The National Park is home to around 15,168 people living in towns and villages, and throughout the rural areas. Its towns and villages are varied and diverse in their size and characteristics, and retain a strong sense of place and local distinctiveness.
These range from the Victorian-influenced Clyde coastal communities in Cowal; to planned estate villages and towns in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs such as Luss, Gartmore and Callander; and highland villages in the north of the Park such as Strathyre, Killin and Crianlarich. We also have numerous small, dispersed rural communities, some relatively remote and some accessed only by single track roads.
Opportunities and challenges
Our location, so close to central Scotland’s cities and towns, creates many opportunities for tourism and business investment as well as access to employment, labour pool, services and facilities – particularly hospitals, and secondary and further education.
This proximity to the cities also brings challenges, including visitor pressures and congestion in some towns and villages at peak times of the year, development pressures, and an expensive housing market.
The opportunities and challenges differ considerably between the more accessible and pressured, southern and eastern parts of the National Park and the more remote rural areas in the north and west.
Over the past five years the Park Authority has undertaken extensive engagement with our communities, businesses and landowners through charrettes (design-led workshops) and community action planning.
These efforts to work collaboratively have produced strong visions for the Park’s towns and villages. Callander and Balloch have important roles as visitor hubs, while Arrochar and Tarbet have significant potential if marine facilities are developed, to take advantage of their lochside locations. The focus for the coming years is on delivering the ideas and projects generated to enhance places, building on the partnership working already established.
The priorities for Outcome 10 are outlined below:
Priority 10.1 - Improving Towns & Villages
Supporting new development, infrastructure and public realm improvements, which facilitate and link to active travel opportunities,focussing onArrochar, Tarbet, Balloch and Callander (as well as villages identified as ‘Placemaking Priorities’ in the Local Development Plan).
Improving resilience to the effects of climate change, including flooding in towns and villages (and affecting sites and buildings) and encouraging high quality development that embodies low and zero carbon technologies.