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Dumbarton moves to consolidate its town centre

August 28 2023

Dumbarton moves to consolidate its town centre

ThreeSixty Architecture has commenced detailed design work for the redevelopment of Dumbarton's Artizan Centre for West Dunbartonshire Council.

Central to the future of the town the sprawling site is being taken on by the local authority with ambitions to reimagine the site as an integral part of the town centre - by consolidating retail and introducing new housing and public spaces.

Strengthening connections between the station and the High Street the initial proposals seek to 'repopulate, rebalance and reposition' the town centre through a process of consolidation, emphasising ground floor retail and the promotion of cycling and walking.

Initial ideas include the formation of several residential quarters, a community hub and a new gateway to the town centre leading from the train station, including upgraded public realm.

A public consultation has been launched by the council, running until 9 October, to inform the design process ahead of an application for planning in principle.

A new public route will slice through the site
A new public route will slice through the site
Indicative sketch ideas show how the High Street can better connect to the train station
Indicative sketch ideas show how the High Street can better connect to the train station


Cahir Mac
#1 Posted by Cahir Mac on 28 Aug 2023 at 15:33 PM
Any new development needs a town 'square' type of place. Something like Colquhoun square in Helensburgh. Somewhere for people to meet and have farmers markets etc.
Graeme McCormick
#2 Posted by Graeme McCormick on 28 Aug 2023 at 16:00 PM
This proposal isn't even half-baked. There has been a complete failure to re-imagine the town centre and its relationship with shopping and the Castle.

A few years ago Anderson Bell Christie convened a Charrette to discuss these very points, and a lot of interesting ideas were offered, including creating a new entry to the castle facing the town centre with the football pitch turned 90 degrees for additional use as an esplanade with suitable flooring ti protect the pitch.

Despite having a host of interesting and historic buildings in the High Street many are in a dilpidated state especially in the upper levels.

Retail has largely migrated east to the St James development. The council should work with these owners to include small shops, etc. and make a positive recognition and contribution to that fact. There is space to expand.

The High Street and surrounding can still have retail, hospitality , cultural, etc. but the thrust should be towards conversion to housing of all types. Looking at the photograph, the back of the High Street buildings back on to the service road between them and the river. What a missed opportunity. That ratbag of ugliness could be obscured by housing on the council owned carparks which border the river. There would still be space for a walkway , and the general look of the area would be transformed. Given that the council already own the car parks this must be considered as part of the proposal.
#3 Posted by Roddy_ on 28 Aug 2023 at 21:36 PM
Hmmm... a new 'civic space' that appears to be bounded on one side by surface car parking. Difficult to see this as anything other than sub-optimal if there is no proper enclosure and activation to the space.

The big issues with Dumbarton are the insane amount of surface parking for a town of its size (which needs to be reduced incrementally) and the way the town turns its back to the river (it has done so since before the Modern Town and needs to be addressed).
The historic town maps give clues as to how a resilient and granular cadastral pattern might be re-estalished...

The axis of the adjacent St James Retail park and Morrisons means that the town centre will always be vampirised - providing that extra traffic on car dominated streets (creating severance) and full of passengers with no need-or inclination- of stopping in the town centre.

Town Planning according to artistic principles....?
#4 Posted by Peter on 29 Aug 2023 at 07:08 AM
Complete waste of tax payers money. Request an open meeting for Dumbarton public to voice a no confidence vote on present council.
#5 Posted by Leven on 29 Aug 2023 at 12:39 PM
It's almost as if neither Roddy or Graeme have realise the area between the river and the high street is designated as high risk for coastal and river flooding by SEPA. Remove the car parks and landscape it with the preceding in mind, but don't develop it.
#6 Posted by Roddy_ on 29 Aug 2023 at 15:07 PM
Quite well aware of the flood risk.
Agree with the numerous proposals to turn the waterfront into a linear park and also to encourage the rear of plots to the High Street to become more responsive to that edge. Efforts to do this with Glencairn House are a good start and will be a good precedent when complete.
#7 Posted by Ann on 29 Aug 2023 at 18:41 PM
No amount a new building will make the town centre a nicer place. It is a complete dump and full of people with addictions. Not a nice place to walk in.
#8 Posted by Darren on 30 Aug 2023 at 15:35 PM
Great, just what Dumbarton doesn't need, another talking shop. Dumbarton has potential. But I'm afraid the Council need to have a coherent plan, which will involve spending large sums of money, then the people need to play their part. The council don't have that money, and form what I can see, most people just don't care.
erik archer
#9 Posted by erik archer on 4 Sep 2023 at 12:34 PM
Turn it around a face the river. Our waterside and water assets have been neglected, think bigger and also attract a new a bigger audience.

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