SCOTLAND’S FIRST NPF-4-READY MASTERPLAN FOR LADYFIELD, DUMFRIES
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 has recently been submitted to Dumfries and Galloway Council.
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, including Dumfries and Galloway Council, 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.
To view The Ladyfield Masterplan Appendices visit The Crichton Blog
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.
The Crichton Trust is grateful to Collective Architecture for leading our design team and for delivering Scotland’s first NPF4-ready masterplan, just days after the new policy was adopted. We’re proud of this achievement and once again placing The Crichton and Dumfries at the forefront of innovation in placemaking and social wellbeing”.
Ross Aitchison, Architect, Collective Architecture said:
“The Ladyfield Masterplan has been borne out of a truly open and engaging design development process supported by a visionary client in The Crichton Trust. We took a collaborative multi-agency approach to work with local, national and regional stakeholders and partners from inception to masterplan, with each organisation building on their individual strategic commitments to NetZero and a just transition. This is exemplified by the Scottish Government’s new National Planning Framework 4 which embeds sustainability and social justice into all future planning decisions in Scotland. Working collectively with all key partners –including the NHS, Dumfries and Galloway Council, the Scottish Futures Trust, South of Scotland Enterprise, Scotland 5G Connect Centre and South of Scotland Community Housing – we were able to share challenges and opportunities for the masterplan to address local housing need, support inward economic migration and the delivery of sustainable public services, whilst also addressing opportunities to do development differently for the good of existing and new communities within The Crichton Quarter.”
Susanne Sharif, Architect, Collective Architecture added:
“This project takes an aspirational approach to placemaking, and is designed to serve the wellbeing of the people that live in Dumfries now and in future. The masterplan sets out a vision for a place planned for people, addressing the climate emergency, social mobility, work, health and energy. We’re responding to the Scottish Government’s objectives to create nature-focused, sustainable communities through the recently adopted National Planning Framework 4. Ladyfield will promote and encourage a liveable, sustainable neighbourhood and a diversity of housing opportunities is critical to its success. Homes will be provided that improve affordability and choice in the local area by being adaptable to changing and diverse needs, are accessible and allow people to age in place. This will support and encourage mixed communities that grow together over time, creating an intergenerational community that shares knowledge, skills and experience. Ladyfield will foster community by being a place that encourages encounters.”
Importantly for everyone involved in the project, the Ladyfield Masterplan is a landscape led design that both protects and enhances the natural heritage of the site.
Sheena Raeburn, Director, RaeburnFarquharBowen said:
“The Ladyfield site has a richness of Natural Heritage assets reflecting the historic designed landscape it was once part of. There is an abundance of mature trees that offer an existing habitat for wildlife and an amazing mature landscape setting for the new homes. The team has worked with, and retains these assets as the starting point for the masterplan whilst bringing much needed connectivity through the site and linking to existing neighbourhoods, The Crichton Quarter and town centre. Rainwater is slowed and cleaned by integration through the landscape, linked by a series of interconnected features including swales, raingardens, ponds and wetlands. Smaller, more intimate landscape spaces for day-to-day interactions with neighbours are realised through shared gardens, growing spaces and playful landscapes. A place for people and wildlife to thrive.”
Understanding local housing needs has been a key part of the master planning process and the project has greatly benefited from their partnership with South of Scotland Community Housing and their connection with individuals and organisations in the local community.
Mike Staples, Chief Executive, South of Scotland Community Housing (SOSCH) said:
“It’s been a pleasure for SOSCH to have supported the project team in the development of this ground-breaking and innovative masterplan. Our research has demonstrated significant need, both in the local community and key employers, for the type and scale of housing the masterplan can deliver. Adopting a community-led approach, as is embedded in NPF4, The Crichton Trust can ensure that these needs are met in a manner that will enhance the offer of suitable, energy-efficient homes and promote wellbeing, intergenerational living and economic growth”.
Local leaders recognise the significant impact housing has on economic development and are therefore fully aware of the potential benefits of the Ladyfield development on Dumfries and the South of Scotland as a whole.
Jane Morrison-Ross, Chief Executive, South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) said:
“We recognise the ambition and vision of the Ladyfield Masterplan, which has involved considerable engagement ahead of its submission. Alongside partners, SOSE is aware of, and working on, the current housing challenges across the South of Scotland. There is a need for a greater diversity of homes to allow people to make their futures in our region, and to have homes for life. The Ladyfield Masterplan has the potential to help address this issue, through delivering an innovative scheme of high quality, energy efficient and affordable homes, and a community for the future.”
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 consider the next steps. 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 that consideration.
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 a formal 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.
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
This project was part-funded by The UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund and Dumfries and Galloway Council.