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Step forward for Ladyfield but concerns remain

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Step forward for Ladyfield but concerns remain

A MASTERPLAN for the development of Ladyfield has been submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council – but objectors continue to voice their unhappiness at the vision.

The plan was co-produced by The Crichton Trust in partnership with Collective Architecture and was funded through the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund with a contribution from the council.

It details a proposal for a ‘21st century village’ on the site, featuring new models of housing.

The trust says the project has involved ‘an extensive community and stakeholder consultation process’, including in-person events and online opportunities for members of the public, community groups and organisations to share their views and ideas about the future of Ladyfield.

And they say that events were well-attended and generated extensive and varied feedback, mostly positive, as well as some new ideas.

However, they acknowledge that concerns were also raised by some local residents about the proposals and say these issues have been used to “positively shape the strategic approach” to the masterplan.

Speaking about the goals of the masterplan, Crichton Trust chief executive Gwilym Gibbons said: “We believe The Ladyfield Masterplan is a key strategic step to delivering affordable housing that goes beyond conventional models. Rather than focusing on short-term profit, it emphasises community-led holistic placemaking.

“We have sought to enhance existing community assets to develop a liveable and healthier place for people and the planet.

“We truly believe that this development has the potential to transform the lives of local residents. It will connect the site with The Crichton, the town centre and neighbouring communities. It will also protect and enhance the site’s natural assets and increase access for all to enjoy.”

But objectors continue to disagree with the trust’s plans and one, Karl Drinkwater, this week called on the council to ignore the proposals.

He said: “It is a greenfield site. It’s pretty much the dictionary definition of one. Yet The Crichton has refused to acknowledge that plain fact, and its implications, all along.

“Dumfries needs to protect its wonderful natural heritage. It needs to restore empty buildings and brownfield sites, of which there are a large number, whilst leaving meadows and woodland alone.”

The masterplan and its supporting technical studies will now be considered by the local authority.

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