The owners of Windhaven, Brough, Thurso, Caithness, KW14 8YE
22nd November, 2012
Brough Bay Association,
To: Committee members – Brough Bay Association
Further to our conversations and emails, we outline below the issues caused by the previous administration of the association and hope that we can resolve matters in a civilised and timely manner. We would have preferred to discuss these matters face to face with the committee so that all committee members could be made aware of the problems and give their feedback. However, the Chairman preferred that we write to you and we hope the matters can be discussed at the committee meeting to be held on 7th December 2012.
Thank you for removing the blue boat and attempting to clean up the mess which has been made at the Bay. It will still not be possible to clear the drain while the larger boat is in situ, but hopefully SEPA will get it moved shortly. There is, however, no guarantee that the perpetrator will not put something else on the site when he returns.
In order to provide a background to the problems at Brough Bay over the last few years for the benefit of newcomers to the executive, we outline the main points below:
- In 2009, we had a meeting with two of the committee members of the Brough Bay Association as they wanted permission to construct a car park on land owned by Brough Bay Limited. This was to be incorporated into the plan for improvements at the Bay of which we were supportive in principle. The outcome of the meeting was that we would receive a letter from them stating what exactly they wanted to do as well as the arrangements for insurance and assurances that land ownership would not be compromised. This was never forthcoming and the proposed work on the car park did not go ahead.
- In April 2010, we discussed with another resident about the possibility of placing a barbecue and waste bin be placed at the Bay for use by visitors. This would have been at no cost to the association. We also wanted to clear up the section above the retaining wall below the footpath and make a picnic area. In the event, we did provide a barbecue and waste bin which were subsequently stolen. The police were not able to establish who the culprits were.
- In May 2010, we received a letter from the association stating that the land did not belong to the Company, but to the association. There was a great deal of correspondence between the association, the Company and the respective lawyers. The letter to the association’s solicitors, Georgesons, dated 2nd April 2011 remains unanswered.
- In May 2010, two unseaworthy boats were placed on the land at the Bay, causing many difficulties, not to mention a lot of public time and money being spent in trying to resolve them. This included the police, the Highland Council, SEPA and even John Thurso MP. Unfortunately the boats have attracted rubbish and a general feeling of neglect at the Bay.
Further to our discussion with another member of the committee at the Bay on 10th November, we outline the issues below and hope that they can be discussed at the committee meeting during the first week of December 2012 and to receiving a reply shortly afterwards.
- We have not received a response to our letter to Georgesons of 2nd April 2011 requesting sight of the surveys which were done at the Bay to establish ownership of the car parking area which, until the last couple of years, has been considered as belonging to the owner of Windhaven and, since 2008, to Brough Bay Ltd. of which the residents of Windhaven are Directors. Problems could arise in the event of any potential sale by either party as the plan drawn up by the previous administration of the association would not pass muster if it were challenged in court. Windhaven and the surrounding land are currently for sale. If a sale is compromised due to the actions of the BBA, the issue of land ownership will be raised again. Perhaps you could contact your solicitor to ask why we have not been provided with evidence that the surveys were carried out, as outlined in the BBA’s letter of May 2010.
- As the association considers that it owns all of the area at the Bay, we should be grateful to receive your comments as to how the drainage of water from the land above can be managed. In the past, the BBA have occasionally cleared the drains with a machine, but the last time the area was cleaned was in 2010 and this was done at our own cost. Once the oil has been cleared, the matter of maintenance of the drainage needs to be addressed in order to make the car parking area more useable.
- In our opinion, the association seems to have been run as a secret society for many years. It would certainly be beneficial if it were more open and all Brough villagers were advised of activities and meetings. We have not been informed of AGMs for several years, and this is one reason why we are not currently members of the association. The noticeboard at the entrance to the village (which belongs to the Dunnet Head Educational Trust) can be used to display posters / news about the association at no charge.
We look forward to hearing from you in due course, receiving formal notification of the AGM in February and the subscription so that we can consider becoming full members of the new Company. We prefer communications by email to firstname.lastname@example.org which not only saves on postage, but also means that we can continue to deal with matters when we are away. We should be grateful if you could also inform all village residents of the meeting.