The NKTOP Updates Page
The purpose of this page is to publish updates on any aspect of the activities of the North Kessock Ticket Office.
Path and Pontoon Project
by Maggie Macdonald - 19:42 on 30 April 2021
NKTOP have decided that we need to allay the fears of residents about our proposed Paths and Pontoons Project.
Rumours and untruths have been running rife on Facebook but due to past experience we never get involved in slanging matches which achieve nothing. We have been subject to allegations verging on libellous but we have kept silent, which has led some individuals to call us a secret group which we very obviously are not considering all we have done to help our community over the years. From now on we will add more information to our website but not engage with misleading posts on Facebook.
The proposed Paths and Pontoons Project.
We were informed by Kessock Estates that they were having the land they own in North Kessock registered with the purpose of selling it. Rather than the land falling into the hands of a private developer, NKTOP thought that it would be better if it was owned and operated by the community.
We consulted Alan Jones, who has managed our previous projects, for advice on sources of funding and he directed us to the Scottish Land Fund, (SLF), which is specifically set up for community purchases of land/buildings for community use.
Possible uses of Kessock Estate land are for a boardwalk between the old ferry car park and the Village Hall and also utilising the foreshore for pontoons. (NKTOP were approached and offered redundant fish farm material to build a pontoon.)
In order to link the small parcels of land in addition to the boardwalk, a return leg through the woodland behind the houses in Oakleigh Road was considered.
These proposals were put to SLF in the form of a stage one application by our steering group for a feasibility study. This would also include land valuation and liabilities eg dead and dangerous trees.
In hindsight we admit we should have contacted other groups.The stage one application had to be submitted by March 2021 which meant that timescales were already tight. This tight timescale meant that we were not able to consult with other groups in the village. The stage one application was successful.
We informed the Community Action plan steering group (CAP) of our plans by their deadline in March and that information was leaked to Facebook causing alarm amongst residents particularly about the woodland walk. Due to the concerns of the residents of Oakleigh Road and Main Street, which incidentally would have affected four of our Board members, that part of the plan has now been dropped.
We wish to clarify that no plans, or land usage include any area of existing gardens, and additionally we recognise the importance and affinity associated with the foreshore space that is so well-maintained by the residents along the shorefront, especially Point Road. If during the community consultation, it is decided that the community do not want to own the land then Kessock Estates could decide to sell the land to a private developer and the community might not have the same level of input into any development.
The ideas put forward to SLF are not set in stone. The eventual uses of the land will be decided by the community consultation. If the majority of the community are against the boardwalk and pontoons or they are found to be unfeasible then they will not happen.
Should the community decide they do not want a boardwalk, there will be no boardwalk, should they decide they do not want pontoons there will be no pontoons.
If the community decide they want to leave the land in it's present state then it will remain in it's present state.
We want to work alongside other community groups to enhance our village by making it more attractive and slotting into the plans of the CAP group.
Should the community decide that they want to own the land, have a boardwalk, pontoon or any other ideas are put forward during the consultation then we can move on to stage two.
The consultation process will be by a leaflet drop to every household in the village, giving details of the proposals and information on how to log in and vote and how people can vote in other ways if they don't use computers. People will also be able to give any other ideas they have. In addition, NKTOP will hold open days, socially distanced in The Old Ticket Office, where people can express their thoughts, ideas and reservations to the Project management team and Board members. NKTOP will be in consultation with other village groups to gain their support and ideas working together during this process because we very much want everyone to work with us for the good of the community to heal the division and ill feeling that exists in some quarters.
Please bear in mind that we will take into consideration during the consultation, all the submissions that have been already received by email from members which we really appreciate. Should you wish to submit your own thoughts, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or post your ideas in written form through the letterbox of The Old Ticket Office.
The NKTOP Board