Dec 30 2011 by Tina Kemp, Lennox Herald (main ed)
l PLANS for two high profile development sites in Helensburgh are out for public consultation.
Residents and visitors are being asked for their views on the draft masterplans for the pier head and former Hermitage Academy sites.
They have until Wednesday, January 18, to let Argyll and Bute Council – which agreed on Thursday to issue the plans – know what they think of the options.
One proposal for the pier head is for a new leisure facility and flexible retail space, accommodating a large retail unit alongside smaller shops. Between 16 and 30 residential units are proposed above the retail, together with parking. Public access to the pier would be via a new open space in front of the leisure building and a walkway around the edge of the site.
Another option is for flexible retail space, with the layout capable of accommodating a large food retail unit alongside smaller shops. It proposes residential units, with an increased provision of public realm along West Clyde Street. There would be the same parking, access and walkway proposals as in the other option, with new open space in front of a restaurant building.
One suggestion for the former school site is that it be retained for housing with space for Dunbritton’s proposed development and for 115 mainstream houses.
Another option is to keep it primarily as a housing site incorporating Dunbritton’s plans and 79 mainstream houses, with the option to also site a swimming pool and leisure facility there.
Councillor Vivien Dance, chairman of the Helensburgh and Lomond area committee, said it was vital that as many people as possible took part in the consultation.
She said: “It is critical to the overall success of Helensburgh’s future development that it reflects as much as possible the views and aspirations of local residents and businesses, as well as maximising the benefits of any development proposals from third parties.
“These documents, once finalised, will inform any future proposals for these prime sites. So we need to make absolutely sure that the people of Helensburgh and the surrounding area have a say in their final content, and that we get them right.”
The public consultation will primarily take the form of an electronic response form. A banner on the front page of the council’s website links to the dedicated consultation page at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/helmasterplans
Paper copies of the masterplans will be available in Helensburgh, Cardross and Rosneath Libraries, as well as Scotcourt House in Helensburgh.
Two open days will also be held on Friday, January 13, from 1pm to 8pm, and Saturday, January 14, from 10am to 3pm, in the town’s Victoria Halls.