Latest news – October 2021
The environmental improvements to the Tontine area around north Buchanan Street were due to take place this Autumn. However, elements of this work would require a partial or full closure of the A875 through Balfron, which is currently being used as the diversion route for HGVs due to the Branshogle / Catterburn Bridge closures. To avoid further disruption to road users, this phase of the Balfron Active Places project has been delayed and instead will take place in Spring 2023.
Latest news – September 2020
Following last year’s community engagement and consultation exercise undertaken as part of the Balfron Active Places project, the improvement works to The Clachan and Printers Row started on 28th September 2020.
The works reflect the outcomes that were highlighted by the community during the consultations, such as:
- Improve the public realm and create space that provides enjoyment, comfort and protection.
- Provide positive road safety impact. Improve pedestrian and cyclist circulation.
- Improve accessibility for those with impaired mobility.
Full details, including plans of the two areas can be seen at https://balfronactiveplacesproposals.commonplace.is/
Our story so far
In 2014 Balfron Community Council began a series of community consultations on the most pressing issues facing the village now and in the future.
In 2016 we produced a statistical report A Space for Living, which identified a range of problems relating to transport, access and amenities.
In February 2107 we produced A Space for Living: Next Steps. This document identified a series of desirable outcomes against which all future development should be assessed and offered ways in which we might design our aspirations for the future.
This led to a very positive collaboration with Stirling Council, and in partnership with them we appointed landscape architects Austin-Smith:Lord, supported by traffic and transport planners TPL, to turn our desired outcomes into a range of practical proposals.
Austin-Smith:Lord’s draft proposals were presented at a very successful Street Event in Buchanan Street in May 2018. We had wonderful weather and a great turn-out from the community. As well as the main exhibition in Doyle’s Café, we had pop-up stalls around Buchanan Street, promoting the work of Incredible Edibles Balfron, Balfron Pathways, and the War Memorial Crowdfunding Appeal.
The plans were subsequently exhibited in Balfron Library, and using Comment Sheets and Pledge Cards you told us your thoughts and how you might be able to support the work.
A full Placemaking and Public Estate report was published by A-S:L in July 2018.
As a result of the work completed, Stirling Council, on behalf of the Community Council, submitted an application to Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links programme, and in November 2018 we were awarded £250,000 to enable the full design of an Active Travel Plan for Balfron. This now progresses under the banner Balfron Active Places – A Space for Living initiative.
On the 2nd April 2019 we held a Design Consultation event focusing the two main gateways to the village: the Clachan and Printer’s Row. The event was very well attended and feedback received made a significant contribution to the plans, improving them and making them work for the best outcome for the village.
In May 2019, in partnership with Balfron Community Council, Stirling Council submitted an application to Sustrans to move to the construction phase for the two main ‘gateways’ to the village: The Clachan and Printer’s Row.
In June and July 2019, two further Design Consultation events were held focusing Buchanan Street North, Buchanan Street South, Station Road and a whole village Active Travel Plan. Again these events were well attended with feedback received incorporated into the final proposals for the village.
On 5th October 2019, all the proposed plans were brought together and presented to the community. The story of our community driven project was shared, starting from the original concerns around road safety and the opportunities identified for active travel. Central to the day was the final proposals for the areas of focus in the village namely, the Clachan, Buchanan Street North, Buchanan Street South, Printers Row and Station Road. The presentations also showed how each proposal was developed and changed as feedback from the community was incorporated. The results from the October event were consolidated and are available via the website’s latest news.
Good progress on design work continued over the winter of 2019-2020 with work due to start on the Clachan and Printers Row in Spring 2020. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, work was halted while the country went into lockdown. But at last, on 28th September 2020, work started on Clachan!
Further details of all the proposed plans can be found on the Active Places website,.