People who live and work in Catrine are the latest in East Ayrshire to be asked to consider important decisions about priorities for the future of their village, its buildings and local environment, with the launch of a new Placemaking Consultation.
In every community there are areas, buildings and scenic environments in need of a little tlc. But with limits on funding and resources it can be difficult to know where to start. And many communities have felt in the past that decisions were made without regard to the wishes of those who actually worked and lived there. Now, with a new Scottish Government Initiative, East Ayrshire Council are using a process, called Placemaking, giving locals a choice from a a priorities identified by their own communities so their aspirations can be recognised and embedded in the Council’s planning policies.
For Catrine, nine areas of interest have been identified through the Community Led Action Plan which was developed in 2016. Participants, who can see draft placemaking plans online, by contacting the Catrine Action Plan Steering Group at the CEVIC Centre in Catrine, or at the Council’s Planning Office, Johnnie Walker Bond, Kilmarnock, are asked to provide feedback via a survey before 7 September. All comments made will then be used to help finalise the maps before it goes before the Council for consideration.
Councillor Jim Roberts, East Ayrshire Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure explains: “This is a new approach that puts the final decision making about what should be addressed in our communities in the hands of those who live and work there. It gives everyone a chance to have a say and look toward in compiling a list of projects they wish to see completed that would improve and enhance the respective communities. Having these projects adopted in the planning process means they have a real chance of being carried out by attracting funding from the various bodies out there”.
“Examples could be tidying up a riverside footpath and making it more accessible to people with disabilities, improving broadband connectivity, or restoring an historic building. It’s up to the communities to decide what they’d like done first. The consultations are simple to take part in – it can be done through our Placemaking page on the East Ayrshire Council website. Each consultation has a map, showing coloured zones and suggestions for improvements.
“An online questionnaire allows people to show their support for the different proposals and express their views. Alternatively, the draft plans can be seen and commented upon in person at the Council’s Planning Office, Johnnie Walker Bond, Kilmarnock. Once the consultations end, all these votes and any comments will be taken into consideration by the community steering group and finalised Placemaking Plans will be drawn up. These will then be used to guide future decision making in each community”.
“We’re among the first Councils in Scotland to adopt this approach and so far we’re getting very positive responses from those who’re involved.”