Minutes of meeting for reviewing Millburn consultations
Tues 7th Feb 2023, 10am Knoydart Hall
Davie Newton, Jane Hollowood and Anna Wilson (in person), Lachie Robinson (on zoom)

  1. Tree Nursery
    Discussion of feedback from community given in the consultations.
    JH – What does the feedback say with this consultation.
    DN – No negatives, any comments we need to look at.
    LR – There is a comment on charging market rate for leasing the land.
    All agree that the market rate what are working to.
    AW- Are we waiving lease for first year to enable and encourage start ups.
    JH, DN, LR – Yes, that would be our preference to start with a lesser amount and work up to a market rate.
    BOARD APPROVED – for KF to lease the area of ground at Millburn to Knoydart Tree Nursery, as it is set out in the proposal.
    ALL– We need to identify a market rent and then work out if there’s a percentage we can do it for the first year or so, working up to full market rate.
    ACTION – Talk to Jacqui to find out if she has researched market rate. Speak to Eigg and another mainland nursery and compare.
    DN – We need to write a statement to agree a lease and details to follow. Then we need a very straightforward lease as it can be a long winded and expenses affair.
    AW- The garden lease would be a good starting point.
    JH- How will the board communicate our decision.
    ALL – Agreed to send an email confirming the decision to lease and with (anonymised) consultation feedback attached.
    ACTION – LR taking names off feedback.
    LR – Is there anything else that we need to keep in mind apart from what is in the proposal.
    DN – Electricity, water, planning permission, vehicle access.
    ACTION – ALL – Draft and send email to Jacqui as above, including that she can progress any works on site which lie within the scope of the proposal, on the understanding that the lease is still to be agreed.
    ACTION – ALL – Arrange a time for discussing lease requirements

    Meeting on Tree Nursery Closed.
  2. Knoydart Farm
    Discussion of feedback from community given in the consultations.
    LR – Currently, the Knoydart Farm isn’t a legal company yet. There are a lot of leeway to develop something that is mutually agreeable. I think the best way forward – agree in principle but with a set amount of time to do a trial, including what is acceptable to the KF or not.
    AW – I think it’s clear in the responses that a pilot project would have more support and a smaller area of land, rather than such a large area.
    JH – Could we bring those two things together? Start with something smaller with less reliance on volunteers. Potentially the answer.
    AW – I think they will need volunteers no matter what size area.
    DN – We do need to recognise that there are a lot of negative comments and be able to justify whatever decision we make.
    AW – Still not enough detail in the cashflow, it doesn’t give enough information on the practicalities of how it would work plus size, shape, position of buildings.
    DN – What can we take that’s positive from the positive comments. 13 comments, 8 totally positive, 5 have livestock comments, 3 have issues about housing, employment and time limits.
    DN – There seems to be common issues in both the ‘don’t know’ and ‘yes’s.
    JH – We did ask specifically for practical comments and I think that is what has happened for the main part, they are constructive.
    LR – There seems to still be confusion between whether it’s a Foundation Project or not.
    DN – How are we going to address the issues raised.
    ALL – Discussion on the following feedback:
    Housing volunteer accommodation and holiday lets – Felt it would be more productive to put the housing or any accommodation into a separate proposal with more information so that the community are able to make an informed decision. The accommodation was deemed to be a separate issue and not just to do with the land, they are to do with accommodation and how that may set a president, impact the Foundation down the line.
    Area size/pilot project – We could offer a smaller area in which to start a pilot project which gives the farm scope to have a polytunnel and room for growing but with a review for both sides after a time limit. Looked at what land was available at Millburn, worked out areas on maps and marked out what we felt was a fair size for a pilot project including discussion on how the area would be accessed.
    Employment – voluntary side and employment side.
    Livestock – There was feedback around livestock; people felt that they shouldn’t be involved and also had concerns around the amount of hours involved in looking after animals. There was also concern around the responsibility of having volunteers responsible for the care of livestock. For the pilot project it was felt that there should be a similar agreement to the community garden, a presumption of no livestock unless in agreement with the Foundation.
    Sub-Letting – All directors felt that the Knoydart Foundation should decide which organisations were leasing the land, rather than enterprises being able to sub-let to other parties.
    LR – Is there any other things we need to take into consideration. The Farm is currently not legally set up, so we cannot enter a legal lease until they are formalised.
    DN – Need to make sure that the CIC is set up in a way that will not cause issues in the future, ie community right to buy etc.
    JH – So gathering together what we have, we are proposing that whilst we cannot agree to the original proposal, what we can do is agree in principle to a lease of a smaller area of land, either at the Community Garden (with agreement from the Garden Committee) or up to ½ acre at Talbots Field to be the site of a pilot project.
  • The site will be agreed upon between Knoydart Foundation and Knoydart Farm, with no subletting.
  • If at Talbot’s field, the area needs to accessed direct from council road and cannot block access to other areas of ground.
  • The lease will have a review period of 1yr for either party.
  • No livestock, unless in agreement with KF.
    In order for the community to consider the accommodation there would have to be a separate proposal with more detail, of building type, plans, legislation and operation methods.
    BOARD APPROVED – for KF to agree in principle to lease ½ acre of land at Millburn (or smaller area in Community Garden) to Knoydart Farm as detailed above.
    Meeting on the Knoydart Farm Closed.