Close Menu

About The Project

Home » About The Project

Ladyfield: A 21st Century Village

The development of a masterplan for the Ladyfield site marks a further important milestone in evolution of The Crichton Quarter into an integrated, nationally significant sustainable 21st century community.

The masterplan draws out the unique characteristics of the existing historic, social and natural setting to develop a masterplan for an aspirational and outstanding intergenerational place. Best practice approaches to energy, conservation, active travel, housing, education and skills were adopted as part of the planning process.

** The Ladyfield Masterplan was submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council in February 2023. To view the masterplan and project updates click here **

The project team set out to develop a masterplan that can be adopted by Dumfries and Galloway Council as Planning Guidance taking into account the following key outcomes:

  • To identify the existing natural and designed landscape characteristics of the site and their impact on the broader context of the Crichton Quarter so that these can be enhanced and protected as part of any future development.
  • To identify existing transport networks and connections and develop an approach to form a new 20-minute neighbourhood based on active travel principles and reduced car reliance. This should look for connections into existing and proposed green networks and look at the site in its local context and broader links to Dumfries town centre.
  • To undertake technical studies for Drainage Impact Assessment, Sustainable Travel Plan, Landscape and habitat surveys, Historic environment and heritage assessment and Site Utilities Plan to underpin proposals with critical understanding of constraints and opportunities.
  • To work collaboratively and openly with the Crichton Trust, key stakeholders and the local community using best practice engagement techniques and processes to create a co-designed framework that puts local need at its heart.
  • To develop a framework for development which is harmonious with the special landscape setting and biodiversity of Ladyfield with a unique ‘sense of place’.
  • Building upon our experience, identify opportunities for a open-minded approach to house types and mix to create a Ladyfield family of homes appropriate to the local architectural and social context rather than looking for identikit, anywhere, ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions.
  • To set out a Housing Design Pattern Book for future development of Ladyfield
  • To identify opportunities for sustainable energy solutions within all proposed buildings and to test deliverable solutions for a sustainable district heating network.
  • To set out a framework for conservation, interpretation and landscape setting enhancement for the Ladyfield site and its integration with the Crichton Estate.
  • To improve and enhance the Ladyfield site as an open network of spaces for the enjoyment of all residents as a place of living, working, learning and recreation.


Understanding Ladyfield

The Ladyfield site extends to an area of c.22 hectares of undeveloped greenfield land approximately 2.5km south of Dumfries town centre. The Ladyfield site is owned by Dumfries & Galloway Council, who acquired it from the Secretary of State for Scotland in 1995 as part of a larger purchase of The Crichton Estate and buildings which had formed part of the former
Crichton Royal Psychiatric Hospital. The site is bounded by Glencaple Road (B725) to the east, Kingholm Road to the west, Kingholm Loaning to the south and Glencaple Avenue to the north. The site slopes from its high point on Glencaple Road towards the south and west with a ridge that runs north-south across the site. Existing, well-established, residential areas are located to both the north and south of the site.

To the east of Glencaple Road is The Crichton Estate which comprises a thriving campus for leisure, education and business development within approximately 85 hectares of landscaped parkland.

The built context of the Ladyfield site is defined by the two (listed) former dwellings of that name along with clusters of housing along Glencaple Road and Kingholm Road. Of these, the vernacular properties of the Ladyfield Villas addressing Glencaple Road and the Ladyfield Cottages offer greatest heritage value.

The eastern boundary to Glencaple Road is formed by a stone wall which varies in height from approx. 3m to 1m in places. These all sit within the boundary of the Crichton Conservation Area. To the south of the site, addressing Kingholm Loaning, are contemporary housing developments of mixed tenures which sit within the historic field patterns. These are primarily low density, two storey terraced, semi-detached and detached houses. On the River Nith sits the listed Kingholm Quay pier structures and listed early 19th century century houses amongst large industrial shed buildings. The northern edge of the site is defined by further contemporary housing dating from c.1970s of detached and semi-detached suburban dwellings typical of the period.

Planning Context: LDP2

Local Development Plan 2 sets out how and where land and property will be used in Dumfries and Galloway to realise the vision for the next 20 years. The written policies give guidance on all aspects of development, when it’ll be supported and when it won’t.

The Ladyfield site (DFS.H5) is allocated for 489 units until 2029 under the plans adopted by Dumfries & Galloway Council on 3rd Ocotber 2019. This sets out the clear parameters against which any proposals for development will be addressed. LDP2 notes that any future proposals will need to be consistent with the Crichton Quarter Development Framework and that a masterplan must be produced to take into account a number of issues such as:

• appropriate road network and connections in accordance with Designing Streets;
• linkages to the wider settlement;
• quality and layout of any development as the site is located adjacent and partly within the
conservation area at the Crichton and adjacent to the listed buildings at Ladyfield East and West;
• a phasing plan.

The allocation also hightlights that there is a history of flooding associated with this site and as a result a Drainage Impact Assessment (DIA) is required along with appropriate surface water management measures. The DIA should also identify what impact the development would have on the water and waste water networks.

A Transport Assessment will be required to consider any proposals outlining access considerations, traffic volumes, public transport and pedestrian/cycle provision. A survey of the woodland resource should inform the overall design of the scheme to incorporate the woodland and to show how trees will be appropriately protected during the construction period in accordance with Policy NE8: Trees and Development.

The work being undertaken as part of this commission will address these issues in the development of a strategic masterplan which will guide the future development of the Ladyfield site. The proposal will be developed through consultation with the community, taking into account the matters raised in the LDP2 allocation and in line with the aspirations of national planning and housing policy.

This project is supported by The UK Community Renewal Fund. The UK Community Renewal Fund is a UK Government programme for 2021/22. This aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches to prepare for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.  It invests in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.   For more information, visit

This site uses cookies.
ConfigureHide Options
Read our privacy policy

This site uses cookies for marketing, personalisation, and analysis purposes. You can opt out of this at any time or view our full privacy policy for more information.