Archive for August 2012

Eilean Eisdeal Developments

Here we go again!

As the directors of Eilean Eisdeal [EE] have deliberately not consulted the community on their plans for our island, it is down to your online community magazine to do so.

Sometime ago EE engaged the services of Suzanne McIntosh, a ‘planning consultant’, to – and we can only hazard a guess – ‘help’ them with their future development plans.  Now, on Suzanne”s blurb site she says,  “I enjoy pushing the boundaries of planning and finding new ways to tackle old problems, especially in appeals and enforcements”. This sounds like the perfect chunky bunny EE would employ. And where do you think they came across her? I’ll leave that one for a little later!

Recently Suzanne and Keren Cafferty, the chair of EE, had a lovely stroll around Easdale Island with a representative from Historic Scotland to discuss master planning and possible future developments, whatever they may be. So … and this is a rhetorical question because you already know the answer … when would we get to know about the plans? When we see the planning application advertised of course, and not before!

In March 2010, during the consultation process for the next Local Development Plan [LDP], EE made submissions, that we had to obtain under the Freedom of Information Act, requesting land to be made available for huge developments on the island, including a hostel, social housing and workshops, all in our name and without consulting the  island residents and property owners.  “This is Eileen Eisdeal’s Master plan … just don’t tell anyone!!” 

Their grandiose claim for the “necessity” for these developments was that: The sustainability of the Easdale Island community has an important role to sustain the wider community of Argyll and Bute.”

Fortunately some residents “highlighted”  their secret Master plan and as a result none of their submissions made it in to the LDP, so now the only course of action open to them is to challenge the LDP.

Yes, they have been there before and they lost … badly. A resounding defeat for EE, Mike MacKenzie and John Campbell QC who lead the challenge. In fact the Reporter who heard the challenge to the LDP at the Public Inquiry said in his findings: ” … we do not accept that these objectors speak for “the people of Easdale”; we find that they represent an identifiable community of self interest and their views on the way forward are not shared by some other “full” and “part-time” residents of the island. … We can also understand that the release of large areas of land may assist in securing certain private aspirations; but our concern must be whether the achievement of these aspirations would be co-terminus with the public interest.”

Which probably says it all.

Oh yes, before I forget, Suzanne McIntosh sits on the Scottish Parliament’s cross party group on Architecture and the Built Environment – as does Mike MacKenzie MSP. That wasn’t difficult to fathom. We knew there would be some input and control from MacKenzie. His hand is never far from the tiller of control and the manipulation of the directors of EE .

Once again this self styled development group is using charitable funds to further their development aims against the wishes of the community that they claim to represent ; but it is clear to all outside parties – including OSCR, the Charities Regulator, and the planning department of Argyll and Bute Council – that they don’t. Keren Cafferty, as chair of this charity, is using its money to pay a planning consultant to push forward projects  that will directly benefit her business on the island, aided and abetted by Mike MacKenzie MSP. There are very serious conflicts of interest here, blatantly obvious for all to see. 

We’ll keep you updated as and when we receive any info.

The editor


Free Range Dogs

Free range chickens are no doubt a good thing, but free range dogs can pose something of a problem, especially when there are free range kiddies about as well. Youngsters can find it very frightening when dogs rush enthusiastically at them, or start growling and fighting – even if it is only in play. And having a series of dogs romping through the carefully nurtured plants in your back garden is less than pleasant, especially if they bare their teeth territorially when you emerge to shoo them away. Not to mention the “presents” that might adhere to your bare fingers when you’re weeding – or to a baby’s bare fingers as he explores what soil tastes like. Yuck!!

Parents – and others – who have mentioned this to the Editorial Team would like to issue a plea through our pages that residents and visitors ensure their dogs are at least kept in sight and supervised. Dogs of a “volatile” temperament would perhaps best be kept on a leash; though luckily, resident dogs are more likely to lick you to bits than chew you!

And, most importantly, of course: