Lochgilphead Front Green

TLochgilphead Front Greenhe Lochgilphead Front Green is an important public space within the heart of Lochgilphead. 

It has been a long term aspiration of the residents of Lochgilphead to see the Front Green used more by people for community events and for general recreation and enjoyment. 

Following public consultations throughout 2019, we listened to feedback and are working with the local community to deliver the following priorities:

  • A new play park
  • A new public square where community events can take place constructed from the same local stone as the resurfacing to Colchester Square and rgyll Street
  • Drainage to help surface water drain away and ease the impact of flooding
  • Landscaping which will retain the majority of the site as natural grass; retain the avenue of trees along Poltalloch Street by keeping healthy trees and replacing damaged trees with a more salt tolerant species; and include additional tree and shrub planting    
  • More seating including an approximately 200m long seating wall running parallel to the seawall
  • Walking and cycling facilities

Layout Plan

The plan above shows the changes planned for Lochgilphead Front Green. To download a PDF copy of this plan please click here.

Delivering the project will require:

* 1,300m2 stone paving * 3,800m2 new grass turf * 350 new shrubs and trees * 10 play equipment pieces * 350m2 safety play surfacing * 600m of drainage channels and pipes * nearly 200m of seating wall *

The new play area will contain a mix of formal play equipment and natural play opportunities including:

  • Pyramid Tower with Curved Stainless Steel Tube Slide;
  • Climbing Structure with Climbing Net and Rope Line;
  • Twin Swing (one standard seat, one cradle seat);
  • Double Hammock Seat Swing;
  • Play House on Stilts;
  • Platform Play Hut with Wide Stainless Steel Slide;
  • Natural play boulders;
  • Climbing logs;
  • Climbing poles; and
  • A circle of timber seating cubes.

The equipment will sit on a mix of safety surface and on grass mounds, you can download details of the equipment here (PDF, 2MB).

See some examples of similar projects in the photos below:

Pyramid slide Seating wall Climbing logs Paving

Programme of works

We have appointed contractors, Hawthorn Heights Ltd to carry out the work which started on 31st May 2021 and is set to continue throughout the rest of the year until July 2022.

Work to improve the Front Green involves substantial engineering that includes removing soil from a large part of the site, installing the new seating wall and the new drainage which will help to make the site more usable. Once this is complete, the new stone sets which will form the public square and other hard and soft landscaping works will need to be completed. The new play equipment and surrounding safety surface will be installed and finally the electrical works will be completed and the new street furniture installed. After all of that we will be ready to welcome you back to the site.

Closure of the Front Green - 31st May 2021 to July 2022

The site is in an exposed, coastal location and these works were therefore been planned to be commence during the summer so that the land raising works can be undertaken before the worst of the autumn and winter storms arrive. The seating wall has now been put in place and the land raising completed.

Due to the scale and nature of the works, it is necessary to close the Front Green. This is the only safe way to deliver the works while protecting our contractors and the public.

During construction works, the bus shelter will remain unaffected and services will operate as normal. The public toilets will remain open. It was necessary to close part of the pavement 8 -21 March 2022 to enable works to be completed. Further information is provided in the 3 March 2022 update below and these works have now been completed.

Please remember that construction sites are dangerous places and should not be entered by members of the public. Alternative play facilities are available at High Bank Park, Meadows Crescent, Burns Brae and Ross Crescent. Recreation facilities are also available at Ropeworks Park, Campbell Street, the Mid Argyll Sports Centre and Blarbuie Woodlands.

Closure plan

Planned worksDates for undertakingStatus
Site Set Up & EstablishmentMay – JuneComplete
Site Preparation WorksJune – July Complete
Drainage WorksJune – May 2022Complete
Roads, paths and pavingJuly – July 2022Ongoing
Pre Cast Concrete Wall WorksJuly – DecemberComplete
Landscaping & General WorksAugust – July 2022 Ongoing 
Equipment & Safety Surfacing WorksAugust – July 2022Ongoing
Services WorksNovember - February 2022 Complete
Railing WorksOctober – June 2022Ongoing 
Bespoke Screen and associated worksFebruary - July 2022Ongoing 
Electrical InstallationSeptember – June 2022Complete
A83 footway works March 2022Complete
Handover and completionJuly 2022 

Tree Works

A tree survey was undertaken in March 2019 to access the health of the trees. The findings were shared and discussed during public consultation events. The survey identified a number of diseased and damaged trees at the end of their natural life. Following advice from specialists, these trees (marked in red on the plan below) were removed during August 2021, the timber was donated to Kilmartin Primary School and Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (ACT) at Blarbuie Woodland and MAKI Pups for use as outdoor seating, on paths and for a sensory garden.

Trees to be removed

Trees are a vital part of the designs for the Front Green. All mature, healthy chestnut trees are being retained as part of the final designs and will be protected throughout the works. The overall number of trees will increase as part of the transformation including maintaining an avenue of trees along the A83 and new trees in the play area. The new tree species being planted have been chosen to be salt tolerant and therefore more suitable for the site.

Progress Updates

We will be providing regular updates on the works, including photos, by email to key stakeholders and interested parties, and on this webpage.

If you have any further questions or would like to be included in the regular email update or community engagement meeting please contact:

Anna Watkiss - email anna.watkiss@argyll-bute.gov.uk or telephone 01546 604344.

Progress reports 

2 June 2022 - Since the previous update work on the Lochgilphead Front Green project has focused on the following elements of the project:

  • The screen separating the public space from the play area is being put in place, the metal frame has been installed and at the town end a greenstone wall constructed. Next to this will be a new map board and community notice board. Funding for this element of work was provided by the local community through the Lochgilphead Phoenix Project and Co-op Community Local Fund, you can read more about it on our recent news release https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/news/2022/jun/charity-donates-lochgilphead%E2%80%99s-front-green-transformation.  
  • Soft landscaping has continued and the installation of turf to the main greenspace is almost complete. All of the trees have been planted including those which will form a new grove sitting between the public square and play area, the memorial fountain has also be reinstated at this location. 
  • The fencing around the play area has been installed and the area is being made ready for the new safety and path surfacing. 
  • Natural stone paving works have also progressed and are almost complete across the site.

 Screen and wall New turf Fountain installed

The contractors for the project, Hawthorn Heights have experienced a number of issues with the availability and delivery of construction materials. This national issue has impacted upon the timescale for delivery of the project. Contractors are working hard to open the Front Green in the coming weeks and will be focusing on completion of the soft and hard landscaping, installation of the remaining play equipment and completion of the new surfaces. Some works are being impacted by the presence of nesting birds on the site, these are protected by law.

27 April 2022 - Whilst it has been a little time since our last update works have been continuing on the Lochgilphead Front Green site.

The works to the A83/Lochnell Street footway have been completed and the pavement is now reopened.  The greenstone and whinstone paving ties into works completed on the Front Green as well as in Colchester Square and Argyll Street.

Soft landscaping works have commenced with preparations being made for the new turf and the new trees have started to be planted. It is expected that turfing will start shortly.

The stone paving to the square area is being completed and the steel frame for the dividing screen has been put in place. Works are underway to construct the stone section of the screen and following this will be an information board including a map of Lochgilphead and the wider Mid Argyll area. A noticeboard space will also be provided. The final element of the screen is timber slats extending towards the new seating wall.

Public Square screen framework

Preparatory works for the fencing around the play area have been completed and works to prepare this area for the new surfaces are underway. 

As you may have seen in the recent news release, our contractors are working towards completion for the end of May although a number of remaining tasks are weather dependent so we will be hoping that this dry weather continues.

16 March 2022 - Work has commenced on the resurfacing works to the A83/Lochnell Street pavement.  The old kerbs and surfacing has been removed and the footway excavated to allow a new sub based to be installed.

new kerbs Tarmac on the A83 footway New paving and square

The tarmac layer of the base has been completed. The new whinstone kerbs have been put in place and work in progressing on installation of the greenstone paving. 

Over the coming week work will continue on the footway including completion of the paving and installation of the new street furniture and guard rails. Once works on the footway are completed the focus will go back to the main part of the site including further works in the play park area.

3 March 2022 - As work continues at the Front Green the main focus since the last update has been the installation of remaining play equipment and ongoing work in the square area.

Going forward work will continue in both the play area and the square but will also extend to include the resurfacing works to the A83/Lochnell Street pavement. Works will include removal of the existing surface and pedestrian guardrails, preparatory works, new whinstone kerbs including a realignment of the kerb close to the roundabout, a new greenstone pavement surface and new pedestrian guardrails. The works will utilise the same materials as have been used on Colchester Square and Argyll Street and are funded by the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Fund.

Works to A83 footway

In order to undertake this work safely it will be necessary to close the pavement and one lane of the road carriageway for 2 weeks. The contractor has identified that this work will be undertaken between 8 – 21 March 2022. During this period, temporary three way traffic lights will be in place on Lochnell Street, Poltalloch Street and at the bottom of Colchester Square.  Provision will be made for pedestrian crossing facilities and the bus stops will remain unaffected.

The public toilets will remain open during the works but will only be accessible from the eastern pavement via Lochnell Street, temporary access routes will be put in place.

In order to minimise the amount of time required to undertake this work, there will be a temporary extension of working hours and it is expected that during this period work will take place between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday.

8 February 2022 - The main focus at the Front Green during the last couple of weeks has been around the play area where edging and drainage has been installed, new seating has been placed and work is ongoing getting the area ready for the hard and soft landscaping which will include turf on the mounded areas and safety surfacing around the play equipment.

Play equipment Feb22 Play area Feb22

Going forward work will be continuing in the play area with the base for the new lighting column being installed together with the remaining pieces of play equipment (the double swing and a hammock swing).

A new replacement flag pole will be installed within the public square area and the remaining natural stone paving in this area will be laid.

As previously advised, resurfacing of the footpath along the A83 in front of the square and the public toilets is planned and this is expected to take place during March. The public footpath will be closed during the period of the works in this area and temporary traffic lights will be put in place along the A83. We expect to be able to confirm more about these works shortly.

26 January 2022 - During January works have focused on preparing the foundations for the new screen which will run alongside the public square and installing the ramp which will allow access for all between the existing seawall and the newly raised areas of the site.

 Foundations for screen  Ramp being formed

New foundations for the screen and ramp being prepared

Work is also progressing within the play area with levels being altered, kerbing being installed and the site being made ready to install new seating units. Over the course of the next couple of weeks work is expected to continue to focus on the play area with edging work and drainage being completed.

19 January 2022 - the contractor was back on site last week after the Christmas break. They are working to get the site ready for the metal screen which will edge the public square area.

22 December 2021 - work on site has now paused for the Christmas period and is expected to recommence early in January 2022. 

15 December 2021 - As work progresses on the Front Green, we have asked the contractor to change the work which will be undertaken on the A83 Lochnell Street footpath. When work on site started we planned to resurface the area between the public square and the A83 roundabout at the bottom of Argyll Street with a resin bound gravel surface. Since work began, the Council has been awarded some additional funding from the Scottish Government’s Place Based Investment Fund and some of this was allocated to upgrade the works along this part of the footpath. 

The works in this area will now utilise natural stone – Achnaba Greenstone and Whinstone as is being used on the Front Green and in Colchester Square – instead of the resin bound gravel. The stone is a more robust surface and should help to provide a better visual link between the Front Green and Colchester Square. In addition we have been able to extend the area to be surfaced and we will also be replacing the slabs in front of the public toilet building. The final element of these new works will be new pedestrian railings to replace those currently along the road edge.

To complete these upgraded works will take some extra time. In addition, as work has progressed there have also been some delays associated with issues around availability of supplies and delays with deliveries, issues which are currently common on construction sites across the UK. Together these mean that work on the Front Green is currently expected to be completed in April 2022.  The resurfacing of the footpath is likely to take place during February and March 2022.

You can read the news release about the works at https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/news/2021/dec/extended-works-lochgilphead%E2%80%99s-front-green and you can view the updated plans above.

Whilst preparations have commenced for the works on the A83 footpath, delivery of the improvements has continued on site. Work on the public square continues with the main Greenstone panel nearing completion. Further stone paving will extend towards and around the war memorial as well as creating a pathway towards the new seating wall. Tarmac Works around the war memorial have been undertaken this week.

The soil has been levelled out and turf will be laid on the main area of the Green once the soil has settled. New grass between the seating wall and the seawall will be put in place during the spring.

square under construction soil levelled out

The key focus of work during the remainder of December will be:

Public Square area

  • Continue the installation of Greenstone & Whinstone setts.

Seating wall

  • Completion of the mowing strip;
  • Remaining drainage works will be completed.

Play area

  • Final Stone up to play equipment area will take place.

No construction works are planned over the Christmas and New Year period but work is expected to recommence early in January 2022.

17 November 2021 - Since the last update, work has continued on the western part of the Front Green site. Approximately athird of the site has now been stoned up and the topsoil levelled out. This will enable turf to be laid and planting to progress as conditions allow. There is a row of trees to be planted along the A83 which will help to replace the poor quality trees which were removed earlier in the year.

Levelled site with topsoil Seating wall with mowing strip

The works to the seating wall continue and now that the pre-cast concreate walling units are in place, the contractors are working on installation of a mowing strip in front of the wall, approximately a quarter of this is now complete.

Although it won’t be available for use this year, the Christmas tree socket and ducting for the power cables have been installed in the square area. There will be a number of power sockets located around the square to ensure any events in this area can access the electrical connections that they may require.

All of the installed play equipment is now secured in place ready for the next phase of works in this part of the site.

The key focus of work during the remainder of November will be:

Public Square area

  • Continue the installation of Greenstone & Whinstone setts.

Seating wall

  • Completion of the mowing strip;
  • Levels at the back of the remainder of the sea wall will be brought up;
  • Spreading topsoil heaps and levelling out the site to continue.

1 November 2021  - As we enter November work on the Front Green is continuing to focus mainly on the public square and seating wall areas of the project.

In the square area:

  • Greenstone and whinstone has started to be installed, these materials match those put down in Colchester Square earlier in the year. In due course, the stone will extend out and around the war memorial as well as providing a path down to the lower part of the Front Green so that people can access the area in front of the new seating wall;
  • All of the slot drains have now been installed.

Along the seating wall, the majority of the pre-cast concreate units have been installed and drainage works at the back of the wall have commenced. The additional drainage should help to ensure that the site drains after heavy rain or following periods of flooding.

The aerial photographs below show how works are progressing, if you would like to compare these with the works to be completed you can view the plan here.

 Aerial photo of Front Green with Lochgilphead behind Aerial photo from overhead Aerial photo of square area

The key focus of work during the November will be:

Public Square area

  • Continue the installation of Greenstone & Whinstone setts.

Seating wall

  • Continue with drainage works at the back of the sea wall;
  • Levels at the back of sea wall will be brought up;
  • Works on the mowing strip will commence;
  • Spreading topsoil heaps and levelling out the site.

19 October 2021 - Work at the Front Green has focused mainly on the public square and seating wall area of the project.

In the square area: 

  • All greenstone channels have been installed;
  • The majority of the slot drains have been installed;
  • The main square area has been levelled up and made ready for the tarmac contractor;
  • Tarmac has been laid

The photograph below shows the square area prior to tarmac works commencing. A mix of Achnaba Greenstone and Whinstone will form the square and surrounding area. 

Public Square works

The pre-cast concreate seating wall units have arrived on site and have started to be installed along the seaward edge of the Front Green. The seating wall will offer somewhere to sit along the length of the Front Green as well as enabling the land on the town side of the wall to be raised to approximately the same level as the road. Whilst this won’t stop flooding on the site it should mean that some of the smaller flooding events don’t impact upon the wider Front Green area. Once drainage has been installed the soil will be returned and the area will be turfed so that this part of the Front Green is retained as an area of open grass. 

Seating wall

The key focus of work during the remainder of October will be:

Public Square area

  • Commence the installation of Greenstone & Whinstone setts

Seating wall

  • Continued installation of the wall units

6 October 2021 - As work progresses on the Front Green, September saw the construction and installation of the majority of the formal play equipment. Whilst there is still a lot of work to be done in this area, it is great to see this part of the scheme taking shape. Natural play equipment, safety surfacing and landscaping will be added before this area is complete. 

Work has also started on laying out the public square area with the perimeter blocks already in place. The square will be constructed using local Achnaba Greenstone and Whinstone both of which were also utilised on the Colchester Square and Argyll Street works. Works on this element of the project are due to continue throughout October and November.

Play equipment October 21Public Square works October 2021

The key focus of work during October will be:

Public Square area

  • Work commenced on installing the paving channels
  • Slot drains are being installed
  • Flag pole base will be installed
  • Tarmac works are expected to commence next week

Seating wall

  • The pre-cast concreate wall units have started to be delivered to site
  • The wall units install has commenced and is expected to continue throughout October

Pathways

  • Stoning up the paths have been completed and made ready for the tarmac work.

8 September 2021 - Work is progressing with two pieces of play equipment being installed - the pyramid slide and climbing frame. The preparation works for the public square area are also underway.

Play equipment Sept21 Public Square works

1 September 2021 - The play equipment has now arrived at the Front Green and the contractors Hawthorn Heights have commenced the job of constructing what looks like the biggest flat pack kit around. It will be great to see this element of the project start to take shape as the new equipment gets installed. This will be followed by the landscaping and safety surfacing for the new play area.

Play equipment arrived on site

Also expected on site soon is the natural stone which will help to form the public square area. As with the works to Colchester Square and Argyll Street, Achnaba Greenstone and Whinstone are being used. It is expected that work to lay the stone will commence during September and continue through to November.

The key focus of work during September will be:

  • Continued working on drainage;
  • Continued working on new pathways;
  • Continued installation of the play equipment;
  • Commence installation of natural stone surfacing for public square area;
  • Delivery of the pre-cast concrete seating wall to site;
  • Removal of historic drinking fountain – to be stored and reinstated later in the project.

Hawthorn Heights are registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme and an audit of the site was undertaken during August. The site was scored as Very Good by the external assessors.

You can hear more about the Front Green project during a discussion with Argyll and Bute Council Chief Executive Pippa Milne, Lochgilphead Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme Officer James Lafferty, Lee McKeever, Site Manager from Hawthorn Heights and Anna Watkiss, Senior Development Officer which is featured on Pippa's Podcast.

3 August 2021 - Following a tree survey in the early stages of the project, it was determined that a number of the trees along the A83 were in a poor condition, overshadowed or dying. Work to remove these trees is due to start on site on 9th August 2021.

Those trees which were healthy are being protected during the works and will remain. 

Where trees are being removed, they will be replaced with new trees. Hornbeam has been chosen for the avenue along Poltalloch Street, it is a species which is more salt tolerant than the Horse Chestnut and should therefore be able to grow successfully on the Front Green.

Although trees are being removed, the overall number of trees on the Front Green, once the project has been completed, will increase with new trees being planted in the play area and to the rear of the public toilet building.

In the coming period, we are expecting the new play equipment to be delivered to the site during August for installation in August and September. The new landscaping and safety surface will follow after. Following comments from a number of members of the public, the twin swing has been amended to be one standard swing and a cradle swing suitable for younger children. You can find out more about the play equipment here.

Works will also be required by SSE Networks to provide the new power supply for the event space and lighting, the date for these works has not yet been confirmed.

21 July 2021 - As work progresses on the Front Green it has changed from green to brown and now grey. The large quantities stone that have been brought onto the site will help to raise the level of the Front Green and also improve drainage so that when we get heavy rain or flooding the water should be able to drain away more efficiently. A new system of drainage pipes to deal with water on the Front Green are also being installed.

Progress has also been made on the foundations for the seating wall (pictured), the wall will provide a place to sit along most of the length of the Front Green as well as acting as a retaining wall.

Ground works will continue over the next period with a focus on ensuring that the site is ready for the hard and soft landscaping which will follow during the autumn. 

Wall foundations

21 June 2021 - site preparation works are continuing on site with the new drainage starting to be set out. Drainage and land raising activities are expected to be the focus of activities over the next couple of months.

Slides from the Meet the Contractor public meeting held on 16 June 2021 can be access here (PDF, 2MB) and a note of the questions raised is also accessible by clicking here

Works June 2021 Plant June 2021

9 June 2021 - works are progressing on site with old play equipment and street furniture being removed, some of which will return later in the project as part of the finished scheme. A Meet the Contractor event is planned for 16th June so if you want to hear more about the project or have questions to ask please join this online meeting.

1 June 2021 - contractors are on site! Work started on the site set up stage on Monday 31 May, it is expected that this will take around a week to complete.

10 May 2021 - work expected to begin on site 31 May 2021.

 

Public consultation

There were three public consultation events held between March 2019 and August 2019. These we well attended with hundreds of people coming along to give their views on the project and which aspects they liked or didn't like. The information provided helped to shape the final design which seeks to deliver the key elements which the local community said were important to them. The final event in August 2019 presented the developed design and asked for comments on this, you can view the report into the final consultation hereYou can see a summary of what people said at the second event and online here and if you’re interested in seeing what people said in response to the first consultation please follow this link. (8mb PDF).

Following the public consultation period, a planning application was submitted and the community had a further opportunity to comment on the designs put forward:

  • 19/02018/PP | Environmental enhancements including formation of new play area, area of hard-standing, picnic area, shelter, tree planting, path enhancements, raised levels and seating wall 
  • 19/02040/TPO | Proposed lopping and felling of trees
  • 20/02253/NMA | Non Material Amendment to Planning Permission 19/02018/PP (Environmental enhancements including formation of new play area, area of hard-standing, picnic area, shelter, tree planting, path enhancements, raised levels and seating wall) Amendment to the design

Our funders

The project is funded by Argyll and Bute Council’s Tarbert and Lochgilphead Regeneration Fund, The Scottish Government’s Cycling, Walking and Safer Routes (CWSR), Town Centre Funds, Lochgilphead Phoenix Project and the Co-operative Local Community Fund.

Colchester Square and Argyll Street 

For information on the works undertaken to Colchester Square and Argyll Street please see our Lochgilphead public realm works page.

 

Lochgilphead Front GreenContact details

Anna Watkiss
Transformation Projects and Regeneration Senior Development Officer
Argyll and Bute Council
Whitegates Office
Lochgilphead
Email: Anna.Watkiss@argyll-bute.gov.uk
Phone: 01546 604344