Our storage project and partnership with Talking Tandems continues and it has now progressed to a stage where we need to communicate to members to keep you all appraised. The following is a high level breakdown of recent activities –
5th July – letter hand delivered to all neighbours adjoining our property apologising for the sailing club oversight regarding advanced notice of planning application and assurance we would not progress this matter further till we had communicated with them.
Fife Council and our planning consultant had been warning us there may be problems with tree preservation orders on the proposed site for the new garages, which is frustrating for all, as this location was chosen to keep the visible impact as low as possible and to be clear of main sailing locations.
9th July – meeting with tree specialist regarding options if the application was rejected due to tree preservation order. This was the start of ongoing consultations on the matter.
Though out July – various options, alternative locations and configurations for storage explored.
The sailing club also took onboard the feedback from the general public via the Fife Council Planning online system. You will have noticed some changes round our grounds with regards to boat locations and improved grounds maintenance. While some of this was already in hand, our volunteer workforce took quick action, where possible, to address highlighted areas of concern…. remember, the onus is on all of us as members to consider our neighbours, from storing boats correctly / neatly, to keeping our grounds tidy and considering noise from halyards / tarpaulins as we lay boats up for the coming winter months.
Start of August – Fife Council advise us the application will be rejected due to lack of supporting report from a tree specialist confirming there would be no damage to trees roots from new structures.
6th August – decision taken to withdraw current application to allow way forward to be established. This also allows an updated application to be re-submitted with no further fee.
20th August – Meeting with the DBSC storage sub-committee and TT to decide way forward.
DBSC after much consideration have decided to not progress with their building, so we are now only looking at one garage, which will help with the visible impact concerns and possible tree root issues. The sailing club will implement changes to the way we store boats within our current facilities and look to all members help with anything we implement (i.e. store the boats appropriately as per new approach, don’t look for quickest way to get off home after sailing!)
A tree specialists has been identified, who can provide a report to show there will be no tree damage from this structure (or structures as per previous application). This report is being drawn up and once supplied; we will re-submit the planning application, but for one garage only.
Letter sent to neighbours to advise them of status and intentions. This was delivered at the same time as this communication to members.
Meeting with neighbours scheduled for end September where we will discuss this application, further works required on our grounds to accommodate waste disposal regulations (was to be covered under overall costs / manpower for storage project) and general discussion round sailing club operations.
Approach to communication with members on this matter was considered by the sub-committee, because a small number of people requested an open meeting of club members. However, as the majority of feedback received regarding this project was positive (as was also the case from our neighbours after they understood the full background), it was decided normal communication channels were still the most appropriate.
Via these local community group relationships / partnerships to build a community / sporting hub, this year the sailing club were successful in gaining further relieve on our Council Tax bill. Our core mission is “keep sailing as inexpensive and accessible to as many people as possible”. This Council Tax relief, along with revenue from use of our facilities benefits all members directly in the membership fee we charge, which is good news for all of us.