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Public have their say on town vision

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By Joseph Gartly
Annan and Eskdale
Public have their say on town vision

AROUND 75 people attended a public consultation at the weekend to discuss the future of Annan High Street and wider town centre.

The consultation was to gauge residents’ views and find out what they would like improved.

Officials described the response as overwhelmingly positive, with many people pleased to see something happening.

Community council vice-chairman Alan Kay said: “I think this consultation is a good idea, but we are a bit disappointed at the turnout.

BIRD’S EYE VIEW . . . standing on an aerial mat showing Annan town centre at the Market Hall exhibition were, left to right: community council vice-chairman Alan Kay, Annan Regeneration Steering Group chairman Councillor Sean Marshall and local historian and writer Don Barty

“Those that have attended have given valuable feedback and we will also be taking the information back to the community council.

“I think that the town would benefit from bringing back the historic open-air market, involving existing local businesses.

“Castle Douglas is the food town, Kirkcudbright has arts, why can’t Annan bring back their market?”

Points raised with Benton Scott-Simons, consultants who organised the event, included the creation of a more attractive environment, publicising the town’s heritage, attracting more tourists, increased parking for locals and visitors, the need for a general tidying up of the public realm, the desire for more trees, more variety in quality eating places, new signing, the need for more seats and the impact of building maintenance.

INFORMATION LINE . . . suggestions from the public for Annan town centre are pegged up by town planning consultant Nick Wright and Ines Triebel, an urban and regional planner Information gathered will be fed into the feedback gained from the other consultations that have taken place to date and form the basis for the next phase of the project.

Consultancy director Laura Scott-Simmons said: “Annan is full of wonderful buildings and it has the potential to be busy and vibrant.

“It is important to state that anything highlighted here is not a nished design, this is only stage one of the consultation.

“We need to hear from a diverse age range.

“So far there seems to be a lot of common issues, many of which are not particular to Annan.

“We are really keen to gauge the feeling in the town.”

* To contribute to the Annan consultation  go to Annan Online or email annanhighstreet@gmail.com

LOOKING FORWARD . . . left to right, landscape architect Laura Scott-Simmons, development project manager Kerry Martin, Oliver Mundell, MSP, and David Mundell, MP
FISHING HERITAGE . . . Christine Matthews, right, of Annan Harbour Action Group, presented South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine with a copy of ‘Ebb and Flow,’ which through eye-witnesses recounts the story of the Royal Burgh’s fishing industry

 

NEWSDESK: 01461-202417

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