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Past, Present, Future: Cornton and Causewayhead

Continuing our new series inspired by sifting through some of our old planning maps (see our earlier post here) today we are looking at the Cornton and Causewayhead areas of the city.

Cornton

Like the Kildean Loop post this map also dates from 1947 and looks to be in use into the mid-1960s. The area to the west of the railway line is just beginning to show the footprint of the then new development of Cornton with the outline of Strathmore Crescent just about visible. The new estate would eventually spread further south towards the river, with new development taking place for many years. The estate at Westhaugh is still very much open farmland at this point. Today’s residents of Bracken Lane, The Meadows and Fernbank might be surprised to learn that their houses now occupy what was a Bacon Factory!

Across the railway Causewayhead is slowly growing with development along Easter Cornton Road and the map shows the continued construction of this estate. Later this site would also contain the new Wallace High School. Causewayhead also used to have its own train station and goods yard on the Alloa line, just opposite Cleuch Road.

Conrton today

Today much has changed in the area! There has been significant residential expansion on both sides of the railway bridge and the Wallace High School has moved to a new site north of Easter Cornton Road. Whilst the railway line to Alloa has now been reopened to passenger traffic after being closed for many years, the railway station was not part of the plans. Today housing occupies the site but the path down to what was the level crossing is still there.

Cornton future

Looking to the future, the Local Development Plan shows some more housing development and potential new infrastructure requirements in the area. Cornton is still undergoing some regeneration with new housing being complete at Adamson Place and development underway at Johnston Avenue. On the Causewayhead side of the railway, housing on the former St Modans high school site is now complete and future residential development is identified at Riverbank Works, sandwiched between the Alloa railway line and the river.

In terms of infrastructure land has been safeguarded and identified for a potential link road, part of the Kildean link road talked about in the last blog, and for a new primary school should there be a need for future education provision in the north of the city.

If this post has piqued your interest in old maps of your area then a good place to have a nosy around is the National Library of Scotland, handily they have a wealth of information online so check out https://maps.nls.uk/

 

Past, Present, Future: Kildean Loop

Hello! Welcome to a new series inspired by sifting through some of our old planning maps. Us planners today don’t realise how good we have it with access to most information a few clicks away, but back in the pre-digital era every planning application had to be physically marked on large maps that covered the entire area. The files were then stored separately so there was a bit of digging to get all the information and you had to wait a few years for the maps to be updated to show the impact of the new developments. Today this information is all stored electronically, easily found and many updates can be almost instantaneous.

Looking at the maps inspired us to see how the areas have changed over the years and morphed into what they are today. And as planning is about planning for the future we have looked at the next Local Development Plan to see what the proposals are and this will give us a glimpse of how these areas might change in the future.

Cornton_old plan

The picture above is the Kildean Loop area from a map dated 1947. On the map you can see the hand drawings showing where the then new Kildean Auction Mart, and its planning application number, was to be built. We can tell from the planning application numbers this 1947 map was still in use in the mid-1960s! Just south of the auction mart is the edge of Raploch is visible with the, now demolished original Raploch Primary and St Mary’s Primary, sitting just north of the Railway line that used to connect Stirling with its western villages. Also note the inclusion of Perthshire on the maps! It may come as a surprise to some of the younger residents of the area that anything north of the Forth used to come under Perthshire. This change is a bone of contention for some older residents who, after local government reorganisation, controversially found themselves under the new Stirling District!

KildeanLoop

The google image above shows the same area today. There has been some big changes since the 1960s! The M9 now drives north through the area along the eastern edge of Craigforth, which itself has been expanded to include a business park. Another business park, Castle Business Park, has been created to the east of the M9 on the edge of the now cleared schools site. The auction market has since closed and the area is now home to a mixed use development including a campus of Forth Valley College, a new pub and hotel and a new site of approx. 200 houses is being created. On the western side of the M9 on what used to be a former army camp to the north of Drip Bridge is today the Stirling branch of Dobbies Garden Centre.

KildeanPlan

Looking to the future, the next Local Development Plan predicts more change for the area. Most of the southern portion of the Kildean Loop is identified for more future development including the continued building out of the current Barratt housing site and the creation of more land for employment use. Regeneration in Raploch is set to continue apace with the Former Raploch Schools site, marked in pink H061 on the map, identified for housing and the Council has recently approved a planning application for housing there. Craigforth house is identified as a future potential housing site as a conversion of the existing building. Junction 10 of the M9 is identified as needing some infrastructure upgrades to cope with the wider growth in the Stirling area and as part of the City Deal there is potential for a new road bridge cutting through the Kildean Loop and crossing the river into Cornton.

Perhaps not everything in the plan will come forward but one thing is for sure, places rarely stand still. So it will be interesting for future planners to ‘look back’ to today in 20, 30 years’ time and see what’s changed by then. Maybe the M9 will be ripped up as it won’t be needed as we will all be flying on highways in the sky? Or maybe there will be a new railway or light rail line in its place…?

If this post has piqued your interest in old maps of your area then a good place to have a nosy around is the National Library of Scotland, handily they have a wealth of information online so check out https://maps.nls.uk/

INNER FORTH LANDSCAPE INITIATIVE

The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) is a Heritage Lottery funded partnership scheme to protect, enhance and celebrate the area’s rich cultural and natural heritage, and to enable local people and visitors to understand the importance of the Inner Forth to the environment and cultural development of Scotland. It covers an area of 202 km2 on both sides of the Forth, from the historic Old Stirling Bridge to Blackness Castle and Rosyth. It includes the river, estuary and inter-tidal zone, floodplain, coastal margins and nearby communities. The four year programme of works commenced in May 2014 and is now entering its final few months.

Partners include Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Councils, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT), Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland and Sustrans. The RSPB are lead partner and supported a small team of staff responsible for day to day running. In addition, the Initiative worked in collaboration with a wide range of national and local organisations and community groups who play a significant role in the development and delivery of projects. These include Buglife Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation Scotland.

IFLI have developed 50 projects with a range of multiple benefits including:

  • Connecting habitats and enhancing biodiversity.
  • Celebrating, protecting and improving access to important historical and natural features.
  • Training and supporting committed and motivated local community groups, individuals and organisations to conserve the area’s heritage.
  • Increasing physical and intellectual access to the area’s important heritage.
  • Increasing local pride.

Further information on IFLI, individual projects and research reports, can be found via this link www.innerforthlandscape.co.uk

STIRLING COUNCIL AREA PROJECTS

Within the Stirling Council area the following projects were implemented.

FALLIN BING

Fallen Bing serves as a reminder of the mining heritage of the Inner Forth and offers opportunities for the community to learn about the past, whilst undertaking activity which contributes to a healthy active lifestyle and a flourishing ecosystem. It is the focus of several projects.

In 2014-15 and 2016-17, volunteers managed by Buglife undertook scrub and invasive plant removal and created a wildflower meadow. Path improvement works and woodland planting is also being  carried out by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust.

It will also be the site of an interpretation beacon, part of a wider ‘Telling the Inner Forth Story’  project, to help  people reconnect with the very special historic, cultural and natural landscape of the Inner Forth.

WESTER MOSS

Wester Moss is adjacent to Fallen Bing. The 30ha nature reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its expanse of lowland raised bog, a rare and vital habitat for wildlife.  It also provide ‘ecosystem services’ for the nearby area, including carbon and water storage, and flood prevention.

The project aimed to safeguard the wildlife interests by reducing the rate of water loss. In October 2015 a 500m bund was formed round the southern edge to help stop water draining away. By making the Moss wetter Butterfly Conservation Scotland hopes to encourage more sphagnum mosses, the building blocks of the bog, to grow, in turn encouraging wildlife to flourish, including rare butterflies like the large heath butterfly, At a recent bog action day volunteers created a new dam and ‘seeded’  the newly created pools with sphagnum mosses. A further volunteer work party in early September 2016 removed shrubs to further aid restoration of the site. Notable species of butterfly and dragon fly have been confirmed to be breeding on the site.

CAMBUSKENNETH WATERGATE

The aim of this project was to locate and find out more about the historic watergate and harbour for the Abbey at Cambuskenneth.

Between 7 and 18 September 2015 volunteers, college students and school children worked with and learnt new skills from professional archaeologists, historians, metal detectorists and geophysicists. The team undertook field-walking, geophysical surveying, metal detecting and excavation of key locations.  All artefacts were identified and catalogued. Volunteers and pupils made an invaluable contribution to the site’s history and heritage.

GUARD Archaeology have complied two reports on the findings: Abbots, Kings and Lost Harbours: Looking for Cambuskenneth Watergate, which covers the dig itself and the initial finds, followed by a final technical report analysing the finds.  It also feeds into another IFLI project, Forth Crossings, investigating historic trade along the Inner Forth.

RC Image2 07 06 18

Aerial View Cambuskenneth  Image © RCAHMS

RC Image 07 06 18

St. Ninian’s Primary uncovering Harbour Image © Warren Baillie Guard Archaeology

ABBEY CRAIG

Path improvements and an additional interpretation panel at an Abbey Craig viewpoint have been provided.

STUDENT BURSARIES

Bursaries have been awarded to support University of Stirling students researching  Kennetpans Distillery, ‘Conserving Communities‘ and memories of Stirling’s lost harbour. The results of these studies will be available on the IFLI website when they are finished.

LEGACY PLANNING

RSPB are currently in discussions with partners to explore options to build on the success of IFLI and continue partnership working.

 

Further Information is given on the following leaflet:

STIRLING COUNCIL: A PARTNER IN IFLI`S SUCCESS

IFLI Leaflet - Stirling Council - A Partner in IFLI's Success - June 2018_Page_1

IFLI Leaflet - Stirling Council - A Partner in IFLI's Success - June 2018_Page_2

 

 

King’s Park Rifle Range

In recent months the Council has just finished a wonderful new upgrade to the path around King’s Park (the medieval royal park around the castle, now the golf course) and if you haven’t gone round then you’re missing a treat, as there are magnificent views of the castle and carse, although, watch out for stray golf balls which can catch you unawares as you lose yourself in the views.

However, 100 years ago you would have faced a much more serious danger from the King’s Park rifle club, which operated against the cliffs between the Homesteads and the Falleninch.

KingsParkRifleRange

 

Extract of the 1st Edition Ordnance survey map courtesy of the National Map Library of Scotland

The upgrade to the path recovered 75 individual pieces of spent shot, including musket balls, Enfield and Martin-Henry ammunition. Which of course means that where you walk today was being hit!

A short article in the Dundee Courier of 11th May 1886 records that the Rifle Range has been reopened after having been closed for several months to allow alterations to prevent over shots, though there is no record of any injuries!  However, it is clear these changes were not entirely successful as at least one spent shot was made post 1887 and several from the early 20th century!

The club was abandoned in the early 20th century and I can now confirm that the path is safe to use, though watch out for golf balls!

 

Council approves Stirling Local Development Plan

Entire Report Draft 03_05_2018 1

On Thursday morning, the Stirling Local Development Plan: Modified Plan was approved at a full meeting of Stirling Council. We will now move to adopt the Plan; publishing and advertising a final version of the plan, the agreed modifications to the proposed plan and a notice of our intention to adopt.

This information will also be submitted to Scottish Ministers. The plan will be formally adopted 28 days after being sent to Scottish Ministers, unless Ministers direct otherwise.

The review of the existing Local Development Plan, adopted in 2014, commenced in December 2014.  A proposed plan was published for in June 2016, with around 200 responses received during a 12-week consultation.  A summary of these representations plus the council’s response was submitted for examination by the Scottish Government’s Department for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) in February 2017 and the Report of Examination issued to the council in November 2017.

In approving the Local Development Plan, Members also approved the council’s response to the recommendations made by the Reporter, set out in the Examination Report, and modifications to the Proposed Plan.

The council meeting also noted a position statement on the council’s current housing land supply position and forthcoming work to deliver housing development. The new Local Development Plan, which will be accompanied by an Action Programme, will be a key policy document of the council. It sets out how the Stirling area will grow and develop over the 10 to 20 years and provides a set of robust policies against which development proposals will be assessed.

Further information about the council’s response to the DPEA’s recommendations in respect of the Proposed Stirling Local Development Plan; the Local Development Plan as modified by the Report of Examination and the associated Environmental Report considered and approved at the council meeting is set out the in the committee report (Agenda Item 10): http://minutes.stirling.gov.uk/PDFs/Scouncil/Agendas/CouncilAgenda.pdf

thumbnail_Stirling Castle Bridge View

 

Hutting and the Carbeth Estate

Shielings, mountain bothies and wooden huts – modest, rustic buildings – are recognised features of rural Scotland and a part of Scotland’s cultural heritage. As well as being built by fishermen, crofters and gamekeepers for shelter, they have provided a place for rest, recreation, cultural activities and spending time with family and friends in the hills, forests and countryside.

A century ago, hutting became increasingly popular with industrial workers, providing the opportunity to escape the city for weekends and short breaks in the countryside. It was for this reason the Clarion Scouts, a socialist movement, were permitted by landowner Allan Barnes-Graham to establish summer camps at the Carbeth Estate near Strathblane from 1895. Wooden floors constructed for tents evolved and, following the Great War of 1914-1918, Barns-Graham allowed the first ‘Carbeth Huts’ to be built.

Pic 1

Carbeth became a retreat for Clydeside residents, allowing them to escape the pollution and activity of their everyday lives in the shipyards and factories and enjoy fresh air and tranquility. The site continued to develop and by 1940 there was a shop, tea-room, pub, swimming pool and around 100 huts on the side. During the World War II, Carbeth hosted 1000s of evacuees and those made homeless by German air raids, in particular the Clydebank Blitz, and at one point there were as many as 250 huts on the estate. As Clydeside was gradually rebuilt following the war, families returned to the conurbation but Carbeth remained a popular retreat for weekends and summer holidays.

Pic 2

In the years following the 1940s and 50s, societal changes and other reasons saw an erosion of the hutting movement and declining hut numbers at Carbeth. Problems arose, including vandalism, arson, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.  Thankfully, in 2013 and following a protracted dispute over rents and the threat of eviction, the hut owners purchased the 90 site acre site and Carbeth is now going from strength-to-strength. Under community ownership, the Carbeth Hutters Community Company manage the site; the problems of the past are largely gone and the number of huts has risen again, to around 160.

For nearly 100 years, the huts at Carbeth have been characterised by a natural, if sometimes rickety, charm and piecemeal appearance arising from the fact they are ‘hand-made’ and have evolved over time. This organic form distinguishes them from chalets and has created a variety and individuality but an overall cohesion in style is apparent in building form, material and finishes used.

Pic 3

 

Carbeth huts typically have a floor area of 23 sq. m. but in many instances have been extended. They have low profile pitched roofs of 15-35° and are built from low impact materials: reclaimed, recycled or natural materials from sustainable sources, usually timber. Predominately, the huts are painted green with black, mineral felt roofs.

Sustainability and low carbon living is central to the ethos and tradition of hutting; huts at Carbeth are generally not connected to mains water, electricity or sewerage. Water is provided by communal standpipes, while most huts are heated by a wood burning stove.

The Carbeth Estate has been designated as a conservation area. A Conservation Area Character Appraisal was compiled in 2000 and recognises that the Carbeth Huts form an important feature of the estate, part of the mid-development phase of the designed landscape’s history.

Supplementary Guidance

We have prepared planning guidance in support of its policy for huts, at Carbeth and elsewhere within the Stirling area. The aim of this guidance is to ensure that proposals for new and replacement huts, including the creation of new hutting sites, achieve a high standard of quality with regards to siting, layout and design and enhance the environment.

The Supplementary Guidance provides guidelines on the siting, layout, design and use of both chalet and hut developments. The local development plan supports proposals for new chalet developments and huts where the landscape can accommodate such development without it being visually prominent; the supplementary guidance set outs in more detail where chalets and huts should be located, what they should look like and how they should be used.

The guidance relating to chalets – holiday letting accommodation constructed in timber or more traditional construction materials – has not been changed but the section on huts is new and will be particularly important at Carbeth given its historical significance.

The draft supplementary guidance can be found online at http://my.stirling.gov.uk/services/planning-and-the-environment/planning-and-building-standards/local-and-statutory-development-plans/local-development-plan/review-of-supplementary-guidance.

 We are inviting comments on this and two other supplementary guidance documents up until Friday 9th March 2018.  If you wish to make any comments then please either email us at ldp@stirling.gov.uk or write to us at SG Consultation, Planning & Building Standards, Stirling Council, Teith House, Stirling, FK7 9JF. Please don’t comment directly on this post if you have any comments as we can’t take them into account as part of the consultation!

 

Supplementary Guidance Consultation – Round 2!

 

As we highlighted in the blog in November, we are currently reviewing all 36 pieces of supplementary guidance that form part of the adopted Local Development Plan.

Supplementary guidance documents support policies within the Local Development Plan by providing more detailed information. They are used alongside the Local Development Plan to guide new development and assess planning applications made to the Council.

We are in the process of adopting a new Local Development Plan and all the existing supplementary guidance has to be reviewed, reissued for consultation and re-adopted. We are taking this opportunity to consolidate and update the information as appropriate. In most cases, the changes being proposed to each policy area are minor and it is simply a case of rolling forward the guidance to the new plan.

In November, we published guidance on advertisements, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), housing in the countryside and wind energy developments for consultation. We have now published draft Supplementary Guidance on the following subjects:

 

Chalet & Hut Developments

This Supplementary Guidance provides guidelines on the siting, layout, design and use of chalet and hut developments. The local development plan supports proposals for new chalet developments and huts where the landscape can accommodate such development without it being visually prominent; the supplementary guidance set outs in more detail where chalets and huts should be located, what they should look like and how they should be used.

Diag3

 

The guidance relating to chalets – holiday letting accommodation constructed in timber or more traditional construction materials – has not been changed but the section on huts is new. Huts provide small, usually ‘off-grid’, recreational accommodation. Carbeth, near Strathblane, is well established and historically important hutting site.

Diag1


Forestry & Woodland Strategy

The Forestry and Woodland Strategy covers both Stirling and Clackmannanshire Council Areas, providing a long-term spatial and policy framework for woodland expansion and management across the region.  Only minor changes have been made to the Strategy, for example updating references to national and local policy guidance and deleting of references to background appendices relating to the preparation and original consultation for the current Strategy. Sections 3 – Vision & Objectives and 4 – Opportunities for Woodland Expansion have not changed and will continue to apply across both Council Areas.

 

Small Settlements

The local development plan provides for the designation of ‘small settlements’ where the Council considers that small clusters or groups of buildings in the countryside require detailed attention to plan and identify opportunities for future development within them; set boundaries and limits to future development and/or put a stop to further growth if felt that the character of the group, its landscape setting, or technical constraints indicate that it has reached capacity.

The Small Settlements Supplementary Guidance sets out what constitutes a ‘small settlement’; establishes the process and procedures for identification of small settlements; sets out the assessment criteria used to establish boundaries and capacities of potential small settlements; and explains the planning policy implications of the designation.  It incorporates guidance for the one small settlement identified in the plan area, Blairhoyle.

The three drafts can be found online at http://my.stirling.gov.uk/services/planning-and-the-environment/planning-and-building-standards/local-and-statutory-development-plans/local-development-plan/review-of-supplementary-guidance.

 

We are inviting comments on these three documents up until Friday 9th March 2018.  If you wish to make any comments then please either email us at ldp@stirling.gov.uk or write to us at SG Consultation, Planning & Building Standards, Stirling Council, Teith House, Stirling, FK7 9JF. Please don’t comment directly on this post if you have any comments as we can’t take them into account as part of the consultation!

 

Please note that all our existing Supplementary Guidance remains in use until the new ones are adopted.

Cornton Vale

Cornton Vale, Scotland’s main jail for women which is just about to close, has a long and fascinating history: it started life as a late 19th century farm that after the 1890s was turned into a rehabilitation unit for middle class men with alcohol dependency problems. After this failed it was bought by the Church of Scotland and turned into  a ‘Labour colony’ which were common in Britain before 1939 and motivated by ‘training colonies’ associated with the German Lutheran church, although increasingly it recruited the unemployed with the primary aim to remove them from Scotland with a number transported to Canada. After World War 1 it helped to retrain jobless ex-servicemen and then in 1946 it was sold to the Scottish Office Prisons Department and until 1975, was run as an open borstal. In 1975, Cornton Vale women’s prison was formed of a total of 217 cells located over 5 houses.

The name ‘Cornton’ is in fact far older:  ‘Corn Toun’  or Corn Town and refers to a much older agricultural property dating to the middle ages when it was run by the Catholic Church. The oldest thing in Cornton, however, are the remains of a 2000 year old whale discovered under the level crossing, dating to an age when the Forth was much higher and Cornton was on the coast!

Cornton map

The first map of Cornton: Adair’s 1680s map, courtesy of the National Map library of Scotland http://maps.nls.uk/view/00001007

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Merry Christmas from the Planning and Building Standards Team.

Penguin2

We wish all of our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Please note that Planning and Building Standards will be closed from Monday 25th December 2017 until Tuesday 2nd January 2018 inclusively, and reopen for business on Wednesday 3rd January 2018.

Please keep an eye out for some new and exciting blog posts in the New Year!

Atlantic Wall Archeaology Insite

TOP SECRET….

The end of the Nazis started here…… This top-secret research and training ground was used in the preparation for D-Day, one of the most important events in world history.

Following the Nazi’s occupation of Europe, Hitler ordered the construction of a massive series of defences along Europe’s coastline, often using slave labour. The key element of these was the infamous Atlantic Wall designed to repel tanks. They were constructed from reinforced concrete, at which the German’s excelled.

In order to determine how to breach these walls in 1943 the British formed the Anti-Concrete Committee. The plans for the Atlantic Wall were smuggled out of occupied Europe in a biscuit tin. In order to work out how to breach these defences the British constructed a series of replicas across Britain and the biggest and best preserved of these is at Sheriffmuir, Stirling. Sheriffmuir was chosen for both its relative isolation and its proximity to the major transport hub at Stirling.

The complex of reconstructions reflects both German offensive and defensive positions and recreates the ground conditions and distances from the landing craft in the sea all the way to the wall. The Atlantic Wall at Sherriff Muir, is a massive block of reinforced concrete 86 m long and about 3 m in height and up to 3m thick. As it was used for target practice it’s covered with hundreds of missile impacts, if you close your eyes you can almost hear the explosions, feel the shocks and smell the gunpowder!

My favourite element is the Torbruk Shelter, which is to the immediate east of the wall and is based on the German tactic of burying tanks in sand, leaving only their main gun barrel exposed. The shelter develops this idea into two fixed gun positions and an underground shelter.

AtlanticWall image1AtlanticWall image2

TRAINING PRACTICE

There was a long history of military training at Sheriffmuir. Originally named ‘The Sheriff Muir’ it was used for medieval weaponshaws. In World War 1 the ground was laced with practice trenches which were constructed by the 52nd (Lowland) Division trained on the range before going to Gallipoli in 1915. Infamously many of these troops were killed in the Gretna Train Disaster on the 22nd May which resulted in the deaths of over 200 people and is still, to this day, Britain’s worst train crash.

Captain M. A. Philip (Brigade Signals Officer, 185 Bde 3 Div.) was involved in the Wall’s construction. He recollected:

“We began some Combined Operations exercises, pretty primitive at first, known as ‘dryshod-exercises’. A road or some other suitable landmark represented the coastline, and if you were on one side of it you were technically afloat and on the other side on land again. Men and vehicles were fed across the ‘coastline’ at specified intervals to represent landing craft discharging their contents.”

If you intend to visit the site, please note that it is on private ground, so please follow the Country Code. The ground is very uneven so watch your footing! Finally, there is a lot of broken and snapped iron rebar, so be very careful when you explore the remains.

Dr Murray Cook – Stirling Council Archaeologist