Waterfront development consultation update

Updates on the Waterfront Development Consultation

Many thanks to everyone who took part. This consultation has now closed and a planning application has been lodged in relation to the Waterfront project. The planning application can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2LCyILN

Project Aims

The Helensburgh Waterfront Development project is all about creating a vibrant and attractive waterfront for the town. The main feature of the project will be a new leisure facility incorporating a swimming pool, with associated parking and public realm to meet the needs of the local community and attract day visitors to the town.  At the same time the flood defence will be increased to address current flooding issues in the area. The new leisure facilities will be run on behalf of the council by the newly formed trust LiveArgyll.

Project Aims and Objectives

  • To deliver a new leisure facility and swimming pool which meets the needs of the Helensburgh and Lomond community
  • To encourage new businesses to open up in the town and to provide existing businesses with more opportunities.
  • To add to what has been achieved through other projects such as CHORD and Hermitage Park, which have created an attractive, vibrant and contemporary town Centre that is attracting residents, businesses and visitors to the area.
  • To create a safe, comfortable and, accessible public space to provide a visible link to and from Colquhoun Square, which is the main outdoor event space and the town centre
  • To show the town of Helensburgh at its’ best and encourage additional private sector investment in the waterfront area and town centre




Project History

The Helensburgh pierhead is one of the most obvious features of the town and a key part of the waterfront. It currently has a leisure facility which is functional but nearing the end of its design life.

Proposals for the Development of Helensburgh Waterfront have been worked on over a number of years, including:

  • 2008 - Outline Business Case (OBC) Study which looked at the condition of the existing swimming pool and the   options to provide a replacement within Helensburgh. 2009 - Gareth Hoskins Architects, PMR Leisure (Community Sports and Leisure Consultants) Gardiner & Theobald (Cost Consultants) and Buro Happold (engineers), carried out a further OBC study. 2009 - the Helensburgh Pierhead Masterplan prepared by Turley Associates
  • 2012 – Revised Masterplan   by Gareth Hoskins Associates. This concluded that a new swimming pool and leisure facility with a footplate of 2,250 m2 (24,200ft2) was the best use of this area. The study also developed proposals for the introduction of a reduced scale retail opportunity, public space and associated car parking for 265 cars; with coach and taxi drop off facilities.

In August 2017 Darnton B3 Architects were appointed to develop the design of the leisure facility / swimming pool and public realm areas together with Engineers from Argyll and Bute Council who are designing the carpark and flood defence.

The Planning Process

Due to the scale of our proposed development it falls within the Scottish Government’s designation of a ‘Major Development’

Whilst this sets out the minimum Public Consultation that we have to do, we want to go further and ensure that as many people and groups as possible have the chance to look at our proposals and give us their opinions.

That’s why in January of this year we held informal meetings with a number of focus groups, and held a drop-in event for others, such as the Chamber of Commerce; the MOD; Lomond & Clyde Tourist Association, Helensburgh Shorefront Development Project and the Scottish Submarine Museum. This was to give us a first opportunity to hear what people thought before the more formal part of the process began.

The focus groups covered specific interests like:

  • Specific Need Groups (Grey Matters, ENABLE and  parents of children with autism)
  • Users of the existing building (e.g. swimming and kayak club)
  • Staff of the existing Leisure Facility and
  • Helensburgh & Lomond Community Councils

Pre-Application Consultation

The Scottish Government says that:

  1. We must hold at least one public event for members of the public where they can make comments to us about our proposals;
  2. The public event must be advertised at least 7 days in advance in a local newspaper to enable members of community councils, representative groups and other members of the public to arrange to attend; and
  3. The consultation period must last for 12 weeks

We want to go further so, we will be holding three public events that will include a presentation of our proposals and the opportunity for those attending to discuss them with us and give us their opinions.

These events will be held   at Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, G84 8TU on:

  • Monday 26th March 2018 (11am till 7pm)
  • Monday 30th April 2018 (11am till 7pm)
  • Monday 14th May 2018 (11am till 7pm)

Consultation material will also be on display in the Helensburgh Library, Victoria Halls and at Helensburgh Swimming Pool for the full 12 week duration.

**For the PAC event in relation to Marine Scotland License application for works to the new flood defences there will be an event at Victoria Halls, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, G84 8TU on Monday 30th April 2018 (9.30am till 5.30pm).

Post Consultation Period

During the consultation period we will be presenting our development proposals, which means that no matter which of the events you come to it will be the same things that we show to you.  We will make people aware of the key themes and issues that those we have already spoken to have been raising. It may well be that someone has already raised an issue that you have an interest in, but that shouldn’t put you off from raising it with us.

At the end of the 12 week period we will assess everything that has been said to us against the following:

  • Does what someone has suggested meet all the laws and standards;
  • Does the suggestion take account of ‘best practice’ and does it allow as many people as possible to use the facilities, whatever their personal circumstances might be;
  • Can the suggestion or suggestions be afforded within the budget that we have available;
  • Can the suggested changes actually be built;
  • Does the suggestion mean that it would cost us more to run the building, car park etc. in the long or that we wouldn’t be able to bring in as much money from them
  • Does the suggestion consider what the people who will actually use the building, car park etc. want, as well as the local communities and visitors to the town?

The Project Team will then bring forward recommendations to the Helensburgh & Lomond Area Committee setting out which of the suggestions that we have received meet the criteria set out above and could be included in our proposals going forward.

Following any decision of the Area Committee the Project Team will finalise our development proposals for submission as our Formal Planning Application.

As part of our Planning Application we have to put in a Pre-Application Consultation Report which must include the following information:

  • Who we have consulted;
  • What steps we took to comply with what the Scottish Governments says we have to do as well as any additional things that the Planning Department asked for;
  • Show what we did with the comments and suggestions made, including if our original proposals have been changed following your feedback;
  • Provide evidence that we have done everything that we should have during the consultation - e.g. copies of advertisements for the public events and examples of what we made available to you; and
  • Demonstrate what we did to explain the nature of the PAC i.e. that it doesn’t take away your right to submit comments or objections to our proposals during the Formal Planning Application.

Further Information and Feedback

Requests for further information and any feedback in respect of the Helensburgh Waterfront Development should be sent to to Andrew Collins, Regeneration Project Manager, Argyll and Bute Council, Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre, 38 East Clyde Street, Helensburgh, G84 7PG, or by email to: andrew.collins@argyll-bute.gov.uk. The consultation period will run for 12 weeks from 26th February to 18th May 2018.

There will be further opportunities beyond this date for comments through the formal Planning Process once an application for the new development has been submitted.

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