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Help Shape the Vision for the Future of Balloch

LIVEinBalloch is a new initiative, which will help shape the future of Balloch and you are being invited to get involved.

Funding has been secured from Scottish Government for West Dunbartonshire Council and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, working with Scottish Enterprise, to run a design charrette which is an intensive workshop that engages local people in the design of their community.

The aim of the charrette is to involve people who live, work, visit and invest in the area in planning what future development in Balloch might look like. It will also investigate how Balloch can become better connected to the wider Vale of Leven and act as an economic generator for the area.

This project follows on from two successful charrettes held in Dumbarton and Clydebank last year, which both now have an action plan being progressed. In addition to these a number of charrettes were held across the National Park area between 2011 and 2014 which have shaped the new plan for future development and are successfully helping to support delivery of community aspirations. Examples include the new improved cycle/footpath linking Drymen and Balmaha and the recently announced £1.55 million funding from Heritage Lottery for the Callander Landscape Partnership.

Councillor Patrick McGlinchey, the Council’s Convener for Infrastructure, Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “It is great news that a charrette will be held in Balloch which will bring designers, planners and other specialists together to work directly with the public to develop a plan for the area. There is so much potential in Balloch, with its stunning location and as part of the National Park, so this is a really exciting project to be involved in.

“The two design charrettes held last year were extremely well attended and have led to detailed action plans being developed that are now being implemented. I would urge as many residents as possible to be part of this project and play their part in shaping the future of Balloch.”

The Balloch charrette will be held in February and March, when people who live, work, visit and invest in the area will be asked to give their ideas and suggestions on how to improve the village and benefit from its status as a visitor attraction.

Significant public engagement has already been carried out to develop the National Park’s new Local Development Plan through the LIVE Park campaign, and this will help to provide focus for the design charrette.

Stuart Mearns, Head of Planning & Rural Development at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, said: “Having undertaken extensive engagement across the National Park in recent years this joint initiative with the Council provides a great opportunity to continue the focus on supporting communities and businesses in delivering their aspirations for a better place to Live Invest Visit and Experience.

“We really want people to grab this chance to get involved to help develop a shared vision. People tend to feed back on what they don’t like or don’t want to see but we’re keen to stress that this is an opportunity for people to say what they do like or highlight changes they do want to see.”

Three key sites have been identified in the Park’s Local Development Plan which will play a crucial part in the future of Balloch and will form the basis for discussion at the charrette, as well as how we ensure joined up thinking between these physical developments over design, transport, car parking amongst other issues. 

  • West Riverside – the charrette will consider how this significant area of land could be developed in terms of tourism and leisure to bring the most benefit to the town.
  • Balloch Castle and Country Park – consideration of how to best use these important assets, including potential public realm improvements.  
  • Woodbank House – look at how this derelict A listed building could be brought back into use for the benefit of the town.

Consideration will also be given to improving connections within Balloch and the wider Vale of Leven, and to how important gateways such as the bus and railway station can be improved.

Further details of the charrette will be available throughout January and February and you can keep up to date with the latest news via www.facebook.com/ourlivepark or on Twitter at @OurLivePark.

To register your interest in participating email hello@ourlivepark.com or call Alan Williamson on 01389 738539.

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