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					               DRUMOAK & DURRIS NEWSLETTER
               DRUMOAK & DURRISNEWSLETTER

Rain Rain go away
Come again another day!                                A Ranger’s Thoughts for Winter
                       Traditional Nursery Rhyme
                                                       Winter is a great time for bird watching. You
Others take a more philosophical view                  don‟t have the problem of trying to spot tiny
                                                       birds in amongst the leaves of trees for a start.
It haint no use to grumble and complane
                                                       If you have a bird table you will no doubt be
Its just as cheap and easy to rejoice;
When God sorts out the weather and sends rain,         getting lots of feathered visitors just now, which
W’y rain’s my choice                                   allows you to appreciate the fine detail of their
              Little Orphan Annie - Wet Weather Talk   plumage while you stay warm and cosy.
                                          J.W. Riley   Many of the blackbirds, robins and starlings
                                                       you see in your garden at this time of year
Greetings from a damp and rather waterlogged           have also flown here from the chilly north.
Lower Deeside. It must tax our collective living       Some melted lard or vegetable fat mixed up
memory to cite when last we had so much                with some breadcrumbs or oatmeal will help
water on the ground and in the river. I would          the birds survive the cold winter nights. Also
love to hear from any senior residents who can         look out for waxwings feeding on berries in
recall any time when the river was higher than         your garden. They are particularly keen on
we have experienced in the past few weeks of           rosehips so help them by putting off pruning till
rain (call 811 763). In my own experience,             spring.
normal high river levels invade the bottom of
the garden, and, due to its gentle slope, the          This is the right time to clean out your bird
area under water gives a very reliable indicator       boxes and put new ones up. Once you‟ve
of the water level. This past few weeks has            removed any old nests a kettle of boiling water
seen more of the garden under water than I             swished round the inside of the box is all you
can ever recall in my fourteen year stay.              need to do.        Don‟t be tempted to use
                                                       disinfectant – the smell will deter birds from
Of course, we are all fortunate in that we are         using it in the spring. Many birds are already
rarely inconvenienced by rain and flood. The           looking for suitable sites for the spring nest
odd road closure through local flooding pales          building frenzy.
into insignificance when compared against
those in many areas such as Elgin for example           Tree sparrows start particularly early. They
where storm swollen rivers burst their banks           need a nest box with a hole about 11/4 inches
flood houses, make their occupants homeless;           across. They differ in appearance from house
and with the prospect of financial ruin.               sparrows by having a beautiful chestnut crown
                                                       and black cheeks. These birds are becoming
At harvest festivals we sing of soft refreshing        quite rare in Britain now so if you spot one in
rain but it also has a darker side – ruined by         your garden let us know and we‟ll make sure
rain.      Whilst God‟s almighty hand is               that the details are recorded. If you are
responsible for both sides of the rain, much of        thinking of buying a new bird box give the
the riverside dwellers‟ misfortunes can be more        ranger service a ring…we have some for sale
properly laid at the hand of man, whose greedy         at £4.50 each (Tel 01330 844651).
development of flood planes without providing
adequate flood protection spells unfortunate           The heavy rain we have had this year is
consequences for those who live there and for          causing all sorts of problems for wildlife.
all our household insurance premiums in                Otters are being forced to seek out calm lochs
general.                                               in their search for food. When rivers are in
                                                       spate they often try to get to a new foraging
                                             editor    site by crossing roads, usually by bridges.
                                                       Many otters fall victim of road accidents at this
                                                       time so slow down when you are approaching
                                                       a bridge at night just in case.

December 2002                          Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                    Issue 33      1
It‟s worth taking time to have a good look at           several open rills .. rather than trying to force
trees in the winter. The buds of each species           the water to stay in pipes underground when it
of tree are very different. Beech is easily             obviously prefers daylight.
recognisable by its cigar shaped bronze
coloured buds, while the buds of oaks appear            At one stage, we had a new fountain - a sort of
in clusters. Hazel catkins are already starting         bubble pool effect -; a gushing mountain
to form and by February will be the dangling            torrent, looking for a mountain to erode and
yellow “lamb‟s tails” which brighten up the             impress; two waterfalls; a new lake where the
woodland. Next May the Ranger Service will              marquees sat in summer on top of all that
be running an event at Drum for those                   archaeology, and ~.and the ultimate in garden
interested in learning how to identify our              design- a “Diarmuid Gavin” style, turf water
common trees. Keep an eye on the events                 bed. You may have heard of and seen the
calendar at the start of the year for further           boxwood cloud shapes at the Chelsea Show,
details.                                                but you heard and saw it first at Drum - a turf
                               Fiona Mathieson          water bed. The whole one-acre surface moves
                                 Senior Ranger          and the lumps can be displaced at will for
                     National Trust for Scotland        maximum comfort!

News from Drum Castle Gardens                           The Collins Guide to Pests, Diseases and
                                                        Disorders includes a section on climatic effects
WIND & RAIN ....WIND & RAIN ... WIND &                  and under 'water-logging' is the entry "damage
RAIN                                                    through water logging is relatively infrequent
                                                        outdoors. " Don't you believe it! Try a walk up
No sun, no moon,                                        to Drum - wear your wellies though-, as all the
No morn, no noon-                                       footpaths when not actively supporting a
No dawn - no dusk- no proper time of day.               gushing torrent, are quagmires. Those that
No sky, no earthly view,                                were gravelled, now show off their foundation
No distance looking blue ....                           courses of hand-bedded granite block off-
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease           casts, a feature the archaeologists are very
No comfortable feel in any member                       keen to conserve and excavate - the rain has
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,            saved this fee at least! The gravel is all
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds.             collected in a large shingle bank down at the
NO-VEMBER!                                              Gardener's Cottage, great fun to negotiate with
                                   Thomas Hood          the tractor. I feel another risk assessment
                                                        coming on! No-one should be left in any doubt
I always felt sorry for my eldest sister. She was       as to why we still need to charge for car-
born in November. Definitely a sad, sorry               parking when the castle is closed- the
month, and this year is no exception.                   reinstatement work on these path surfaces is
                                                        colossal in terms of labour and cost of
After an October holiday in the Trossachs               materials.
under clear blue skies of an intensity that left
me speechless and smiling inside, and frosty,           This intensity of rain over very long periods
crisp mornings, sprinkled with low level wisps          also causes problems for plants. Normally the
of mist, our return to Aberdeen was met with            intervening dry spells allow our sandy loam
landslides, and floods, blocked drains and              soils to dry out fairly quickly, but we just
ponds overflowing, broken trees and trellis's.          haven't had enough of these rare moments.
And since then, it has rained ... and rained...         The plant roots are sitting in wet and they take
and rained...                                           on the same appearance as skin, when
                                                        exposed to long periods of wet - they shrivel
Permanently clad in yellow plastic and black            up, stop taking in carbon dioxide; the plant
rubber, I reflect sombrely on the new                   starts to yellow and will eventually die. This
descriptive entrance boards ordered for Drum,           happens even more quickly on the few patches
wishing I had added the prefix "Water" to the           of clay that there are at Drum.
word "Gardens". How much easier my life
would be, if I could just persuade the powers           Even when the plant is not killed immediately,
that be, to invest in an open rill.. or better still,   its root system can be so severely curtailed,


December 2002                 Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                     Issue 33                 2
that the whole plant can be blown over in the         my 'Green Gym” The doors are always open
wind. A very large Lawson 's cypress has just         and there is always that 'turf water bed' to relax
fallen at the Chapel for this very reason - the       on afterwards !
ensuing bonfire we had, was apparently seen
by residents of Westhill, who thought the castle      Roll on December - I am so glad I am an April
was on fire!                                          fool!

What can you do about this problem? Well              The Holly Fest is on the 14 and 15th of
Collins suggests that installing drainage is          December, 12 noon to 5pm. We have 18
scarcely practical in most gardens, but               crafters this year, storytelling with puppets,
recommends thorough deep digging and                  international carol singing, school brass band,
working in organic matter. I would add that if        present wrapping demonstrations, warm
you have a small garden and it is severely            refreshments and much much, more. If you
water logged, to the point where surface water        can volunteer your help to assist with the hollv
can be seen most of the winter and your plants        processing or putting up market stalls or
struggle to grow, get in the diggers, or put in       making Xmas arrangements to sell or with
decking and use tubs to display your plants.          ticketing or car parking on the day, please
Make sure the decking legs are well pressure-         contact me on 01330811406.
treated though!                                        This event is a major fund-raiser for the Trust
                                                      and more especially for your local castle
Small areas of water-logging are best dealt           without the income, we may not be able to
with by means of a stone sump - this will allow       repair those waterlogged footpaths!
the water to find a hole to fill up from which it
can then slowly' seep away. A 30 cm layer of                                         Diana Robertson
sandy loam soil on top of this should be                                              Head Gardener
adequate to permit planting of sorts, albeit                                        Drum Castle, NTS
shallow rooted items. I do however wonder
what future archaeologists will make of stone
sumps - there are rather a lot of them at Drum!       Medical Notes
Avoid planting any trees near drains - the trees      I saw an amusing cartoon in one of the medical
love them! The roots will find their way in to        weekly newspapers recently, which I thought
form these huge tubes of fibre, which then trap       highlighted a contemporary trend. Two burly
other debris and block the drain. Our 2 metres        paramedics have arrived at the home of a very
specimens are destined for the Tate Modern!           worried-looking gentleman slouched in his
                                                      armchair in front of his TV; the paramedics
This is where I mention the “Green Gym‟ run           proceed to disconnect the TV set, and as they
daily at Drum! One of the twins asked me what         carry it off on a stretcher one of the
circuit training was, having overheard a group        paramedics says to the bemused „patient‟:
of ladies discussing the relative merits of this to   “Don‟t worry sir….we‟ll soon have you feeling
aerobics. Whilst demonstrating in my usual            much better!”
visual fashion, it struck me that there wasn't a
great deal of difference between circuit training     There is an ever-increasing tendency for the
and what I currently do for a living- two hours       television media to portray medical matters
pulling and pushing draining rods out of              prominently either in news/documentary items
blocked drains, one hour digging mud off              or via story lines in dramas. Often this is done
paths, busting up concrete to let water escape        well with balanced views and sensible advice
took another hour, and then the remainder of          being put over in a responsible manner, but
the day was spent leaf clearing, twisting and         there are also plenty of examples of less skilful
turning with a spring rake and up and down to         presentation of such items, which can generate
put the leaves into the cart, on occasion             a lot of anxiety. Internet access can also be a
walking backwards with a tarpaulin full of            mixed blessing when it comes to medical
leaves- very good for the calf muscles! So if         information – there is a bottomless pit of
there is anyone out there who prefers being           literature, much of it produced or endorsed by
outside sweating to a clammv gym full of other        the medical profession, but on the other hand
sweaty bodies, please feel free to join me in         also a lot of unofficial and amateur medical

December 2002                Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                     Issue 33                 3
information well dressed up as authentic and         Paul recalled how 1982 was not a good year
authoritative. As we all know the information        for aspiring new graduate teachers, and how
age is upon us, but care is required!!               he had applied for jobs in many places with
                                                     little initial success. Aberdeenshire Council had
Hopefully most of you who should have the „flu       11 vacancies however, and he filled out 33
vaccination have already had this done – we          identical forms (11-4page forms in triplicate –
haven‟t seen any significant numbers of              one for each vacancy). His tenacity was
genuine „flu yet but this usually peaks slightly     rewarded when he then received a phone call
later in the season. There has been the usual        from Banchory Primary asking him when he
range of seasonal childhood virus infections on      could start. As he says, a quick look at the
the go but nothing out of the ordinary to report.    map put Banchory close to Aberdeen, which
                                                     must be reasonably civilised. So he said yes to
Do remember with the Christmas and New               the caller! Thus, after the Tattie Holidays in
Year public holidays coming up to be well            October 1982, started a long and happy
organised with repeat prescription requests –        association with Banchory where he still lives.
avoid a last minute rush!
                                                     Paul spent a very happy 10 years at Banchory
With best wishes,                                    Primary, during which time he spent a year out
                     Dr DCM Harris, Peterculter      on Prince Edward Island in Canada. He found
                                                     the people the children and the country terrific.
                                                     He gained much experience and many friends.
       Christmas Shopper's Creche
                                                     On return to Banchory, he felt he would need
The perfect way to enjoy childfree Christmas         to move on, and soon he moved to an acting
shopping!                                            head position at Craigievar School for some 18
                                                     months, before returning briefly to Banchory in
Banchory    Community Education Centre               1993. Then in January 1994 he became the
Creche is running a Christmas Shopper's              Deputy Headmaster of Westhill Primary
Creche on:-                                          School. This large 350 pupil primary has been
                                                     a tremendous teaching challenge, but when
         Friday 29th November                        the opportunity came to take over as master of
         Friday 6th December                         his own ship at Drumoak Primary, he jumped
          from 9.30a.m. - 3.00p.m.                   at it.

 Cost is £10.00 for one child, £6.50 for any         So what of the man? Paul has always wanted
siblings. All you need to do is provide your         to teach. He says it runs in the blood. His
child with a packed lunch. Places are limited so     grandfather was a history teacher his aunt a
call now on 01330 825966 to reserve.                 nursery teacher. He just likes to teach kids.
                                                     Imparting basic knowledge to youngsters gives
                                                     him great satisfaction – much more than
Portrait of a Headmaster                             teaching a specialist subject at secondary
                                                     level.
D&D Newsletter met with the new headmaster of
Drumoak School to satisfy the editor’s curiosity -
                                                     His vision for Drumoak Primary is to maintain
Paul Wilson is a very relaxed friendly and           and build on the school‟s current achievements
outgoing person with a winning smile, and a          and make it a great school not only for the
passion for teaching young children which is         children and their parents but also for the
evident in everything he says.                       larger community. He passionately believes in
                                                     parental participation. “Its parents that make a
He hails from Edinburgh and came to this area        community not the school”.
after graduating from Moray House College of
Education in 1982, and has enjoyed himself so        He recognises that in today‟s frenetic world,
much that he has never felt the urge to move         time is at a premium and makes participation
on or return to Edinburgh.                           increasingly difficult for many. But the more
                                                     people who can lend even a brief hand the



December 2002               Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                    Issue 33                 4
smaller the burden. Involvement of the many         It also meets at the Drumoak Public Hall but on
he sees as a particular challenge.                  Fridays from 18.00 to 19.30hrs. However Ian
                                                    believes in the „out‟ in scOUTing and many of
Paul‟s own interests are a fine example of          the meetings are held outside weather and
participation. He‟s an avid traveller; a thespian   light permitting.
of renown in the Culter Theatre Club; and
keeps fit through golf, tennis, badminton and       The Cub section caters for, boys, of 8yrs 6
hill walking.                                       months to 11 years. Chronologically the next
                                                    age banding is The Scout Section, now in
We wish him every success in his new school         abeyance, previously covered the ages of 11
and a long and happy stay.                          to 18 years followed by the Venture Scout
                                                    Section. This is now being reorganized. The
                                                    age range of the Scout Troop will be from Cub
Local schools                                       age to 14 years after which members can
                                                    progress to a new section. There is a mass of
Although not in Drumoak and Durris, readers         new programme material available for the
might like to know that Aberdeenshire Council       revised Scout Section which could be re-
have recently agreed that the Crathes and           launched if there is sufficient interest.
Strachan primary schools can stay open rather
than be amalgamated under the proposed               A Senior scouting group, Explorer Scouts, is
centralisation scheme. The change of heart is       being organised on a wider catchment area. A
primarily as a result of well-organised School      Lower Deeside Explorer Unit is being created.
Board and Community Council campaigns               Details and further contacts may be obtained
which were able to refute many of the planning      from Andrew Fowler, The Old Manse, Dalmaik,
assumptions made by Education Services.             Drumoak, Tel 01330 811746

This is another example where bureaucratic          Any volunteers for leader/s???
assumptions are defeated by sound factual
challenge, aided by the solidarity of a             A Scout background is not essential as the new
community who took part in comprehensive            material does not expect this of new leaders and
surveys to get the points across.                   indeed it may be a positive advantage to come with
                                                    no predetermined ideas!
                                                    Please contact; Ian Pirie, Dunedin, Drumoak
Drumoak Scout Group                                 Tel 01330 811348

 Whilst the Scout Section has been put in
abeyance, there are two success stories from        Drumoak Durris Crathes Bowling Club
the younger sections, The Cub Scouts and
The Beaver Scouts.                                  Following the closure of the Green at the end
                                                    of September we have enrolled 37 members
 The latter started on Monday 26th August with      for indoor bowling in the pavilion. Our 'hat'
two Leaders and four members it has grown to        nights and afternoons have been well attended
a membership of 12 boys and girls between           but we still have availability for any new
the ages of 6 to 8 years 6 months. It meets at      members who may wish to join us.
Drumoak Public Hall on Mondays from 18.00
to 19.00hrs, during normal school terms.            During the last three months we have
The leaders are                                     successfully run a Prize Giving and Dance as
Kathleen Murray, Tel 01330 820356 and               well as a Concert with the Tam Reid party. At
LouiseMurray,         Tel 01330 811151              the time of writing we are looking forward to a
                                                    Social Evening of 'wine and wit' to be held in
They are handling a lively and growing section      the pavilion on 30th November. Looking to the
and would appreciate further assistance on a        future we are planning to have another concert
long term basis.                                    on Saturday 8th February followed by a Race
                                                    night on 1st March. Also in March is our major
The Cub Section continues to be run by              indoor competition for the season. This is our
Ian Fegen,      Tel 01330 811840                    Open Triples Competition, which commences

December 2002              Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                     Issue 33                 5
on the 8th March. In previous years this            Only a few people have responded to the offer
competition has been a very successful event;       from the Police of a Free Crime Prevention
attracting many teams from all over the local       Survey for domestic properties so far. This is
area. Finally, on 19th March we will be holding     only offered in Deeside. You are under no
our Annual General Meeting for which all            obligation to carry out any of the
members will receive notice in due course.          recommendations put forward. To have this
                                                    free survey done on your property, please
In spite of the inclement weather we have           phone Banchory Police on 01330 822252 - and
commenced a maintenance programme on                sleep easier this winter.
outside seating and fencing, some of which
has been made necessary by vandalism                Christmas is just around the corner. It is fun to
                                                    decorate the house. However perhaps we
In an effort to improve standards we are            should think very carefully where we should
arranging to purchase additional kitchen            sight the Christmas Tree. At the front window
equipment in the pavilion. This will consist of a   is an obvious place and very traditional but
dish washing machine and a freezer, which will      perhaps we should not put the presents so
ease the catering facility as well as providing a   carefully thought about and bought for Aunty
more hygienic environment                           Jean etc. underneath in full view of passers by.
                                                    An invitation for some perhaps!
                         Jim Corbett, President
                                                    Please keep responding to the police call to
                                                    report anything suspicious or out of the
Neighbourhood Watch                                 ordinary. However trivial you may think it is it
                                                    may be an important piece of a jigsaw as far as
                                                    the Police are concerned. All reports are
Good news! Household break-in is down by            looked into and the Police have assured me
52% over the last four years. Let's keep it that    that they do get back to the person who
way. Deeside is an area of low crime but we         reported the incident if not immediately then
should not be complacent.                           within two weeks.
Have you received a pamphlet from the Police        A very Happy Christmas and Guid New Year to
through your door?                                  you all.
                                                                      Lesley Moore 01330811879
"Operation Neighbourhood" is a scheme run by
the Police to highlight domestic properties that
have been left vulnerable to break-in and the       Community Safety Group
pamphlet brings this to the attention of the
                                                    Group Treasurer Alister Bisset writes:-
householder in question. The pamphlet
contains a lot of useful information on the
                                                    “As a member of the Kincardine & Mearns
safeguarding of your property. The Police take
                                                    Community Safety Group, I would be grateful if
the time and trouble to patrol our
                                                    the activities were made known to the
neighbourhood and at this time of year are on
                                                    readership as I feel that the Drumoak
the look out for properties showing no "sign of
                                                    community may be missing out on funding. In
life" in the early hours of darkness. This
                                                    the two years that the K&MCSG has been
scheme has been in operation now for four
                                                    running, most attention and funding has been
years and the crime rate has fallen by 52%
                                                    directed toward Stonehaven and Portlethen
over the same period. Since the clocks have
                                                    (where most members of the Group reside).
changed the daylight hours are fewer and
darkness arrives long before most working
                                                    For example, last year there was a substantial
householders return from work. It is only
                                                    sum of money paid in postage to coastal
sensible to leave one or even two timer
                                                    residents on a Coastguard leaflet regards sea
switches to "light up your house" and perhaps
                                                    safety. £310 was paid to the Portlethen police
switch on a radio for "sound effects"!
                                                    for two bicycles for local police patrols. Pens
Remember for the thieves if one house has
                                                    and posters have been purchased highlighting
sound and light and one house is in utter
                                                    safety matters, which again have mostly gone
darkness you know which one they will target!
                                                    to Stonehaven residents, and £200 to a

December 2002              Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                    Issue 33                 6
Kincardine & Mearns Special Needs Play                and the roads will still be repaired. But when it
Forum.                                                comes to complaint or objection – especially
                                                      on planning matters - then you are on your
We receive about £1500/annum from the                 own. You can talk to officials or to your local
Scottish Executive for Community Safety               councillor, but you will be a lone voice.
Projects and at present have a balance of over        Community councils on the other hand
£2000. I will welcome any suggestions for             represent opinion in the community and have a
projects within Drumoak that could benefit from       statutory right to consultation. Their objection
this funding.                                         carries a bit more weight than the individual.
                       Alister Bisset Treasurer,      That is why local councillors attend their
    Kincardine & Mearns Community Safety Group.       meetings.

Note:- Alister is also Neighbourhood Watch            Community Councils also receive a modest
Co-ordinator for Coalford – tel 01224 733 981         grant for distribution within the community, and
Editor                                                many activities benefit from these.

Crathes Drumoak                 and      Durris       Happily the continuation of CDDCC is assured
                                                      due to sufficient nominations being lodged by
Community Council                                     the 22nd November deadline (Crathes 2,
                                                      Drumoak 5, and Durris 3) Aberdeenshire
Community Council Elections                           Council will shortly announce the names of the
                                                      new councillors.
You may have seen adverts or letters to the
Piper about Community Council Elections and           CDDCC Grants
wondered what it is all about. Quite simply
Aberdeenshire Council have introduced a new           During the year, CDDCC have made a number
scheme for Community Councils, and as the             of grants and donations totalling almost £1000
term of the current CDDCC is coming to a              to organisations within the community to assist
close, new nominations are required to fill the       with activities.
vacancies.
                                                       £50 Crathes School Swimming Club
Will there need to be elections?                       £50 Friends of Crathes School
 Only if there are more nominations than the          £200 Drumoak Church (contribution newsletter)
number of vacancies which are specified in the        £149 Drumoak and Durris Playgroup
new scheme, and if the minimum nominations            £115 Durris Primary School
cannot be met, the community council ceases           £150 Volunteer Centre South Aberdeenshire
to exist. The numbers are:-                           £100 Kirkton Hall Committee, Crathes Hall
                   Crathes Drumoak Durris                    Committee, Drumoak Post Office, Park
       Maximum         3       5      3                      Shop,(contribution in appreciation of
                                                             displaying CDDCC material [£25 each].
       Minimum         2       3      2
                                                             Post office and shop have donated to
                                                             charity)
If the number of councillors in any ward falls        £120 Friends of Durris Forest
below the minimum, the community council is
disbanded.                                            If you know of any groups within the
                                                      community area who might benefit from a
What’s special about the new Community                small grant to prime some activity, then please
Council Scheme?                                       let any community councillor know.
The main difference is the right to manage
funds for projects and to carry funds over from
year to year for such projects. This will give        The Planning Front.
greater autonomy to local communities through
their community councils. The current statutory       All is relatively quiet at present, but that is likely
rights of consultation remain.                        to be the lull before the storm. So here‟s a
                                                      quick update on the current situation on the
Does it matter if there is no CDDCC?                  more contentious planning issues.
It depends on your viewpoint. The schools will
still be there, the dustbins will still be emptied,

December 2002                Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                      Issue 33                    7
Drumoak Houses                                       This is good news in terms of transparency of
                                                     the proceedings. Also, because CDDCC have
Outline Planning Permission for 60 houses in         been     granted     permission     to    make
Drumoak has been partially granted after a site      representations to the Reporter, they will also
inspection, by the Kincardine & Mearns Area          be able to question the case put forward by the
Committee. 30 houses are approved along the          developer. A firm date for the enquiry is
east side of Sunnyside Drive, but the 30             awaited but is likely to be early in the year.
houses on the south side of the North Deeside        Watch this space!!
Road opposite Sunnyside Drive were refused.
CDDCC have objected to the entire
development on the grounds that the there is         Park Quarry
insufficient infrastructure to sustain further
development, and that the current salami             Readers will recall, that in Sept. 2000, Chap
tactics of piece meal development is flawed.         Quarries were refused planning permission to
We await the developer‟s response to this part       extend their quarry to the west of Park Bridge
approval.                                            Road. First they went to appeal then they
                                                     withdrew their appeal. Then recently they have
Editor – Drumoak is probably coming to a             resubmitted their application.           The new
crossroads in its history.     It is reaching a      application answers some of the reasons for
critical mass where potential development land       the earlier rejections but not all. Particularly the
will become under increasing pressure for            excavation of sand and gravel some 50 metres
housing development. Gradually, field at a           from the boundary of occupied houses and the
time, twenty houses here, twenty houses there,       loss of amenity to the home owners this
the developments will continue, and there will       entails.
be no corresponding improvements in
infrastructure to compensate for the creeping        CDDCC in their objections to this application
urbanisation.                                        have drawn Planning and Environmental
                                                     Health Services‟ attention to new legislation on
 Perhaps it is time to think the unthinkable. If     dust limits, and as a result the developer has
Drumoak had say 500 more houses where                been asked to conduct further dust surveys to
might they go – and more importantly – what          demonstrate compliance with the new
kind of facilties would a wee town of this size      legislation. We presume this will occur after the
need.- Recreational space; medical facilities        rains!!
footpaths; mini business park(s); park and ride
and so forth.     MAYBE IT’S TIME FOR THE
COMMUNITY TO DO SOME PLANNING IN                     Our local councillor, Sandy Wallace joins the
ITS OWN RIGHT rather than rely on Planners           great By-pass debate.:-
and Developers!
                                                     The Western Peripheral Route –
                                                     Is there a worse way to spend £100m?
Brodie Countryfare
                                                     The proposal to build a £100m dual
Readers will remember that the full                  carriageway through 33km of countryside
Aberdeenshire planning committee - the               around Aberdeen has all party support. That
Infrastructure and Services Committee –              comes as no surprise, politicians follow what
refused this application on the grounds that it      they think public opinion is, rather than lead it.
was not in accordance with the local plan and        If you make the most noise, politicians think
would in addition damage the vitality and            that you represent a majority.
viability (that‟s planning speak for putting local
businesses out of business) of the town              Support for the Western Peripheral Route
centres further up the Dee valley.                   (WPR) has been noisy. But ask a random
                                                     selection of acquaintances if they want a by-
The developers have now appealed to the              pass, some will say yes, some no and most will
Scottish Executive. The appeal will be heard         not be sure. Many of those who favour it object
as a public enquiry rather than by written           to the route, through Bieldside to Altens rather
submissions to the Reporter.                         than from Portlethen to Jackieshillock. Many of

December 2002               Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                     Issue 33                   8
those who support it assume the Scottish          Lang Stracht/ Westburn Road and Haudagain?
Executive would pay for it. No such               Dual the Parkway and the road to Peterhead?
commitment exists. Hardly a basis on which to     Build railway stations at Laurencekirk,
spend £100m and destroy the green belt.           Newtonhill, Muchalls, Altens, Kittybrewster,
                                                  Bucksburn and Kintore? Open new lines to
Do we need it? Evidence suggests that most        Banchory, Oldmeldrum and Ellon? Install
traffic on the routes around Aberdeen is trying   trams? ………
to get into the city, not around it. Unless the                    Councillor Sandy Wallace JP
bottlenecks are removed, the WPR will be an
expensive way of getting to the bottleneck of     Editor:-
your choice. The one group of people who          Well what do YOU think?
genuinely have cause for complaint are
haulage merchants from Peterhead and the          The next edition will feature any letters in
North trying to go south to market. Their         reply that readers care to send to the
complaints      could    be    addressed     by
                                                  editor.
improvements       to   the   existing   roads,
improvements that will not take place if the
money is spent on a by-pass.                       You might also like to say what you think
                                                  about the proposed
Can we afford it? The Scottish Executive‟s            BANCHORY PARK & RIDE.
unwillingness to commit £100m to the NE is        Will it be three quarters of a million
unfair given the wealth the NE provides to the    pounds of taxpayer’s money well spent?
Scottish economy but perhaps not surprising        How good a service would it have to be to
when we have a 40 minute rush hour and            persuade you from your car?
Edinburgh has a 2 hour rush hour. Last year,
Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen City
Council looked instead at the possibility of
                                                             Contributions Please!
building the route using private money.

What sort of “private money”? Actually, like      This is a community newsletter. It
taxpayer's money, it is your money. Proposals     needs community support not only by
include making the new road a toll road,          people reading it but also by people
costing £1 to use, and then charging another      contributing news and articles to it.
£1 to get in to Aberdeen (congestion charging),   Without these there would be no
then workplace parking charges. (Another £1)      newsletter.
Then developers would be permitted to build       So if you have a story to tell or a bit of
houses around the ring road in return for one     news to share please let the editor
off payments - but the council tax payer would    know.
still have to educate the children and collect
the refuse of these new communities.
                                                  Closing Date for contributions to the next
Is that viable? If we all continue to drive to    newsletter is   Wednesday 12th February.
work each day spending £3/day for the             Contributions to Donald Keith Drumoak
privilege then perhaps it is. But if some of us   House Drumoak Tel 01330 811 763 Fax
take the bus, the very object of council          01330 811 804 e-mail don.keith@which.net
proposals is threatened. Income from tolls and
charges will drop, leaving a hole in the budget   And finally,
to repay the £100m.         The proposal was
shelved for the time being. The lobbying of the   We wish all our readers a
Scottish Executive began again It is no further
forward and the “private money” remains on        very   happy   Christmas
the shelf – within reach.
                                                  and every best wish for
But is there an alternative? Oh come on, what
would you do with £100m? Widen the Bridge of
                                                  2003, to you and yours
Dee? Build flyover junctions at Kepplestone,            Editor.
December 2002             Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                  Issue 33                  9

				
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