Town Centre Charrette & Community Action Plan
In 2015/16 Dunblane Community Council, Dunblane Development Trust and Discover Dunblane came together to turn the results of the Town Centre Charrette into a Community Action Plan which it is hoped will bring improvements and new activity to Dunblane.
Dunblane's previous Action Plan had expired at the end of 2014, after much had been achieved. It is hoped that the draft Community Action Plan reflects the needs of Dunblane – residents, businesses and visitors – and that the actions are aspirational but achievable. The draft Plan shows what the community wants to achieve – and will help to get other partners involved, raise funds for new projects – and get the wider community of Dunblane involved.
The Town Centre Charrette : What Happened?
Why a Charrette and why the Town Centre?
Over the past 40 years Dunblane’s community size and needs have outgrown its centre. It was hoped that the Charrette would help define, design and develop our town centre to appropriately support the whole community through business, service and leisure amenities over the next 20 year. Also, the Stirling Local Development Plan has a stated intention to create a Spatial Strategy for Dunblane town centre and “environs”. A Charrette leads to an action plan that guides the best use of available resources. With funding from the Scottish Government Charette Programme we were able to hold the Charrette in April 2015.
What happened in the Charrette?
In March, working with PAS our consultants, we held a series of preparatory exercises included a survey, “issue raising” community workshops and activities involving school children. Local people attended a 4 day event (the Charrette) in April to generate ideas for designing the future of their town centre by addressing several questions including: How could it function as a focal point for community interaction? What should its boundaries be? How could the spaces within those boundaries develop to satisfy future community need?
What was the outcome?
A Vision was developed to help guide our actions in the future: ‘The Dunblane community wants the Town Centre area to be a vibrant, healthy and inclusive place for people to live, work and visit’. Ideas generated at the Charrette workshops helped formulate FIVE principles for the future development of our town centre:
- Vibrancy & sustainability
- Capitalising on our natural and built heritage.
- Supporting community cohesion.
- Meeting the future needs of the community.
What happened after the Charrette?
A report was published in September and the Steering Group (now called the Dunblane Community Partnership) has been considering the report and developing a draft Community Action Plan.
To help develop the Action Plan, a report & proposed action plan was produced. In January 2016, everybody living or working in Dunblane was invited to give their views on these action proposals through an online survey. From the survey, the priority areas from which clear immediate actions should be identified are:
- Balancing the accessibility needs of pedestrians, businesses and car users in the Town centre area
- Improving the Riverside area
- The future maintenance and development of public services/buildings, particularly with regard to public toilets
- Further investigation of future opportunities for use of space in and adjacent to the town centre
The Community Action Plan
Representatives of Dunblane Community Council, Dunblane Development Trust and Discover Dunblane took the information generated through the Charrette and the responses from the online survey and put together a draft Community Action Plan to guide activity and partnership working and support our efforts to raise funding. The draft Community Action plan has Five Themes and Ideas for future actions. A copy of the draft Community Action Plan can be found here
1. A Vibrant and Sustainable Town Centre for People and Community Activity - concerned with the promotion of the town centre and its facilities.
- Devise a promotional and marketing strategy
- Maintain and promote commercial activity in the town centre
- Explore how adequate provision of public toilets can be achieved
2. An Accessible Town Centre - concerned with walking and cycling, parking and public transport.
- Devise a signage and mapping strategy to promote walking and cycling routes
- Develop street design where pedestrians and vehicles share the roadway
- Create a revised Parking Strategy (to include cycle parking)
- Develop car sharing/pooling with online support
3. A Town Centre that Capitalises on its Natural and Built Heritage - concerns the assets in the town centre (green spaces, buildings, the river) and how they can be preserved, improved and promoted
- Devise a programme for enhancing the riverside; including the Millrow area
- Improve parklands and preserve green spaces
- Establish and promote walking tours
- Enhance the fabric of town centre buildings and street frontages
4. An Inclusive Town Centre that supports Community Cohesion - concerns supporting greater involvement of local people in activities that reflect the needs of all sections of the community
- Clarify options for community management of existing Council property
- Explore how the community could be better organised to deliver agreed actions
- Develop stronger links between different interest groups in Dunblane
- Explore volunteering strategy to encourage more people to actively engage in community life
- Foster stronger links between local schools and community to explore needs of
5. A Town Centre that meets the Future Needs of the Community - concerns looking at how future development is managed
- Explore options for further integration of the dual carriageway area with town centre activity
- Undertake a longer term study for the future development of town centre