The council’s Executive today agreed to issue draft masterplans on the pier head and former Hermitage Academy sites for public consultation.
Members of the public now have from tomorrow (Friday, December 16) until Wednesday, January 18, 2012 to let the council know what they think of the options included in those documents.
Councillor Vivien Dance, chair of the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee, said it was vital that as many people as possible took part in the consultation.
“It is critical to the overall success of Helensburgh’s future development that it reflects as much as possible the views and aspirations of local residents and businesses, as well as maximise the benefits to the town of any development proposals from third parties,” she added.
“These documents, once finalised, will inform any future proposals for these prime sites. So we need to make absolutely sure that the people of Helensburgh and the surrounding area have a say in their final content, and that we get them right.
“This is your chance to make your views known on what will be vital tools in terms of any future development of the pier head and former Hermitage sites. I urge people to make the most of that opportunity. I appreciate that the time for this is short and covers a holiday period but this will enable consideration of the outcome in time for the budget process in February.”
The public consultation will primarily take the form of an electronic response form, which can either be filled in online or downloaded and then emailed to a dedicated email address.
From tomorrow, there will be a banner on the front page of the council’s website which will link to the dedicated consultation page at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/helmasterplans, where visitors will find copies of the draft masterplans along with the consultation response form.
Paper copies of the masterplans will be available in Helensburgh, Cardross and Rosneath Libraries as well as Scotcourt House in Helensburgh.
As part of the consultation, two open days will be held on Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14 2012 in Helensburgh’s Victoria Halls.
These events, which will run from 1pm to 8pm on Friday and 10 am to 3pm on Saturday, will give people the opportunity to discuss the masterplans with relevant council staff and have any questions they may have answered.
During these two days, times will be allocated for specific groups (ie young people, business community, community groups etc) to attend for presentations on the documents.
“We will do everything we can to try to ensure that all those who want to engage in the consultation process can do so,” Councillor Dance said.
“All comments submitted will be recorded and assessed, and will of course be taken into account when drawing up the final drafts to go to the council’s Executive at the beginning of February.
“These masterplans are designed to ensure that whatever developments are agreed for these sites are based on robust and deliverable planning guidance. They will provide the framework within which some of the biggest developments the town has seen for decades will be taken forward, so I hope the people of Helensburgh and the surrounding area take the chance to have their say and let us know what they think of the documents and the options contained within them.
“I very much look forward to regular updates on how the consultation is going, and to hearing the views of local residents and businesses.”
The principal options contained in the two masterplan documents are:
- New leisure facility and a flexible retail space, with the layout capable of accommodating a large retail unit alongside smaller shops. Between 16 and 30 residential units are proposed above the retail. Sufficient parking for these buildings accommodated on site, but general town parking relocated elsewhere. Public access to the pier maintained with a new open space formed in front of the leisure building, and a walkway around the edge of the site.
- A flexible retail space, with the layout capable of accommodating a large food retail unit alongside smaller shops. Residential units, with an increased provision of public realm along West Clyde Street. The same parking, access and walkway proposals as in the option above, with new open space in front of a new restaurant building.
Former Hermitage Academy site:
- Retained as a housing site – allocated space for Dunbritton’s proposed development and for 115 mainstream houses.
- Retained primarily as a housing site (allocated space for Dunbritton’s proposed development and 79 mainstream houses) with the option to also site the swimming pool and leisure facility there.
Once eventually finalised, the masterplans will provide an important element of the planning framework which will inform proposals for the two sites.