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South Lanarkshire New Town bid facing rejection

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April 1 2014

South Lanarkshire New Town bid facing rejection
Plans to build a 3,000 home eco town in South Lanarkshire have been thrown into doubt after planning officials recommended that councillors reject the scheme.

Planners came to the view that the 400 acre site in the Douglas Valley was unsuitable for such a project as it did not fit into the local development plan.

Their report said: “The concept of a new town, based on the co-operative principles described by the applicants, could be acceptable in the right location and under the right circumstances.

"Overall, however, it is concluded the site the subject of the application is inappropriate." 

Owenstown had been conceived by the Homestead Foundation as a new community near New Lanark which would be founded on co-operative principles.

Critics had warned of the negative consequences for existing settlements however, regarding claimed connections with Robert Owen to be nothing more than a cynical marketing ploy.

The Homestead Foundation have said they plan to appeal.

10 Comments

CADMonkey
#1 Posted by CADMonkey on 1 Apr 2014 at 12:42 PM
Well it certainly shouldn't be refused on grounds of architectural quality.
Chris
#2 Posted by Chris on 1 Apr 2014 at 13:11 PM
Finally a council with the right priorities. We should be focusing on the regeneration of existing towns and villages instead of creating these fake disneyland enclaves for the rich to isolate themselves in.
Ella h
#3 Posted by Ella h on 1 Apr 2014 at 13:24 PM
Chris, no one with money would ever want to live in South Lanarkshire.... NEw housing has to go somewhere. Being realistic the choice is taking more on to motorway junctions and creating more awful places with no community. OR creating a new town that can actually have a sense of place. I wouldn't advocate the disneyland approach, but to refuse the plan outright is wrong and short sighted. It shows that the planning policy is not equipped to deliever a quality development. They should have been able to shape this to be somewhere progressive and exciting. Now they have this rubbish and want to stop it.
GMan
#4 Posted by GMan on 1 Apr 2014 at 14:16 PM
Another vision rejected by a planning authority run by a tick box philosophy. Admittedly this project has a "Trueman Show" feel about it, but what are Local Authorities offering as alternative these days.
Azej
#5 Posted by Azej on 1 Apr 2014 at 14:21 PM
Chris, I fully agree with you! There are thousands of places in Scotland where regeneration will be so very useful for the city and it's existing inhabitants. Regeneration would have far more social, economic and environmental advantages in comparison with this new town. Therefore, we should try to focus on the existing city and not create an isolated 'ideal' community. This would never become ideal, because it wouldn't provide enough jobs for it's inhabitants. Terefore, all the people will become even more dependent of a car and public transport. I think many developers and other people underestimate the potentials within cities for great new integrated communities, close to work, family, schools, shops, parks, amenities, leisure and without the loose of the countryside. So, forming integrated communities in cities will be the challenge of the future!
Chris
#6 Posted by Chris on 1 Apr 2014 at 14:40 PM
Ella the people behind these exurbs don't care about community or planning. They are built for the privileged few to escape the riff raff and are generally car-oriented. Why should we destroy the countryside and encourage the continued decline of pre-existing towns?
ella h
#7 Posted by ella h on 1 Apr 2014 at 14:51 PM
Because we have to be realistic about what developers will build and what is economically viable. Yes, where financially viable and realistic, regeneration should be pursued. Unfortunately, hosue builders don't want to build on a brownfield site in Carstairs because its too expensive and their customers don't want to live there. I would admire South LAnarkashire if I thought they really had good alternatives to this town, but seriously what are they? What will happen is more crap estates with no relation to anything dominated by cars.
Chris
#8 Posted by Chris on 1 Apr 2014 at 15:15 PM
So we should continue the status quo and allow private developers to build sub-par developments outside of main settlements on green field space, which rely on car-ownership more so than any town estate and are essentially enclaves for the rich to isolate themselves from the rest of society? Profit does not equate to sensible planning, and we should not let our country be exploited by self-interested developers.
ella h
#9 Posted by ella h on 1 Apr 2014 at 15:38 PM
If you read the proposals, OWenstown actually offers quite a lot of alternatives to the car, including an electric internal public transport system. The reason they can afford infrastructure is because of the quantity of development. You will not get this on small piecemeal sites located throughout the council area. If you look at the allocated sites in South Lan. Most are on the edge of settlements. It is nigh on impossible to create communities here that have a meaningful relationship with the town centre or are close enough to stations to get people out their cars. If be 'regeneration' you mean giant tesco's near new estates, then yes, you will get that. What you wont get is 'place'. New towns offer compact settlements that can have high quality spaces that residents both new and existing can enjoy. Quality, of coarse, is an issue. The Planning Department should have been all over this and making sure it was less 'mock' scotland. It is also up to the them to ensure affordable housing is provided at appropriate levels that include more than the rich. A high quality place will bring more money in to south lanarkshire. More people to use its facilities. No we shouldn't be rule dby developers - but we should control them by having planners that are capable of it.
Azej
#10 Posted by Azej on 1 Apr 2014 at 21:56 PM
Ella H wrote: ''If you read the proposals, OWenstown actually offers quite a lot of alternatives to the car, including an electric internal public transport system. The reason they can afford infrastructure is because of the quantity of development. You will not get this on small piecemeal sites located throughout the council area. ''

^ it is no problem you couldn't get that when you do infill and regeneration, because in that case you wouldn't need it.

Furthermore, I think it is a nice and attractive challenge to create fine 'places' within the urban framework! A sustainable challenge where everyone would profit!

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