Planning permission in principle has been approved for a mixed use development in the centre of Arrochar. The development consists of tourism accommodation, retail units, civic space, greenspace, community café possibly incorporating visitor/heritage centre, housing and additional car parking.
Why is this area being developed?
The site used to be leased by Arrochar Hotel as a football pitch in the 1950s and the football field was used for approximately 30-35 years and was home to the Arrochar Football Club. The site has been unused since the early 1990s so the National Park planning team has worked with the community to develop ideas for the site to revitalise the centre of Arrochar. The first discussions about the site were back in 2007 when the new local plan was being written and consulted upon. The site was then allocated as a tourism site in 2010 following on from the success of the community led Three Villages Community Hall development and the purchase of the Pit Stop Diner as a community café.
Following on from this, the site was identified as a ‘key initiative’ in the Charrette programme (design-led workshops) in March 2013. The Charrette report said that the site presents a significant opportunity to create a key sense of arrival and to enhance the social and economic potential of Arrochar.
What will it look like?
The new civic space, proposed greenspace, development of the community café and tourism and retail uses should encourage people to dwell and spend more time and money in the village rather than pass through. The experience would be enhanced by the iconic views of the Cobbler. The new central public car park would also be a much-needed community and visitor facility along with the potential to develop public access to toilets.
What happens next?
This permission is a key step in delivering the aspirations for this site and the vision of the Charrette created by the community and the stakeholders. The permission now gives the owner the opportunity to sell on the site as a whole or in parts to a developer, realising the new value and giving any potential buyer confidence that the planning team will support the principle of development on this site. In time, there will be further planning applications for the different elements with detailed designs and a further opportunity for communities and stakeholders to engage in this process.
How do I find out more?
Further information can be found on our website including the planning recommendation report and the approved plan that zones the site for the different uses listed above.
Follow progress and updates via our blog here or our Facebook page.