Placemaking in Whitburn
Placemaking in Whitburn
A 'masterplan' has been finalised for Whitburn in December 2015 which outlines how to develop the town.
Update 4th October 2016
Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant's Fund
An application has been submitted to the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund to enhancing the council's allocation for a Partnership Centre in Whitburn which would also invest in the community centre to enhance it as a learning centre for all ages. The RCGF Panel meets on Thursday 15 September to consider which applications will progress to Stage 2.
- Review of College Provision: West Lothian College is undertaking a 'community needs analysis' of Whitburn to inform options for how it can enhance further education opportunities within Whitburn and the surrounding areas.
- Regeneration Planning: As part of the process for developing Regeneration Plans across West Lothian, the WRAG is reviewing the community actions section of the masterplan and has identified opportunities to help promote the Heartlands and Polkemmet Country Park, and a desire for a project which will support volunteering/active citizenship within the community. To help initiate this, the council will apply to the Scottish Governments Activating Ideas fund on behalf of the group for funding to help develop these into action.
Green Network and Active Travel
The Green Network Group for Whitburn has been initiated and begun identifying projects to form a Green Infrastructure and Active Travel Plan for the town to inform future capital spend for the town and attract external funding.
Following engagement with partners, officers have put forward projects to be considered through the council's own capital programming process. Through the process of establishing what may be able to funded by future capital programming, engagement will continue with partners to identify what could be funded externally.
In terms of active travel, two projects which are developing are the B8084 Whitburn - Armadale Road project and the A706/B7066 cycle path project to connect the network to Whitburn to Bathgate and to Greenrigg on the western side.
To help initiate progress towards a Heritage Trail in Whitburn, which was one of the projects within the masterplan's Development Framework, officers will look to meet with community representatives from the group specifically around this in late September. A similar project in Armadale was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund.
Links to Integrated Joint Board
Representatives from Health are keen to link the newly emerging locality structures for adult health and social care with the regeneration efforts in Whitburn via the WRAG. It is expected that the WRAG will be the conduit for better establishing local needs as the IHB project develops. At the last meeting of the WRAG group, community representatives contributed points around local health-related issues.
Engagement continues by Council officers with owners of vacant, semi/derelict and under-utilised sites on West Main Street, to establish future use intentions and entice physical improvement. Council officers are monitoring a range of prospective actions by landowners ranging from: the marketing of one site for formal sale; progression of a building warrant for end implementation to allow re-use; request for carrying out of physical environmental and amenity focused improvements to buildings, frontages and land; and consideration of other potential improvement measures.
104-108 West Main Street
Notice served under Section 272, by Council's Planning Service, to owners. The owners responded in mid May 2016, stating that despite plans to demolish the building and build new commercial that they have decided to now formally place the property for sale within the next 6 weeks. Council officers have since been advised by owners (9 Sept) that they are still looking for purchasers but that demolition costs are a deterrent. Council officers are seeking approval to re-initiate enforcement action through serving amenity notices which would seek the demolition of the building.
111 West Main Street
Formal notice approach is being reviewed by the Council's Planning Service, with respect to the Former Miners Welfare Club site.
Placemaking in Whitburn
In March and April 2015, funding was provided by the Scottish Government and the council to undertake a town centre 'charrette' (an intensive planning and community engagement exercise) in Whitburn. This recognised that an approach that looked at the planned and potential investments for the town as a whole was required.
The purpose of the charrette was to integrate the various elements of planned investment and activity into a single cohesive masterplan for the area to:
- maximise investment through providing decision-makers with an evidence based, holistic plan for the town to inform resource allocation and attract external funding;
- create a shared vision for the town and wider Whitburn area, in particular, to inform planning for the town centre and partnership centre;
- better link and integrate the Heartlands development and Polkemmet Country Park with the town centre; and
- ensure effective community involvement in regenerating the Whitburn area, and provide a basis for future community engagement for the development of the town.
The full report Placemaking In Whitburn Final Report 8 December 2015 [6Mb] was finalised in December 2015 and is split into two main parts:
- Action Plan: This is based on the four themes which emerged at the outset of the charrette. This covers some aspects of the development framework but focuses on the other actions for council, Community Planning Partners and community organisations.
- Development Framework: This is split into three parts: buildings, landscape and transport; and is intended to provide a comprehensive framework for moving forward and an ongoing reference point for funders and decision makers. The options are prioritised and references to them are made within the action plan.
Progress on the implementation of the masterplan will be reported to the meetings of the Whitburn and Blackburn Local Area Committee, the reports for which are available on COINS here http://coins.westlothian.gov.uk/coins/default.asp
For further information contact Scott McKillop, Community Regeneration Officer, Area Services, West Lothian Council, Tel: 01506 281092 or Email:firstname.lastname@example.org