing Burden managed by the Communities Housing Trust. These discussions are at an advanced stage and much work has already been done detailing the proposed development with a Call for Sites having already been submitted to the HC. As a result the HC are proposing to extend Cromarty's Settlement Development Area Boundary. C&DCC is seeking further clarification on the reference to self build units requiring Active Travel improvements to the Paye (where McBean also owns land).
The C&DCC is pleased that the HC has listened to its submissions and the CM03 proposals would provide the needed Affordable Housing which C&DCC are keen to support.
In addition, C&DCC’s request for the Links, Victoria Park and the Townlands playspace to receive protected Greenspace status has been accepted and included. The NatureScot support on this proposal will have helped. CM01 will be left in the Plan, but is now regarded as a more ‘long-term’ project. The proposals for CM02 now contain a 'contamination assessment' to see if any development can be considered, in addition to the Cromarty Development Trust's existing Campervan/Camping site proposals.
USE OF THE LINKS FOR COMMUNITY EVENTS
As we think positively about being able to organise more community events, we thought it a good idea to remind folk that the C&DCC runs a booking system.
To avoid planning issues, on behalf of the landowner Cromarty Estate, we are allowed to open the Links for a limited number of occasions each year, to facilitate community events.
The booking calendar is managed by Peter Ratcliffe who can be contacted either directly or on the C&DCC email email@example.com, with any proposal to hold such an event.
VEHICLE DAMAGE DUE TO POTHOLES
There is an online form on the Highland Council website. You will need the following
* date, time * location * photo * receipts for any work to your car, tyre etc
Or phone 01349 886601 for an insurance claim form for damage to your car
FUTURE OF THE EAST CHURCH HALL
Following the pre-school classes being moved to the Cromarty Primary School premises, the community has been left with a valuable community asset unused, but definitely not unloved.
The C&DCC has received a lot of local interest, who are very keen to see the East Church Hall used as a functioning, useful and sustainable community facility. Local folk have many fond memories of this building in its many guises over the years, and have asked that the C&DCC coordinates the local interest and, in the first place, liaises with the Highland Council, who are the ‘custodians’ of this Cromarty Common Good Asset.
At our latest meeting, it was agreed that the C&DCC will make this approach and then bring together all the community ideas, in an attempt to create a sustainable community based future for the East Church Hall.
Keep your views and ideas coming, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, as we start this process. All ideas will be considered and every communication will receive a response.
HIGHLAND COUNCIL SEASONAL ACCESS RANGERS
For full details and ways to contact their Team read here
URGENT NEWS ABOUT MONITORING THE RIG NOISE
The Environmental Health Officer from the Highland Council has requested that noise/nuisance record sheets are completed regarding the rig noise. If they don't receive any noise/nuisance record sheets, they will not be able to investigate further. Download the sheet and notes here
Please consider the impact of the noise on you, your physical and mental health, your relationships, your work and anything else you think is important.
Once completed, please send the records to The Environmental Health Officer, Community Services, Highland Council Area Office, 84 High Street, Dingwall IV159QN.
Please also send a copy the C&DCC at email@example.com so we can collate the number of responses for future contact with the Environmental Health team. Thank you.
Last C&DCC Agenda here.
2021 C&DCC AGM Approved 2019 Minutes here.
2021 C&DCC AGM Approved Audited 2019/20 Financial Statements here.
2021 C&DCC AGM Approved Audited 2020/21 Financial Statements here.
Latest C&DCC Ordinary Meeting Approved Minutes here.
Current C&DCC Members' Portfolios List here.
Latest Youth Café Monthly Report here
Youth Café Summer Programme Report here
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