Following a comprehensive master planning process, led by The Crichton Trust, for the Ladyfield housing site in Dumfries, The Ladyfield Masterplan and associated technical studies was submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council on 14th February 2023 for consideration by the Economy and Resources Committee.
The masterplan was co-produced by The Crichton Trust in partnership with Collective Architecture, with the ongoing involvement of the local community and a range of key partners and stakeholders and further strengthened by the input and expertise of RaeburnFarquharBowen, Buro Happold, nbm Construction Consultants, South of Scotland Community Housing and Dumfries and Galloway Council. This work, funded through the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund with an additional contribution from Dumfries and Galloway Council, has been an exceptional example of partnership working.
The project has involved an extensive community/stakeholder consultation process including a number of in-person events and online opportunities for members of the public, community groups and organisations to share their views and ideas about the future of Ladyfield. Events were well-attended and generated extensive and varied feedback. On the whole consultations resulted in positive feedback and new ideas, but as to be expected, concerns were also expressed by some local residents, all of which have positively shaped the strategic approach to The Ladyfield Masterplan.
Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive of The Crichton Trust said: “Our approach to Ladyfield reflects the Council’s vision ‘to support ambition and promote and establish Dumfries and Galloway as the best place to live work and learn’, We believe The Ladyfield Masterplan is a key strategic step to delivering affordable housing that goes beyond conventional models. Rather than focusing on short-term profit, it emphasises community-led holistic placemaking. We have sought to enhance existing community assets to develop a liveable and healthier place for people and the planet.
We have been working with our partners and the local community to ensure the masterplan addresses some of the challenges currently facing the region, including the need for good quality, affordable and adaptable homes, particularly for mid-market rent. Our approach also focuses on enabling our region to meet shared net-zero goals and to support the development of a thriving intergenerational community. A place that will support a vibrant economy, enabling more people to live healthy, connected lives.
He added: The masterplan exceeds national standards for community engagement and demonstrates our commitment to working with the local community to create sustainable, liveable and productive places. We truly believe that this development has the potential to transform the lives of local residents. It will connect the site with The Crichton, the town centre and neighbouring communities. It will also protect and enhance the site’s natural assets and increase access for all to enjoy.
The level of engagement and support for the project has been invaluable and has resulted in an exemplar project that also embraces new national planning policies. I would therefore like to thank all our partner organisations and members of the local community who generously gave their time, ideas and feedback to help shape the final masterplan.”
What happens next?
Now that The Ladyfield Masterplan is complete, it has been submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council, along with supporting technical studies, to be considered by the Economies and Resources Committee. The committee will decide if the masterplan is approved as planning guidance for any future development on the site. As it stands, the Ladyfield site is owned by Dumfries and Galloway Council, and while The Crichton Trust and partners are keen to remain involved in the development and management of the Ladyfield site, they await the outcome of the committee meeting.
A formal Planning Application process would be required by any future developer of the site, and, as is the case with all planning applications, there will be an opportunity for further community consultation as part of that process at a later date.
The Crichton Trust acknowledges the invaluable contribution of everyone who has supported and participated in their master planning process and invites the public to view The Ladyfield Masterplan online.
The Ladyfield Masterplan: Executive Summary
Ladyfield a project borne of global ambition and rooted in local context. The dramatic and diverse landscape of Ladyfield is part of The Crichton’s history and heritage which is why The Crichton Trust wants to create a place with our rich ecological landscape at its heart.
As custodians of The Crichton, we’re here to protect and to plan for the next 100 years. We want to use our experience of stewarding our historic estate to create the heritage of the future at Ladyfield. And we want to continue working alongside our local partners and community.
The Crichton’s been innovating in the name of health and wellbeing for over 150 years – a century and a half of supporting the happiness, health and economic success of residents and workers. Our pioneering spirit is nothing new. As a hospital with an adjoining farm on the land, we had our own food supply, independent water and heating system before the words ‘climate’ and ‘crisis’ had ever been put together. We’re built on sustainability, and Ladyfield is the next step.
We want to go back to a time when different generations lived side-by-side, and communities grew together. We want to meet the needs of future households, and attract people from all backgrounds. Ladyfield will help transform the local area. However, our plans are not simply about the future of Dumfries and Galloway.
We’re responding to the Scottish Government’s objectives to create nature-focused, sustainable communities. We want to create a sustainable housing model that can be adopted all over the world, focused on people, place and planet:
People – we’ll address the evolving housing needs of the community, now and in the future, harnessing the wisdom and experience of our older residents by enabling encounters across generations.
Place – we’ll take an aspirational approach to designing and planning to serve the wellbeing of the people that live here, while preserving a conservation area of great natural beauty. We will also embrace new technologies to improve the lives of people who live there.
Planet – we’ll create energy-efficient homes in a self-sufficient community, by realising the opportunities of climate action for the protection and recovery of our natural world.
Ladyfield is a life-changing proposal that will benefit people far beyond our lifetimes.
Gwilym Gibbons, Chief Executive, The Crichton Trust, February 2023
For more information and to view The Ladyfield Masterplan Appendices visit The Crichton Blog
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