Laurencekirk Development Trust & Villages in Control Newsletter – October 2015
With the summer rapidly retreating, this seems a good time to summarise the activities of the group and to share with you both the opportunities and some of the threats we face as a community.
In Summary: Good News and Bad News
The Bad News: Our bid to acquire the former academy site has been rejected by Council officers. We are looking at a new strategy for involving the community in the plans for this area as we believe it can unlock many of the problems with traffic management in the town as well as being a real opportunity for new business opportunities.
The Good news: Our efforts to support a “vision plan” for Laurencekirk was well received by the Council and we have applied for a Government grant to develop this concept further so that we can tackle many of the current and future challenges for the town. If this is successful the residents will have another opportunity to be involved in creating plans which will be presented to Aberdeenshire for inclusion in their Local Development Plan.
The Good News: After eleven years lobbying, Jill Fotheringham’s Campaign for a new junction has passed another hurdle with an agreement on the best option to address the problem.
The Bad News: It requires three further stages in the process before it can be included in Transport Scotland’s road improvements programme. We are waiting for the result of the next “official” meeting from NESTRANS (the group now leading negotiations on our behalf.)
The Good News: Plans to expand Laurencekirk Primary School are well in hand .This will make provision for the out of school club and includes a community area which will accommodate the senior citizen Thursday Coffee group and Friday Lunch Club.
The Bad News: Future of the old academy playing field is still in the balance. Councillors have yet to make the final decision.
The Good News: With a start to the Muir Homes development in the field next to the Health Centre imminent, we are reminded of the Aberdeen Structure Plan to increase the size of Laurencekirk by 195% over the next few decades. Due to Transport Scotland’s embargo on “major developments “in Laurencekirk until the flyover issue is resolved the initial stage will build about 40 houses in the first phase.
In addition to all these significant planning challenges there are several smaller projects being identified to tackle more minor issues like the public toilet facilities, lack of community notice boards, alternative uses for the former community centre and the wish by many to boost civic pride.
The group have developed a host of contacts across a wide range of organisations to help towns like Laurencekirk to help themselves. One of the essential factors for success is to gather practical support from all across the community. We encourage all residents to support the group by becoming members of the Trust.
We anticipate that a change of constitution is required to meet the needs of current government funding and to incorporate the change in voting age in Scotland and a meeting will be held to enable this Date to be confirmed. Watch out for other local information on our website: www. laurencekirkab30.co.uk
This enthusiastic group is very keen to attract “new blood” to the committee. All you need is the enthusiasm to keep Laurencekirk moving forward and the desire to grab all the opportunities we can!
Please let us know your ideas and aspirations for Laurencekirk.