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‘Village’ vision to be laid out

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
'Village' vision to be laid out

A MASTERPLAN is set to be unveiled next week for an exciting multi million pound ‘village’ project in Dumfries.

Local partners have been developing ambitious plans to reconnect Ladyfield with The Crichton and to create a multi-generational housing community on the land, now referred to as The Crichton 21st Century Village.

It could have up to 470 carbon neutral homes and would promote all age groups living, studying and working alongside each other, from students to pensioners.

There would also be infrastructure facilities and amenities including a primary school, shops and a health centre.

The Crichton Trust has appointed a team led by Collective Architecture to develop a robust masterplan to consider options for the future development of the site.

And they are holding an open community event next Thursday afternoon, June 9, in the Easterbrook Hall to explain more about their plans.

Everyone is welcome to attend and give feedback.

The consultation event will focus on what makes the Ladyfield site special and unique and establish common goals and principles between the project team and nearby residents.

As a result, a statement covering vision, character and strategy for the development of the area will subsequently be created and shared publicly.

Gwilym Gibbons, chief executive of The Crichton Trust, said: “I am delighted to have an experienced and knowledgeable team of employees and consultants working together to help shape plans for the Ladyfield site in Dumfries.

“While we are aware some local residents and stakeholders have concerns about this development, we take our responsibility to protect and enhance our physical and natural environments very seriously and I can assure you that we will show the same level of care and respect in developing The Ladyfield site as we do at The Crichton.

“I, for one, am very excited about the opportunities this project presents and I hope others will share my optimism during the next phase of community and stakeholder engagement activities.”

Explaining more about the ‘exemplar project’, architect Ross Aitchison said: “The Ladyfield 21st Century village project represents a culture-shifting opportunity to create a truly sustainable new community tied to the rich heritage of The Crichton and the significant natural assets of the Ladyfield site.

“We have all become acutely aware of the impact the quality of our homes and shared spaces have on our wellbeing over the past few years as we all spent more time inside and within our local communities. How we make sustainable, adaptable, accessible and socially conscious places is the challenge of our time as we all face the challenges of climate change and an ageing population. This project and its ambitions are an opportunity to explore what a contemporary, sustainable and biodiverse community could look and feel like.”

He said they want to draw out the unique characteristics of the existing historic, social and natural setting to ‘develop a framework for an aspirational and outstanding intergenerational place’.

And energy, conservation, active travel, housing, education and skills will all be key considerations.

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