In February and March, we worked with West Dunbartonshire Council and Scottish Enterprise to run a design ‘charrette’ (a series of intensive workshops that get local people involved in the design of their community).
The aim of the ‘charrette’ was to involve people like you who live, work, visit and invest in the area in planning what future development in Balloch might look like.
The first output of the charrette was the charrette report, which identifies 5 key projects.
The first positive outcome from the Balloch Charrette took place on Wednesday 15th June when West Dunbartonshire Council agreed the Action Plan within the Charrette Report.
West Dunbartonshire Council officially support the delivery stage and are actively supporting various projects including public realm improvements at Village Centre – Station Square and a Parking Strategy.
The proposal for ‘Station Square’ seeks to make the most of this important space and create a strong sense of arrival for visitors to Balloch and to the National Park. The report recommends that this space should be an enjoyable space to spend time in and act as a springboard for exploration of Balloch, west riverside and the surrounding area.
This project has got off to a great start with support from Sustrans Design Team. The team have agreed to provide support to work with and consult the local community on ideas of how best to improve the overall public spaces either side of the bridge. The aim is to completely transform the existing space to one which is easier to move round, more welcoming, prioritises pedestrians and cyclists over vehicles, more enjoyable to use and clearer to find places to go.
The charrette report highlights that a strong link connecting the village, the West riverside site, the pier and Loch Lomond Shores is of critical importance for Balloch. A generous, active and well used walkway along the river could become synonymous with Balloch and an attraction in itself. Many people have said that the connections between these places need to be improved.
The pictures below show the existing Riverside Path and an illustration of how a walkway could look.
The West Riverside tourism development site is central to the overall outcomes of the Charrette and has great potential to:
Scottish Enterprise is progressing sale of this site to a developer who will progress a public consultation on their proposals prior to submitting a planning application, hopefully later this year.
People have said that car parking can be a problem. They have also said that improving the village character is essential. This means that satisfying demand by creating large swathes of car parking is not option. Enhancement, better regulation and management of existing car parking within the village offers a viable option for improving the situation for locals and visitors alike.
West Dunbartonshire Council Roads Team is investigating how best to prepare a parking strategy for Balloch. This work is being scoped at present and will be discussed with the Community Council.
You can read the full findings from the charrette, along with recommendations and an action plan in the full Balloch Charrette report.