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 Argyll 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

Front Green 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:

* 950m2 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 January 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 January 2022

The site is in an exposed, coastal location and these works have 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. 

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 will be necessary to close part of the pavement at certain points to enable works to be completed, the dates for this work are still to be confirmed.

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 – NovemberOngoing 
Roads, paths and pavingJuly – DecemberOngoing
Pre Cast Concrete Wall WorksJuly – OctoberOngoing
Landscaping & General WorksAugust – November Ongoing 
Equipment & Safety Surfacing WorksAugust – November Ongoing
Services WorksOctober - November  
Railing WorksOctober – November  
Bespoke Screen and associated worksNovember – January  
Electrical InstallationSeptember – December 
Handover and completionJanuary 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 

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