Carnoustie people turned out in force this week to give their views on how the town’s future should be shaped.
The Vision for Carnoustie drop-in consultation sessions were held in the Kinloch Arms on Tuesday afternoon and evening to allow townsfolk to make suggestions for amenities and to help the local planning team for Carnoustie to shape their proposals.
And despite the wintry conditions around 100 people visited the community planning officers and submitted comment forms with their suggestions or affixed notes to a suggestion board.
A giant map of the town was set up in the centre of the Rannoch Lounge with red markers pinpointing existing civic amenities as well as suggested sites for future projects.
Among those suggestions was for the much-discussed business park to be sited either south of Kinloch Street or on agricultural land along Pitskelly Road, with the same site also suggested for a supermarket and a petrol station.
Another suggestion was the development of the Fairy Steps to provide access to Muirdrum, an issue which has been brought up before.
The Carnoustie local planning team from Angus Council organised the event which served as a follow up to a previous consultation meeting.
Elaine McLeod from the Community Planning Team said: “At the event held in November we had representatives from various community organisations.
“This is what was suggested and now we are giving people who were not there a say, to give them a chance to say they want this or that.
“There’s been a lot of good suggestions and we’ve heard a lot of people chatting to each other, speaking about all of these things.
“It’s a great starting point to allow us to know what the community wants for the town.”
Beverley Gibb, also from the Community Planning Team added: “This event is about the long term vision for Carnoustie. It is about finding out the priorities that people want.”
In attendance at the evening session was Councillor Bill Bowles, who was very pleased with the turnout.
He said: “It’s phenomenal considering the weather, it’s a great turnout, we never expected this many, even on a good night. This is real community involvement.
“I think it’s been particularly successful. It’s great, there’s been a lot of debate about the community trying to design the town they want rather than the developers doing it for financial gain. This is absolutely the way it should be.”
Councillor Brian Boyd was an observer at both sessions and agreed with his fellow councillor. He said: “I was very pleased to see as many people turning out to give their comments on the town.
“I think there were approximately 100 people in the afternoon and evening, which is not bad when the weather was so terrible.
“It was really great it didn’t just become a meet and greet, but a lot of positive and constructive suggestions were made.”
One of the issues raised by visitors concerned future expansion of the town. Councillor Boyd said: “People want us to sort out the brownfield sites in the town before building more houses outside of the boundary.
“Let’s sort out the middle of Carnoustie before we think about expanding to the east and west.”
Chair of the Carnoustie Development Group, Peter Burke, was also pleased with the response from local folk.
He said: “There was a lot of discussion and a lot of thought going on. People were sitting at tables thinking very hard and putting their ideas down on pieces of paper which the planning team were keeping track of.
“I was explaining to people some of the things in the main issues report that not everybody had seen and how it all fitted together with regards to the main issues report.
“By the number of people who came, they obviously thought it was a very good idea and took full advantage of it.
“Hopefully those who are interested in the town were able to make their voices heard.”
The local community planning team, which is based at the Carnoustie ACCESS Office will now collate and present the information gathered and prepare for the next stage of community consultation.
The local planning team would like to hear suggestions from anyone who missed the consultation events on Tuesday.
To make your voice heard contact them on 01241 803562 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
n How would you like to see Carnoustie develop? What facilities does the town need and what changes could it benefit from? Send your thoughts to email@example.com, or tweet @heraldjohnston