Thanks to everyone who came along to the workshops on Saturday – we were delighted by the good turn out for both the morning and the afternoon sessions. Even better was we had a good number stay for both!
Susan, Stuart and Bob from the LIVE Park Team came along with Nick Wright (Nick Wright Planning) who led the sessions and Ewan Anderson (7N Architects) who provided design advice.
The purpose, with the help of maps, was to talk through potential future development in this area. This builds on the Main Issues Report consultation earlier this year and helps the LIVE Park Team hear the views of the community, businesses and landowners to inform the preparation of a Masterplan for Balmaha and ‘Framework’ for the countryside between Drymen and Balamha. These are basically more detailed guidance that we are going to produce to guide future planning decisions on where new homes, visitor accommodation or facilities and community development should go. What became clear, was there were a number of points in common in each session.
This work has been started following feedback from the community in recent years, asking for better co-ordinated planning for the future of the area in this very special and popular part of the National Park.This guidance will be issued as a draft for consultation in the spring/early summer along with our Proposed Local Development Plan.
On the day we had a range of perspectives to set some context – background on existing development with planning permission, some ideas that two local landowners had for their land, Rural Stirling Housing Association outlined their project in Balmaha and LIVE Park staff outlined some of the key planning policies.
The morning workshop focused on Balmaha and we had three groups talking through ideas for future development, improvements to Balmaha and where these could go. Key points raised included:
• Balmaha needs a better central area – for locals and visitors!
• Local aspiration for future development is to move away from more visitor accommodation to housing.
• Need to improve access to view the loch – or signage on where is best!
The afternoon workshop looked at the wider Buchanan area focusing on the area between Balmaha and Drymen. Four groups again talked through the opportunities and considerations for future development. Some of the key points raised:
• Focus on housing rather than visitor accommodation.
• Need for affordable housing – but uncertainty if Buchanan Castle was the right place, could focus on Milton of Buchanan with its community facilities.
• Some development within the area, that was appropriate to existing uses and helped retain the character of the area was supported.
• Need to recognise the limitations of existing infrastructure – particularly the road in the Buchanan Estate
Above is just a snapshot, we will be working through all the comments left and preparing the draft planning guidance over the next few months. Please feel free to add your own thoughts or observations of the day below!