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Community garden calls at new housing site

Section:  Dumfries and West

A COMMUNITY garden is being called for as part of a housing development set to press forward in Dumfries.

garden feat

Land between Lockerbie Road and Annan Road, next to Greenbrae Loaning, has long been earmarked for development — with homes now poised to be built on half of a greenfield site where Parkhead Infectious Diseases Hospital was demolished in 1990.
Expressing views gathered from nearby residents, Heather Coulter from Loreburn Community Council said: “One of the ideas on the area that was the original entrance to the hospital grounds was to turn that into some sort of community garden that would benefit the community.”
The grassy area of land is currently sitting undeveloped, with a section used for football pitches, but it has long been accepted as an area for housing in the Local Development Plan.
But Mrs Coulter said: “There are very few greenfield sites left where people can actually get out and walk and do something without heading out the town.
“I think it would be a real shame if that area was taken.”
Speaking on behalf of residents, she added: “What they’ve also said is that whoever develops it has to keep one of the football pitches, because there’s no guarantee where that’s going to be — so it could be squeezed into a corner. Who knows?”
However, problems building on part of the site have now been identified.
Community council chairman Robin Wishart said: “That area has been cut in half, because they’ve identified that half they can’t build on because of flooding. It’s a bog.”
“A lot of people off Lockerbie Road weren’t aware that any of that area was scheduled for housing in the first place.”
With Mrs Coulter arguing that some of the area should be retained as a greenfield site, Loreburn Community Council last week agreed to recommend looking at retaining green spaces.
Meanwhile, construction appears set to press ahead quickly on the site.
Addressing the community council, ward worker Chris Woodness said: “I can’t air any views on it, but I can comment that I think that the timescale for progressing developments on that are far faster than you may think.”

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