Love Ladyfield – Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why is The Crichton Trust leading on the master planning process for the Ladyfield site?
A. As you know, there has been approval to develop the Ladyfield site for over 10 years, with the prospect of a commercial builder building over 400 homes on the site, which is currently owned by Dumfries and Galloway Council. Like many others in the surrounding area, The Crichton Trust would want to see the Ladyfield site respectfully developed to protect more of its green spaces and to create a site designed to meet the demand for smart intergenerational living. The Crichton Trust has experience of protecting, preserving and sensitively developing heritage buildings and grounds and as a neighbouring organisation has a vested interest in helping to shape the future of the site and in making the most of the opportunity to reconnect the Ladyfield site with The Crichton and the environmental and cultural benefits this presents. The Crichton Trust sees the development of a master plan as a way to help research and present sustainable options for the future of the site in a way that will benefit the local community and the natural environment. It is worth noting that The Crichton Trust is not the landowner or a commercial organisation, it is a charity and social enterprise, so motivated by more than profit with a focus on positive social and heritage impact, taking a 100-year view for people and planet.
Q. Why is The Crichton Trust developing a master plan for Ladyfield when there are many empty buildings in Dumfries town centre that could be used instead?
A. Ladyfield is an allocated site for housing development in Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Local Development Plan 2. Our aim is to have strong active travel connections between the Ladyfield site, town centre and surrounding areas so that people living in these areas support town centre businesses. In addition, there is a shortage of housing in our region. The Council has a duty to make enough land available to meet this existing housing need. It is not possible to fully meet this need by converting existing town centre buildings or by restricting development to brownfield sites.
Q. What is a housing master plan?
A. Master planning for a new housing development is about making the connections between the buildings, social settings and their surrounding environments. This includes undertaking research to fully understand the site, analyse the findings and make recommendations for future development on the site. This process involves considering a wide range of factors including contribution to the local economy, how transport will work, how the land will be used and what facilities are required to make it work. It is a holistic approach to spatial planning.
Q. Are there transport issues in relation to the Ladyfield site that need to be resolved to allow new housing development to take place?
A. Our approach to the development of the Ladyfield site seeks to reduce people’s reliance on car journeys by both limiting the number of cars on site (around one per household or less) and to provide new opportunities for active travel which will include walking and cycling. The master plan will also propose the creation of a new car share club so that people have access to an electric vehicle when required. Lastly, it will also recommend improvements to the existing road network, although these suggestions are aspirational and will require the support of Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Q. Who will the houses in the Ladyfield development be for?
A. The final mix of housing has not yet been decided. However, this is likely to include key workers (for example, new NHS employees moving into the region), mature students (who often move to the region with their families), older people and families. There may also be a small number of houses for sale and some self-build plots. More detailed information, including a phased approach to the build, will be available at our next engagement event on Friday 14th October 2022.
Q. What housing research has been undertaken to feed into the masterplan?
A. Interviews with individual organisations representing key businesses and services in Dumfries were undertaken to find out how housing affects recruitment and growth of key business and services. This research was carried out by South of Scotland Community Housing to provide a strong evidence base to underpin our strategic approach to the site. The findings indicate there is a significant housing shortfall across a range of sizes, prices and tenures. This was a specific piece of work commissioned by The Crichton Trust to understand demand for a range of housing options on the Ladyfield site.
Q. The allocated housing site known as Ladyfield suffers from poor drainage during periods of high rainfall. What will the impact of building on this land be?
A. The master plan for the site will propose sustainable urban drainage (SUDS) alongside active flood management measures. This means copying nature by holding back rainwater where it falls and allowing it to soak into the ground. This approach to water management will significantly reduce the amount of run off from hard surfaces, such as roads, that currently cause high levels of water retention on the site. As a result, the risk of flooding from run off in and around the site will be reduced.
Q. Will new housing development on the Ladyfield site contribute to traffic problems in the area?
A. Traffic surveys have been undertaken in the vicinity of the Ladyfield site. This included measuring vehicle movements as well as journeys made by pedestrians and cyclists. This showed that the road and path network are well used for active travel. However, the data also revealed that some vehicles exceeded the posted speed limits. The Ladyfield master plan provides the opportunity to deliver improvements that will result in a safer and more accessible neighborhood for all. This will be achieved by delivering a series of physical improvements that will put people first and will also strengthen the sense of place in this locality.
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 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus