Proposed Parking Problems
A couple of planning applications have been submitted:
20/00304/FUL | Creation of area of botanical parkland that will contain various new water features, an ornamental pond, all weather pathways, seating and new plantings | Land To North And East Of Braeport Centre Braeport Dunblane
20/00303/LBC | Removal of approximately 66m (linear) of stone boundary wall to rear | Braeport Centre Braeport Dunblane FK15 0AT
The proposals whilst seeking to increase the number of visitors to both Holmehill and Dunblane, do not seek to increase the parking capacity of Dunblane. As you will already be aware, and as the Dunblane Community Parking Management Plan confirmed, the lack of parking capacity available in Dunblane is a problem, and if these proposals go ahead they would only make such plans worse.
An excerpt from the proposer’s Design and Access Summary:
Our proposed development application is only within the boundaries of Holmehill. It will include the rear stone wall of the Braeport Centre but not anything within the grounds/carpark of the centre. That is a separate application by the architectural firm involved with that project (yet to be submitted), so the carpark and ‘New Glasshouse Extension’ is indicative only for the purposes of showing where our proposal is in regards to the Community Centre.
Some of the public comments about these proposals include:
I object to the proposed construction of a built parkland on the grass meadow of Holmehill. This appears to be a significant over-development of a peaceful green space.
1 Visitor access
The applicants make it clear that they expect the development to attract a substantial number of visitors, but they do not specify how many people they estimate will visit, nor how these visitors will travel to the site, and what facilities they can expect, such as toilets. I believe it is necessary to resolve those questions before the development can be started.
In particular, car access and parking are a long-standing concern in this area. The Braeport Community Centre car park is regularly full, the entrance to the car park is too narrow to allow two vehicles to pass, and the entrance is on a narrow street with a steep bend.
There is limited on-street parking in Braeport and adjacent streets, and the nearby Haining car park is regularly full. Local residents know only too well the problems that are created by an influx of additional cars and traffic.
There are also issues with safe pedestrian access. Braeport has a narrow pavement on one side only, which does not permit people to pass without stepping into the road. A large influx of visitors on foot would therefore create a road safety hazard.
Another concern on visitors is that the site plan indicates a ‘gathering place’ at the top of the site, which indicates that large numbers of people are expected to congregate there. This may bring
issues of noise and disruption for the local community, and there have already been instances of anti-social behaviour at another ‘gathering place’ which was recently created on the site of the old house on Holmehill.
2 Site infrastructure and maintenance
The site has traditionally been a grass meadow. The introduction of paths, seating areas, walls, steps, bridges, artificial streams, solar panels, a viewing platform and so on will create a sterile environment which will be only partially masked by the planting plan.
The construction of a large pool and associated water features will introduce a risk of flooding to the site. This plan will add water artificially to the hillside, yet the application states, somewhat illogically, that the creation of a pool will ‘enhance surface water drainage management’. However, this site has no history of flooding, and there is nothing to indicate that it would ever present a risk of flooding if left undeveloped.
I am concerned at the proposal to install two electrical pumps, running 12 hours a day, to send the water up the hill, and the associated noise that this will create in quiet environment. There should be a requirement for pumps and any other infrastructure to be silent running.
The creation of such a substantial site will necessarily require heavy machinery and power tools over a long period of time, which will cause local disruption and disturbance. For example, the placing of ‘large natural stones partially buried on the slope’ will undoubtedly require significant machinery on site. I believe the applicants must be required to mitigate any noise and disruption during construction.
The application mentions ‘limited budget’ but it is clear that such a substantial site will require considerable ongoing maintenance and repair. There will not only be wear and tear on the hard features, but a requirement for plant maintenance, litter collection and so on. I would welcome a commitment from the applicants to ensure that the site will be properly maintained in perpetuity.
Overall, I am disappointed at the proposal to build a theme park in the heart of Dunblane, which may appear attractive to some but will also have a negative impact on the local community. I would strongly urge the owners to return the meadow to its natural state and to abandon this plan in its entirety.
I object to the proposed destruction and removal of this substantial stone wall, which is part of the built heritage of Dunblane.
The justification for this work appears to be to create pedestrian access to the proposed garden development, which could be achieved by a small gateway opening rather than removing 66 metres of a wall which dates from the Victorian era.
Although the wall requires some maintenance, it is generally in good condition and appears to be safe. An avoidance of the cost of this maintenance would not be a justification for demolition.
The plans submitted with the application show that the removal of the wall will allow the creation of additional parking spaces. It would also allow access to the hillside for the heavy machinery that will be required to build and install the site infrastructure. Neither of these are valid reasons for removal of the wall.
I believe we should value our heritage and maintain historic structures, even if it is ‘only a wall’.
This wall has stood for generations as a backdrop to the Braeport Community Centre, defining its position in the landscape, and it would be a great shame if permission was granted to demolish it.
All details about these applications are available from Stirling Council’s website and can be found when searching with 20/00304/FUL and 20/00303/LBC.
You are able to submit a comment on one or both of these applications via email to email@example.com or by post to Planning Services, Teith House, Kerse Road, Stirling FK7 7QA
The deadline for the council to receive comments by is very soon, and whether you are in favour of the proposals or are against the proposals, given the significance of the Holmehill site to all of Dunblane, I would urge you to have your say.
Alastair Majury Chartered MCSI resides locally in the historic Scottish city of Dunblane, and is a Principal Consultant and a Senior Regulatory Business Analyst working across the country. Alastair Majury also serves on the local council (Stirling Council) as Councillor Alastair Majury where he represents the ward of Dunblane and Bridge of Allan, topping the poll.
Alastair Majury Chartered MCSI, is also a director of Majury Change Management Ltd is a highly experienced Senior Business Analyst / Data Scientist with a proven track record of success planning, developing, implementing and delivering migrations, organisational change, regulatory, legislative, and process improvements for global financial organisations, covering Retail Banking, Investment Banking, Wealth Management, and Life & Pensions.
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