Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space…
A senior judge has thrown out an Angus developer’s appeal against the controversial multi-million-pound plans of a local rival. Lady Paton rejected an Angus Estates petition to the Court of Session that sought to overturn local authority approval for a 250-house and business park scheme on the edge of Carnoustie. The petitioner launched its appeal after councillors voted to back the Pitskelly development by DJ Laing and K&D Henderson, before ground was broken on its own business park at Carlogie on the other side of town. © DJ LaingAn artists impression of the site at Pitskelly, Carnoustie But the firm has been told that an Angus Council meeting in December 2014, held to address a five-year hole in south Angus housing stock, was “well informed” and transparent in its decision to grant planning permission in principle at Pitskelly. The DJ Laing development was approved alongside housing at the former Strathmartine Hospital and Victoria Street, Monifieth at a highly emotive meeting in the David Lloyd Leisure Centre, while a 300-house scheme north of Ashludie Hospital was knocked back. Lady Paton said: “In the present case the councillors had their own experience; knowledge of the local area, its history and its people; carefully prepared reports by the head of planning which gave a full and clear picture of all four applications and their merits and demerits. “On the day of the meeting (in 2014) the councillors also had the benefit of full and open discussions. “They were entitled to conclude that little had occurred at the Carlogie employment land site over the previous five years, to reject the recommendation of the head of planning, and to grant the application for employment land at Pitskelly ‘to assist in the delivery of employment land in Carnoustie in addition to that currently allocated’.” © DC ThomsonPart of the proposed Angus Estates Ltd site at Carlogie The Pitskelly application was voted through 13-8 against an officer recommendation for refusal. Councillors were previously warned that an unsuccessful defence could have cost the council around £100,000. Lady Paton has reserved the issue of costs for a later date. An local authority spokesman said: “Angus Council is satisfied that the decision we made and the processes and procedures we adopted have been met with judicial approval. “We are considering the terms of Lady Paton’s opinion with a view to submitting a report to council in due course. “We hope that this decision will allow development of much-needed housing and employment land in the Carnoustie area in a manner that is consistent with the recently adopted Angus Local Development Plan.” Angus Estates Ltd could not be reached for comment. Timeline 2009 — Angus Local Development Plan (ALDP) approved, identifying Carlogie ahead of Pitskelly as the favoured site for further housebuilding June 2012 — TAYplan Strategic Development Plan 2012–2032 published November 2012 — Angus Council’s Main Issues Report identifies Pitskelly as the preferred option for business and housing development in the proposed ALDP, with Carlogie as the first alternative May 2014 — Angus Estates Ltd seek planning permission for a business park at Carlogie, which was supported by officers but deferred after Councillor Bill Bowles moved that the Pitskelly application be submitted first August 2014 — A Scottish Government reporter allows an appeal on non-determination grounds, granting permission in principle for the business park 11 December 2014 — A meeting of the full council authorises changes to the proposed draft ALDP, deleting the allocated housing site at Carlogie and substituting Pitskelly for both housing and employment 18 December 2014 — The David Lloyd Centre meeting agrees planning permission in principle for Pitskelly, after a 13-8 vote against a refusal recommendation by officers 8 February 2015 — Angus Estates Ltd bring the petition for judicial review October 2015 — Petitioners apply for planning permission for housing at the site originally on the proposed ALDP, near the land intended for Carlogie Business Park. Councillor ‘entitled’ to difference of opinion During the appeal, leading planning silk Roy Martin QC told the court there was evidence Councillor Bowles spoke privately with the Pitskelly developer at a “critical point” on the day of the meeting on 18 December 2014, when decisions were about to be made about applications and developers. It was accepted that evidence would require to be led if the matter was considered by the court to be of significance. However Lady Paton decided Mr Bowles had discussed both the Carlogie and Pitskelly proposals during meetings with “both sides”. © DC ThomsonCarnoustie councillor Bill Bowles “Councillor Bowles was entitled to express a view about Carnoustie (his home town); to obtain support from others; and to disagree with others as he saw fit,” she stated. “He had had meetings with both sides. He was entitled to take into account the fact that one of the sites had been allocated in 2009, but nothing had been delivered, and to weigh up whether a further site would assist in delivery. “He was entitled to take a different view from the officers in the reports.” Mr Bowles told The Courier: “I’m delighted the council’s decision has been upheld by Lady Paton. “I’ve always tried to do the best thing for Carnoustie and it’s my firm belief that the business land at Pitskelly will serve the town better than that at Carlogie. “This is supported by most people in Carnoustie who have expressed an opinion.”
Members from three bowling clubs under threat have spoken out ahead of a crunch council meeting which will decide their future. Montrose area clubs Hillside, Inch and Melville have all offered to pay higher rents to the council but not at a level that would meet their £15,000-a-year maintenance costs. The corporate services committee will consider whether to accept the offered rents or consider alternative use for their sites. The offers have been described as “unsustainable” by strategic director Alan McKeown in his report to councillors. Kenneth Marvelley, president of Inch Bowling Club, which operates on council-owned land on Rossie Island, said the doubts over the club’s future had led to some members going to other clubs. He said: “We are down to 15 members and we offered to increase our fees from £24.80 to £60 for a total of £900 a year rent. There is no way we’d be able to afford to take on all the maintenance. “The club is like one big family but we are being broken apart. This will also completely destroy the league between the clubs.” Mr McKeown suggested the bowling club land could be used to extend the council’s neighbouring cemetery. “If the club are unable to continue, the land could be utilised as an extension to the adjacent cemetery, which is now reaching capacity and either requires extending or a new cemetery would have to be secured elsewhere,” he said in his report. “This eventuality would enable Angus Council to extend the cemetery and make a significant annual saving of £15,000 in not carrying out maintenance of the bowling green.” Hillside Bowling Club operates from Hillside Park, which Angus Council has leased until May 2023. The club has offered an annual rent of £500 and to take on some minor maintenance works. Hillside’s president Raymond Nicoll said: “This has been a cloud above us. Folk don’t know what’s going on.” Mr McKeown said the club’s ground could be amalgamated into the surrounding parkland at a cost of between £3,000 and £4,000. He said: “Given the land is not in council ownership and the long-term future of the ground is uncertain, it may be considered appropriate that cost savings to the maintenance budget are met here. “This option would save the annual maintenance figure of £15,000 for the remaining nine years of the lease.” Hazel Campbell from Melville Bowling Green in Montrose, which proposed increasing its rental payments to £570 a year, said a solution could be for the three clubs to amalgamate. She said: “Perhaps the best way forward would be if the three affected clubs got together and discussed amalgamating into one. Melville was formed in 1875 but if the council takes this decision all the history will be lost. “If these facilities go then they will never be returned. The club is not just about the sport but it’s about the community getting together. We often have people coming along just to watch our games.” Mr McKeown said there was “no wide community benefit” from Melville. He said: “Due to its location in Montrose it would be possible to infill the green and create a parkland area with appropriate planting at an approximate cost of £2,000. The club building could be leased on the open market.” Hope Paton Bowling Club in Montrose and Boyle Park Bowling Club in Forfar are responsible for maintenance of their greens. Angus Council is proposing entering into a 10-year lease with each club, setting a rent of £200 per annum from April. Lease negotiations with Birkhill Bowling Club have been put on hold while the assessment for a community asset transfer is considered.
A Dundee bowling club has found itself in a bitter row with nearby residents after being accused of a lack of lawn order. Dudhope Bowling Club on Adelaide Place has applied to Dundee City Council for a change to its licensing conditions that would allow members and guests to drink outside. But the local authority has been swamped by letters of objections from people living in the area – and one church minister – who say the club-members are already an anti-social nuisance. The Dundee City Council Licensing Board has received 23 letters of objection to the club’s proposal and one letter in support of the plans. Last September, a bid by Upper Constitution Street residents Dr James and Mrs Rosemary Butler to have Dudhope Bowling Club’s licensing conditions reviewed was refused by the board. But the club’s new plans, which also include allowing members to sing in four guests, has sparked fury. THe Butlers have submitted a letter of objection which states: “The club’s agent misleadingly presents Dudhope’s bowling activity as a pleasing, genteel and sedate exercise for its elderly members and guests… we have a more credible and long-standing perspective of how the game is played. “Here bowls is played loudly and with vigour; it is noisy, animated and often-times raucous.” Rev Marion Paton of St David’s High Kirk has also objected to the plans. She stated: “As things are at present, visitors to Dudhope Bowling Club are often inconsiderate and sometimes downright dangerous in the way they park. They can also be quite unpleasant to local residents.” Rev Paton also said the changes would encourage more people to drive while under the influence of alcohol. However, one Fingask Street resident did write in to support the proposals. He said neighbours who complain about the club “feel the sound of bowls clacking, creaking hips and mild angina attacks from the players every weekend are a noise issue.” He added:”I highly doubt that by allowing guests to drink outside it will suddenly turn the corner of Fingask and Adelaide into some sort of open-air, OAP, ASBO-inducing, drinking orgy.” Solicitor Janet Hood, the club’s agent, said it has not been made aware of any complaints about anti-social behaviour made to the police or the council’s environmental protection agency. The Licensing Board will consider the club’s application on April 21.
A Glasgow-based charity helping amputees live life to the full has extended its reach into Tayside. The Finding Your Feet charity was founded by mother and businesswoman Corinne Hutton, who fell gravely ill in June 2013 when she contacted acute pneumonia and septicaemia. Surgeons were forced to amputate her legs below the knees and both her hands but despite her brush with death, Corinne has gone on to defy the odds and inspire others to overcome limb loss. Dundee’s Balgay bowing club is the latest location for a group of local amputees, dubbed ‘troopers’ by the charity, to come together and try the sport, as well as share experiences and support each other. The early success of the city initiative has drawn participants from Angus, Fife and Perthshire, sparking hopes other clubs may start. The troopers, thanks to Bob Christie from Bowls Scotland and Jim Mackie at Balgay Bowling Club, now meet on the last Thursday of the month at Balgay. “The club offers adaptive bowling, which allows anybody to bowl regardless of their abilities,” said Mr Christie, a well-known figure in Tayside bowling circles. “They also have an Ampu-tea group where, as well as a social catch up over coffee and biscuits, they will arrange for guests to come in and share professional skills or hobbies with the group. “Already the group has had prosthetics experts and a representative from Scottish Disability Sport along for a chat.” The Dundee group also has a regular swimming and yoga session and plans to start up more clubs from the regular meeting place at Balgay. “If anyone would like to know how Finding Your Feet could help, visit www.findingyourfeet.net or come along to Balgay Bowling Club in Melville Terrace, Dundee on Tuesday October 10 at 11am and meet those who already attend,” added Mr Christie. Since losing her limbs, charity founder Corinne has set three world records, including becoming the first female quadruple amputee to conquer Ben Nevis. She is in high demand as a motivational speaker but has also found time to learn to fly a single-engined plane, abseil and was a Commonwealth Games baton carrier. She was also the poster girl for an NHS organ donor campaign and has written a book on her journey.
An Angus bowling club has been left less than impressed by advice from council officers on deterring invading seagulls which included deploying “human scarecrows” overnight to scare them off the green. Hope Paton Bowling Club in Montrose has now gone straight to the top and made a plea for help to Angus Council chief executive Richard Stiff. Members fear if the gull problem persists it will mean their season due to end in mid-September will come to a premature end. The club leases the green from Angus Council and, as we reported, the problem forced it to move its holiday fours fixtures for the first time since the second world war. Describing the council’s response, match secretary John Dempsey said, “They wanted us to look at the possibility of people watching the green during the night and scaring the gulls off. I can’t see that we are going to get people to spend their nights here. “They are talking over a period of time they are not talking one night and the gulls won’t come back.” The nuisance of marauding gulls has escalated in Montrose, which experts have put down to it being the height of the breeding season when many fledglings leave their nests for the first time. Council officers visited the Hope Paton Bowling Club to offer advice on deterring the gulls. “They also advised us to put wires across the green,” added Mr Dempsey. “Even if we thought it was going to work there are the practicalities to consider.Not excited”First of all we would have to make it, which won’t be a straightforward thing. Then we would have to manage it, which would be putting it out every morning and picking it up every night. Visually it will look terrible but at the same time that would have to be there for a considerable period of time too. We’re not too excited initially by these two suggestions.” He said seagulls nesting in houses either side of the Mid Links seem to come down to the green at night to roost. They are fouling and regurgitating food and the problem worsened in the last week or two. Mr Dempsey added, “We’ve sent a letter to the chief executive explaining the situation and asking for their help, given it’s their property.” People in the town affected by nesting gulls have also been urged to come forward. A spokeswoman for Angus Council said, “Angus residents are reminded that Angus Council offers a free gull egg and nest removal service for residential properties affected by nesting gulls. “Commercial premises are expected to deal with gull nests as part of their general maintenance programme and meet the cost involved.”
The Hope Paton bowling club in Montrose is one of many in Angus waiting to hear if they are to be charged a rent by Angus Council. The possibility of having to meet an unexpected £2000 rent demand from the council for a facility into which the club has sunk thousands of pounds has members wondering if they should give the green back to the council. John Dempsey said, “We have heard nothing since we appealed about five months ago.” The council has said that the minute of agreement with Hope Paton Bowling Club, which ran for 21 years, has come to an end. Under that agreement the club did not pay rent, however they are responsible for maintenance of the property. The council said, “We have not billed the club as a future rental charge has not as yet been agreed. “We are currently gathering information from clubs who are tenants of Angus Council in an effort to have a balanced approach to rental levels across Angus. “This information relates to the number of club members and annual fees paid by members.” They added, “A report on the rental levels of all bowling clubs who are tenants of Angus Council is to be considered by a future meeting of the council’s corporate services committee.”Seeking community council adviceThe club is so concerned about the charges’ impact that it took its case to the community council for advice and asked how rental charges for a common good asset are set. Mr Dempsey said that the club had met the running and maintenance costs of the green for years. He understood that the council had to look at ways of raising money but pointed out that members had to build a £30,000 extension and last year’s expenditure of £7000 on maintenance had contributed to a running loss of £1500. Mr Dempsey said, “We are maintaining and improving a council asset on a prime site in the Mid Links. “We have an ageing membership, we don’t have a bar bringing income and the way we can raise funds is from coffee mornings and things like that. “I am sure there are many other clubs in a similar position.” He added, “We are still waiting to hear if there is to be a change. “We can’t afford a £2000 bill and would be happy to give the club back to the council and swap the maintenance costs, while we just pay for a season ticket.”
With Mother’s Day and Easter round the corner, Graeme Pallister - chef patron of 63 Tay Street in Perth - cooks up a sweet treat Chocolate. Just that one simple word is enough to set my mouth watering – and I’m certainly not alone. On average we each eat around 11kg of the wonderful stuff every year, a figure that places us top of the choc-loving pops amidst our European cousins. After January’s good intentions, Mother’s Day (March 11) and Easter (April 1) deliver the perfect excuse for indulging in our favourite bean. After all, how many other food stuffs say “Thank you” and “Happy Easter” in one simple gift? In recent years, however, our palates have become more sophisticated and we’ve begun to demand higher quality, ethically produced chocolate that leaves the sickly sweet, commercial bars of yesteryear pining on the sweetie shelf. Cacao beans come with impressive health attributes including high levels of immune-boosting antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols. Be warned though – this is only true for dark chocolate as the minute you start adding fats and sugar into the equation, everything changes. Unfortunately, you can’t scoff down Mars Bars in a bid to get healthy, and what we call white chocolate isn’t even technically chocolate. I’m talking about a few small squares of dark chocolate, perhaps sprinkled with nuts and dried fruits for a little extra lift. For me, the versatility of dark chocolate is why I love it so much and I will always add a little square to a game sauce or beef chilli. It is the perfect vehicle for spices, citrus or tropical fruits and makes the perfect accompaniment to a short, strong espresso. However, I’m not quite as advanced as the Mayans, who used the cocoa bean as currency as it was considered to be worth more than gold dust. That’s what you call civilised living! Chef’s tip It’s super easy to make a simple chocolate ganache: place a dry, clean bowl over boiling water, break your chocolate into chunks and place in the dry bowl. Gently heat until it starts to melt. Stir in double cream (about 50% of your chocolate volume) and add sugar to taste. For an amazing family treat, layer into individual trifle dishes with fresh fruit, ice cream and crumbled shortbread.
Dundee United-bound Chris Erskine has set his sights on becoming a success at Tannadice after taking his farewell bow at Firhill at the weekend. Erskine has played a pivotal part in Partick’s promotion to the SPL this season and deservedly took plaudits from Thistle supporters celebrating their title win on Saturday following his last home appearance for the club. The 26-year-old midfielder, who has chipped in with 14 goals for the Jags this term, still has a game away to Dumbarton to play this weekend, but Erskine already has one eye on pastures new after signing a pre-contract agreement with Dundee United. It’s a long way from his years with junior outfit Kilbirnie Ladeside, although he revealed he can’t wait to link up again with United management duo Jackie McNamara and Simon Donnelly, two men he thanks for his rise to Scotland’s top league. “I’m looking forward to the challenge at United,” Erskine said. “Obviously it was a hard decision to leave, I’ve had four years at Thistle and I’ve loved every second of it. They took me from junior football and gave me a chance and it’s something that I’ll never forget. “I felt it was right for me to move on and try and further my career and I think that’s what I’m going to do. “Jackie and Simon are obviously up there and I really enjoyed working with them at Partick. They probably got the best out of me so teaming up with them again is going to be good.” Of course, Erskine won’t be making the move from Firhill alone and believes team-mate Paul Paton’s decision to move to United will make settling in at Tannadice a whole lot easier. He said: “It is nice to have someone else to go up with. “I’m quite a shy guy at the best of times so going into a dressing room where you don’t know anyone isn’t very nice. But I think having Paul there, he can take most of the stick!” Erskine said a few goodbyes at Firhill on Saturday after the Jags’ 3-3 draw with Dunfermline and admitted it had been an emotional afternoon. However, he has no regrets about swapping one SPL team for another next season. “It was tinged with sadness even before the game I was thinking about it, that it would be the last time I was pulling on a Partick Thistle jersey,” he continued. “I don’t think there’s a better way to bow out than to lift a trophy in front of home fans, and hopefully I’ll be remembered for good times at Partick. “I’ve already been warned that I’ll be getting kicked when I come back but I’ve loved my time at Partick and every season has been brilliant. “It’s a real family club, a really together club, and I’ll definitely miss the place, but I just felt it was time to move on.”
A record-breaking Roll of Honour will line up in the chase for glory at the 2014 Angus Sports Awards. From a year which saw the area takes its place in the global spotlight as the shooting venue for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Angus Sports Development Team has secured a 105-strong list of nominees across the competition’s eight categories. Glasgow 2014 bowling gold medallist and former Angus Sports Personality Sports Personality of the Year Darren Burnett will be one of the front runners in the field and he said Angus had enjoyed another year with plenty to shout about. Launching the Roll of Honour with Angus provost helen Oswald, the bowling bobby said: “The Angus Sports Awards are a special night which allow the local sporting community to come together to celebrate the achievements in the county. “I have always enjoyed the ceremony evening and have been blown away with the range of local talent we have in Angus and the amount of people who give up their own time to help run sports clubs.” This year’s honour roll takes in everything from fly-fishing to powerwheelchair football and includes sportpeople and coaches who have tasted success all the way to world level. One of the most hotly-contested categories will be the school sports volunteer of the year award, where no fewer than 30 nominees will battle for the accolade recognising the contribution made to extra-curricular sport in 2014. The awards ceremony, in association with Angus Ahead, will take place at Forfar’s Reid Hall on Thursday March 12. The awards selection panel will now finalise short lists and winners for each award category. Roll of honour: Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by Auchterhouse Country Sports): Charles Clark, cricket; Lynn Calder, boxing; Gillian Sangster, running; Andrew Woodroffe, triathlon; Darren Burnett, lawn bowls; Michael Downie, athletics; Drew Christie, clay target shooting; Ryan Burnett, lawn bowls; Robyn Hart-Winks, rowing; Kathleen Shepherd, fly-fishing; Katie Phillips, swimming. Young Sports Personality of the Year (sponsored by Radio Tay Cash for Kids): Matthew Crighton, water polo; Rachel Broadfoot,athletics; Jessica Baillie, highland dancing; Heather Wilson, mountain biking; Olivia Waddell, highland dancing; Andrew Liddell, karate; Cara Black, basketball; Ellie Callon, basketball; Taylor Smith, basketball; Kelsey McFarlane, basketball; Sarah McKenzie, gymnastics; Rebecca Graham, darts; Curtis Hirst, archery; Joel McFarlane, athletics; Gregor Stevenson, archery; Hamish Brunton, sailing; James Wilson, mountain biking; Brennan Somers, air rifle shooting; Hannah Robb, basketball; Niamh Feighan, athletics; Anna Sturrock, sailing; Sophie Smith, swimming. Coach of the Year sponsored by KLM partnership chartered surveyors: Colin Gillan, football; Lynsey Stewart, badminton; Garry Johnstone, powerwheelchair football; Colin Christie, athletics; Liz Martin, athletics; Scott Nicoll, football; Connor Blackmore, rugby; Iain Lyons, lawn bowls; Kim Dalgarno, ten pin bowling; Kevin Scott, karate; Gary Porter, powerlifting; Scott Haxton, swimming. Team of the Year (sponsored by Angus Community Sports Hubs): Brechin Bruce Rugby Team, Tayside Dynamos Powerwheelchair Football Club, Tayside Musketeers Basketball Club – Junior Women Team, Monifieth High School – S2 Giant Heptathlon School Sport Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Angus Council Active Schools): Andrew McLaren, Ron MacDonald, both Monifieth / Carnoustie cluster; Caroline Kerr, Strathmore PS; James Paton-Carstairs, Woodlands PS; Lorraine Murray, Lochside PS; Brian Johnston, David Nicholson, both Arbroath primary cluster; Ashlea MacDonald, Muirfield PS; Jill Cassidy, Christopher Heenan, both Timmergreens PS; Bob Donnan, Scott Chalmers, both Warddykes PS; Stuart Donaldson, Jackie Barrack, botht St Thomas PS; Lisa Newlands, Warddykes PS; Kimberly Walker, Arbroath cluster; Lorna Small, Sarah Warden, Kerry Wilson, Val Wilson, all Arbroath High; Pauline Gibb, Paul Harrison, both Forfar Academy; Laura Sturrock, Monifieth High; Denise Buchan, Hayshead PS; Marian Morison, Lesley Geekie, David Robertson, Donnie Smith, all Friockheim PS; Bob Christie, Maisondieu and Andover primary schools; Derek Mitchell, Brechin schools. Sports Personality of the Year Award for People with a Disability (sponsored by Angus Disability Sport in partnership with National Oilwell Varco): Kevin Trebilcock, badminton; Maria Orsi, swimming; Kerry Duncan, badminton; George Gibson, table tennis; Murran MacKay, wheelchair basketball; Stephanie Carnegie, athletics; Linda Glen, boccia. Service to Sport Award sponsored by Dundee & Angus College: Roy Gill, football; Derek Nisbet, swimming; Laura Smith, disability sport; Andy Robbie, football; Jim Keillor, curling; Muriel Blake, athletics; Eddie Wilmott, swimming; Diane Reid, gymnastics. Club Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by Special Olympics Great Britain): Robert Cassidy, boccia; Helen Bean, disability sport; Dorothea Jackson, rugby; Martin Cassidy, boccia; Grant Hutchison, cricket; Colin Tinsley, rugby; Andrew McLaren, golf; Heather Reid, disability sport; Murray Duguid, rugby; Bob Bell, wheeled sports; Pierre Bernard, swimming.